If you’re looking for the best iodine supplements of 2021, then we’ve got you covered. Maintain healthy thyroid function and metabolism with the top iodine supplements.
Iodine is an essential mineral that helps to maintain a healthy immune system and brain development in children. It also plays a role in regulating your body temperature by helping regulate hormones like thyroxin and triiodothyronine. The human body needs about 150 micrograms per day of this trace element. However, most people get less than 50 mcg daily from food sources alone. The recommended dietary allowance for adults is 140-170 mcg/day.
In addition to eating foods rich in iodine, taking supplemental forms can help ensure adequate intake. There are many different types of iodine available on the market today. Some contain only natural ingredients while others may be synthetic or even radioactive.
We have compiled our list based on scientific research and consumer reviews so you know which products will work best for you. We hope these recommendations help you find the right supplement for optimal health! The average adult needs 150 mcg per day while pregnant women need 220mcg daily. The recommended intake for infants under one year old is 100-200 micrograms per day. For older kids, it should be between 200-400 micrograms per day depending on their age.
1. Nature’s Way Kelp
Nature’s Way delivers iodine in a natural and highly pure form: unprocessed kelp. This simple and natural source of iodine is surprisingly concentrated, with 300 micrograms of iodine per 600 milligrams of kelp in every capsule.
It’s a good choice if you want your iodine as close to its natural form as possible. With the solid dose and natural format, it’s the top overall iodine supplement.
2. Zhou Thyroid Support with Iodine
Zhou Thyroid Support is one of the best ways to get iodine along with other supplements that can support your thyroid function, like selenium, zinc, and ashwagandha.
This is a complete package for thyroid support that comes along with 150 micrograms of iodine. For a comprehensive thyroid solution, it’s a great choice, but if all you need is iodine there are better ways to get it.
3. Pure Encapsulations Iodine
Pure Encapsulations makes a pretty straightforward iodine supplement that uses potassium iodide to provide 225 micrograms of iodine in a vegan-friendly cellulose capsule.
It’s hard to go wrong with this moderate-dosage and super-simple iodine supplement if all you need is a reasonable dosage.
4. J. Crow’s Lugol’s Solution
Among the liquid-based iodine solution, J. Crow’s is the best. It has a high concentration of iodine, and is used by many people with thyroid issues to address iodine deficiencies rapidly and effectively.
While it was originally developed to sanitize water, it’s easily mixed into shakes and smoothies, though it does leave a vaguely metallic taste in your mouth.
5. Benevolent Liquid Iodine
Benevolent offers a liquid iodine supplement, which is useful for people who can’t or don’t want to take pills. The liquid supplement is also useful for mixing into shakes, smoothies, and meal replacements.
One drop contains 150 micrograms of iodine, which means this bottle will last you a long time. The only problem this supplement has is one shared with all liquid supplements: it’s hard to measure out a precise dosage, so you don’t exactly know how much iodine you’re getting.
6. Life Extension Sea-Iodine
Life Extension delivers iodine in a complex of kelp and bladderwrack extracts. The supplement has a total of 1000 micrograms of iodine per capsule, which makes it a great way to rapidly increase iodine levels in your body.
Because it’s delivered in a natural form, it’s more bioavailable and provides some ancillary nutrients found in the ocean-based sources of these two extracts.
However, given its very high iodine dosage, you should only use it if you get very little iodine elsewhere in your diet.
7. Dr. Mercola Iodine
Dr. Mercola sells a very minimalist high-dose iodine supplement. It delivers 1500 micrograms of iodine, though all of it is in the form of potassium iodide.
It may not have the benefits of naturally-sourced iodine supplements, but it’s still a solid way to rapidly deliver iodine to your body, even if it’s a fairly blunt tool for doing so.
8. RLC Labs iThroid
With 12500 micrograms of iodine per cellulose-based capsules, RLC Labs delivers a lot of iodine, both as potassium iodide and free iodine.
The dose is high, though it doesn’t offer quite the perks as some of the other high dose iodine supplements on the market.
However, the fact that this supplement exceed the recommended dietary intake of iodine set by the National Institutes of Health means that you should only use this if you’re specifically directed to take high dose iodine supplements.
9. Optimox Iodoral
If you know you need a high dose of iodine to correct a deficiency, Iodoral should definitely be your top choice. With a whopping 12500 micrograms of iodine, in both potassium iodide and pure iodine form, this supplement delivers a massive dose of iodine to rapidly boost iodine levels.
