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|Food Name||Iodine (mcg)
|Cod liver, canned||500
|Oil, cod liver||400
|Sardine, filets in olive oil, canned, drained||400
|Broth or bouillon, beef, dehydrated||390
|Cod, Atlantic, raw||360
|Pâté, fish or shellfish||310
|Haddock, breaded, fried||250
|Herring, smoked, in oil||200
- This database contains iodine content of 1,009 foods.
- Iodine values are in micrograms (mcg) and calculated per 100g of food weight.
- Click on column header to sort foods by name or by column's content. Click again
to reverse sort order.
Iodine in Diet
Iodine is a trace mineral and an essential nutrient found naturally in the body.
Iodine is needed for the normal metabolism of cells. Metabolism is the process of
converting food into energy. Humans need iodine for normal thyroid function, and
for the production of thyroid hormones. The body needs iodine but cannot make it.
The needed iodine must come from the diet. As a rule, there is very little iodine
in food, unless it has been added during processing, which is now the case with
salt. Most of the world’s iodine is found in the ocean, where it is concentrated
by sea life, especially seaweed.
Lack of enough iodine (deficiency) may occur in places that have iodine-poor soil.
Many months of iodine deficiency in a person's diet may cause goiter or hypothyroidism.
Without enough iodine, the thyroid cells and the thyroid gland become enlarged.
Iodine deficiency and the resulting low levels of thyroid hormone can cause women
to stop ovulating, leading to infertility. Iodine deficiency can also lead to an
autoimmune disease of the thyroid and may increase the risk of getting thyroid cancer.
Some researchers think that iodine deficiency might also increase the risk of other
cancers such as prostate, breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer.
Iodine deficiency during pregnancy is serious for both the mother and the baby.
It can lead to high blood pressure during pregnancy for the mother, and mental retardation
for the baby. Iodine plays an important role in development of the central nervous
system. In extreme cases, iodine deficiency can lead to cretinism, a disorder that
involves severely stunted physical and mental growth.
Iodine deficiency is a common world health problem. The most recognized form of
deficiency is goiter. Additionally, across the globe iodine deficiency is thought
to be the most common preventable cause of mental retardation. Early in the twentieth
century, iodine deficiency was common in the US and Canada, but the addition of
iodine to salt has improved public health. The addition of iodine to salt is required
in Canada. In the US, iodized salt is not required, but it is widely available.
Researchers estimate that iodized salt is used regularly by about half the US population.
Iodine is used to prevent iodine deficiency and its consequences, including goiter.
It is also used for treating a skin disease caused by a fungus (cutaneous sporotrichosis);
treating fibrocystic breast disease; preventing breast cancer, eye disease, diabetes,
and heart disease and stroke; and as an expectorant.
Iodine is also used to for radiation emergencies, to protect the thyroid gland against
radioactive iodides. Potassium iodide tablets for use in a radiation emergency are
available as FDA-approved products (ThyroShield, Iosat) and on the Internet as food
supplements. Potassium iodide should only be used in a radiation emergency, not
in advance of an emergency to prevent sickness.
Iodine is applied to the skin to kill germs, prevent soreness inside the mouth (mucositis)
caused by chemotherapy, and treat diabetic ulcers.
Iodine is also used for water purification.
Deficiency happens more often in women than in men, and is more common in pregnant
women and older children. Getting enough iodine in the diet may prevent a form of
physical and mental retardation called cretinism. Cretinism is very rare in the
U.S. because iodine deficiency is generally not a problem.
Iodine poisoning is rare in the U.S. Very high intake of iodine can reduce the function
of the thyroid gland.
Daily Iodine Intake Recommendation from the Institute of Medicine
|Age 0-6 mths||Age 7-12 mths||Age 1-8||Age 9-13||Age 14+
|110 mcg||130 mcg||90 mcg||120 mcg||150 mcg
Iodine Rich Food List
Iodine content is per 100 grams of food weight.
| ||Foods Highest in Iodine
| ||Sardine, filets in olive oil, canned, drained
| ||Broth or bouillon, beef, dehydrated
| ||Pâté, fish or shellfish
| ||Haddock, breaded, fried
| ||Herring, smoked, in oil
| ||Crustacean or mollusk (average)
| ||Fish cake, frozen, raw
| ||Foods Richest in Iodine
| ||Sardine, in oil, canned, drained
| ||Milk, semi-skimmed, powder
| ||Custard, English cream
| ||Sardine, in tomato sauce, canned, drained
| ||Milk, semi-skimmed, flavored
| ||Pilchard, in tomato sauce, canned
| ||Fish, cooked (average)
| ||Caviar substitute, Lumpfish eggs
| ||Milk, skimmed, vitamin fortified
| ||Cereal bar low calorie
| ||Foods Highest in Iodine
| ||Dark chocolate, 70% cocoa, sugar free, artificial sweeteners
| ||Fruit charlotte, from bakery
| ||Blue cheese, de Bresse
| ||Sandwich on French bread, smoked salmon, butter
| ||Anglerfish or monkfish, grilled
| ||Scallop, Great Atlantic, with coral, raw
| ||Vol-au-vent with seafood
| ||Mackerel, in tomato sauce, canned
| ||Foods Rich in Iodine
| ||Shrimp or prawn, cooked
| ||Chocolate powder, sweetened, enriched
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