8

votes

How is it that we evolved to require iodine?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 28, 2011 at 2:24 AM

I eat kelp and nori about once a week to make sure I get some iodine. I eat fish but not much shellfish.

I wonder what some of you think about how it is that we evolved to require something that seems to be not present in much of what we probably evolved eating.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 09, 2011
at 07:17 AM

Great idea for getting some iodine

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 09, 2011
at 07:17 AM

Great Idea for gettign soem iodine.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 09, 2011
at 07:16 AM

Great idea for gettign iodine.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:46 AM

lovelyy wise we feel eachother beside th rushing times

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on September 29, 2011
at 08:01 PM

http://www.biology-online.org/10/5_primitive_animals.htm I just edited my answer to include information from this great site: http://www.biology-online.org/10/5_primitive_animals.htm

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on September 28, 2011
at 03:28 PM

That would be a mistake. Don't let your new convert zealotry (we've all been there) override basic good sense; western medicine can and does discover truth about human health. Maybe not always, but the basic physiology of iodine isn't very much in doubt.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on September 28, 2011
at 03:28 PM

That would be a mistake. Don't let your new convert zealotry (we've all been there) override basic good sense; western medicine can and does discover truth about human health.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Is it truly depleted or is it simply not adsorbed by neolithic plants to a high degree? Or does it require concentration in animal tissues/products?

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on September 28, 2011
at 01:28 PM

Well, I'm speaking as someone who has recently gone total carnivore, finding out that even the RDA for dietary fiber is a crock of crap, and does enormous colorectal damage. So, no, I don't give western medicine the benefit of any doubt.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 28, 2011
at 01:26 PM

No other living hominid has the "expensive" large brain that we do. No other living hominid exploits animal foods the way we do. I think they are connected, and the authors of The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis agree.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 28, 2011
at 01:13 PM

Nice! Sometimes a snack is all it takes, kind of the best way, that little jolt of random "heyy." I love the biosciences and all the little branches that shoot off from there, so a good one for me!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 01:11 PM

Giving western docs the benefit of the doubt, I'd have to think that whatever iodine RDA there is was established at some point before "they only stud[ied] a populace of poisoned patients." No?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:57 PM

very good points. thanks. I think the idea that a diet with negligible amounts of items that might block any uptake of any present iodine is interesting.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:56 PM

I refrain from asking questions these days but it kind of hit me out of the blue last night as I was eating some nori.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:55 PM

yeah, in general the info on magnesium, and specifically how it's not in much of what we eat, seems to be much more available than any regarding iodine (ide).

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:54 PM

yes I suppose the whole idea that we originally started at some local point that was very likely near the sea is crucial. So long as that starting point is there then it would explain wouldn't it. I wonder then if perhaps some of us are adapting to living with less of it.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:53 PM

I'd read that no other living hominid has the dramatic need for iodine that our brain does too. That's what I find puzzling, or at the least interesting.

C534cb215f9d03b75e8961ff88ea9837

(165)

on September 28, 2011
at 08:01 AM

I think your on the right track here..

C534cb215f9d03b75e8961ff88ea9837

(165)

on September 28, 2011
at 07:57 AM

If you consider our very evolution, this probably dates back to our ancient roots, that is we initially evolved from the sea. Seawater is typically a concentration of approx. 0.06-0.08ppm iodine. It has crucial biological functions in the vast majority of all marine life, from largest fish/mammals, to the smallest bacteria. Hope this helps.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:34 AM

thanks, I didn't know that but it does seem like mg is one of the other big ones to supplement and many people are deficient

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:34 AM

I didn't know that but it does seem like mg is one of the other big ones to supplement and many people are deficient.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:30 AM

Good answer. Makes sense. I've read that magnesium is pretty beat out of our soil as well.

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8 Answers

10
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 28, 2011
at 04:01 AM

If you eat ALL of the organs, and I mean all of them, there is iodine in the meat and particularly the thyroid glands depending on the local soil conditions. I hear the Plains Indians would divide the thyroid of a killed animal up equally so everyone got some. It's possible we evolved in a place where soil iodine was very rich and the animals carried it. There is also evidence hominids have consumed shellfish, another possible source, for 1.94 million years. Plus evidence we were consuming other shore-based foods. The ideal environment for human evolution may have been open grassland with some coastal areas. No other living hominid has the dramatic need for iodine that our brain does, it's one of the unusual things about humans.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:53 PM

I'd read that no other living hominid has the dramatic need for iodine that our brain does too. That's what I find puzzling, or at the least interesting.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 28, 2011
at 01:26 PM

No other living hominid has the "expensive" large brain that we do. No other living hominid exploits animal foods the way we do. I think they are connected, and the authors of The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis agree.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:46 AM

lovelyy wise we feel eachother beside th rushing times

5
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on September 28, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Many believe that single celled organisms evolved from the sea to live in collectives on land. These collectives are multicellular organisms, like us! Maybe cavemen wouldn't all have access to sea foods and thus sea minerals, but maybe our original cells did?

"An interesting fact to note is that the mineral composition of modern animals, such as ourselves, is similar to that of these ancient organisms, who originated in the sea. Thus, we can deduce that as animals, and life in general, evolved from the sea."

