by Jack Norris, RD
We have extensively updated our page on Iodine.
In researching issues surrounding the recent EPIC-Oxford bone fracture study that found vegans to have a higher rate of fracture (Tong, 2020), I came across a serious researcher who suggested that the poor iodine status of vegans could be playing a role in the higher fracture rates.
Information on the iodine status of vegans has trickled out over the years, with many studies being released more recently. It was time to take a less piecemeal approach to the subject and instead commit to a thorough review. In so doing, it became apparent that urinary iodine concentration (UIC), the main measurement used to determine the iodine status of a population, has been applied to adult vegans in ways that are questionably relevant and have likely exaggerated the iodine status of vegans as a group.
This doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible for an individual to fall short of iodine recommendations. Our previous recommendation was to consume at least half of the RDA through supplemental sources. But since it’s not clear what percentage of the RDA can be supplied by food, we’ve increased our recommendations to suggest that vegans should meet the entire RDA for iodine through non-food sources which include supplements and iodized salt.
If the subject of iodine and vegetarian or vegan diets interests you, I hope you’ll give the article a look: Iodine.
Tong TYN, Appleby PN, Armstrong MEG, Fensom GK, Knuppel A, Papier K, Perez-Cornago A, Travis RC, Key TJ. Vegetarian and vegan diets and risks of total and site-specific fractures: results from the prospective EPIC-Oxford study. BMC Med. 2020 Nov 23;18(1):353.