Where Do You Get Iodine From?
Iodine is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil and the ocean and transferred to vegetables and animals that grow in these environments. Good food sources of iodine include animal protein and sea vegetables, and to a lesser extent, fortified foods like bread, cereal, and dairy. Since the 1940s, iodine has also been added to table salt to prevent “cretinism” (physical deformity and learning disabilities) associated with its iodine deficiency and congenital hypothyroidism.
Do I Need More Iodine?
Today, there is no consensus on whether or not we get enough iodine in the diet, though natural health care practitioners contend that deficiency is common, and likely a cause that contributes to the increasing number of hypothyroid individuals. Ask your health care practitioner for a TSH test if you feel your symptoms may be caused by a low functioning thyroid.
How Do I Get More Iodine?
One of the easiest ways to increase your iodine intake is by increasing your consumption of iodine-rich foods. These include seaweed (kelp, kombu, nori, wakame), fish and shellfish, iodized table salt (stay away from iodine-free salt), dairy, eggs, beef liver, and chicken. If these foods don’t appeal to you, or if despite your best efforts you can’t seem to raise your iodine levels enough to satisfy your thyroid’s needs, an iodine supplement may be the way to go. Iodine supplements offer many health benefits.
You can buy iodine supplements either in health food or vitamin stores in Canada or online via your favorite supplement retailer. You can choose an iodine supplement in pill form (i.e. iodine tablets) or liquid iodine from
How to Safely Use an Iodine Supplement
What is a Safe Dose of Iodine?
Your optimal dose of iodine is dependent on your age and life stage (i.e. pregnancy, lactation…). Below is the official Recommended Daily Intake (RDA):
1–8 years old 90 mcg daily
9–13 years old 120 mcg daily
14+ years old 150 mcg daily
Pregnant & breastfeeding mothers 290 mcg daily
Can I Take Too Much Iodine?
It’s interesting to note, that high iodine intakes are usually well-tolerated in most healthy people and do not cause problems. This is the case in countries such as Japan that eat iodine-rich seaweed regularly, without issue.
This being said, it’s important to stick to a dose below the tolerable upper intake for iodine which is set at 1,100 mcg daily. Higher doses can overstimulate the thyroid and cause an overproduction of thyroid hormones (overactive thyroid) and result in hyperthyroidism.
How do I Take a Liquid Iodine Supplement (Orally)?
Iodine supplements in pill form are usually suggested to be taken with food to prevent stomach upset. Liquid iodine solutions can be taken in a little water or juice to make them more palatable (they can have a strong flavor that some people may not appreciate), and can also be taken with food to lessen the possibility of stomach upset.
There are many quality iodine supplements on the market, featuring different forms of iodine such as potassium iodide, nascent iodine, colloidal iodine, and Lugol’s iodine (or strong iodine), and while many brands claim to be the best iodine supplement, as long as the product you choose offers good bioavailability, and you stay within the recommended dose range, you are likely to get comparable results.
Roos Jonsin is a Canadian naturopath and researcher dedicated to helping people live healthier lives through education about vitamins, herbs, and nutritional supplements. Roos also consults with suppliers and manufacturers with product development and marketing. National Nutrition is Canada’s leading health & nutritional supplements store, also voted as the Best Health Food Store in Canada by the experts at Canadian Health Food Association.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.