What is iodine?
Iodine is an essential trace mineral, which means the body only needs a small amount of it. As an essential mineral, it is vital to human health, particularly due to its role in thyroid health where it is needed to maintain healthy thyroid hormone production.1
Iodine is easily absorbed in the body via the stomach and small intestine. The body does not make iodine, so it needs to be replaced through the diet regularly.1
Why is iodine so important?
The thyroid gland is an endocrine (hormonal) gland that makes and releases the thyroid hormone thyroxine, along with other important hormones, as instructions to the cells and tissues of the body. With iodine being a major component of thyroxine, low iodine levels can cause a drop in thyroxine production.2
Eimele’s source of iodine comes from Japanese kelp (Laminaria japonica). Kelp is one of the richest sources of dietary iodine.
Men 19-70+ years 150micrograms/day
Women 19-70+ years 150micrograms/day
An upper level of intake has been set for iodine as an excess can cause critical adverse side effects. In adults, the upper level of intake is 1,100micrograms/day.1
Why do you need to supplement iodine?
In order for the foods we eat to have enough iodine, there needs to be adequate iodine levels in the soil. Unfortunately, many countries have large areas of low-iodine soil and battle against widespread iodine deficiency as a result. Iodine deficiency is most common in inland areas, mountainous regions, some coastal areas, as well as areas that are prone to frequent floods.3
Interesting facts about iodine
- Iodine deficiency is so prevalent throughout the world that since 2020, 124 countries (88% of the globe) have mandated salt iodisation (enriching salt with iodine) to correct deficiencies.4
- Certain foods called ‘goitrogens’ can block the uptake of iodine to the thyroid gland, so it’s important to be mindful of over-consumption of goitrogenic foods - these include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts.5
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Iodine. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/iodine
- Linus Pauling Institute. Iodine. Reviewed August 2015, accessed July 2022 from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/iodine
- Eastman, C.J., Zimmermann, M.B. The iodine deficiency disorders. Endotext. Updated February 2018 in: Feingold, K.R., Anawalt, B., Boyce, A. et al., editors. South Dartmouth, MA. MDText.com.
- Zimmermann, M.B. & Andersson, M. (2021). Global endocrinology: global perspectives in endocrinology: coverage of iodized salt programs and iodine status in 2020. European Journal of Endocrinology, 185(1):R13-R21.
- Hess, S.Y. & Pearce, E.N. (2021). Iodine: physiology, dietary sources, and requirements. Reference module in Food Science.