Iodine and TSH
My TSH level has raised. In the last year I have been eating a mostly vegan diet and also started using sea salt. Ive read about an Iodine deficiency causing this problem, what is the best solution?
Iodine is a mineral which helps to regulate thyroid function. A deficiency in this hormone can cause health complications relating to the cardiovascular system, hair skin and nails, metabolism, hormone production, nervous system and immune system. Approximately 30% of dietary Iodine is absorbed into the bloodstream, via the stomach, and is sent to the thyroid as this gland requires it for self regulation and hormone production. It is approximated that about 75mcg of Iodine is utilized daily for the production of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). Excess amounts are sent to the kidneys for filtering and eliminated via the urine. Iodine should ideally be consumed regularly as it is not held in the body or stored for long periods of time.
Iodine and the thyroid gland
The recommended daily intakes for Iodine are between 90mcg and 150mcg. Obviously if you are deficient in this important mineral you may take higher amounts. Iodine is a mineral which means that it will slowly build up its levels in the body overtime.
Iodine and its effect on hormones
Iodine stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland and this hormone signals the thyroid gland to make and release the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). If TSH levels are high it may be due to a feedback system that reads the T3 and T4 levels as being low and tells the Pituitary Gland to produce more TSH due to a deficiency of thyroid hormones. Taking supplemental Iodine may be of benefit to raise thyroid hormone production by stimulating the thyroid to produce them as well as helping feedback to the Pituitary and Hypothalamus glands to better regulate the blood levels of these hormones. A blood test reading of high thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH ) levels is generally indicative of an underactive thyroid gland which may be due to thyroid dysfunction (thyroiditis, Hashimotos Disease, thyroid removal).
Iodine rich foods
The following are a list of foods which contain Iodine (approx. mcg of Iodine per 100 grams)
- Dairy Foods: Cheddar Cheese 50, Milk 7, Butter 9 - 35
- Eggs: Chicken eggs 14 - 53
- Fruit: Pineapple 16
- Meats: Pork 10, Liver (beef) 19
- Mineral Foods: Table Salt 40, Sea Salt 4
- Nuts: Peanuts 11
- Seafood: Haddock 62-120, Herring 24, Whiting 65-361, Cod 100, Clams 90, Salmon 50, Sardines 30, Tuna (canned) 16
- Sea Vegetables: Kelp 535, Bladderwrack, Wakame
- Vegetables: Onions, Spinach 9, Tomato, Carrot, Garlic, Lettuce 10
Sulphuric compounds such as the isothiocyanates found in cabbages, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower may interfere with the uptake of the mineral Iodine.