Iodine

Iodine is a necessary mineral found in some foods. Foods that contain iodine include: fish (such as cod and tuna), seaweed, shrimp, other seafood, dairy products, and iodized salt. Getting enough iodine is important for everyone, especially infants and women who are pregnant.

Processed foods, such as canned soups, almost never contain iodized salt. In addition, specialty salts, such as sea salt, kosher salt, Himalayan salt, and fleur de sel, are not usually iodized. 

Life Stage

Recommended Amount

Birth to 6 months

110 mcg

Infants 7–12 months

130 mcg

Children 1–8 years

90 mcg

Children 9–13 years

120 mcg

Teens 14–18 years

150 mcg

Adults

150 mcg

Pregnant teens and women

220 mcg

Breastfeeding teens and women

290 mcg

 

Some people groups are more prone to iodine deficiency. These include those who do not use iodized salt, pregnant women, those who consume a vegan diet or few/ no dairy products, seafood, or eggs, and those living in regions with iodine deficient soil.

Although iodine deficiency has not been common, more people are choosing foods with Himalayan salt (which is not iodized) or having a diet that does not contain the needed iodine. Iodine deficiency can present itself with symptoms such as issues with one’s thyroid hormones, goiter (enlarged thyroid), issues with fetal development, cognitive function during childhood, fibrocystic breast disease, and radiation induced thyroid cancer.

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