Iodine: What You Should Know

Sources, Benefits, Forms, Dosage 

What is Iodine?

Iodine is an essential trace mineral. Unlike major minerals, trace minerals need to be present in the diet in amounts lower than 100 mg (milligrams).1

The benefits of Iodine

The name iodine is Greek for its violet color. Iodine is majorly involved in the function and regulation of thyroid hormones, specifically throxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).2 These hormones are responsible for the regulation of metabolism, growth and development, and reproduction.1

In addition to benefiting the hormonal system, iodine also supports fetal and infant development of the nervous system.2 Other research shows it may even help prevent fibrocystic breast disease, and radiation induced thyroid cancer.2

The different forms of Iodine

The mineral form of iodine is rare, therefore it is mostly found in its other forms, such as salts.2 Iodine in the body takes the form of iodide, however, it is still denoted as the mineral name, iodine.1 Iodine found in the diet is also found in the form of iodide, as well as inorganic iodine, potassium iodide, and sodium iodide. Nutrition supplements commonly use the salt form, potassium iodide and sodium iodide.2

Sources of Iodine – From food and nutrition supplements

Iodine is naturally found in soil, and the amount found in soil can positively or negatively affect the content found in food sources.2 Dietary sources with a high content of iodine include seaweed, kelp, fish, mussels, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables, breast milk, and iodized salt.1,2,3 There is approximately 47.5 mcg of iodine in every gram of Iodized salt, which serves as a major dietary source for this nutrient in over 70 countries.2

Recommended daily dose of Iodine – What physicians advise

The recommended daily dose for nutrients is unique to a person’s age, gender, environment, and other personal factors. The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) established a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iodine as a reference to meet the needs of healthy individuals. The RDA for iodine for healthy adults is 159 mcg/day for both men and women. For infants the RDA has not been established, but an adequate intake (AI) level between 110 – 130 mcg/day has been set as a guideline for nutritional adequacy. It is important that pregnant and nursing woman consume sufficient amounts of iodine, as a deficiency can lead to severe and permanent developmental damage of the fetus.2

Recommended Dietary Allowance
(RDA) Iodine
Infants (0 – 12 months) 110 – 130 mcg/day AI
Children (1 – 8 years) 90 mcg/day
Adolescents (9 – 18 years) 120 – 150 mcg/day
Adults (19+ years) 150 mcg
Pregnant and Lactating Women 220 – 290 mcg/day

Table 1: Daily Iodine Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Healthy Individuals2

Certain populations may need to be more mindful when evaluating their iodine needs. Individuals prescribed anti-thyroid medications may experience hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones, which results in abnormal bodily functions.2

When supplementing certain forms of iodine, such as potassium iodide, individuals using ACE inhibitors and/or potassium-sparing diuretics have a heighten possibility of developing hyperkalemia, high blood potassium concentration.2 With any particular medication or health condition it is always best to consult with your primary healthcare provider before taking the Healthycell® products or any nutrition supplement.

Iodine toxicity

Iodine is a unique micronutrient, as this trace mineral has been recognized to have toxic effects when taken in excessively high doses through dietary sources, nutrition supplements, and even water.1 For this reason, a maximum level that may cause an adverse event, also known as a tolerable upper intake level (UL) has been established to avoid toxic side effects. As the UL for adults is 1,100 mcg/day it is uncommon to reach toxicity levels, even when using a nutrition supplement.3

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of Iodine
Infants (0 – 12 months) NA
Children (1 – 8 years) 200 – 300 mcg/day
Adolescents (9 – 18 years) 600 900 mcg/day
Adults (19+ years) 1,100 mcg/day
Pregnant and Lactating Women 900 – 1,100 mcg/day

Table 2: Daily Iodine Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL)2

Iodine deficiency, symptoms, and people at risk

At one point in time iodine deficiency was common. Accordingly, in the 1920s, the FDA permitted fortification of iodized salt, which is now a significant dietary source for this nutrient in over 70 countries.2,3 The fortification of iodized salt supplemented approximately 300 mcg to daily consumption.3

Populations at risk for iodine deficiency include those who do not have access or use iodized salt, living in an environment with nutrient poor soil, those who consume high amounts of soy and cruciferous vegetables as it inhibits iodine absorption, and pregnant women. Pregnant women who have an iodine deficiency risk birthing a child with cognitive impairment, growth and development issues, or having a miscarriage or stillbirth.2

Other health complications that can occur with iodine deficiency include goiter. When the body receives insufficient quantities of iodine, a hormone, thyrotropin, or TSH, is heightened which can lead to goiter, an enlarged thyroid.2 One of the functions of TSH is to prevent hypo- and hyperthyroidism by regulating the thyroid gland and other hormones, and accordingly will retain circulating iodine when level are low.2

Iodine in Healthycell® Pro  

The source of iodine in Healthycell® Pro and Healthycell® is potassium iodide and from Atlantic kelp. The dosage of iodine in Healthycell® Pro and Healthycell® is 75 mcg in the morning formula and 75 mcg in the evening formula, for a daily dose of 150 mcg, satisfying 100% of the Daily Value (%DV). Nutrition supplement labeling and food labeling guidelines use Reference Daily Intake (RDI) as the standard for dosage.


1. McGuire, Michelle, PhD, and Kathy Beerman A., PhD. “Chapter 13 The Trace Minerals.”

Nutritional Sciences: From Fundamentals to Food. 2nd ed. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth,

2007. 592-595. Print.

2. “Office of Dietary Supplements – Iodine.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department

of Health and Human Services, 24 June 2011,

3 Zelman, Kathleen. “Iodine, a Critically Important Nutrient.”, Academy of

Nutrition and Dietetics,


4. “Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid).” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney

Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Aug. 2016,