American Thyroid Association (ATA) Issues Statement On The Potential Risks Of Excess Iodine Ingestion And Exposure

Falls Church, Virginia. June 5, 2013 – The American Thyroid Association today released a statement advising against the ingestion of iodine and kelp supplements containing in excess of 500 mcg iodine daily. Iodine is a micronutrient required for normal thyroid function. Adequate iodine intake is required for normal thyroid function. Ingestion of greater than 1,100 mcg of iodine per day (Tolerable Upper Limit for iodine) is not recommended and may cause thyroid dysfunction.

Recommended daily allowances for iodine intake are 150 mcg for non-pregnant adults. During pregnancy and lactation, higher iodine intakes of 220-250 mcg in pregnant women and 250-290 mcg in breastfeeding women in the U.S are encouraged. ATA recommends that women take multivitamins containing 150 mcg iodine daily in the form of potassium iodide (KI) during preconception, pregnancy, and lactation to meet these needs. “For other individuals, the U.S. diet generally contains enough iodine to meet nutritional needs, with common sources being iodized salt, dairy products, breads, and seafood.” says Angela Leung, MD, Chair of the ATA Public Health Committee and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. There are only a limited number of medical conditions in which the short-term use of high amounts of iodine is indicated.

The public is advised that many iodine, potassium iodide, and kelp supplements contain iodine in amounts that are up to several thousand times higher than the daily Tolerable Upper Limits for iodine. There is no known thyroid benefit of routine daily iodine doses in excess of the U.S. recommended daily allowance.

To access the statement in its entirety, visit

About the American Thyroid Association

The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading organization devoted to thyroid biology and to the prevention and treatment of thyroid disease through excellence in research, clinical care, education and public health. ATA is an international individual membership organization with over 1,600 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology and Clinical Thyroidology for Patients; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease. Visit for more information.

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