Thyroid UK
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Eating seaweed

I was in Thailand recently, and was regularly buying seaweed snacks, which i have also found here in a Chinese supermarket. I am feeling incredibly well eating it, and have even lost a few pounds in weight which i was struggling with before. I know that seaweed has a lot of iodine in it, but i have read that people with thyroid problems should be careful not to eat too much. Any ideas, as i dont want to stop eating it!

5 Replies

I was also wondering about that! Some say that we should consume iodine and some that it is harmful for us. I am confused.


If it is working for you then keep eating it. Some people find that their thyroid problem is partially due to inadequate iodine intake and in that case taking iodine is fine. It is mainly people with autoimmune thyroid conditions that have problem with iodine. We usually recommend people are cautious if they decide to try iodine because many don't know what kind of thyroid condition they have because doctors often don't test antibodies.

I'm glad you have found something that works for you :)

Carolyn x


I should add that people who are taking thyroid replacement therapy often don't need as much iodine because their bodies aren't having to make so much of the hormones because they are getting them in the form of their tablets.


Be aware that the iodine content of seaweed varies hugely. This issue was considered in Australia where the significant population of people from seaweed-eating traditions means that lots is imported.

I quote from that link:

The survey was prompted by an increased number of reported human thyroid dysfunction cases linked to high iodine intake. The high intake was considered to be associated with consumption of a soy beverage, Bonsoy. The high iodine levels in the beverage were attributed to the addition of seaweed (kombu, Laminariaspp) during manufacturing.

At the same time as the Bonsoy incident, high levels of natural ly occurring iodine in seaweed were identified in Heng Fai Dried Seaweed Brand ® (Sargassum fusiforme), with a voluntary food recall of this product in March 2010.



You might be interested to look at (scroll down to 'thyroid function and dysfunction',)

Ryan Drum is a herbaloist who has done a lot of research into seaweed and written at length on using seaweed to treat thyroid problems naturally.

I have to say I haven't tried this myself and am suffering from information overload!



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