Iodine – Food, recommended amount per day and symptoms of its lack

Yoda: What is it, and what is it for?

Iodine or iodine is one of the essential trace elements for the proper functioning of the body. The lack of iodine is the most frequent in the low-income population. (1)

This mineral plays a fundamental role in cell communication and is used as a raw material to synthesize thyroid hormones. Including foods with iodine is essential to maintain optimal health.

When the recommended amount of iodine is not received through food, there are usually changes in body weight. This is because the human body uses iodine to synthesize T3 and T4. Two hormones with an essential role in weight regulation.

This article describes which foods are richest in iodine, how to include them in the diet, and what are the symptoms of their lack.

Foods with Iodine – Examples

The highest concentration of iodine on the planet is in sea salt, algae, fish, and animals that eat in this environment. It is found in the atmosphere and air of coastal areas with less attention. In regions far from the sea or ocean, the content of this mineral in the air is minimal, which is why foods with iodine are more challenging to find.

In some world regions, a lack of iodine is so common that local governments have decided to add it artificially to salt. What we know as iodized salt is a quick and effective solution to replace foods with natural iodine. If a person does not eat shellfish, does not add salt to meals, does not take supplements, you likely lack iodine in the body.

Table of foods with iodine (3) :

Food Amount of iodine (ug)
Clams 120
it 94
Prawns 90
Mere 52
Chard 35
Pineapple 30
Chicken egg 20
Onion 20
Mushrooms and mushrooms 18
oysters 18
Sole 17
Salmon 16
Dried beans 14
Nuts 13
Pineapple in syrup 10
Canned sardines 10
Cow milk 9
Carrot 9
Liver 9
Tuna 8
Tomato 7
Dried plums 7
Snails 6
Chocolate 6
Pork Meat 5
Lettuce 5
Wine 5
Yogurt 4
Potatoes 3
Lemon 3

Table of foods with iodine. Source

Iodized salt: an inexpensive solution

It is estimated that about two billion people on the planet suffer from a lack of iodine, with countries such as Brazil and the United States standing out. (4) In countries far from the sea, table salt is enriched with this mineral by law.

When this salt is added to food, the body’s need for this mineral is automatically met. The content of this mineral in iodized salt is 10 to 40 μg / g, similar to that of the Himalaya salt. In terms of quantity, about 5-10 g of iodized salt is needed to cover the recommended amount of iodine.

The recommended amount of iodine per day

The recommended iodine per day for the average adult is 0.15 mg. For pregnant women and nursing mothers, this rate increases by almost two times: 0.2-0.3 mg. (2) The maximum dose of iodine is 1 g. If more than 3 g is swallowed, it can be toxic and even cause death. (3)

When the amount of iodine is less than 0.05 mg, there is a lack of iodine in the body. For this reason, it is essential to make sure you include foods with iodine in your diet. On the other hand, the constant use of multivitamins minerals can lead to an excess of this mineral. For this reason, it should always be done under the authorization of a professional. (3)

Stage of life Recommended amount
Babies up to 6 months of age 110 mcg
Babies 7 to 12 months of age 130 mcg
Children 1 to 8 years of age 90 mcg
Children 9-13 years of age 120 mcg
Adolescents 14 to 18 years of age 150 mcg
Adults 150 mcg
Pregnant women and adolescents 220 mcg
Breastfeeding women and adolescents 290 mcg

Table of the recommended amount of iodine.

Lack of iodine – Symptoms

When the amount of iodine received through food is 20-30% lower, this is when a chronic lack of iodine occurs. One of the most problematic symptoms is decreased intellectual abilities by 10-15 points (5).

Symptoms of a lack of iodine are:

  • Headache
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Concentration problems
  • Humor changes
  • General fatigue
  • Memory problems

If you have doubts about whether there is an iodine deficiency or not, it is best to go to a medical center for a blood test. While there are easy home tests to detect this problem, they are inaccurate.

Iodine and body weight are connected?

When there is a lack of iodine, the body’s ability to use glucose for energy is impaired, hormonal levels go haywire, and body weight is affected.

Among other things, the lack of this mineral negatively affects the secretion of the growth hormone IGF-1. This hormone is responsible for height in adolescence and muscle development in adults. That is why both adolescents and athletes must take special care in controlling the number of foods with iodine in the diet.


  • Iodine is a fundamental mineral for hormonal regulation and controlling body weight.
  • Symptoms of iodine deficiency are weight gain or loss, impaired cognitive function, and neuronal disorders.
  • Iodine supplementation must be authorized by a professional. Too much of this mineral can be fatal.
  • Including foods with iodine, such as clams, seafood, and garlic, is essential to cover this mineral’s recommended amount. As well as, 5-10 g of iodized salt is a sufficient alternative.

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