Iodine | Absolutely everything You Need to Know

Iodine is an essential mineral that is critical for a number of important functions in the body. Not only is it necessary for proper thyroid function, but it also plays an important role in promoting healthy brain development, strengthening our immune system, and protecting our cardiovascular health. Because of its wide range of benefits, it is important to ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of iodine in your diet.

One common deficiency of iodine is found among people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. This may be due to their avoidance of iodized salt and other iodine-rich foods like dairy and eggs. However, there are several other dietary sources of iodine to consider, including seafood and fish.

By incorporating these foods into your diet on a regular basis, you can help ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs for optimal function. So whether you are looking to improve your thyroid health or simply boost your overall health and well-being, adding more iodine-rich foods to your regular diet can be a great way to get started.

What is Iodine?

Iodine is a key nutrient that plays an important role in maintaining proper health and wellness. This essential trace element can be found in a variety of foods, including fish, seafood, and dairy products. Not only does iodine promote normal thyroid function, but it also protects the cardiovascular system by reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and other conditions associated with poor blood flow.

Furthermore, regular iodine intake is also linked to improved cognitive function and enhanced mood regulation. So whether you’re looking to support your overall health or improve brain function, incorporating more iodine-rich foods into your diet can be a great way to achieve those goals.

Iodine foods

Iodine can be found in a variety of foods (dietary iodine), including seafood, dairy products, and eggs. It is also added to some table salt as a way to prevent iodine deficiency. In addition, many people take iodine supplements as a way to ensure that they are getting enough of this important nutrient.

(mcg) per
cod liverl oilCod158 mcg
seaweed NoriSeaweed, nori116 mcg
cooked oysterOysters93 mcg
yogurtYogurt, Greek87 mcg
ButtermilkMilk85 mcg
salt sodiumIodized table salt76 mcg
fish SticksFish sticks58 mcg
eggEgg26 mcg
Cheddar cheeseCheese, cheddar15 mcg
beef liverLiver, beef14 mcg
shrimpsShrimps13 mcg
TunaTuna7 mcg
Fish sauce, 1 tablespoon 4mcg
Beef, 3mcg
Soy beverage 2mcg
Chicken breast 2mcg
Apple juice 1mcg
Bread, 1mcg
Rice, brown, 1mcg

The recommended iodine intake levels vary depending on age and gender. For infants, the recommended intake is 110 micrograms per day, while kids need between 130 and 290 micrograms per day, depending on their age. Men need 150 micrograms per day, while women need 220 micrograms per day (including during pregnancy and lactation).

Most people can easily meet their iodine needs by consuming a variety of iodine-rich foods and/or taking an iodine supplement.


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcg RAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
<19 years220 mcg900 mcg
>19 years220 mcg1,100 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcgRAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
<19 years290 mcg900 mcg
>19 years290mcg1,100 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcgRAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
0–6 months110 mcgNone established
7–12 months130 mcgNone established


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcgRAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
1–3 years90 mcg200 mcg
4–8 years90 mcg300 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcg RAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
9–13 years120 mcg600 mcg
14–18 years120 mcg900 mcg
19 + years150 mcg1,100 mcg


Life stage groupUS RDAs or AIs (mcg RAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
9–13 years120 mcg600 mcg
14–18 years120 mcg900 mcg
19 + years150 mcg1,100 mcg

6 Iodine benefits

Iodine is a crucial nutrient that plays an important role in many aspects of human health. In particular, it is essential for maintaining proper thyroid function. The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce several key hormones, which in turn help to regulate vital functions like metabolism and blood pressure.

Additionally, studies have shown that adequate iodine levels may help to prevent certain types of cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer. Thus, making sure that we get enough iodine into our diets is critical for optimal well-being. Luckily, there are many easy ways to incorporate more iodine into our diet, such as by eating seafood or taking supplements. By staying mindful of our iodine intake, we can help ensure that our bodies stay healthy and strong.

1. Supports thyroid health by regulating thyroid hormones

The thyroid is a small, gland that looks like a butterfly, located at the neck. It produces hormones that regulate many important biochemical reactions in the body, including the synthesis of amino acids from proteins, digestive enzyme activity, and proper skeletal and central nervous system development.


Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, and it must be present in high enough levels in order to maintain proper thyroid function. Without adequate iodine, the thyroid cannot make enough of the key hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which can lead to a condition called hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include increased blood level of thyroid-stimulating hormone, fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and depression.

Iodine is an essential element in thyroid function and metabolism, as well as weight management, by regulating metabolic processes and preventing excessive body fat accumulation.

2. It aids in the management of sweating and body temperature

Iodine also aids in the management of sweating and body temperature. It helps to regulate evaporation from the skin, and it also helps to prevent heat loss from the body. When the body is lacking iodine, it may be more difficult to regulate its temperature, which can lead to excessive sweating. Iodine supplements can help to reduce sweating by aiding in the regulation of body temperature.


Sweating is a vital detoxification method that the body uses to eliminate pollutants and even surplus calories. Iodine insufficiency might disrupt our bodies’ natural method of eliminating waste from the body via pores and regulating our temperatures. A lack of iodine may cause dry mouth due to abnormally low saliva production, making it difficult to eat and possibly affecting digestion in some way.

Additionally, iodine enables the thyroid gland to produce hormones that are essential for metabolism. Consequently, iodine deficiency disorders will lead to a slowing down of the metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Moreover, when the body does not sweat properly, it is more susceptible to overheating, which can be dangerous in hot weather or during strenuous physical activity. Therefore, it is clear that sweating is a vital function and that iodine plays an important role in its proper functioning.

3. Helps the growth and development of Children

Iodine is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in the growth and development of our bodies, particularly in children. It plays a key role in regulating metabolism and cognitive function, as well as contributing to the overall regulation of hormone production in the body.

growth and development of Children

Research has shown that even a mild deficiency in iodine can have serious consequences for infant development. Without enough iodine, the brain cannot develop properly, resulting in mental disabilities such as cretinism. Cretinism is often fatal or leads to a short life expectancy, due mainly to the lack of opportunity to attend school and receive an education. However, when their intellect can no longer keep up with demand, they are of little interest to others since they have no prospects.

Women should be aware that iodine deficiency can cause problems with the development of babies. This is why many experts recommend eating more foods containing this nutrient during pregnancy and taking a supplement if necessary, considering how common these deficiencies are in women who don’t get enough from their diets or supplements alone.

Iodine can be found naturally in many foods, but sources like sea vegetables are particularly rich in this vital nutrient. By ensuring that your child eats a balanced diet rich in iodine-rich foods or takes a daily supplement, you can help support their growth and development during critical years of brain and bodily development. Not only will this improve their physical health, but it can also boost their mental well-being by enhancing their cognitive function. So don’t underestimate the importance of iodine for your child – nurture their growth today!

4. May assist in the prevention of cancer

Iodine plays a role in immune function, and recent research has shown that it may help to induce apoptosis — the self-destruction of dangerous, cancerous cells. While it can help destroy mutated cancer cells, it doesn’t destroy healthy cells in the process. This makes iodine a potential treatment for cancer, with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy.


Seaweed is a rich source of natural iodine, and it seems to have anti-tumor properties. For example, there are lower rates of cancer in Japan where people eat lots of seaweed relative to those countries with less consumption or no use at all because they believe this helps protect them from developing breast tumors as well.

Thyroid cancer patients sometimes use iodine-rich therapies to assist with the treatment. As research into the benefits of iodine continues, its potential as a safe and effective treatment for a variety of diseases is becoming more clear.

5. It helps to maintain skin health and fight against infections

Iodine is an essential element that helps to maintain skin health and fight against infection. Iodine deficiency can lead to dryness of the skin, hair loss, and other problems such as changes in skin and sweating patterns to mild infections. One of the clearest signs is dry, rough, irritated skin that becomes flaky and inflamed.

Iodine is also essential for regulating perspiration, so people might experience changes in how much they sweat if their levels become imbalanced. Furthermore, this mineral possesses natural antibacterial properties that may make it effective when used topically to help treat minor infections such as those that arise in cuts or scrapes. Overall, maintaining optimal levels of iodine is key to promoting overall wellness and supporting healthy skin function.

