Iodine is a trace mineral. It is found primarily in the thyroid glad, just under the voice box. It is used to synthesize the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Individuals who deal with a goiter, hyperthyroidism, or hypothyroidism may need more iodine in their diet.
Symptoms of deficiency
Symptoms of iodine deficiency include:
- Swelling around the throat
- Weight gain
It is recommended that people consume 150 micrograms (mcg) of iodine/day.
Foods that are high in iodine include:
- Iodized salt
- Kelp/sea vegetable
- Cow’s milk
- Mozzarella cheese
Strong evidence has shown that insufficient selenium (another trace mineral) may worsen the effects of iodine deficiency on thyroid function, while adequate selenium nutritional status may help protect against some of the neurological effects of iodine deficiency. Selenium is found in:
- Brazil nuts
- Cottage cheese
Foods that interfere with iodine absorption
Some foods interfere with iodine absorption. They are considered goitrogenic substances and include:
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Soy products
- Cassava root
- Drinking water from contaminated wells
George Mateljan Foundation. World’s healthiest foods: iodine. Available at: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=69. Accessed May 5, 2009.
National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary supplement fact sheet: selenium. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium_pf.asp. Accessed May 7, 2009.
Review Date 8/09