Like other high dose iodine supplements, you should not take this for prolonged periods, and it should not be used by pregnant women.
10. Global Healing Center Detoxadine
Global Healing Center sells a liquid form of iodine that is in its pure atomic state. While the company claims that this is an ideal form for use in detox regimens, other nutritionists counter that salt forms of iodine, like potassium iodide, are easier to absorb by adults.
That, combined with the intrinsic weakness of liquid supplements in low concentrations (i.e. that they are difficult to measure precisely) detracts from Detoxidine’s spot in the rankings.
Who should buy iodine?
Iodine supplements can be beneficial for anyone looking to improve thyroid function. The following groups may benefit from taking an iodine supplement:
1) Women trying to conceive
If your menstrual cycle isn’t as normal as usual, this mineral might help regulate hormone production.
2) Pregnant women
During pregnancy, iodine plays a key role in fetal growth and development. In fact, studies show that babies born to moms deficient in iodine tend to weigh significantly less than other kids.
3) Children under 5 years old
This age group needs extra iodine because their bodies haven’t fully developed. Without enough iodine, their brains won’t grow properly.
4) Adults over 50 years old
Older adults need iodine because their thyroid glands produce less hormones. That means they’re likely to experience symptoms like weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, constipation, and depression.
5) Anyone suffering from hypothyroidism
Thyroid problems cause many issues including infertility, mood swings, memory lapses, and muscle weakness. Supplementing with iodine will boost metabolism and promote overall wellness.
6) Anyone dealing with Hashimoto’s Disease
An autoimmune condition where the body attacks its own tissues, Hashimoto’s causes inflammation throughout the body. Symptoms include tiredness, joint pain, swelling, and difficulty swallowing.
7) Anyone struggling with fibromyalgia
Fibro is characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by tender points on pressure testing A recent study suggests that people living with fibromyalgia have low blood concentrations of iodine.
8) People with diabetes or pre-diabetes
According to research conducted at Tufts University School of Medicine, diabetics require more iodine than non-sufferers do. Since insulin requires iodine to work effectively, having too little could lead to poor glucose control.
9) Those with kidney stones
Kidney stones form when minerals become concentrated in urine. When you drink water containing high quantities of certain minerals, some of them get deposited into the kidneys instead of being eliminated. Over time, this buildup leads to stone formation. Studies suggest that drinking plenty of fluids reduces the chances of developing kidney stones. Drinking lots of plain water without any added ingredients — such as lemon juice or salt — increases fluid consumption.
10) People with goiter
Goiters develop when there aren’t sufficient iodine supplies available to support proper thyroid gland functioning. As a result, the thyroid produces excess hormones which accumulate around the neck causing enlargement.
11) People with cystic acne
Cysts appear on the face during puberty and persist until adulthood. These pustules contain sebum, oil, dead cells, bacteria, and debris. While not life threatening, cystic acne can leave scars behind if left untreated. Taking iodine supplements can reduce the number of pimples while improving circulation.
12) Athletes who exercise regularly
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends taking 400 micrograms of iodine daily for athletes who participate in endurance sports. Endurance activities increase your heart rate so it takes longer for your muscles to recover between workouts. If you don’t replenish lost nutrients quickly, you risk becoming fatigued.
13) Women trying to conceive
Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects but doesn’t provide much help once conception has occurred. However, iodine does play an important part in early embryo development. It also improves fertility among older couples.
Eating meat isn’t necessary to survive, but vegans often lack adequate amounts of iodine. Many vegan foods are fortified with iodized table salts, however, these products may be contaminated with heavy metals. Instead, consider supplementing with kelp powder or sea vegetables. Kelp contains large amounts of iodine. Sea veggies like dulse, nori, wakame, arame, kombu, hijiki, and udon are rich sources of iodine. They should all be soaked before use to remove impurities.
Some vegetarians avoid eating seafood due to concerns about mercury contamination. But according to one study, vegetarian diets actually lower levels of mercury in the human bloodstream compared to omnivorous ones. So even though fish is considered healthy food, it might pose health risks for those allergic to shellfish.
What are some benefits of taking iodine?
