Are Vegans At Risk For Iodine Deficiency?

“Are Vegans at Risk
for Iodine Deficiency?” Adequate dietary iodine is required
for normal thyroid function. In fact, the two thyroid hormones
are named after how many iodine atoms they
contain: T3 and T4. Now, given that iodine is extensively
stored in the thyroid gland itself, it’s not something you
have to get every day, but your overall diet needs
to have some good source. Unfortunately, the common sources
aren’t particularly health-promoting: iodized salt, [and] dairy foods because iodine-based cleansers
like betadine are used to sanitize the udders, which results in some
iodine leaching into the milk. They also add iodine to cattle feed, and some commercial breads have
iodine-containing food additives. So if you put people on a paleo-type
diet and cut out dairy and table salt, they can develop an iodine deficiency,
even though they double their seafood intake, which
can also be a source. What about those switching to diets
centered around whole plant foods? They’re also cutting down
on ice cream and Wonder Bread, and if they’re not eating anything from
the sea—seaweed, sea vegetables— they can run into the same problem. Her parents reported striving to
feed her only the healthiest foods. The 3-year-old only got plant-based,
unsalted, unprocessed foods with no vitamin supplementation.
Now that could have been deadly. With no vitamin B12, those on strictly
plant-based diets can develop irreversible nerve damage, but
in this case, a goiter arose first due to inadequate iodine intake. Here’s another case of veganism
as a cause of iodine deficient hypothyroidism in a toddler after
weaning. Now before weaning, he was fine because his mother
kept taking her prenatal vitamins, which luckily contained iodine. Most vegetarians and vegans are
apparently unaware of the importance of iodine in pregnancy, just as clueless
as their omnivorous counterparts. The American Thyroid Association and
the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended that women even
just planning on getting pregnant should ingest a daily supplement that
contains 150 micrograms of iodine, yet only 60% of prenatal vitamins marketed
in the US contain this essential mineral. So, in spite of the recommendations,
about 40% lack it. Therefore, it’s extremely important that pregnant and
breastfeeding women read the labels to ensure they’re receiving
an adequate amount. Women of reproductive age have
an average iodine level of 110, which is fine for nonpregnant
individuals, but we’d really like to see at least
150 in pregnancy. It’s basically a 24-hour urine test,
in which iodine sufficiency is defined as 100 mcg/liter of pee in nonpregnant
adults, which your average vegan fails to reach in the largest study
done to date, out of Boston. The recommended average daily
intake is 150 mcg/day for most people, which you can get in like a
cup and a half of cow’s milk. Sadly, plant-based milks are
typically not fortified with iodine, averaging only about 3 mcg/cup.
In the largest systematic study to date, although many plant-based milks are
fortified with calcium, they only found just 3 of 47 fortified with iodine. Those that were had as much as cow’s
milk, but those that weren’t fell short. Plant-based milk companies brag about
enriching their milks with calcium, and often vitamin B12, D, and vitamin A,
but only rarely are attempts made to match the iodine content. The only reason cow’s milk has as
much as it does is that they enrich the feed, or it comes
dripping off their udders. So why don’t plant-milk
companies add iodine, too? I was told by a food scientist at
Silk that my carrageenan video played a role in them
switching to another thickener. Hopefully, they’ll see this video
and consider adding iodine, too, or some company will snatch at
the market advantage opportunity. The researchers conclude that individuals
who consume plant-based milks not fortified with iodine may be
at risk for iodine deficiency, unless they consume alternative
dietary iodine sources, the healthiest of which is sea
vegetables, which we’ll cover next.
Video source:–STpXU

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