(WYTV)- Let’s talk about something on your kitchen table: salt. did you ever wonder why some table salt comes in a package labeled as “iodized.”

What does that mean, and what’s the benefit? iodized means the manufacturer has added iodine to the salt, a way to make sure you have some iodine in your diet your body doesn’t make iodine but your thyroid gland needs it to work properly, your thyroid regulates many functions of your body. A lack of iodine can lead to the thyroid swelling, that’s called a goiter, your neck bulges.

We find iodine in fish, so it’s no problem along the coast. But in the early 20th century, iodine deficiency was much more common than today. In fact some parts of the country were called the goiter belt because people there couldn’t get the seafood they needed. So the government said, let’s add iodine to our salt, we took the example of Switzerland it worked in Michigan, where iodized salt went on the market in 1924, the number of people with goiters fell from 30 percent to just two percent in ten years.

Thanks to our diet today, most Americans are not at risk for iodine deficiency. But we still sell iodized salt as a kind of insurance policy for people whose diets may not supply iodine, some sprinkles of salt should do the trick and iodine is cheap, a dollar per ton of salt.