Should I Take Iodine Supplements?

Friday, 30 Aug 2013 10:43 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I know that Western countries are thought to have better nutrition and therefore do not need iodine. But I mostly make my own meals and do not use iodized salt. I have multi-nodular goiter with very low TSH numbers. Will iodine supplementation help me?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Possibly. This is a very good and timely question, with people in some regions of even western countries (including the U.S.) experiencing some iodine deficiencies because of dietary habit changes and lack of adequate intake and/or supplementation.
 
Individualized iodine supplementation is not recommended without some measurement of your iodine levels. A urine test for the concentration of iodine offers the most cost effective way of measuring your iodine levels, since 90 percent of dietary iodine appears in the urine. Remember that iodine is supplemented in salt as well as in bread products.
 
The daily recommended minimum intake of iodine is 150 micrograms per day with an upper limit of 1,100 mcg/day. Pregnant or lactating women should have increased minimum intakes of 220 and 270 mcg/day respectively and no more than 1,100 mcg/day.
 
Before resorting to pill or liquid supplementation, consider a consultation with a dietitian to improve your dietary intake if needed.

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