Thyroid Disorders Community
26.1k Members
Avatar universal

Iodine, selenium, sea salt, hashimotos

I've read recently that iodine is not necessarily bad if you have hashis.  I found other articles that say too much iodine is the cause of many hashis  cases. Nothing better than getting feedback from those that are living with hashis. My questions are:

Should I not be using  regular iodized salt?
Will using uniodized sea salt be better than regular salt?
Do I need to be concerned at all with my salt/iodine intake as long as I'm taking 200 mg selenium now?
Are these articles about iodine mainly  referring to iodine supplements and not what a person consumes through diet?

I understand hypothyroidism is not necessarily hashimotos thyroiditis but quite frankly, my head is spinning right now. I don't want to aggravate my hashis  but on the other hand, maybe I'm overly concerned.  BTW, I am currently not taking any thyroid medicine.  Other than having difficulty losing weight, i feel good, thank God!  As always, I appreciate your feedback.   Rabbit

7 Responses
649848 tn?1534633700
I think you're being overly concerned...

There are articles that say some Hashimoto's is caused by too little iodine and that taking iodine supplements when you have Hashimoto's can make the autoimmune response worse... both of these ideas are controversial.

Certainly, not all hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto's and some hypothyroidism is caused by too little iodine. I've also read articles that say some people have Hashimoto's without having measurable antibody counts - that's also controversial.  

Iodized salt isn't going to hurt you, unless you're on a low/no salt diet, then any type of salt is bad for you.  

I'm not sure where you're getting the connection need to be concerned about iodine, as long as you're taking selenium... they're two different minerals.

Articles discussing iodine with Hashimoto's are concerned with supplementing iodine, not just what you're getting in the table salt you use.
Avatar universal
Thanks barb.  I think one of my problems is I tend to read and read and read all sorts of articles related to hashis.  There are some that are contradicting to each other.  It can be confusing and overwhelming.  I really appreciate your perspective!
1756321 tn?1547095325
Dr Jeffrey Dach has an three part article: Hashimotos, Selenium and Iodine.  This is an excerpt from part two...

"Selenium Protects the Thyroid Gland in Hashimoto’s

The answer is the role of selenium.  Selenium deficiency is the underlying prerequisite for iodine induced thyroid damage in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Selenium supplementation is protective and prevents thyroid damage from iodine.  Iodine opponents such as Dr K and Chris Kresser as well as the studies they quote tend to ignore the role of selenium.

Renato Iwakura Reviews the Literature

An excellent review of Iodine and Hashimoto’s can be found in a two part article by Mario Renato Iwakura, a Brazilian engineer and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patient who is intimately familiar with the hypothyroidism literature. (8-9) (see part one, see part two)

He concludes:

“A survey of the literature suggests that Hashimoto’s is largely unaffected by iodine intake. However, the literature may be distorted by three circumstances under which iodine increases may harm, and iodine restriction help  Hashimoto’s patients:

1. Selenium deficiency causes an intolerance of high iodine.

2. Iodine intake via seaweed is accompanied by thyrotoxic metals and halides.

3. Sudden increases in iodine can induce a reactive hypothyroidism.

All three of these negatives can be avoided by supplementing selenium along with iodine, using potassium iodide rather than seaweed as the source of iodine, and increasing iodine intake gradually.”  end quote Renato Iwakura.

Iwakura quotes animal studies which support his conclusion from Drs. Xu and Yang. (10-12)  In these studies,  animals (mice) were given varying amounts of iodine as well as varying amounts of selenium.  Dr Xu concludes in his 2011 report (10):

“Conclusion: Excess iodine intake can cause an autoimmune thyroiditis that bears all the characteristics of Hashimoto’s. However, in animal studies this occurs only if selenium is deficient or in excess. Similarly, in animal studies very high iodine intake can exacerbate a pre- existing autoimmune thyroiditis, but only if selenium is deficient or in excess. With optimal selenium status, thyroid follicles are healthy, goiter is eliminated, and autoimmune markers like Th1/Th2 ratio and CD4+/CD8+ ratio are normalized over a wide range of iodine intake. “(10)"
1756321 tn?1547095325
I don't take iodine supplements. I use a product called Saxa iodised sea salt (evaporated sea salt).  Saxa ads potassium iodate (iodine) to the salt crystals.  I find the flavour of sea salt superior to standard table salt.

Avatar universal
Thank you Red Star.  This is one of the articles I was referring to in my post. In this very article, one study can indicate iodine not adversely affecting hashis  and in another study, it does but selenium can off set the negative effects of iodine. I guess I'll continue with my selenium supplement and watch my salt intake (which is always a good idea) and not over do it.

I always joke with my husband that unfortunately, diet and exercise still is what all studies agree on to be healthier.  I'm still waiting for the couch potato/chocolate study!
649848 tn?1534633700
There is a lot of controversial information on the internet and we have to sift through it and not try to take it all literally... A single study doesn't make something a fact; the study may not have been large enough to take in enough people, it may not have been controlled well enough, etc, not to mention that results can often be skewed in various ways.  It often takes many studies and thousands of people to come up with a single result and even then, the subject may remain controversial.  

Just look at the use of TSH for diagnosis/treatment... Most studies show that it doesn't correlate, with either symptoms or actual thyroid hormones, yet other studies showed that it did and it continues to be used, in spite of the controversy.  

Chocolate is healthy, in moderation; recommendation is 1 oz/day of 70-80% cacao, not milk chocolate, which is NOT good for you.

I think being a couch potato will always be detrimental, but who knows??
Avatar universal
LOL - please let the rest of us know when they publish it. :)
Have an Answer?
Top Thyroid Answerers
649848 tn?1534633700
Avatar universal
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
We tapped the CDC for information on what you need to know about radiation exposure
Endocrinologist Mark Lupo, MD, answers 10 questions about thyroid disorders and how to treat them
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child