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How to know if there is a need to supplement Iodine

by (129)
Commented on June 26, 2014
Created June 17, 2014 at 12:29 AM

I dont eat any seaweed, nor does my sea salt contain it. Ive heard cranberries are a good source but I dont eat those either. How would one know if they need to supplement Iodine?

1717 · June 26, 2014 at 7:04 PM

I agree, 2 billions people is only, what, not even 30% of the world population.

41752 · June 26, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Oh noes, I offended an anti-iodized salt crusader!

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6 Answers

15 · June 26, 2014 at 2:08 PM

@Reefrash1043 Iodine deficiency is not rare. In fact it is very, very common.

  • In the general population, 2 billion people have insufficient iodine intake. (de Benoit et al., 2007)
  • In the UK, 68% of British teenage school girls test as iodine insufficient (Vanderpump et al., 2011)
  • 49% New Zealand babies are mildly iodine insufficient (Skeaff et al., 2005)
  • 52% students in Scotland aged 25 found to iodine deficient (Combet, 2014)

You need to incorporate seafish, seafood or seaweed into your diet. You only need the equivalent of half a teaspoon of seaweed a day (or just 1 x 500mg capsule of a good quality organic seaweed). Dairy has a little, eggs around 87 mcg (tiny) and both chlorine and fluorine - everyday chemicals - displace the little iodine that you'll be getting if you don't eat seafood. Potassium iodide in salt is not the same as chelated iodine from seaweed and in countries where it is part of a national supplementation program they find it tends to increase the incidence of over-active thyroid. Your minimum RI is 150 mcg and the safe WHO upper limit is 1100 mcg. The iodine patch test is not a reliable indicator, only a blood test but far better just to monitor what you are eating. There's a useful article on iodine use and safety by Napiers the Herbalists who did some proper research on iodine in seaweed, link is here

-10 · June 17, 2014 at 11:12 AM

The needed iodine should be ideally being consumed from diet. I think supplementing iodine is not a good option at all. It can be very dangerous in case of autoimmune thyroid response. There are potentially many risks involved in supplementing Iodine. Some symptoms or signs of iodine deficiency include cold intolerance, fatigue, hypothyroidism, weight gain etc.

995 · June 17, 2014 at 3:34 AM

If you're not eating much iodine in your food, and it's not in your salt, you could probably use some more iodine in your life.

I like slicing up salty kombu squares with scissors and throwing it in with a stir fry. Or, you can make a tea out of it (konbu-cha) and use that like soy sauce. Or, mix in some bonito flakes or dried anchovies / sardines and you've got some awesome dashi stock. I've also got some kelp granules that mix well into a seasoning mix. I suppose cranberries would do, too.

If you up your iodine, you'll probably want to up your selenium as well.

26207 · June 17, 2014 at 1:03 AM

iodine deficiency is pretty rare, but strict observance of Paleo without seafood and sea vegetables could put you on that path.

Other than seaweed; milk, yogurt, fresh cheeses, and eggs all have some iodine.

41752 · June 17, 2014 at 12:56 AM

Iodine deficiency is rare. Even if you eschew iodized salt, you likely won't have a problem. Pick up iodized salt if you're concerned. Seafood, dairy, sea veggies for whole food sources.

41752 · June 26, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Oh noes, I offended an anti-iodized salt crusader!

300 · June 17, 2014 at 12:51 AM

Pretty sure you need to get a test.

The only 'DIY test' that I've seen was about putting a patch of iodine on the skin and waiting to see how long until it 'absorbs'. The issue was that it had more to do with evaporation rather than absorbtion (IIRC) so it was not a useful measure of determining how much iodine your body 'absorbed'...and that's still assuming the original premise was correct.

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