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Jan 4, 2021 | Nutrition

Iodine in Seaweed

How much iodine is too much? – Iodine in seaweed

Iodine is an essential micronutrient for thyroid health, brain development, as well as children’s growth. The recommended daily intake of iodine in Australia and New Zeeland is 150 micrograms (µg) per day for adults, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are suggested to consume 220µg and 270ug iodine per day respectively.

Age and genderRecommended daily intake
1 – 8 years old boys and girls90 µg/day
9 – 13 years old boys and girls120 µg/day
14 – 18 years old boys and girls150 µg/day
19 – 70 years old male and female150 µg/day
Pregnancy220 µg/day
Lactation270 µg/day
Data from Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zeland (2014)

Will I get too much iodine from eating seaweed?

Seaweed is known as a nutritious super food, an excellent natural source for iodine! A serve (2.5g) of Alg Rainbow Seaweed Flakes provides 279µg of iodine, about 186% the recommended daily intake (RDI), while 2g of Alg Seaweed Tasmanian Wakame provides 86µg iodine meeting 57% of the iodine RDI. Wanting something sweet? Every bar (4 bites) of our Rainbow Seaweed Seedy Bites provides 60% of the iodine RDI.

Excessing the recommended daily intake for iodine is generally safe for healthy individuals according to previous research. However, the suggested upper limit of iodine intake per day is 1100 µg. Exposure to more than 1100 µg iodine every day for a long term might result in some thyroid symptoms. A sprinkle of Alg seaweed a day provides iodine way below the upper limit, which is safe to eat for most healthy individuals including children. With the varied iodine content of different seaweeds, the upper limit and potential harm of excessive consumption of iodine in mind, all Alg Seaweed formulations are carefully designed and tested to ensure safety. However, if you have any concerns about your iodine requirements and the consumption of seaweed, please discuss this with your health professionals.

Fun Fact: Iodine intake in Japanese diet

Japan is the country eating most seaweed every year, from having kelp in miso soup, nori on sushi, and seaweed flakes and sheets in ramen. It was estimated that Japanese has an average daily iodine intake of 1,000 to 3,000 µg a day! While genetics may also play a part in high iodine tolerance but as you can see, a high amount is tolerated by most Japanese. We are not suggesting you should be ingesting iodine in such quantity, sticking to just a sprinkle of seaweed and enjoy a range of iodine containing foods every day could bring the appetising flavour and health benefits to your family safely.

Written by: Sarah Leung