Eating foods that are high in iodine (in moderation) can help to prevent conditions such as breast cancer, stomach cancer, decreased immune system function, and hypothyroidism. Foods high in iodine include: seafood and seaweed such as wakame. In the U.S. and U.K., dairy products are also good sources of iodine because iodine is commonly added to animal feed.
What is Iodine?
Iodine, a non-metallic traceelement is essential for normal growth and development.
Function of Iodine:
Iodine is essential for normal thyroid function. Seventy to eighty percent of the body's iodine is found in the neck's thyroid gland. The remaining iodine is distributed throughout the body including to the ovaries, muscles, and blood
Deficiency of Iodine:
At any age, iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels). Symptoms of hypothyroidism include sluggishness, weight gain, and sensitivity to temperature changes. Hypothyroidism can also impair the physical and mental development of infants and children. Actually, iodine deficiency is now accepted as the most common cause of preventable mental retardation in the world. In developed countries, such as the United States, iodine deficiencies are now rare. This is because table salt is supplemented with iodine and crops are usually grown in iodine-rich soil.
The most usual sign of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland. Some individuals who have hypothyroidism develop an extremely large thyroid, known as goiter.
Toxicity (Iodine Overdose):
Iodine supplements are not recommended for people who live in areas where iodine levels are sufficient. Taking excessive amounts of iodine may impair the production of thyroid hormones, causing temporary hypothyroidism. The overconsumption of iodine can also increase the risk for other thyroid diseases such as Hashimoto's, Graves', certain thyroid cancers, and thyrotoxicosis.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in iodine (in moderation) is the safest and healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements may interfere with medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children's reach.
Iodine Food Chart (List of Foods High in Iodine):
Seaweed, dried, 1/4 ounce - (apx. 4,500 mcg - 4.5 mg)
Cod 3 ounces - (99 mcg)
Salt, iodized, 1 gram - (77 mcg)
Potato, with peel, baked, 1 medium - (60 mcg)
Milk, cow's, 1 cup - (56 mcg)
Shrimp 3 ounces - (35 mcg)
Fish sticks 2 fish sticks - (35 mcg)
Turkey breast, baked, 3 ounces - (34 mcg)
Navy beans, cooked, 1/2 cup - (32 mcg)
Tuna, canned in oil, 3 ounces ~1/2 can - (17 mcg)
Egg, boiled, 1 large - (12 mcg)