Fish Oil & Iodine for Thyroid

Do Fish Oil Pills Provide Iodine?

Iodine is a micronutrient which is required by your body for the production of thyroid hormones. Nevertheless, if iodine is consumed in excess it will lead to thyroid disorders, such as a hyperactive thyroid. According to Recommended Daily Allowance, 150 mcg per day is needed to keep the normal functioning of thyroid in adults. Sometimes, people with a hypoactive thyroid are prescribed iodine, but it is extremely dangerous to use iodine in the presence of a hyperactive thyroid and without recommendation from a physician. Certain food items, such as seafood and iodized salt, are good sources of iodine. Even though, no health risks related to iodine are caused by fish oil supplements generally but you should always seek the doctor’s advice before taking them.Do Fish Oil Pills Provide Iodine?

Iodine In Fish Pills

It is a known fact that seafood, such as fish and seaweed etc., is rich in dietary iodine. Therefore, some quantity of iodine might be present in the fish oil supplements. The iodine content in these supplements is processed. The cod fish is very rich in iodine and it contains approximately 99 mcg of iodine in three oz. of fish. That is why, the cod liver oil contains the most amount of iodine compared to other fish oil supplements. Therefore, you should be more careful using the cod liver oil especially if you are allergic to iodine. You can contact the producer to inquire about the iodine content of the fish oil pills you ae using.

Although iodine may be present in the fish oil pills, but its quantity is not very significant. That is why unlike foods rich in iodine and iodine supplements, fish oil is not contraindicated in a hyperactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. Health authorities do not discourage from the use of fish oil pills in people taking thyroid medication, in people with thyroid disease or iodine allergy. In fact, some authorities advise using fish oil pills in people suffering from hyperthyroidism, because of its anti-inflammatory qualities.

Other Sources Of Iodine

To keep adequate supply of iodine for the normal functioning of thyroid gland or taking increased iodine for a hypoactive thyroid gland, you can use the following food items which are very good sources of iodine.

  • Iodized salt: 1 g provides 77 mcg of iodine.
  • Cow’s milk: 1 cup supplies 56 mcg of iodine.
  • Shrimp: A 3 oz. serving provides 35 mcg of iodine.
  • Navy beans: Half cup provides 32 mcg of iodine.
  • Seaweed: ¼ oz. of dried up seaweed contains around 4500 mcg of iodine. So, use it in moderation to avoid excess of iodine in your body.Do Fish Oil Pills Provide Iodine?


Iodine content of fish oil is not sufficient to produce any serious thyroid problems. But it is linked to a number of other health risks. If taken by a person suffering from liver disease, it can increase the chances of bleeding, significantly. In people suffering from AIDS or HIV, using fish oil can make their condition worse by affecting the immune system. If you are taking medications for lowering blood pressure, using fish oil can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. So, be careful and avoid consuming fish oil in these cases.

Hyperthyroidism and Iodine Deficiency

Hyperthyroidism and Iodine Deficiency

Iodine is vital for the development of our brain cells and for the regulation and production of the thyroid hormones. Lack of iodine can lead to a disorder of the thyroid gland called as hypothyroidism. In this disorder, production of the thyroid hormones, such as thyroxine, is suppressed. While treating hypothyroidism, there is always a risk of developing hyperthyroidism due to overzealous treatment. In hyperthyroidism, there is excessive secretion of thyroxine. Deficiency of iodine can be life-threatening for the health and it might be an indicator of some underlying health issue.

Hyperthyroidism and Iodine DeficiencyHyperthyroidism

The thyroid gland is small in size yet it is the master gland of our body. It is located in the front of our neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It produces the thyroid hormones, such as triiodothyronine and thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland in which the thyroid become overactive and produces excessive amounts of thyroxine. Symptoms like drastic increase in the basal metabolic rate, resulting in rapid weight loss, sweating, an irregular or accelerated heartbeat, irritability and nervousness etc. can occur in this condition. Besides the deficiency of iodine, other culprits behind the hyperthyroidism can be Plummer’s disease, Graves’ disease, thyroiditis and toxic adenoma.

Deficiency of Iodine

Our body needs iodine for the production of thyroid hormones, such as triiodothyronine and thyroxine. These hormones play a role in the development of cognitive system of infants and in the regulation of our metabolic functions.

The lack of iodine usually stems from insufficient intake of dietary iodine and it can cause grave complications, for example irreversible damage to the cognition of newborns and metabolic derangement, like hyperthyroidism. According to the WHO, iodine deficiency is the major cause of avoidable mental retardation. Studies done on the American population shows that their iodine intake is above average, but certain exceptions are there and in some cases deficiencies might occur, for example in post- menopausal and pregnant women.

