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Iodine content in various foods

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Iodine (atomic weight 126.9 g per atom) is a micronutrient that is required for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones.

Requirements for Iodine:

Life stage

Iodine required per day (mcg)*

Adult

150

Pregnant woman

250

Breastfeeding woman

250

*World Heath Organisation requirements

Sources of Iodine (1):

The actual amount of iodine in food varies according to the iodine content of the soil, farming practice, fish species and season. This makes it difficult to estimate iodine per portion. The figures in the table are therefore for guidance only.

Food

Portion

Average iodine/portion (mcg) (actual iodine content will vary)

Cow's milk

200ml

50-80**

Organic cow's milk

200ml

30-65**

Yoghurt

150g

50-100**

Eggs

1 egg (50g)

20

Cheese

40g

15

White fish

100g

115

Oily fish

100g

50

Shellfish

100g

90

Meat

100g

10

Poultry

100g

10

Nuts

25g

5

Bread

1 slice (36g)

5

Fruit and veg

1 portion (80g)

3

**Depending on the season, higher value in winter

Other sources (3) :

  • Kelp (per g): 16.8-165 µg
  • Vitamins (prenatal, labelled content per daily serving): 75-200 µg
  • Amiodarone (per 200 mg): 75,000 µg
  • Iodinated contrast (free iodine content, per CT scan): 13,500 µg
  • Topical iodine (povidone iodine): variable, usually 1-5%
  • Expectorants, mouthwashes, vaginal douches: variable
  • Saturated solution of potassium iodide (per drop): 50,000 µg

How much iodine is excess consumption?

  • the British Diatetic Association (2) also note that "..As a guide, adult intakes should not exceed 600 mcg/day.." because higher levels may result in thyroid dysfunction
  • however it has been stated that "...For adults who are not lactating or pregnant, the US Institute of Medicine, and jointly by the WHO, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD), recommend a daily iodine intake of 150 µg and state a tolerable upper level (the approximate threshold below which notable adverse effects are unlikely to occur in the healthy population) of 1,100 µg per day in adults " (3)

Reference:


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