6. Keeps your brain in great shape

Iodine is an essential trace element that plays a role in many physiological processes, including healthy brain development. Although the brain only represents 2% of the body’s total iodine content, this micronutrient is critical for cognitive function and brain health. Iodine deficiency is a leading cause of preventable mental disorders globally, as well as neurodegenerative injury.

Iodine supports cognitive health in several ways, including by facilitating brain development during specific time windows influencing neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, neuronal and glial cell differentiation, neuronal migration, and myelination. For example, iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which are crucial for normal brain development. Additionally, iodine plays a role in modulating neurotransmitter systems and cerebral blood flow. Given the central role that iodine plays in brain function, it is not surprising that deficiencies can have devastating consequences on cognitive health.

Iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency (median urinary iodine concentration < 100mg/l) is a serious problem that can have devastating impacts on the health of individuals around the world. Inadequate iodine intake has been linked to an increased risk for a number of illnesses, including thyroid dysfunction, increased risk of miscarriage, infant mortality, and severe mental retardation.

To address this widespread problem, health authorities recommend increasing the consumption of foods that are naturally rich in iodine, such as seaweed and seafood and iodized salt.

Severe iodine deficiency

Without enough iodine, the thyroid gland cannot produce enough thyroid hormone, resulting in a condition known as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, and depression. In severe cases, it can lead to goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism and goiter worldwide.

The effects of severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy and neonatal period can be devastating, including an increased risk for infant mortality. These babies are more likely to develop hypothyroidism or cretinism which causes serious mental disabilities as well in their infancy stage before they even reach childhood.

Many people don’t realize how important it is that you’re getting enough nutrients like protein because this will help the baby grow properly while also keeping mom healthy too.

Mild iodine deficiency

Mild iodine deficiency (less severe iodine deficiency) symptoms can include a variety of physical and emotional changes. One common symptom is swelling in the neck, which may indicate fluid retention or goiter. Unexpected weight gain is also a sign of an iodine deficiency, as the body’s metabolism may be disrupted.

Other associated symptoms include fatigue, hair loss, dry, flaky skin, feeling colder than usual, changes in heart rate, and trouble learning and remembering. While these symptoms typically resolve once sufficient iodine levels are restored, it is important to speak to a healthcare provider if they persist or become severe.

What are the symptoms of Iodine deficiency?

Deficiency symptoms for Iodine can be seen in many areas of the body but the most common are the following:

  • Thyroid disease is more likely
  • Saliva and digestion of meals become more difficult
  • Muscle aches and fatigue are common
  • Dry skin and other skin problems
  • Development problems in infants and children
  • Dry mouth together with swollen salivary glands
  • Higher risk of fibrosis and fibromyalgia
  • Poor attention and retention difficulties

Health risks from excess Iodine and side effects

Although there is a danger of thyroid problems with too much iodine, it is considered a minor hazard in comparison to the significant dangers of deficiency. Furthermore, it is extremely improbable to get high levels of iodine from foods rich in this mineral.

There is considerably more emphasis in the health sector on adding more of this mineral into the general public’s diet than there is on removing it owing to the high occurrence of iodine inadequacies globally, as well as its important health problems. Iodine is found in seafood, seaweed, dairy products and iodized salt. For most people, consuming a varied diet that includes some of these foods should provide enough iodine.

However, some groups of people are at a higher risk of iodine deficiency and may need to take supplements, including pregnant women and those who don’t eat seafood, iodized salt or dairy. If you’re concerned about your iodine intake, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist.

Iodine toxicity    

Iodine toxicity can have serious consequences for other aspects of bodily function and wellbeing. For example, iodine toxicity may lead to a variety of conditions marked by unbalanced levels of various thyroid hormones, such as hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis, papillary cancer of the thyroid gland and hypothyroidism. Clinically, iodine toxicity takes on a wide range of presentations depending on the severity of exposure and individual susceptibility.

Mild cases are commonly caused by gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea, but these symptoms might progress to more severe situations including shock, stupor, or delirium, due to endocrine imbalances.

