What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Iodine?

Your thyroid gland, located just above the middle of your collarbone, needs iodine to make thyroid hormone, which maintains normal metabolism in all cells of the body. Principally found in sea water, dietary iodine can be scarce in many inland areas, and deficiencies were common before iodine was added to table salt. Iodine deficiency causes enlargement of the thyroid, a condition known as goiter. However, if you are not deficient in iodine, taking extra iodine will not help your thyroid work better, and it might even cause problems.

For reasons that are not clear, supplementary iodine might also be helpful for cyclic mastalgia.

Iodine supplements have been proposed as a treatment for cyclic mastalgia . Cyclic mastalgia is characterized by breast pain and lumpiness that usually cycles in relation to the menstrual period. 1

Safety Issues

When taken at the recommended dosage, iodine and iodide are safe nutritional supplements. However, excessive doses of iodide can actually cause thyroid problems, including both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism . There is also a speculative link between excessive iodide intake and thyroid cancer. For these reasons, iodide intake above nutritional recommendations is not advised except under physician supervision.