Summary

Iodine is a mineral that must be obtained in the diet. Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones, which regulate the body’s metabolism. Iodine deficiency results in hypothyroidism. Symptoms can include fatigue, depression, anxiety, brain fog, headaches, constipation, hair loss, weight gain, cold sensitivity, and goiter. Iodine deficiency in prenatal or early postnatal life can result in degrees of intellectual dysfunction and autism. Iodine deficiency is common in children with autism from some countries that do not add iodine to salt. Side effects are rare at usual doses used in supplementation.

Iodine in Spectrum Needs: Iodine is added in order to provide a wide basis of nutrition. Diets in children with autism are often deficient in essential nutrients. Side effects are unexpected.

The Details

What Is It? Iodine is a mineral that must be obtained in the diet.

What Does It Do? Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are major factors in regulating the body’s metabolism.

What Does Deficiency Appear as? Iodine deficiency results in hypothyroidism. Symptoms can include fatigue, depression, anxiety, brain fog, headaches, constipation, hair loss, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold temperatures. The thyroid gland may be enlarged causing a bulge in the neck called a goiter. Children born to mothers with iodine deficiency often have mental retardation. Iodine deficiency in early postnatal life can result in degrees of intellectual dysfunction and autism. Iodine deficiency is the number one cause of preventable intellectual disability worldwide.

What About Its Use in Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? Iodine deficiency is common in children with autism from some developing countries (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24120386), but is increasingly less common in many countries due to the addition of iodine to salt.

What About Its Use in Other Conditions? Iodine supplementation is used to prevent or treat hypothyroidism.

What Are the Common and/or Important Side Effects? Side effects are rare at usual doses used in supplementation.

Is There Any Laboratory Testing? Laboratory testing can reveal the presence of a deficiency of this nutrient. In particular, thyroid hormone testing can reveal hypothyroidism.

How and Why is this Nutrient Used in Spectrum Needs

Iodine is added to Spectrum Needs in order to provide a wide basis of nutrition. Diets in children with autism are often deficient in essential nutrients, and to promote excellent nutrition iodine is a component of Spectrum Needs at about the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Side effects are unexpected at the doses used in Spectrum Needs.