Iodine is the 53rd element of the periodic table. It is a black, shiny, crystalline solid that melts at 237 degrees Fahrenheit, just above the boiling point of water and boils at 361 degrees Fahrenheit, a good temperature to roast beets. Interestingly, it is important in the stability of the ozone layer and there is a relationship between atmospheric iodine and oxygen-based reactions with sodium, potassium and chlorine. It sublimes directly from solid to form a violet gas.
The human body has about 20 milligrams of iodine and is important in the thyroid production of T3 and T4 hormones. It is the heaviest element commonly needed by living organisms. Seventy percent of the body’s iodine is stored in other parts besides the thyroid gland. It is yet another essential element that has sketchy information about its role in human physiology.