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How Much Iodine Is Too Much

Too Much Iodine or Not Enough?

Maybe you buy iodized salt, but that's probably the only thought you give to iodine in your diet. Actually, iodine deficiency is a huge problem across the globe, and not getting enough in utero or during early development is the leading cause of brain impairments. But a recent study shows that getting too much iodine can cause health issues as well. Almost half of the participants in a recent Chinese study who were given higher doses of iodine (800 to 2,000 micrograms a day for four weeks) began developing what's called subclinical hypothyroidism. This condition has no obvious symptoms, but over time, it's linked to heart disease.

Iodine is found in iodized salt, seafood, eggs, dairy products, and some breads. Since most of us get enough from our diets, there's no need for iodine supplements. Americans should aim to get 150 micrograms of iodine each day, pregnant women should get 220 micrograms (low levels of iodine increase the risk of miscarriage), and breastfeeding moms are told to get 290 micrograms. If you're vegan, you might not get enough from your fish- and dairy-free diet, so you probably want to talk with your doctor about taking a supplement. To find out if your diet offers enough iodine or too much, check out the chart after the break.

Food Iodine (micrograms)
1 oz. cheddar cheese 12
3 oz. cod 99
1/2 cup cottage cheese 50
1 large egg 24
3 oz. haddock 120
1 cup milk, reduced fat 56
5 prunes 13
1/4 teaspoon iodized salt 71
1 sheet of seaweed (1 g) 1,000
3 oz. shrimp 35
1 cup strawberries 13
1 cup yogurt 75

Source: Flickr User SmartBoyDesigns

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