Are you taking enough iodine? Testosterone levels, after all, can be negatively affected whenever you are not getting enough of this common yet often overlooked trace mineral.
Moreover, don’t forget that today’s lifestyle drastically reduces testosterone. For example, the food we eat could contain compounds which hinder the production of the main male hormone.
One natural way of bringing your total testosterone back up is by eating food that naturally raises the hormone’s levels. As you’d expect, foods containing iodine can help in that aspect.
But What’s Iodine?
Iodine is a trace mineral that we typically get from dietary sources. It’s among the most important nutrients when it comes to keeping your thyroid healthy.
The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating many critical bodily processes. One of them is the rate at which natural hormones are produced, and that includes testosterone.
Iodine is absorbed by the thyroid glands from the blood. In the thyroid, this trace element is converted into two kinds of thyroid hormone called T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine).
These thyroid hormones are released into the blood to reach the target organs—one of which is the testes. The testes is where all the body’s testosterone get produced.
If the body’s iodine supply is significantly reduced over a long period, well, things become problematic. The thyroid is among the most affected when iodine levels are too low, leading to a condition called hypothyroidism.
Of course, with hypothyroidism, thyroid function is limited. And as a result, the balance between testosterone, prolactin, and estradiol becomes sub-optimal.
If you’re interested to know whether your thyroid if still working optimally, you should definitely consider getting a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test.
The Three Hormones
Low levels of testosterone can lead to an increase in both estradiol (estrogen) and prolactin. This can cause problems such as enlargement of the breasts in men, called gynecomastia.
This condition can also lead to reduced secretion of growth hormones such as luteinizing hormones and follicle-stimulating hormone, which are crucial in maintaining virility.
Also, not having enough of those two can lead to further reduction in the production of testosterone. Keep in mind that low testosterone can increase the risk for prostate cancer and even breast cancer.
So, simply put, low iodine can lead to hypothyroidism, and in turn hypothyroidism can lead to an increase in the body’s estrogen levels. Again, having too much estrogen negatively affects testosterone levels.
There are many causes of iodine deficiency, but the most common is having too little dietary iodine intake. People just do not eat enough iodine-rich foods.
This trace mineral can be found in the soil. Plants absorb this mineral through their roots and so, fruits and other plant parts should contain a good amount of iodine.
Unfortunately, modern farming practices strip the soil of iodine. As a result, plants no longer contain sufficient amounts of iodine for us to harness—highlighting the need to look for alternatives.
Well, it’s a good thing that we don’t have to rely on the land when it comes to getting our supply of iodine. Foods that contain high amounts of the trace mineral that can help alleviate iodine deficiency include:
Seaweed, such as nori, is a very rich source of natural iodine. The iodine content of a 100-gram serving of dried seaweed can be as high as 54 mg—that’s more than enough to meet the RDA.
However, it is not advisable to eat lots of seaweed on a daily basis. High doses of the mineral can easily make you prone to toxicity, which can trigger symptoms such as delirium and vomiting.
Oysters have long enjoyed its reputation for being a libido booster and for improving reproductive function as a whole. A 100-gram serving of oysters can give you 160 mcg of iodine—that’s about 106% of the RDA.
However, some people do not have access to fresh oysters all the time. There’s also the risk of food poisoning from shellfish, particularly those harvested from dirty waters.
- Wild Cod
Wild-caught cod is another top-notch source of iodine. A 100-gram serving of this seafood can supply you with 100 mcg of the mineral (about 66% of the RDA).
Do you really have to go for wild-caught? Well, farmed fish are typically fed with soy pellets—and soy or soya beans contain a large amount of xenoestrogens.
These xenoestrogens (and other estrogen-like compounds)can have an inhibitory effect on your body’s natural testosterone production process.
If you’re not into any of the things we’ve listed, you could at least get iodized salt—a kind of salt that’s specifically made to help iodine deficient people.
On the other hand, if you’re currently following a vegan diet and you really want to get iodine from plant sources, you could add cranberries and potatoes to your dishes.
Again though, there’s the issue of whether these are grown in nutrient-deficient soils. Also, some may have been exposed to chemicals such as fertilizers and insecticides.
To further improve your daily intake of iodine, you could try taking supplements. There are many iodine supplements available on the market but not every single one of them can help you.
Look for iodine supplements made from safe and high quality sources. Also, don’t forget that the way in which a supplement should be taken affects absorption and effectiveness as well.
One of the easiest ways to absorb iodine is through liquid drops—and this is why we recommend nascent iodine supplements, such as Go Nutrients’ Iodine Edge.
Better Hormonal Health
Iodine is a trace mineral with a large role to fulfill. It’s definitely a good thing that it can be obtained through natural food sources
Aside from getting enough iodine though, there are other ways to naturally improve your hormone health. Eating eggs, for instance, can be a great way to restore your hormonal balance.
Of course, it’s perfectly fine if you wish to take things one step at a time. So, don’t think twice about focusing on iodine—testosterone should still get the boost it needs.