Iodine of the competing halogen elements Fluorine, Bromine and

Iodine is a chemical mineral and also the heaviest essential mineral needed by living organisms. It directly affects the thyroid glands, which produces hormones to regulate the bodies metabolism as well as control heart, muscle and brain functionality.  Wilson (2016) suggests that Iodine acts as a germicide, as it improves thyroid activity and helps fight off many types of toxic chemicals, metals and infections in the body.Diet is the main way of achieving iodine nutritional intake. Seafood, particularly seaweed (kelp) and iodised salt are the most common foods with Iodine. Iodine deficiency is the greatest single cause of preventable mental and physical disability (Mann & Aitken, n.d).  It can cause Hypothyroidism, causing impaired mental function, decreased energy, weight gain and is often accompanied by an enlargement of the thyroid gland commonly known as goitre. Iodine is easily accessible with including iodised salt to your diet, however, high excess of salt, risks a high sodium intake elevating hypertension and an increased heart rate (Davis, 2009).Pregnant women with Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) are most likely to experience complications in childbirth, which may include stillbirth, increased perinatal and infant mortality and physical and neurological implications for the newborn (Mann & Aitken, n.d).Iodine Deficiency, is now more prevalent with the ever increasing use of the competing halogen elements Fluorine, Bromine and Chlorine now commonly used in our flour products and water supply (Iodine, a critical nutrient, para4, 2016). These interfere with the Iodine’s intake and its utilisation in the body. By limiting or completely cutting out bread, flour products and by drinking spring water, or boiling your tap water first, this helps to maintain your Iodine daily intake. Also replacing iodised table salt with unrefined sea salt as a healthier substitute and including seafood and kale supplements into your diet. Increasing awareness in the community about the affects of Iodine deficiency, and demonstrate how to include a healthy amount Iodine in peoples diets can also help.