How Much Is Iodine In Spirulina?

  Reviewed
 by Dr. Steve Hruby
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby

I am a chiropractor, father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. Feeling good about yourself is a choice: My mission is to transform lives through optimized health and overall well-being.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’ve been called a Data Ninja, The Fact Checker, and a Human Search Engine. I’m an indie content curator who does research daily, and quizzes myself on the important issues of the day.

iodine in spirulina

Iodine is an essential component for proper thyroid function. Most people get enough iodine from their diet. However, some need to supplement with iodine in spirulina and rich suppliers like seaweed and fish. So, how much iodine is in spirulina?

One gram of spirulina powder contains about 5.0 micrograms (mcg) of iodine. This amount is relatively small but still makes spirulina an undismissable nutrient source. 

For comparison, one gram of iodized salt contains 45 mcg of iodine. So, spirulina is a much less concentrated source of iodine than salt. 

Many take several grams of spirulina, from three to ten grams. Hence, the superfood can provide you with at least 10% or more of your daily iodine demands.

But how much iodine is necessary, and how does it impact thyroid health? Is spirulina a suitable nutrient hub, or should you seek other supplements? Find that, plus more, below.

How Much Iodine Does Our Body Require?

The amount of iodine the body needs depends on age. For children aged 2-5 years, the recommended iodine intake is 90 micrograms (mcg) per day. 

At ages 6-9 years, the recommended intake is 120 mcg per day. People aged ten and older need 150 mcg per day.

Iodine requirements also depend on other factors, like pregnancy. Pregnant women need more iodine than women who aren’t expecting. Iodine is necessary to develop the baby’s brain and nervous system. Iodine needs for expectant mums are 220 mcg daily.

Breastfeeding women should also take more iodine. With the daily iodine demand for breastfeeding mums at 270-290 mcg, they have the highest needs. Iodine passes from the mother to the baby through breast milk.

Babies under a year tend to need much iodine at around 130 mcg above six months. Those under six months require about 110 mcg daily.

Iodine‘s Effect on Thyroid Disease

The thyroid gland needs iodine to make thyroid hormones. These hormones control metabolism, core temperature, blood pressure, and heart beat.

Iodine deficiency can cause goiter, a swelling of the thyroid gland. It can also lead to hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland makes insufficient thyroid hormone. 

drinking tea

Iodine deficiency is one of the leading drivers of preventable mental retardation. On the other hand, iodine sufficiency can help prevent certain types of cancer, like thyroid cancer.

Some say excess iodine promotes thyroid cancer, though recent evidence suggests otherwise.

However, too much iodine confuses the thyroid’s function leading to thyroid hormone overproduction. As a result, the Wolff-Chaikoff effect sets in, shooting down your thyroid hormone levels for a week.

Spirulina and Iodine

Does spirulina have iodine? Many confuse this nutrient-dense alga as seaweed, hence the tendency to believe in rich iodine reserves. However, spirulina, like other algae, often grows in low-iodine environments.

Natural spirulina isn’t an excellent iodine source, though it contains considerable amounts. So, how much iodine is in spirulina?

A three-gram spirulina dose supplies about 15 mcg of iodine, making that 10% of a regular adult’s needs.

However, some spirulina supplements may contain additives with high iodine levels. So, analyze the ingredient list if you’re not getting pure spirulina.

With these many benefits, is spirulina safe for thyroid patients? Based on previous research, the supplement may not interact with thyroid medication like levothyroxine. So, you can enjoy its health benefits without worrying about counterproductivity.

Those sensitive or allergic to iodine should keep off spirulina.

Who Should Not Take Spirulina?

Spirulina is generally considered safe for most takers. However, people with autoimmune diseases should avoid spirulina. Spirulina can cause the immune system to become more active, worsening autoimmune diseases.

Other users that should avoid spirulina are:

  • Those on blood-thinning treatments
  • Those with allergies to its ingredient like iodine
  • Those with Phenylketonuria
  • Those with bleeding problems

Is Spirulina Ok for Thyroid?

Spirulina is ok for thyroid health and boosts this in several ways. Besides iodine, spirulina contains tyrosine, an amino acid vital for thyroid hormone production.

woman with ponytail holding her throat

Spirulina heavy metal detox may help the liver, hence promoting thyroid function. The liver transforms the thyroid hormone T4 to the activated T3 form. T3 is the hormone that is responsible for regulating metabolism.

A significant impactor on thyroid health is oxalate amount. As such, you may wonder: is spirulina high in oxalates? No. Since it has no oxalates, spirulina doesn’t impair the thyroid’s function with oxalate-related effects.

Is There Iodine in Chlorella?

There is iodine in chlorella, though less than that in spirulina. Chlorella supplies 2.0 mcg of iodine per gram which is around 40% of the concentration in spirulina.

Does Blue-Green Algae Have Iodine in It?

Blue-green algae have iodine in them. Cyanobacteria like spirulina contain trace iodine amounts. For example, a gram of spirulina supplies about 5.0 mcg of iodine.

Conclusion

Spirulina may not be the best choice if you are looking for food rich in iodine. Many foods contain more iodine, such as seaweed, fish, and dairy products.

However, spirulina is still a good source of iodine. It can be a helpful supplement for people who need to increase their iodine intake.

Provided consumption won’t risk you, you can exploit its many thyroid-enhancing nutrients. It detoxifies the body, builds it with proteins, aids in vascular regulation duties, and more.

So, check out our spirulina supplies, and let’s boost our thyroid health together.

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