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:54 PM

yes I suppose the whole idea that we originally started at some local point that was very likely near the sea is crucial. So long as that starting point is there then it would explain wouldn't it. I wonder then if perhaps some of us are adapting to living with less of it.

C534cb215f9d03b75e8961ff88ea9837

(165)

on September 28, 2011
at 08:01 AM

I think your on the right track here..

2
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 28, 2011
at 03:31 AM

Endosymbiotic theory maybe? We evolved from something.. so perhaps that is where our need came from?

Like.. a chicken soup. Individually the components for chicken soup: Chicken. Onion. Carrots. Alone they are just that. A single component. But make a soup out of all of these and then it becomes rich, it all comes together. Each element has a contribution just like each cell has an contribution to the body. So all together it works. Maybe way back when something, some organism or bacteria, that used iodine got taken into the body and it was accepted and not rejected. The body thought "hey we can use this, we like what this does for us" so it built itself around it.

There's going to be a million answers for this.. great question!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:56 PM

I refrain from asking questions these days but it kind of hit me out of the blue last night as I was eating some nori.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 28, 2011
at 01:13 PM

Nice! Sometimes a snack is all it takes, kind of the best way, that little jolt of random "heyy." I love the biosciences and all the little branches that shoot off from there, so a good one for me!

1
B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on August 02, 2012
at 05:32 PM

Our iodine requirements are one of the supporting arguments for the Aquatic Ape Theory. This theory is that we evolved in coastal regions and ate a lot of seafood such as mussels which are easily gathered at low tide, this would have provided a lot of iodine. The long chain omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA would have been easily available through gathering shellfish and aided the enlargement of our brains. Once our brains grew enough we could hunt and fish to add more animal foods to our diet, such as ruminants.

The Aquatic Ape Theory gets criticised a lot, mostly poking fun at the name, that it theory is we were practically dolphins. This is wrong, a more accurate name would be the Littoral Ape Theory. Littoral meaning coastal.

Animals that are adapted to being inland, such as sheep hold on to iodine very well but not to minerals such as copper which is readily available in the environment. Where-as humans loose iodine easily and hoard copper, which is why we can have copper toxicities such as Wilson's disease. Excess iodine on the other hand is urinated out. In fact the test for if you have enough iodine in your body involves drinking a set amount of iodine then collecting your urine for 24 hours to measure the iodine in it.

1
Medium avatar

on September 29, 2011
at 08:27 PM

These guys attribute it to the soil having been "leached of this element by glaciation, floods or snow water." I could see that being the case, and that we've been just scraping along with suboptimal amounts for a while. Luckily, it's easy to supplement with some kelp here and there and the excess is readily excreted.

If you really want to be pissed at evolution, you should focus on our lack of vitamin C synthesis and our inability to convert acetyl-CoA into pyruvate. I shake my fist at Evolution every day because of these.

1
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:29 AM

I think historically it was in our soil in small amounts but over time has been depleted.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:30 AM

Good answer. Makes sense. I've read that magnesium is pretty beat out of our soil as well.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:34 AM

thanks, I didn't know that but it does seem like mg is one of the other big ones to supplement and many people are deficient

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Is it truly depleted or is it simply not adsorbed by neolithic plants to a high degree? Or does it require concentration in animal tissues/products?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:55 PM

yeah, in general the info on magnesium, and specifically how it's not in much of what we eat, seems to be much more available than any regarding iodine (ide).

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:34 AM

I didn't know that but it does seem like mg is one of the other big ones to supplement and many people are deficient.

0
93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:52 PM

When pregnant women get their weird cravings, I think it has a lot to do with stockpiling rare minerals like this, make them accessible to the fetus, and it could be that the child is more or less "set for life" after that, comparatively speaking. It could be that no iodine gets excreted from primitive people adhering to a healthy paleo diet - how would we know? We're told by our western doctors that we need more iodine, but they only study a populace of poisoned patients.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on September 28, 2011
at 03:28 PM

That would be a mistake. Don't let your new convert zealotry (we've all been there) override basic good sense; western medicine can and does discover truth about human health.

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on September 28, 2011
at 01:28 PM

Well, I'm speaking as someone who has recently gone total carnivore, finding out that even the RDA for dietary fiber is a crock of crap, and does enormous colorectal damage. So, no, I don't give western medicine the benefit of any doubt.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on September 28, 2011
at 03:28 PM

That would be a mistake. Don't let your new convert zealotry (we've all been there) override basic good sense; western medicine can and does discover truth about human health. Maybe not always, but the basic physiology of iodine isn't very much in doubt.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 01:11 PM

Giving western docs the benefit of the doubt, I'd have to think that whatever iodine RDA there is was established at some point before "they only stud[ied] a populace of poisoned patients." No?

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:28 PM

Indigenous hunter-gatherers do fine without iodized salt. Seems reasonable that there is generally enough iodide naturally present to support healthy thyroid function. Or that their diets also free from compounds that interfere with iodine adsorption.

Also look at the African Rift Valley lakes, high concentration of minerals, and also iodide. Likely nearby where significant amounts of human evolution took place. There's never been significant evolutionary pressure to evolve away from iodide requirements.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 28, 2011
at 12:57 PM

very good points. thanks. I think the idea that a diet with negligible amounts of items that might block any uptake of any present iodine is interesting.

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