Iodine and Iodine Supplements

Iodine is a vital mineral for the thyroid gland, which is situated below your Adam's apple. The thyroid needs it to create the thyroid hormone T4, a hormone vital for nearly all metabolic processes of the body, including testosterone production. Lack of iodine in the diet is a known of cause of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), this in turn leads to a significantly lower metabolic rate and slowing of testosterone production. RDA is 220mcg (micrograms) per day and the upper limit is 1100mcg per day (excess iodine is flushed out in urine). Vitamin D assists iodine function in the body.

The so-called Japanese dose of 12mg (milligrams) a day of one of the iodine forms is probably where you want to be for most nutritional requirements. It is very safe and considered optimal based on the good health of the Japanese who take this amount on a daily basis (due to seaweed and fish consumption).

  • Iodized salt contains 50mcg iodine/g salt. (Himalayan contains no iodine). So it's good to cook with.
  • Seaweed sheets are a great source of iodine (try making some home rolled sushi).
  • Yogurts and milk are great too.
  • One average serving of oysters (100 grams) has 50 micrograms of iodine.
  • Iodine supplements are widely available (most multivitamins contain around 100μg). If you want to get the Japanese dose, then buying a 1% iodine solution (or a weak Lugol's solution) would be a wonderful cheap long term alternative.
  • You should be OK if you eat a daily yogurt, a glass of good milk plus a seaweed snack. Throw in a portion of oysters each week as well. A weekly visit to a Japanese restaurant (traditional, not the shopping mall type) would be very beneficial - you can eat Natto, miso soup and have an array of seaweed dishes with some oily fish.

Thyroid and thyroid testing

The thyroid gland takes iodine from the blood and combine it with an amino acid  to form thyroid hormones. One of the hormones, thyroxine (T4, contains 4 iodine atoms per molecule), is responsible for your metabolism. Thyroid function tests help to determine if your thyroid is not working correctly. These simple blood tests indicate thyroid health.

Supporting nutrients

  • Vitamin C
  • Selenium: 50-100 mcg / day – needed for detoxification and thyroid
    hormone creation.
  • Sea salt:  supports adrenals, binds to bromide and assists in removal, supports symporters (sodium iodine symporters or NIS).
  • Magnesium: 400mg/day, critical for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body.

Food Sources of Iodine

Micrograms (mcg)
per serving
 Percent RDA
Seaweed, whole or sheet, 1 g 16 to 2,984 11% to 1,989%
Cod, baked, 3 ounces 99 66%
Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 1 cup 75 50%
Iodized salt, 1.5 g (approx. 1/4 teaspoon) 71 47%
Milk, reduced fat, 1 cup 56 37%
Fish sticks, 3 ounces 54 36%
Bread, white, enriched, 2 slices 45 30%
Fruit cocktail in heavy syrup, canned, 1/2 cup 42 28%
Shrimp, 3 ounces 35 23%
Ice cream, chocolate, 1/2 cup 30 20%
Macaroni, enriched, boiled, 1 cup 27 18%
Egg, 1 large 24 16%
Tuna, canned in oil, drained, 3 ounces 17 11%
Corn, cream style, canned, 1/2 cup 14 9%
Prunes, dried, 5 prunes 13 9%
Cheese, cheddar, 1 ounce 12 8%
Raisin bran cereal, 1 cup 11 7%
Lima beans, mature, boiled, 1/2 cup 8 5%
Apple juice, 1 cup 7 5%
Green peas, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup 3 2%
Banana, 1 medium 3 2%


Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in micrograms (mcg).

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 6 months 110 mcg
Infants 7-12 months 130 mcg
Children 1-8 years 90 mcg
Children 9-13 years 120 mcg
Teens 14-18 years 150 mcg
Adults 150 mcg
Pregnant teens and women 220 mcg
Breastfeeding teens and women 290 mcg


Sources:, (1934),