Is Iodine GOOD or BAD If Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusion around taking iodine when you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. So the question is often asked…is iodine is GOOD or BAD to take?

One of the biggest concerns I have is that some health websites advocate very high intake.

That can be problematic and let me explain further.

When it comes to taking iodine it really is about balanced intake as studies suggest those with Hashimoto’s may be sensitive to an elevated intake.

In short, taking mega-doses (several grams, for example) may pose a risk. For this reason, taking large doses is discouraged unless you are doing this under the supervision of a trained medical professional.

You see adverse effects are more likely with long-term high intake as too much iodine can easily trigger an autoimmune flare up. And as you may know, autoimmune tissue destruction is at an all-time high when there is a flare up.

What You Need To Know About Iodine

It’s true, iodine alone will not help heal an autoimmune hypothyroid disorder. Autoimmune hypothyroid disorders are complex and are triggered by a range of genetic, nutritional and environmental influences.  

However it’s important to remember iodine is vital to support day to day thyroid function. Here’s some more facts to help you make informed decisions about taking iodine:

  • The body does not make iodine. Consequently, this trace mineral must be derived from the diet, or from an iodine supplement.
  • Iodine supplements usually supply microgram, not large milligram quantities. It’s generally considered safe to take microgram amounts as recommended.
  • The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide important nutritional guidelines on how much iodine is safe to take. They advise that adults generally need 150 micrograms of iodine per day to support general health.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) recommend 250 mcg of iodine per day for pregnant women.
  • As a guide the NIH states the safe upper level of intake from all sources is 1,100 micrograms (1.1 mg) daily. Be aware you should avoid taking more than 1,100 micrograms per day without proper medical supervision.
  • Selenium is often recommended along with iodine. This trace mineral helps safeguard the thyroid from a potential autoimmune attack.

BOTTOM LINE: Iodine is one of the body’s vital nutrients. However, it’s about balanced intake as too much iodine can be detrimental. If you plan to take a thyroid supplement that contains iodine you should speak to your healthcare practitioner so you can discuss your specific nutritional needs.


Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide, 3rd ed. Iodine Monograph. Page 614-622. Churchill Livingstone. 2007.

Burgi, H. Iodine excess. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Feb;24(1):107-15.

Eastman CJ, Zimmermann MB. The Iodine Deficiency Disorders. [Updated 2018 Feb 6]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000. Available from:

Eschler DC, Hasham A, Tomer Y. Cutting edge: the etiology of autoimmune thyroid diseases. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2011;41(2):190–197.

Lacka K, Szeliga A. Significance of selenium in thyroid physiology and pathology. Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2015 Jun;38(228):348-53.

National Institutes of Health (NIH). Office of Dietary Supplements. USA. Iodine. Fact Sheet For Consumers. Updated: February 17, 2016. Link

Yaofu Fan, Shuhang Xu, Huifeng Zhang, et al. Selenium Supplementation for Autoimmune Thyroiditis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Endocrinol. 2014; 2014: 904573.

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