Are you getting enough iodine?

October 8, 2018

Sea vegetables, such as kelp, can be incorporated into your diet to increase iodine levels.

Iodine is a mineral that is commonly known to support thyroid function, but this important mineral also plays a big role in energy production and immune system response and is showing promise for supporting breast and prostate health. Unfortunately, many Americans are not getting enough iodine in their daily diets.

The average American diet can contain anywhere between 138 to 353 micrograms (mcgs) of iodine per day. With the U.S. recommended daily allowance set at 150 mcgs, that might not sound that bad, but many health professionals are starting to suggest supplementing with significantly higher dosages of iodine for daily health.

Japan has the highest rate of iodine consumption in the world, with estimates ranging from 1,000 to 12,000 mcgs per day (1 to 12 milligrams). When you look at the low incidence of possible iodine related illness in Japan, you can see why many health professionals are suggesting higher iodine intake. In Japan, the average life expectancy is five years longer than in the U.S. In 1999, the rate of death from breast cancer was roughly a third of in the U.S. and the occurrence of prostate cancer was nearly 10 times less in 2002.

Talk to your doctor before increasing your iodine intake, especially if you have any thyroid related issues. I would suggest to start incorporating sea vegetables, like kelp and dulse, into your daily diet. Kelp tablets or capsules are also available, but be sure to buy a reputable brand from your local health food store to ensure a high quality product.

L-tyrosine, selenium and ashwagandha are also great supplements to incorporate into a complementary iodine regimen and can be found in many thyroid supporting supplement formulas with kelp or iodine. These complementary supplements may be beneficial for people who aren’t suggested iodine, due to the use of thyroid medications, but who want to support thyroid health. Supplements containing higher iodine levels are also available. If larger doses of iodine are needed, I suggest a supplement with a more than one form of iodine, but look for a product containing a large portion of potassium iodide for optimal absorption.

Travis Lemon Is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsl at The Market In Huntington. He has worked In the natural health and wellness Industry for over 14 years. He can be contacted at travls-lemonmh@gmall.com.

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