Seaweed Shown to be Good Source of Iodine
Iodine deficiency is a growing problem in the Western world due to several factors, including the removal of iodine supplements from many foods, reduced sodium intake, and reduced consumption of dairy products and seafood. Iodine deficiency can lead to tiredness, dry hair, skin and nails, tired muscles, and underactive thyroid. According to a recent study, seaweed supplementation may help increase iodine levels in women with iodine deficiency.
Participants in this study were healthy, non-pregnant women of childbearing age who had self-reported low dairy product and seafood consumption. They were given a branded form of seaweed supplement that contained approximately 700 ?g/g of iodine daily for two weeks.
After two weeks of supplementation, urinary iodine excretion increased by approximately 50%. Concentrations of thyroid-stimulating hormone increased from 1.5 to 2.1
The women found the seaweed to be palatable and acceptable as a whole food or a food ingredient, and proved to be an effective source of iodine. The researchers therefore concluded that seaweed supplementation could potentially be used to boost iodine levels in deficient populations.
Researchers from the University of Galsgow in Scotland conducted the study. It was published in the September 2014 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.
Previous studies have linked seaweed extracts to boosting the immune system, weight loss and improving liver health.