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Over 35% Of The Global Population Is Deficient In Iodine, New Research Reveals

woman harvesting carrots with child
Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy
October 15, 2022

Historically speaking, iodine deficiency hasn't been a major concern in the U.S. (or other developed countries) for quite some time. This is largely thanks to salt fortification practices, which started in the U.S. in the 1920s and expanded on a global scale in the '90s.

However, thanks to changing dietary patterns (i.e., a shift toward plant-based diets) and conventional farming practices (which deplete soil of essential minerals), a recent 1Nutrients1 review1 reveals that iodine nutrition is an increasing concern in industrialized countries. In fact, the article reports that a whopping 35 to 45% of the world's population is iodine deficient, with 30% of the population insufficient.

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So, why is this relevant to our health? And how do we ensure we get enough iodine on a daily basis?

Why is iodine important?

Iodine is an essential trace mineral, which means the human body can't make it on its own and we need to consume enough from our diet and supplementation.

As a critical component of thyroid hormones T4 and T3, this all-important mineral is vital for not only hormone health, but liver, kidney, muscle, blood sugar balance2, and brain function as well. In fact, the thyroid gland is home to 70 to 80% of the body's iodine1 in a healthy adult.

Iodine via the thyroid gland also helps regulate overall metabolism and is crucial for healthy fetal neurodevelopment during pregnancy.

While iodine may not be as buzzy a mineral as, say, zinc or iron, its health benefits are vast and undeniably important.

How to get enough iodine.

While this essential mineral can be found in sea vegetables (e.g., seaweed, kelp, chlorella, spirulina), most iodine-rich foods come from animal sources—like fish, shrimp, dairy products, and eggs. This makes iodine especially difficult for plant-based folks to get enough of.

A simple solution? Taking a comprehensive, vegan multi—like mbg's ultimate multivitamin+.

But take note: Not all vegan multis are created equal, and many formulas don't contain this critical mineral. ultimate multivitamin+ delivers 100% of the National Academies' recommended daily allowance3 (RDA) of iodine for adults, so you can rest assured that you're supporting your thyroid, reproductive, muscle, cognitive, and whole-body health on a daily basis.* 

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The takeaway.

A new Nutrients review reports that 35 to 45% of the world population1 is deficient in iodine—an essential trace mineral that supports thyroid health, brain function, and more. This is especially concerning for plant-based folks, considering most iodine-rich foods come from animal sources.

A comprehensive multi that contains a rich source of iodine (like mbg's ultimate multivitamin+) is an easy way to ensure you're getting enough of this critical mineral each day.

To make sure you're addressing all your nutritional needs on a plant-based diet, check out mindbodygreen's list of best vegan multivitamins. (Hint: Almost all multis included deliver a healthy dose of iodine!)

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.