Did you know Vegetarians may be at risk of iodine deficiency if they do not eat seafood or have an adequate diet. Instead they can get their iodine from iodised table salt or seaweed. A study published in Sep-Oct 2003 Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that 25% of the vegetarians, 80% of the vegans and 9% of those eating a mixed diet had low iodine status.
Remeber you want to eat fermented seaweed. You can eat regular sea vegetables and get iodine supplements, but the body will not absorb 100% of the potential due to our evolution. The value of dietary iodine can be reduced by vegetables from the brassica family, which includes cabbage, brussels sprouts, raw turnip, broccoli, and cauliflower. In circumstances where both large quantities of these foods are eaten and the levels of dietary iodine are marginal, goitre could develop.The thyroid hormones regulate the body's metabolic rate and promote growth and development throughout the body, including the brain. If there isn't enough thyroid hormone circulating in the blood, the brain sends a chemical message to the thyroid gland, which then releases a measured dose of these hormones. If a person's diet is too low in iodine, the brain keeps sending chemical messages to the thyroid in vain. In an attempt to make more thyroid hormone, the gland gets larger and larger. This overgrowth of the thyroid gland is called a goitre.
The receommended daily dietary intake of iodine in Australia:
150 micrograms for men
120 micrograms for women (150 micrograms during pregnancy, 170 micrograms during lacatation)
Children 70-150 micrograms
Infants 50-60 micrograms
Excessive amounts of iodine can also lead to goitre. This has occurred where foods such as seaweeds, which are rich in iodine, are commonly eaten. However, it is unlikely that any harmful effects would occur with habitual intakes up to 300 micrograms per day.
One teaspoon of iodised salt provides 150 micrograms of iodine
1 serve (100g) of seafood provides about 60 micrograms
100g of vegetables or meat or eggs provides about 25 micrograms of iodine
100g of dairy products or bread/cereals provides about 10 micrograms.
Anyone on a low-salt diet should consider eating a serve of seafood every week to make sure their iodine levels are adequate, particularly pregnant women, as lack of iodine can retard normal development in their baby.
Vegetarians should get iodine from fermented seaweed.