Given the broad range of possible clinical features associated with iodine toxicity, it is important for anyone who is exposed to large amounts of iodine to seek medical attention immediately in order to prevent more severe harm from occurring. With timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment measures, any potential damage from iodine toxicity can be mitigated so that individuals can go on to live healthy lives free from debilitating symptoms.

Interactions with Iodine

There are some interactions that you should be aware of if you take iodine supplements. For example, amiodarone (Cordarone) can interact with iodine. Amiodarone is a medication that is used to treat heart rhythm problems. If you take amiodarone and iodine together, your blood levels of iodine may increase. This could lead to an increased risk of side effects from amiodarone.

Another example is lithium. Lithium is a medication that is used to treat bipolar disorder. If you take lithium and iodine together, your blood levels of iodine may increase. This could lead to an increased risk of side effects from lithium.

Finally, medications for an overactive thyroid (antithyroid drugs) can interact with iodine. These medications can reduce the amount of iodine that your body absorbs. If you take antithyroid drugs and iodine together, your thyroid function may become worse. These are just a few examples of interactions with iodine. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking before starting an iodine supplement.

Iodine supplements

Iodine is an essential mineral that is required for proper thyroid function and a wide range of bodily processes. Not surprisingly, many people do not get adequate levels of iodine in their daily diets, putting them at risk for a number of health problems. To help address this issue, there are now a number of iodine supplements on the market that can be used to help boost intake levels.

Iodine supplements

These supplements can provide much-needed support for the thyroid gland and assist with things like metabolism, detoxification, and cognitive function. Moreover, recent research has suggested that iodine supplementation may help to reduce the risk of certain diseases such as breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease. Overall, if you are looking for an effective way to promote optimal health, then it could be well worth considering adding an iodine supplement to your daily routine.

Some people are sensitive to receiving extra iodine if they have been diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease or a history of chronic iodine deficiency.

Types of Supplements

The two most common forms of iodine used in supplements are potassium iodide and sodium iodide. A small study found that people absorb potassium iodide almost completely, while absorption of sodium iodide is somewhat lower.

  • Potassium iodide: Potassium iodide is a white, odorless powder that is soluble in water. It has a role in the metabolism of many cells, including those in the thyroid gland. Potassium iodide is used to treat and prevent iodine deficiency. It can also be used to prevent radiation exposure in the event of a nuclear accident. When taken as directed, potassium iodide is safe and effective.
    However, side effects may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Potassium iodide should not be taken by people with hyperthyroidism or certain allergies. If you have any questions about whether or not potassium iodide is right for you, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Sodium iodide: is a dietary supplement commonly used to improve thyroid function and prevent iodine deficiency. This mineral is naturally present in many foods and can also be taken as a supplement in tablet or liquid form. Because the thyroid controls many important bodily processes, such as metabolism and growth, it is vital that this gland receives sufficient iodine to function properly.
    When taken regularly, sodium iodide tablets can help ensure that the thyroid has all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and promote normal body functions. Additionally, studies have shown that taking even small amounts of this mineral on a regular basis can help lower the risk of certain cancers, including thyroid cancer and breast cancer. Thus, for anyone who is concerned about their overall health, a sodium iodide supplement may be an excellent choice.

Final Thoughts

Iodine is an essential element for human health. It is required for the production of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for normal growth and development. Iodine deficiency can lead to a range of problems, including goitre, mental retardation and developmental delays. iodine can be found in a variety of food sources, including fish, dairy products and eggs.

The recommended daily intake of iodine is 150 micrograms for adults, and the upper limit is 1,100 micrograms. Surprisingly, iodine deficiencies are still common in many parts of the world, particularly in developing countries. In conclusion, iodine is essential for human health, and its deficiency can have serious consequences. It is important to ensure that you are getting enough iodine through your diet or through supplementation.


It plays a role in maintaining healthy thyroid function, helping to regulate metabolism, heart rate, and weight management. Additionally, iodine is important in maintaining proper growth and development in children. Because it is required for the production of thyroid hormones, insufficient levels of iodine can result in slowed mental development or even developmental disabilities.

