Iodine in Vegans
Just updated the Iodine page at VeganHealth.org. The important new info (thanks, Lisa!) is this study:
In a 2011 cross-sectional study from the Boston area, urinary iodine levels of 78 lacto-ovo vegetarians and 62 vegans were measured (1). People with previously diagnosed thyroid problems were excluded from the study. According to the authors, “Population iodine sufficiency is defined by median urinary iodine concentrations 100 µg/l or greater in adults and 150 µg/l or greater in pregnancy.” Median urinary iodine concentration of vegans (79 µg/l; range 7 – 965 µg/l) was significantly lower than vegetarians (147 µg/l; range 9 – 779 µg/l). Markers of thyroid function were similar in both groups and in the normal range; one vegan and no vegetarians had abnormal thyroid function. Most of the vegans were making no effort to insure adequate iodine intake.
So, it appears that vegans have not yet gotten the message about the importance of iodine (or most are not taking heed). It’s a good thing that only one showed abnormal thyroid function given how low the average was.
My recommendations are to take 75 to 150 µg of iodine every 2 to 3 days.
If you are interested in bodybuilding, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness is a great read! It is written by Vegan Outreach supporter, activist, and The World’s Most Recognized Vegan Bodybuilder, Robert Cheeke.
1. Leung AM, Lamar A, He X, Braverman LE, Pearce EN. Iodine Status and Thyroid Function of Boston-Area Vegetarians and Vegans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 May 25. [Epub ahead of print] Link