IODINE FROM KELP (NATURAL IODINE)
Kelp is naturally a rich source of nutrients, especially iodine. A healthy thyroid requires iodine to function properly. It utilizes iodine to manufacture the hormone thyroxine which supports metabolism. Our kelp supplement provides a vegetarian source of iodine. Current research also show iodine’s benefit for breast health.
In the United States the average intake of iodine is estimated to be 166-209 mcg/day, while in Japan 5280 mcg is ingested on a daily basis (1,2). More recently, it was estimated that Japanese take in 1000-3000 mcg/day (3). There is no known toxicity among Japanese with this supposedly “high” level of intake, and it appears to render Japanese women more resistant to breast cancer and fibrocystic disease expression (1). It appears that a supposedly “high” level of iodine is quite healthy:
“Japanese iodine intake from seaweed is linked to health benefits not seen in cultures with dissimilar diets. Knowing how much iodine the Japanese consume daily is beneficial for people who wish to consume equivalent amounts of iodine or seaweed supplements while avoiding excessive amounts that may adversely affect health” (3).
Despite the fact that the Japanese may consume up to 3000 mcg or more per day, without side-effects other than better health, we are condition to fear such “normal” levels. From Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, one of the nutrition bibles in the Unites States we are given the following recommendations for iodine intake (4):
Women 150 mcg/d 1,100 mcg/d (upper limit = UL)
Men 150 mcg/d 1,100 mcg/d (UL)
Pregnancy 220 mcg/d 1,100 mcg/d (UL)
Lactation 290 mcg/d 1,100 mcg/d (UL)
Going above the upper limit implies that there can be a toxic effect; however, the Japanese population spends their entire lives at levels well above our UL and their only “side-effect” is BETTER health.
In addition to the importance of iodine for thyroid hormone production, iodine also appears to be a potent antioxidant (1). It may be that the low recommended levels for iodine intake in the United States reflect the need to make thyroid hormone, however, the higher intakes by the Japanese population reflect the acquisition of iodine’s unique and very important antioxidant/anti-inflammatory function.
Assuming that there are no contraindications, supplementing with 150-450 mcg is safe and seems appropriate. There is 225 mcg of iodine per tablet of Anabolic’s Natural Iodine.
For patients with autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) or hyperthyroidism (Grave’s disease), supplementation over 1,000 mcg has been shown to contribute to pathology. If you have any thought for concern, check with your physician before taking Natural Iodine.
- Aceves C, Anguiano B, Delgado G. Is iodine the gatekeeper of the integrity of the mammary gland? J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2005;10(2):189-96.
- Cann SA, van Netten JP, van Netten C. Hypothesis: iodine, selenium and the development of breast cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 2000;11:121-27.
- Zava TT, Zava DT. Assessment of Japanese iodine intake based on seawed consumption in Japain: a literature based analysis. Thyroid Res. 2011;4:14.
- Dunn JT. Iodine. In: Shils ME et al. Eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th ed. 2006: p.300-311.