Iodine and Oxygen

Though doctors and people do not normally associate iodine with oxygen, we must see that iodine-carrying thyroid hormones are essential for oxygen-based metabolism. First increases of iodine and thyroid hormones increase red blood cell mass and increase the oxygen disassociation from hemoglobin.[1] 

Thyroid hormones have a significant influence on erythropoiesis, which is the process that produces red blood cells (erythrocytes). The most common thyroid dysfunctions, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism affect blood cells and cause anemia with different severity. Thyroid dysfunction and iodine deficiency induces other effects on blood cells such as erythrocytosis, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and in rare cases causes’ pancytopenia. Iodine also alters RBC indices include MCV, MCH, MCHC and RDW.

Thyroid hormone increases oxygen consumption, increase mitochondrial size, number and key mitochondrial enzymes. Meaning iodine increases plasma membrane Na-K ATPase activity, increases futile thermogenic energy cycles and decreases superoxide dismutase activity.

[1] Ann Intern Med. 1971; 74 (4):632-633.