Iodine and Iodine Supplements
Iodine is a vital mineral for the thyroid gland, which is situated below your Adam's apple. The thyroid needs it to create the thyroid hormone T4, a hormone vital for nearly all metabolic processes of the body, including testosterone production. Lack of iodine in the diet is a known of cause of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), this in turn leads to a significantly lower metabolic rate and slowing of testosterone production. RDA is 220mcg (micrograms) per day and the upper limit is 1100mcg per day (excess iodine is flushed out in urine). Vitamin D assists iodine function in the body.
The so-called Japanese dose of 12mg (milligrams) a day of one of the iodine forms is probably where you want to be for most nutritional requirements. It is very safe and considered optimal based on the good health of the Japanese who take this amount on a daily basis (due to seaweed and fish consumption).
- Iodized salt contains 50mcg iodine/g salt. (Himalayan contains no iodine). So it's good to cook with.
- Seaweed sheets are a great source of iodine (try making some home rolled sushi).
- Yogurts and milk are great too.
- One average serving of oysters (100 grams) has 50 micrograms of iodine.
- Iodine supplements are widely available (most multivitamins contain around 100μg). If you want to get the Japanese dose, then buying a 1% iodine solution (or a weak Lugol's solution) would be a wonderful cheap long term alternative.
- You should be OK if you eat a daily yogurt, a glass of good milk plus a seaweed snack. Throw in a portion of oysters each week as well. A weekly visit to a Japanese restaurant (traditional, not the shopping mall type) would be very beneficial - you can eat Natto, miso soup and have an array of seaweed dishes with some oily fish.
Thyroid and thyroid testing
The thyroid gland takes iodine from the blood and combine it with an amino acid to form thyroid hormones. One of the hormones, thyroxine (T4, contains 4 iodine atoms per molecule), is responsible for your metabolism. Thyroid function tests help to determine if your thyroid is not working correctly. These simple blood tests indicate thyroid health.
- Vitamin C
- Selenium: 50-100 mcg / day – needed for detoxification and thyroid
- Sea salt: supports adrenals, binds to bromide and assists in removal, supports symporters (sodium iodine symporters or NIS).
- Magnesium: 400mg/day, critical for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body.
Food Sources of Iodine
|Micrograms (mcg) |
|Seaweed, whole or sheet, 1 g||16 to 2,984||11% to 1,989%|
|Cod, baked, 3 ounces||99||66%|
|Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 1 cup||75||50%|
|Iodized salt, 1.5 g (approx. 1/4 teaspoon)||71||47%|
|Milk, reduced fat, 1 cup||56||37%|
|Fish sticks, 3 ounces||54||36%|
|Bread, white, enriched, 2 slices||45||30%|
|Fruit cocktail in heavy syrup, canned, 1/2 cup||42||28%|
|Shrimp, 3 ounces||35||23%|
|Ice cream, chocolate, 1/2 cup||30||20%|
|Macaroni, enriched, boiled, 1 cup||27||18%|
|Egg, 1 large||24||16%|
|Tuna, canned in oil, drained, 3 ounces||17||11%|
|Corn, cream style, canned, 1/2 cup||14||9%|
|Prunes, dried, 5 prunes||13||9%|
|Cheese, cheddar, 1 ounce||12||8%|
|Raisin bran cereal, 1 cup||11||7%|
|Lima beans, mature, boiled, 1/2 cup||8||5%|
|Apple juice, 1 cup||7||5%|
|Green peas, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup||3||2%|
|Banana, 1 medium||3||2%|
Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in micrograms (mcg).
|Life Stage||Recommended Amount|
|Birth to 6 months||110 mcg|
|Infants 7-12 months||130 mcg|
|Children 1-8 years||90 mcg|
|Children 9-13 years||120 mcg|
|Teens 14-18 years||150 mcg|
|Pregnant teens and women||220 mcg|
|Breastfeeding teens and women||290 mcg|
Sources: ods.od.nih.gov, aquaticcommons.org (1934),