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Iodine Foods

by SR

Sue's question...

Does jelly contain iodine?

Suzy's answer...

The simple answer to this question is that jelly is not generally considered a significant source of the trace mineral, iodine.

You probably know that iodine is important to the body since it forms part of hormones released by the thyroid that are necessary for proper growth, metabolism, body temperature regulation, reproduction, blood cell formation and muscle and nerve function. Iodine is particularly important during pregnancy, since a deficiency can inhibit fetal development.

In other words, without enough iodine you will not function properly or feel well. It is recommended that adults get 150 micrograms of iodine each day. (Notice that this amount is given in "micrograms" a very small measurement as opposed to milligrams or grams.)

Having said that, with the introduction of iodized salt into the food supply, there is a much lower incidence of iodine deficiency in developed countries. In fact, health experts in the U.S. have been concerned that, with the proliferation of fast foods and snack foods, many of which are salty, we may be getting too much of this mineral.

For this reason, in the U.S., processed foods are made with salt that is not iodized.

As with most nutrients, excessive intake of iodine is as bad as a deficiency and can wreck havoc with your thyroid. It is recommended that you not take in more than 1100 micrograms of iodine each day.

In addition to iodized salt, iodine foods include the following:

Seafood, including seaweed

Dairy products

Breads made with dough

Plant foods grown in iodine-rich soil

Animal products where the animal was fed iodine rich foods

The iodine content of a food depends largely on (1)where it was grown, (2)how it was handled and (3)whether iodized salt was used in its preparation.

Iodine deficiency symptoms include goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck) and cretinism (failure to develop) in newborns.

Symptoms of too much iodine in the diet include goiter and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

I hope this helps, Sue! Thanks for visiting our healthy eating website!

Suzy Staywell

Nutrition page


When there is not enough iodine in the bloodstream, the body reacts by enlarging the thyroid gland. If the iodine deficiency continues, it could result in a condition referred to as “goiter,” in which the thyroid becomes so larges that it shows up as a bulge on the neck,under the chin. This condition is fairly common in areas of the world where iodine is not readily available in the soil, such as mountainous areas of South America and river valleys in Asia.


If severe iodine deficiency occurs during pregnancy, it can result in a tragically irreversible condition called “cretinism.” The infant suffering from cretinism will have severe physical and mental retardation.

Too much iodine is also possible

An excess of iodine, oddly enough can lead to some of the same problems as a deficiency of iodine. In either case, the thyroid does not function properly, leading to possible enlargement and to developing goiter. Iodine toxicity is rare and usually associated with supplementation.

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