Avoiding Iodine Deficiency

Avoiding Iodine Deficiency

“Avoiding Iodine Deficiency” Why does this 15-year-old
look so unhappy? Maybe it’s because of
the iodine deficiency in her diet that
gave her this goiter. Everyone needs iodine,
but this is especially important for people who want to eat well,
since many healthy plant foods like flax, soy, and broccoli have
what are called goitrogenic compounds, which can interfere with thyroid function
in people with marginal iodine intake. So does that mean
we shouldn’t eat broccoli? Of course not. We just need to get
enough iodine in our diets. It’s actually really
simple to do. Rather than using
natural sea salt, use iodized salt, and you’ll probably get
all the iodine you need. But if, for good reason,
we don’t add salt to our food, we just need to get our
iodine somewhere. Cow milk drinkers get it because
iodine-containing disinfectants are used to disinfect
the milk tanks, and so the iodine sort of
leaches into the milk. The best source is sea vegetables,
or you can get it in a multivitamin. But I do encourage people
to develop a taste for seaweed. It’s a wonderful food—
dark green leafies of the sea. It may even prevent cancer. Seaweed inhibits human
cancer cell growth, and this new study
suggests it may even have a therapeutic potential
for people battling liver cancer. Sea vegetables have lots of
B vitamins and minerals— particularly the trace minerals,
like iodine. The problem with seaweed is that
we can actually get too much iodine. The recommended daily intake
is 150 micrograms a day, but the World Health Organization
places the safe upper limit at 1,000 micrograms a day. So that’s not a huge
amount of wiggle room. And it’s less for kids—
300 micrograms or so may be too much
for a five-year-old. This much laver or nori—
a two-ounce bag— has enough iodine
to last an adult a week. This much dulse;
a month. This much wakame;
two months. And one little bag of kelp;
five years. A quarter gram a day
of kelp is too much. And it would be hard to spread
that little amount of kelp over five years, so I recommend going with
one of these other sources. Do not, however,
eat hiziki. The reason sea vegetables
are so wonderful is that they are packed
with trace minerals; they just soak them up
right out of the seawater. Hiziki, though, may also absorb
bad minerals like arsenic. One seaweed species in particular,
hiziki, sucks up so much arsenic that governments around the world are
now warning consumers not to eat it. From the US EPA,
to the British government, to New Zealand, to Canada—
even the Chinese government. Here’s what it looks like.
Note the two different spellings. No longer should anyone eat this—
at least not on a regular basis. Lots of other wonderful types of
seaweed out there without this problem, so we can get the anti-cancer
benefits without the arsenic.


  1. Dr.Greger, how many large sheets of nori do you / would you personally use then? I don't like it, but I'm just curious and wondering what 2oz of nori would look like (how many sheets) on the scales. 

  2. But doesn't arsenic help destroy the bad cells in the body? And isn't this necessary and natural and why we have so much arsenic in our foods and things like chicken feed? I have eaten dulse since I was a child and enjoy it on radioactive tuna fish! LOL AFTER FUKUSHAMO!

  3. I'm Welsh, and I live in west Wales. I eat laverbread (we call it bara lawr) every day. It has been produced here locally for hundreds of years and enjoyed by locals. Richard Burton (who was born here) famously referred to it as 'Welshman's caviar'.

  4. I added some kelp to the last slow cooked beans I made. I don't taste any seaweed, the beans taste just the same. I pretty sure with the 12+ hour cooking time a lot of the iodine is vaporized and lost. Any ideas on the actual iodine that remains?

    The beans are first sprouted, then water is added to cover the beans before cooking, and they are ready when basically all of the water is gone. The topmost beans are the most delicious, with them popping open and darkening. High temp during cooking is 185F.

  5. i love these old videos where he talks slow and smooth, he is so smart i hope he goes back to this relaxed ways. its like listening to a stoner its so peaceful, but he is actually giving information which is useful.

  6. Please do not make videos with such a low volume, some of us only have crummy Apple tablets with next to no volume at all.

  7. I truly love this hypothyroidism solution “Wοzο†ο nazu” (Google it) and how it helped me with my situation. I feel sooooooo much better. I am surprised that this solution could help me feel good again after Fifteen years of experiencing the disorder.

  8. I`ve never looked back since I have used this hypothyroidism solution “Wοzο†ο nazu” (Google it). I feel so much healthier, I’m not tired anymore, I`m eating better, don’t feel bloated or stressed. My skin is not dry. My joints don’t hurt as much. It’s surprising what you could do with the correct info explained to you right.

  9. Unfortunately seaweeds also have tough cell walls (containing polysaccharides) xylans-dulse, caraggean-sea moss, alginic acid-kelp, fucoidans-bladderwrack, that inhibit (block) pepsin activity in the stomach and also trypsin (protein) absorption. These polysaccharides are promoted as antioxidants, but actually block beneficial protein absorption and other enzymes (in the body).

    So, most of the seaweed is not digestible. Seaweed digestibiiity is also dependent on harvesting conditions (time of year, etc).

    You would practically have to ferment the seaweed to make it bioavailable.

  10. Is there a reason why iodine isn't on the daily dozen? I only recently learned how important it is and I'm definitely not getting enough in my diet.

  11. It's hard to know how to balance all this out, eat your cruciferous although they have goitrogenic compounds, get enough iodine but don't eat too much salt, eat seaweed but watch out for toxins, BMAA, etc… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  12. I have a question. If I have hypothyroidism, can I cure it with veganism or do I have to go to the doctor and probably take some meds? As plant-based diet can reverse a lot of stuff maybe it can cure and reverse my hypothyroidism.I didn't find anything in How Not To Die, that's why I'm asking.

  13. Everybody has bind spots. Dr. Greger is no exception.

    The healthiest, longest lived people in the world (Okinawans who eat their traditional diet)

    eat seaweed at EVERY MEAL and are estimated to get 200 mg of iodine every day of their adult lives.

    "In 1964, the Nutrition Section of Japan’s Bureau of Public Health
    found that people in Japan

    consumed a daily average of 4.5 g of seaweed with measured iodine content of 3.1 mg/g, or

    13.8 mg of iodine."

    Life expectancy in Japan is 81.25 years, compared to 77.85
    years in the U.S.

    Infant mortality rate in Japan is the lowest in the
    world, 3.5 deaths under age 1 per 1,000 live births,

    half the infant mortality rate in the United States.


  14. Iodized salt? I hope you don't mean the useless Morton bleached table salt. It's horrible for you. Use Himalayan pink salt or French Grey sea salt. And FYI it's extremely hard to get too much iodine! This is nonsense. In Japan they eat iodine in grams not mcg and they live longest! This is not good info guys. Look elsewhere. Eat lots of iodine and you'll prevent all sorts of issues. You need a Lot more iodine than is the rda. It's base minimum.

  15. so the upper limit of daily iodine is 1k mcg while the minimum recommended daily is 150 mcg. does this mean that consuming more than 1k mcg in one day will give you iodine poisoning while a consumption of more than 150 mcg and less than 1k mcg daily may eventually lead to iodine poisoning? or does it just mean that any range of daily iodine consumption within 150 mcg to 1k mcg is safe?

    are iodine supplements a practical source of iodine for the average person or should the average person seek iodine from whole sea veggies?

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