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Vigilance urged over seaweed supplement linked to excess iodine intake

Posted 24 August 2018

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) has warned at-risk populations of taking seaweed-based food supplements that could lead to excess iodine intake.

In an assessment carried out on iodine-containing seaweed consumption in France the Agency found iodine levels in seaweed-based products varied according to how the seaweed is produced and processed.

Iodine levels were also dependent on the type of seaweed-based preparation (powder, extract) used in food supplements.

“Regular excessive intake of iodine can cause thyroid dysfunctions as well as certain adverse effects, particularly cardiac or renal effects,“ANSES said.

“The Agency therefore advises against the consumption of food and food supplements containing seaweed by people with thyroid dysfunction, heart disease or kidney failure, those taking medication containing iodine or lithium and pregnant or breastfeeding women, without seeking medical advice.”

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