In addition to these vital roles in the body, iodine is also an effective antibacterial and antifungal agent, making it useful for preventing infections and healing wounds. Overall, there are many reasons to maintain adequate levels of this crucial trace mineral in our diets. Whether via foods like seafood, iodized salt and seaweed or through supplementation, iodine plays an important role in maintaining overall health and well-being.

Iodine is an essential element for human health, and it is found in many foods, including seafood, iodized salt, dairy products, and eggs. The average person needs about 150 micrograms of iodine per day for proper thyroid function. However, too much iodine can be toxic. Symptoms of iodine toxicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, gastrointestinal distress, skin irritation, and goiter.

In severe cases, it can lead to coma or death. Iodine toxicity is most commonly caused by consuming high levels of iodine through dietary supplements or certain foods. It can also be caused by exposure to certain chemicals, such as those used in radiology. Iodine toxicity is a serious condition, but it is treatable. If you suspect that you or someone you know has been exposed to too much iodine, seek medical help immediately.

There are several key symptoms of a lack of iodine in the body. First, one may notice that their hair and skin tend to be unusually dry and brittle. Additionally, they may experience abnormal weight gain or loss, as well as difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly. Other possible symptoms include fatigue, poor memory, muscle pain and tenderness, cold intolerance, and elevated blood pressure.

If you are noticing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it is important to seek medical attention in order to determine whether you might be suffering from an iodine deficiency. Your doctor can conduct simple blood tests to measure your levels of this vital nutrient and then prescribe appropriate treatment based on the results. With proper diagnosis and care, it is possible to restore your health and get back on track.

Iodine is an essential nutrient that’s necessary for the proper function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, and iodine is essential for the production of these hormones. Without enough iodine, the thyroid gland can become enlarged, a condition known as goiter. Iodine deficiency is also one of the leading causes of mental retardation.

For pregnant women, iodine deficiency can lead to birth defects in their babies. While iodine is found naturally in some foods, such as seafood and seaweed, it’s also added to table salt to help ensure that people are getting enough of this important nutrient. So while you might not need a lot of iodine, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting enough to keep your thyroid healthy and prevent deficiency.

Foods rich in iodine include seaweed, fish and shellfish, eggs, Brazil nuts, and dairy products like yogurt and cheese. Some of these foods, such as seaweed and shellfish, are particularly good sources of iodine because they contain large concentrations of the mineral.

Other foods that are high in iodine, such as eggs or dairy products, may not always be the most obvious choices for providing the mineral. However, when consumed regularly and in appropriate amounts, all of these foods can provide a valuable source of iodine. For those looking to boost their iodine levels with food, these are some great options to consider!

Symptoms of iodine deficiency can include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, and dry skin. If you think you might be deficient in iodine, it is important to speak to your doctor.

Cranberries, strawberries, and bananas are all good sources of iodine. In general, any fruit that is high in Vitamin C is also likely to be a good source of iodine. Therefore, while not all fruits contain high levels of iodine, some fruits can be a good way to include this essential element in your diet.

Iodine supplements are often recommended for pregnant women and young children who live in areas where iodine levels are low. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking iodine supplements, as they can cause side effects if taken in large amounts.

Moreover, most people who live in developed countries do not need to take iodine supplements, as iodine is readily available in many foods. In conclusion, while iodine supplements can be beneficial for some people, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking them.

There is no simple answer to the question of what is the best form of iodine to take. Critics often assert that inorganic iodine supplements, such as potassium iodide or sodium iodide, are superior to natural forms like seaweed. However, a brief examination of these different forms provides evidence for both sides in this debate.

On one hand, organic sources of iodine do contain valuable nutrients and other important compounds that can be difficult to find in synthetic supplements. Likewise, many individuals have negative reactions to inorganic iodine products, particularly if they have specific health conditions like thyroid disease.

Nevertheless, different people may find that some types of inorganic iodine supplements provide better results than others. Ultimately, the key is to experiment with different forms of iodine and determine which works best for your individual needs and body chemistry.

By NutriWins team

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