Role of Iodine

Radioactive iodine is used as a cure for a hypoactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism. It is taken orally to shrivel the thyroid gland up and it can take 3 to 6 months for the symptoms to settle down. Nonetheless, this will also suppress the activity of your thyroid and you might be required to take measure to substitute for the consumed levels of the thyroxine hormone.

Hyperthyroidism and Iodine DeficiencyThis balance of the thyroid hormones and iodine levels is extremely sensitive and the overzealous treatment for the hypothyroidism can produce the reverse disease, i.e. hyperthyroidism.

Preventive measures

For the treatment of hypothyroidism, radioactive iodine plays an essential role but at the same time a suitable supply of dietary iodine must be ensured to keep the thyroid gland healthy. Standard values for the intake of iodine in the diet is 150 micrograms per day in the case of adult women and men, while in lactating and pregnant women the intake should be increased to 290 and 220 micrograms, respectively.

Natural sources of iodine include eggs, seafood, dairy and grains etc. Sea plants, for example seaweed and kelp are rich in iodine. Using an iodized salt can also ensure an adequate intake of dietary iodine.

Can Kale Cause Hypothyroidism?

Can Kale Cause Hypothyroidism?

Kale is a food item which is rich in many nutrients like anti-oxidants, iron, vitamin C, calcium, fibers etc., yet it is getting all of the negative attention because of its speculated association with the hypothyroidism. Let us figure out whether these speculations are true or not.Can Kale Cause Hypothyroidism?

Kale has been referred to as a goitrogenic vegetable, just like cruciferous veggies which are rich in goitrogens, for example collard greens, turnips, cabbage, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, arugula, watercress and cauliflower etc.

These veggies contain thiocyanate, this substance can interfere with iodine metabolism when present in large quantities. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, therefore high levels of the thiocyanate can lead to the decreased production of thyroid hormones known as the hypothyroidism, along with a compensatory enlargement of the thyroid gland.

If taken in moderation, kale or any other cruciferous veggie is very beneficial for our health. Their benefits outweigh any thyroid risks associated with them. Despite the popular belief, goitrogenic effects of kale are produced only when its consumption is excessive. According to the experts, even if a person is suffering from an underlying thyroid disease, normal usage of cruciferous vegetables will not aggravate his or her condition. However, just to be on the safe side, you must seek advice from a doctor to keep your thyroid condition under control.

Amount of Kale You can Eat Safely

Can Kale Cause Hypothyroidism?Exact thiocyanate content present in the kale is unknown. Similarly, the quantity of kale which must be ingested to produce a thyroid problem is also undefined at the moment. The studies have shown that the people who drink pressed juice of kale are more prone to its side effects on the thyroid gland. Juicing the kale concentrates it, therefore making it unsuitable for the people taking a diet deficient in iodine or those who are on a restricted diet, for example vegans. Americans have overcome iodine deficiency by adding sufficient iodine to their diet, in the form of iodized salt etc. and by taking supplements and multivitamins which contain iodine. Amount of iodine needed for the infants up to the age of one year is 115 to 130 micrograms, on a daily basis. While the recommended daily intake of dietary iodine is 90 micrograms for the kids 1 to 8 years of age and 120 micrograms for the kids 9 to 13 years of age. On the other hand, adolescents and adults require 150 micrograms of iodine in their diet daily. Lactating and pregnant women have increased demand for iodine and require 295 and 220 micrograms, respectively. According to a research conducted on Americans, their iodine intake was found to be more than enough, with men consuming 230 to 300 micrograms and women consuming 180 to 210 micrograms, daily.

In a nut shell, our media is trying to exaggerate the goitrogenic effects of the thyroid gland on our body. Our body needs greens and eating them in moderate quantities is, in fact good for our health. However, you must consult a physician and seek his advice regarding your risk for the thyroid disease and food items good for your health.

Can Seaweed Get Rid Of Thyroid?

Can Seaweed Get Rid Of Goiters?

Seaweed is a very rich source of iodine and is sold in health food stores and Asian markets. However, it is still an acquired taste for Americans, who are not accustomed to it yet. But it is packed with two nutrients, essential for the production of thyroid hormones, which are selenium and iodine. Therefore, in disease like hypothyroidism, adding seaweeds, such as kelp, can help significantly in boosting up the thyroid functioning.

Can Seaweed Get Rid Of Goiters?Thyroid and Iodine

The thyroid gland is present in front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It is called the ‘master gland’ of the body and is vital for the proper functioning of our body. Thyroid uses the amino acid tyrosine and iodine for the production of hormones like thyronine and throxine. These hormones regulate temperature, growth and function of all of the cells in our body.

