We often get asked about the safety and supplemental value of iodine in our seaweed. This is because iodine is a complicated trace element that is ESSENTIAL for our health, but it is only required in TRACE amounts. You only need about a teaspoon of iodine for your whole life; but it is essential throughout life. Indeed the deficiency of iodine globally is the leading cause of brain damage according to the World Health Organisation. It is such a global deficiency problem that universal iodised salt was mandated in the 1990s, and in Australia it is a requirement of bread manufacturers to include iodised salt in breadmaking.
Even so, Australia iodine deficiency is prevalent in about 50% of children and pregnant or breastfeeding women as our soils are not generally rich in iodine. Unless you are getting iodine from regular seafood consumption or iodised salt, then you may be at risk.
A lack of iodine is vital for thyroid hormonal function, and a number of thyroid disorders are caused by deficiency in iodine and can lead to impaired metabolism, protein synthesis, blood flow, brain development, cell growth, reproduction and bone health.
Because iodine is required in trace amounts, there is also the risk is that you can overdose on iodine. Many of you have heard about the risk of too much iodine from seaweed, as some seaweeds are super-concentrators of ocean iodine. This is especially the case for Kombu, of which you should not be eating more than a fraction of a gram per day, if that.
However, this is not the case for all seaweeds, and a little bit of seaweed everyday is the no-brainer way to get your iodine needs naturally.
PhycoHealth has a long history of research in measuring trace elements across many species of seaweeds, and in particular our own green seaweeds have just the right amount of iodine to be naturally useful in keeping up your iodine requirements, WITHOUT overdosing. You can see on the following chart how our 10g of our green seaweed iodine levels compare to other seaweeds such as Kombu. You should never eat even a gram of Kombu per day as the safe daily intake of iodine is already exceeded at 0.3g of Kombu.
This is why we can include 10g of our seaweed in staple foods such as pasta, snacks and muesli, and also deliver the other nutritional benefits from the rest of the seaweed, safely. You can expect to get up to 80% of your iodine requirements in a full serving of Phettuccine, while the recommended intake of SeaFibre-3 has very safe iodine levels at less than 20% of the recommended dietary intake for those of you who need to be careful with iodine. But for most of us, it is hard to get too much iodine with PhycoHealth products, and you will not have to worry that you are not getting enough.
If you have already got an overactive thyroid or underactive thyroid, then iodine in your diet may or may not be helpful. You should always consult with your G.P. if you have thyroid health issues, and ask what is the recommended daily intake for you.