Iodine and Women of a Certain Age

The calm and bliss of Ireland's Atlantic coast

The calm and bliss of Ireland's Atlantic coast

In this second of a series of blog posts on the benefits of iodine in our diets, we look at how this little known chemical element can benefit women's health

The French have a nice phrase for describing a woman of indeterminate - and therefore reasonably advanced - years. 'Un femme d'un certain âge' means, literally, a woman of a certain age, which translates directly into less diplomatic English as 'a middle aged woman'.

When it comes to female middle age, the menopause is still one of those subjects that people are not comfortable broaching. That said, in this post we draw on the content of three articles, all of which are written by women and stress the importance of good diet, containing appropriate iodine intake, in helping to manage the menopause and its symptoms.

Back in 2015, Jill Davey, writing in, asked why is iodine so important, expressing her surprise that 72% of the world's population are deficient in it. Jill also notes that experts have linked iodine deficiency to cancers of the breast, ovaries and uterus. Not only that, but what iodine we do have in our bodies can be used up to remove toxic substances like chlorine, bromide, fluoride, aluminium and lead which can be present in drinking water and those old mercury fillings.

Ireland-based Ailsing Grimley is the founder of My Second Spring, an invaluable resource and support mechanism for women. In this post she reproduces an article from the Independent newspaper, for which she was consulted, entitled 15 Tips to Manage Menopause. In the article dietician Sarah Keogh explain that in the menopause the production of certain hormones like oestrogen decline. These hormones are protective of both the heart and skin. Good thyroid function, that is to say good hormone regulation, relies on a good supply of iodine.

Sarah mentions that salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines are all rich in healthy omega-3 fats, a great source of iodine and selenium which are also needed for healthy hair and nails. To this list of fish you can also add iodine-rich seaweed of course...

Finally, in Aisling's blog, Anna Collins writes about the importance of nutrition to the menopause and covers how to adjust diet and lifestyle factors to better cope with menopause symptoms. Anna zones in on the common theme of the thyroid's importance to wellbeing, as well as the adrenal glands which help the thyroid do its job well. Anna asserts that 'many of your “menopausal symptoms” could in fact be due to low thyroid function' and recommends getting the right levels of iodine, along with zinc, selenium and Vitamin E, into daily diets.

Preparation is the best approach to so many things in life, so it's probably best to start ensuring you're taking the right amount of iodine ahead of time. Working it into your daily diet now should help you in the long run. 

The smRt range of ingredient products are the result of years of research, science and development to find the right balance of seaweed for appropriate iodine content and healthy living. Check out this page of the smRt website on the broader health benefits of seaweed, and for some suggestions of recipes containing seaweed - with none of the seaweed taste - you can refer to our recipes page, or else get in touch