Technical Difficulties

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5 Responses to “Technical Difficulties”

  1. Dan Says:

    Hi Jack,

    I have a question. My understanding is that the goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables act by blocking the uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland (where it is used to synthesize thyroid hormones). I have noticed lately marked cold intolerance which I never had before, and this has lasted for several months. It’s been a long, hard winter but I have never before had to sleep with several layers of clothing, run my heating this high, shiver, have cold extremities (hands, feet) etc. The only recent addition (couple months ago) in my diet since going fully vegan is that I added some raw cruciferous vegetables to breakfast (broccoli) and for lunch I would steam the broccoli but add horseradish to it (since this has myrosinase). Here is the kicker – I take my iodine/kelp tablet with the breakfast meal, so am I possibly blocking my uptake of that micronutrient supplement into the thyroid gland to manufacture thyroid hormones (T3, T4, etc)? I am going to cut back on my broccoli and take the iodine/kelp at a different time of day. I don’t have confirmed biochemical evidence of clinical hypothyroidism (high TSH, low T4, T3, etc.) but I am very suspicious as I cannot account for the marked cold intolerance any other way. In fact, my baseline has always been to prefer the cold and hate the heat. I was wondering if you had any other suggestions? Do you ever come across vegans who bitterly complain that they are cold?

  2. Jack Norris RD Says:


    Have you lost a lot of weight since last winter?

    I recall one vegan who bitterly complained about being cold, but I don’t think she ate many raw cruciferous vegetables or had thyroid issues. I’m not a big fan of the cold myself and I don’t eat many raw cruciferous vegetables or think that I have thyroid issues. I think it’s a stretch. But I also don’t see why you don’t cook them rather than eat them raw? If for no other reason than the taste, my vote is for you to cook them!

  3. Brandon Becker Says:

    I rarely eat seaweed or add iodized salt to food. Is there any problem getting 150 mcg a day of iodine from a potassium iodide supplement (on days I don’t eat seaweed or iodized salt) to ensure intake? I eat large amounts of goitrogenic foods but also know that the U.S. does have a good amount of iodine in the soil (depending on the region) that plants pick up. Your recommendations are only 75-150 mcg every few days, but others recommend 150 mcg a day, while some don’t recommend any supplementation of iodine. With such variation in recommendations, it’s hard to know what to do.

  4. Jack Norris RD Says:

    > Is there any problem getting 150 mcg a day of iodine from a potassium iodide supplement (on days I don’t eat seaweed or iodized salt) to ensure intake?

    Not that I’m aware of.

  5. Brandon Becker Says:

    I started eating seaweed (nori and wakame only) in the last few weeks so I don’t have to take iodine supplements anymore. It’s definitely more expensive than supplements but it tastes so good and has added health benefits since it’s food.

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