In addition to that, they also influence our cognitive functions like memory and concentration. If these hormones are not synthesized properly, it might lead to certain symptoms, such as weight gain, fatigue, anxiety etc.

Seaweed and Iodine

Seaweed belongs to a heterogeneous class of marine plants, consisting of algae. These plants derive their nutrition from the vast ocean.

There are many kinds of algae which make up the structure of seaweed, such as red, green and brown algae. Among them, brown algae has the most iodine content. The iodine content is the highest in the Icelandic kelp. Hijki, arame and kombu are also good reservoirs of iodine.

Seaweed and Selenium

Can Seaweed Get Rid Of Goiters?Seaweed is also a great source of selenium. Studies have shown that the selenium is essential for the conversion of thyroxine hormone into threonine hormone. In the absence of selenium, this conversion would not take place and hence no thyroid hormones will be produced. The recommended daily allowance, or the RDA, of selenium and iodine is 55 mcg and 150 mcg per day, respectively.

Add Seaweed to your Diet

Japanese use seaweed in their recipes. They add kelp flecks as a substitute of salt and seasoning to their grain dishes and soups. It can also be used in sushi. For that, take a nori leaf and put shredded vegetables and rice on it then wrap it up. Your sushi is ready, you can eat it with sauce of your liking. As seaweed is rich in nutrients, it is very beneficial for your health. But keep this in mind that it contains very high amount of potassium. Seaweed contains approximately thirty-four times more potassium as compared to a banana.

Heart arrhythmia can be triggered by excessive potassium in the body, therefore consult a doctor before adding a lot of seaweed to the diet.

Don’t Overdo to It!

Some varieties of kelp are so rich in iodine that just a few ounces of it provides approximately 3 times of the recommended daily intake of iodine. Either excess or deficiency of iodine can block the production of thyroid hormone. Iodine intake 5 times of recommended daily intake can block the production of thyroid hormone. So keep your seaweed intake in check, to keep a healthy thyroid.

Which Foods Cause Thyroid?

Which Foods Cause Goiters?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly like organ which is present in front of our neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It is also known as ‘the master gland’ of our body because it controls and regulates the other glands. Enlargement of this gland is known as a goiter. Research has shown that this increase in size is basically a counter-regulatory phenomenon which occurs when the thyroid hormone production in our body is not adequate. Goitrogens are food items which influence the output of thyroid hormones and worsen the goiter. If eaten in excess, these goitrogens can interfere with the healthy function of our thyroid gland. Therefore, goitrogens should not be used by someone who has a goiter.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Which Foods Cause Goiters?Cruciferous veggies are rich in sulfur containing compounds such as glucosinolates. Byproducts of these compounds, known as isothiocyanates, are produced when glucosinolates are broken down. According to an elaborate research these byproducts, isothiocyanates, can block the uptake and absorption of iodine by our thyroid gland, thus leading to the formation of a goiter. Goiter is essentially caused by the deficiency of iodine and consumption of cruciferous vegetables produces a relative lack of iodine by hindering effects of iodine on the functions of thyroid. Some examples of such vegetables are Brussels sprout, turnips, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, collards, cauliflower, turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga, kale and mustard. These vegetables have more goitrogenic potential when eaten raw and as a whole.

If you have a goiter and still want to eat these vegetables then the best way is to either boil them well or shred them finely. Research has shown that shredding the cruciferous vegetables can decrease the amount of isothiocyanate up to seventy-five % in them while boiling can decrease it up to ninety-five % of the original quantity.

Which Foods Cause Goiters?Soy Products

Anyone who is suffering from an enlarged goiter or deficiency of iodine must avoid food items containing soy and soybeans. According to a scientific report, soy has destructive effects on the thyroid gland and these effects are aggravated by an already existing lack of iodine in the body. Food items which contain soy in them are tofu, soy bar, soy beans, soy milk and any product which has ‘soy’ in its ingredients such as salad dressings and mayonnaise etc.

More Goitrogenic Foods

In addition to soy products and cruciferous vegetables, food items like strawberries, peanuts, millets, spinach, peaches, bamboo shoots, sweet potatoes, pine nuts, pears and radishes etc. are also labelled as goitrogenic foods. These food products are only mildly goitrogenic. They contain abundant amount of ‘flavonoids’ which have many health benefits. But according to a recent research, some flavonoids can also suppress the output of thyroid hormones thus interfering with the thyroid function.

In a nutshell, the above mentioned food items must be avoided by someone who has a goiter. A number of health care practitioners seem to have the opinion that those who do not have an existing thyroid problem would stay alright even after consuming goitrogenic foods as long as their consumption is not very excessive.