How Much Iodine Does the Average Person Need?
The amount of iodine a person needs in their diet depends on various factors, including age, gender, and health condition. For most healthy adults, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 150 micrograms per day.
Pregnant women need slightly more iodine, about 220 micrograms per day, while breastfeeding women need 290 micrograms per day.
Infants and young children need less iodine than adults, with the RDA for infants being 110 micrograms per day and the RDA for children being 90 micrograms per day.
However, it is important to note that people with certain health conditions may need more or less iodine than the RDAs suggest. For example, people with hypothyroidism may need to increase their iodine intake to help regulate their thyroid hormone levels.
Iodine consumption also has an upper limit. For healthy adults, the limit is around 1,100 micrograms of iodine per day. This is the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), which is the highest amount of a nutrient that a person can consume without experiencing any negative side effects.
For younger children, the UL is lower. Infants up to 12 months old have a UL of 200 micrograms per day, and children aged one to eight have a UL of 300 micrograms per day.
Iodine poisoning is possible, but it is extremely rare because it cannot usually happen from food consumption alone. Iodine poisoning typically occurs when someone takes too much iodine in supplement form.
Symptoms of iodine poisoning include:
- Stomach pain
- Mouth and throat burning
- Metallic taste in mouth
If you suspect you or someone you know has iodine poisoning, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
How Can We Get Iodine In Our Diets Naturally?
Past generations have ensured iodine sufficiency by using iodized salt, which is readily available in most supermarkets. Iodized salt contains a small amount of iodine that can help to meet the body's needs.
Another good source of iodine is seafood, such as shrimp, tuna, oysters, and cod. However, it is important to limit seafood consumption due to the risk of mercury contamination.
Many people also eat seaweed, which is an excellent source of iodine. In fact, seaweed accounts for most of the Japanese dietary iodine intake.
Foods grown in iodine-rich soils, such as potatoes and carrots may also contain iodine. However, the amount of iodine in these foods can vary depending on the level of iodine in the soil where they were grown.
Chicken, beef liver, dairy, and eggs are also excellent sources of natural iodine. However, these are not viable options for vegans or those who have any sort of meat or animal product restriction. Sea Moss is an excellent vegan source of iodine.