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Supplement Forms/Alternate Names :

Elemental IodineIodide


Iodine is an essential nutrient. It is usually found in table salt. Iodine has been advised for pregnant women and people with thyroid problems. It has also been used to ease breast pain and for nutritional support. Iodine can be taken as a pill. It can also be applied to the skin to disinfect.


200 micrograms once daily

What Research Shows

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Preterm infants —unlikely to have benefit B1

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take iodine in small doses, but nausea and stomach upset may happen. Skin irritation is possible when it is put on the skin. High doses are likely unsafe.C1


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A. Pregnancy Support

A1. Zhou SJ, Anderson AJ, et al. Effect of iodine supplementation in pregnancy on child development and other clinical outcomes: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov;98(5):1241-1254.

A2. Harding KB, Peña-Rosas JP, et al. Iodine supplementation for women during the preconception pregnancy and postpartum period. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;3:CD011761.

A3. Farebrother J, Naude CE, et al. Effects of Iodized Salt and Iodine Supplements on Prenatal and Postnatal Growth: A Systematic Review. Adv Nutr. 2018 May 1;9(3):219-237.

B. Preterm Infants

B1. Walsh V, Brown JVE, et al. Iodine supplementation for the prevention of mortality and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Feb 26;2:CD005253.

C. Safety

C1. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002. Available at: www.nap.edu/books/0309072794/html/ . Accessed October 1, 2019.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/27/2020