1. Boosting Thyroid Function:
If you have low levels of TSH or high free T4 hormone, then you may benefit from supplementing with iodine. When you take iodine, it can help increase the amount of T4 produced in your thyroid gland. This will result in more stable blood sugar levels as well as better energy throughout the day.
2. Protect Against Cancer:
A study published in 2014 found that people who consumed higher amounts of seafood had lower rates of cancer than those who didn’t consume any fish at all. Seafood contains large quantities of selenium which has been shown to protect against certain types of cancers including breast cancer. Selenium works by protecting cells from damage caused by radiation exposure.
3. Better Brain Development:
Studies show that babies born before 37 weeks gestation tend to develop smaller brains compared to full term newborns. Supplementation during pregnancy could prevent this condition. In fact, studies suggest that mothers who took 400 mcg of iodine every day were able to reduce the risk of having a baby with small head circumference by 50%.
4. Improved Immune System Health:
According to research conducted by Dr. Andrew Weil, consuming enough iodine can improve immunity. He suggests eating 5 servings of seaweed each week along with other foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, broccoli, kale, spinach, garlic, onions, tomatoes, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, avocados, eggs, salmon, tuna, halibut, cod, sardines, shrimp, scallops, oysters, mussels, clams, lobster, crab, crawfish, and chicken.
5. Prevent Premature Birth & Improve Fertility:
Women who suffer from hypothyroidism often experience irregular menstrual cycles. They’re also prone to miscarriage due to hormonal imbalances. Taking iodine regularly can help balance out these hormones and make them less likely to miscarry. Additionally, there’s evidence suggesting that iodine supplementation might help prevent premature birth. However, further studies are needed to confirm whether this claim holds true.
6. Lower Risk Of Heart Disease:
There’s strong evidence showing that iodine deficiency increases the risk of heart disease. One study showed that adults who ate diets deficient in iodine experienced increased cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. Another study found that men who suffered from severe iodine deficiencies developed thickened arteries after just six months. It appears that iodine helps regulate metabolism so that fat isn’t stored around the body instead being burned off.
7. Help With Weight Loss:
Some experts believe that iodine supplements can aid weight loss efforts because they stimulate the production of leptin within our bodies. Leptin plays an important role in regulating appetite and satiety. By increasing its presence in the bloodstream, we feel fuller faster and eat fewer calories overall.
8. Promote Healthy Hair Growth:
Many people struggle with hair loss problems like thinning hair, bald spots, etc. These conditions usually occur when there’s not enough iodine available in the diet. To combat this problem, try adding kelp powder into your food or drinking kombucha tea. Kelp is known to contain iodine which promotes healthy hair growth. Kombucha is another great option since it contains probiotics which promote healthier skin and hair.
9. Reduce Stress Levels:
Our adrenal glands produce cortisol which regulates stress responses. Low levels of cortisol cause us to become stressed easily and lead to anxiety attacks. Since iodine is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland, it’s vital for maintaining normal levels of cortisol. Therefore, if you want to stay calm and relaxed, consider taking iodine supplements.
10. Fight Depression:
Research shows that many mental disorders stem from insufficient iodine consumption. In fact, a recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism revealed that women suffering from depression had lower blood concentrations of iodine than those without symptoms. This may be why some antidepressants work better on certain individuals. If you’re feeling down, take iodine-rich foods and/or supplement with iodine tablets daily.
11. Boost Brain Function:
A lack of iodine has been linked to cognitive impairment. Studies have shown that children whose mothers consumed low amounts of iodine during pregnancy were more susceptible to learning disabilities later in life. Other researchers discovered that pregnant rats fed a poor quality diet lacked sufficient iodine and their offspring exhibited impaired brain development. While scientists aren’t entirely sure how exactly iodine affects the developing fetus, one theory is that it aids in cell division and differentiation.
12. Protect Against Radiation Exposure:
When exposed to radiation, cells use up energy reserves quickly. As a result, they die before repairing themselves. Fortunately, iodine works well at protecting against radiation exposure. Researchers tested mice given different doses of radiation and then supplemented them with either iodized salt or potassium iodate. Those who received the former survived longer while those who took the latter lived longer still.
13. Treat Skin Conditions:
People who live near nuclear power plants face higher risks of cancer and genetic mutations. But what about everyone else? According to research conducted by Dr. Michael Hansen, professor emeritus of biochemistry at University of California Davis Medical Center, radioactive iodine released into the air after a meltdown could pose serious health hazards. He found that even small amounts of radioiodines are capable of causing DNA damage. So, if you live anywhere close to a nuclear plant, make sure you get plenty of iodine every day!
