Iodine is a trace mineral required for proper thyroid function; iodine is a component of thyroid hormones, and crucial for brain and nervous system development. The primary source of iodine in the American diet is iodized salt, and diets that exclude or minimize salt are likely to be low in iodine. On the other hand, regular consumption of seaweed or sea vegetables (such as kelp), may provide an excessive amount of iodine; too much iodine can also negatively affect thyroid function. Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding salt and supplementing with iodine to achieve adequacy.
To assure that your iodine levels are in a favorable range, not inadequate or excessive, you can test your iodine levels at home. ZRT Laboratory’s Iodine Test measures iodine from two dried urine samples to evaluate iodine status. Collecting and shipping the samples is simple and convenient – the two urine samples are dried on filter paper, and the filter paper is shipped to the laboratory.
To receive your test results, use the included UPS pre-paid pouch to return your specimen, and Dr. Fuhrman's medical office will contact you with the results.
This test is not available to residents of the state of New York, Maryland, California or outside the U.S.
To increase the accuracy of this test, it is necessary to follow your usual diet and supplemental regimen for days before the test, and not to eat a high iodine seaweed or seafood the day prior to testing. The test should be done exactly according to instructions: the first urine sample should be taken fasting, first thing upon awakening, and then the second before going to sleep at night.
If the iodine results are low, please note it still is NOT recommended to consume high and potentially harmful amounts of iodine. Recommended levels of supplementation would be between 150 and 300 mcg/day. For someone with high iodine results, the recommendation would be to reduce or eliminate high iodine seaweed and seafood, all iodinated salt, and not consume more than the 150 mcg/day RDA for iodine.