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Can I Eat Seaweed If I Have Hyperthyroidism?

By Janet Renee, MS, RD

Your thyroid -- a small endocrine gland -- produces hormones necessary for growth and maintenance. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid produces more hormone than your body needs. If you have hyperthyroidism, you must be careful to avoid consuming too much iodine, a mineral your thyroid uses to produce thyroid hormones. Your physician can help determine whether you must limit seaweed consumption or avoid it altogether.

Seaweed Precaution

Seaweed is particularly rich in iodine, more so than other foods. While the content varies greatly, a serving of seaweed may contain more than 4,500 micrograms of iodine. Most diets supply less than 1,000 micrograms daily. The recommended intake for adults is 150 micrograms daily. Eating too much dietary iodine can cause your thyroid to produce too much hormone, according to the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. This can exacerbate your condition if you have hyperthyroidism. Only your doctor can determine how much, if any, seaweed is safe for you to eat.

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