14. Prevent Cancerous Cells From Growing:
One way to prevent cancers from forming is through regular intake of iodine. It helps maintain healthy cellular function and prevents abnormal cell proliferation. For example, according to a study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, consuming adequate amounts of iodine reduced the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women. Another study showed that men who regularly consume seafood rich in iodine have less prostate cancer compared to others who don’t.
15. Improve Athletic Performance:
Athletes often suffer from fatigue due to inadequate nutrition. However, iodine deficiency doesn’t just affect endurance athletes; it also impairs athletic performance. Scientists studied elite swimmers and found that those who suffered from mild iodine deficiencies performed worse in swimming tests. They concluded that these athletes needed to increase their dietary intake of iodine to ensure optimal physical fitness.
16. Lower Cholesterol Levels:
High cholesterol levels are associated with heart disease. And yet, most Americans fail to meet recommended guidelines for total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. In fact, only half of adults eat enough fruits and vegetables each week. This means many people may be deficient in vitamin C, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Additionally, studies show that taking supplemental iodine lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
17. Help With Thyroid Health:
The thyroid gland produces hormones necessary for proper growth and metabolism. If your body lacks sufficient iodine, this hormone production will slow down. You’ll likely experience symptoms such as weight gain, sluggishness, hair loss, dry skin, constipation, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and menstrual irregularities. To avoid any problems, take an iodine supplement daily.
18. Reduce Stress:
Many experts believe stress contributes to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases. Yet, we all know that feeling stressed out isn’t always easy to shake off. Luckily, there’s something simple you can do to ease tension — including stress-related conditions like hypertension and migraines. Simply add some sea kelp powder to your morning smoothie. Sea kelp contains magnesium and calcium, both of which relax muscles and relieve muscle spasms. Plus, it boosts serotonin levels, helping calm nerves and promote sleep.
19. Promote Healthy Hair Growth:
Did you know that 90 percent of us have insufficient selenium in our bodies? Selenium plays a role in maintaining strong nails, shiny hair, and beautiful skin. According to one study, low selenium levels were linked to premature graying of hair. Supplementing with selenium could therefore benefit anyone suffering from thinning or gray hair.
20. Prevent Premature Aging:
Iodine works by promoting collagen synthesis within cells. Collagen keeps skin elastic, while wrinkles form when connective tissue breaks down. Therefore, if you’re looking to improve your appearance, consider adding more iodized salt to your diet. A recent study shows that eating two servings per day reduces facial wrinkling over time.
21. Boost Immunity:
According to research conducted at Harvard University, children whose mothers consumed seaweed during pregnancy had higher immunity than kids born to non-seaweed moms. Seaweeds contain antioxidants called phlorotannins, which boost immune system activity. Phlorotannins also protect against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. These compounds are especially beneficial for pregnant women because they fight infection and keep babies safe from toxins.
High doses of iodine can increase the risk of goiter formation, or swelling of the thyroid gland. This condition usually requires surgical removal of the affected part of the thyroid.
In addition to causing goiter, large doses of iodine may also interfere with normal metabolism of other hormones such as thyroxin and cortisol. These changes can make you feel tired, depressed, anxious, irritable, and unable to concentrate. In extreme cases, severe iodine toxicity can trigger seizures, coma, and death.
Iodine toxicity can occur if someone takes more than 100 times the daily amount considered safe. A person should never take more than 200 mg of iodine each day. If you suspect that you’re getting too much iodine, stop taking it immediately and contact your doctor.
For most people, 400 mcg of iodine per kilogram of body weight per day will provide enough iodine to prevent problems related to low iodine status. For pregnant women, however, 600 mcg of iodine per kg/day is needed during pregnancy.
This recommendation comes from research showing that babies born to mothers who took 300 mcg of iodine per gram of maternal weight per day had fewer birth defects compared to those whose mothers did not get any supplemental iodine.
However, this dosage level was based on data collected before the widespread use of prenatal vitamins containing folic acid, so there isn’t good evidence that it would work today. It’s possible that some women need more iodine while others don’t.
It seems likely that different individuals respond differently to iodine supplementation. So, when considering whether to try iodine supplementation, talk to your health care provider about how best to proceed.