Iodine & Shrimp

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Seafood can provide many important vitamins and minerals, including iodine. Iodine is important for the health of your thyroid and can be found in shrimp. If you have an iodine deficiency, eating iodine-rich foods may help to keep your thyroid functioning properly. However, eating more shrimp will not correct hypothyroidism due to other causes.

What Is Iodine?

Iodine is a mineral that is primarily needed for the body to make thyroid hormone. Your thyroid gland makes two different hormones, known as T3 and T4, that help control the rate at which your body burns energy. Increased levels of thyroid hormone cause your cells to burn more energy and generate more heat. A lack of thyroid hormone can cause you to feel sluggish, intolerant to cold and makes your skin dry and pale.

Iodine In Shrimp

Shrimp are a relatively good source of dietary iodine. On average, 3 ounces of shrimp contain 25 micrograms of iodine. One of the reasons why shrimp and other seafood is so high in iodine is that they absorb some of the iodine that is naturally present in seawater, causing the iodine to accumulate in their bodies. Seaweed also is rich in iodine.

Human Iodine Needs

If you do not get enough iodine, you will develop signs of hypothyroidism. Adolescents and adults need approximately 150 micrograms of iodine per day to keep their thyroid functioning properly. Children between the ages of 9 and 13 need 120 micrograms per day, and 90 micrograms per day is needed for children aged 1 through 8. Infants need more iodine than children, requiring 110 micrograms per day during the first six months of life and 130 micrograms per day for months 7 through 12.


Shrimp is an important food if you have an iodine deficiency, but deficiencies in this mineral are uncommon in the United States, as iodine is often added to table salt. Eating more iodine will not help you if you do not have an iodine deficiency, so talk to your doctor if you are concerned about an iodine deficiency. The maximum amount of iodine you should consume each day is 1,100 micrograms unless otherwise directed by your doctor.