A teaspoon of iodine is all you need in your lifetime, however, as the body cannot store iodine for long periods, tiny amounts are needed regularly.3 Most people can tolerate large amounts of iodine without adverse effects. With an intake of more than 1 000 micrograms per day gastro-intestinal symptoms and metallic taste may occur.
The iodine requirements will change over one’s life4
- Infants: 110 to 130 micrograms
- Children (1-8 years): 90 micrograms
- Children (9-13 years): 120 micrograms
- Adolescents and adults: 150 micrograms
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers: 220-290 micrograms
Infants are at high risk for iodine deficiency because their need for iodine and thyroid hormone in relation to their weight is much higher than at any other time in the life.5 Therefore, the American Thyroid Association recommends that all breastfeeding women take a supplement containing at least 150 micrograms of iodine per day.6
When you are planning for a baby – Iodine comes first.
When you are planning for a baby, are pregnant or breastfeeding you need to top up your dietary iodine intake. Even a mild iodine shortage during pregnancy can have effects on the development and delivery of a baby. Adverse effects on early brain and nervous system development are generally irreversible and can have serious implications for mental capacity in later life.7
Discuss with a doctor, whether, and what iodine supplements you need.
- 3International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders. Protecting children Accessed November 2011
- 4Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001. Accessed November 2011
- 5Zimmermann MB. Low iodine intakes in weaning infants http://www.iodinenetwork.net/documents/IDD_NL_nov10.pdf Accessed December 2011
- 6American Thyroid Association. Iodine Deficiency Accessed November 2011
- 7WHO. Micronutrient deficiencies http://www.wpro.who.int/health_topics/micronutrient_deficiencies/general_info.htm#idd