increasing awareness of iodine deficiency, the potential for iodine toxicity,
particularly from sources containing seaweed, is less well recognised,
according to a case
in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Bronwyn Crawford and co-authors, including Dr Diana Learoyd, Associate
Professor at the University of Sydney, reviewed a series of cases of thyroid
dysfunction in adults associated with ingestion of a brand of soy milk
manufactured with seaweed.
series of thyroid dysfunction cases led to a national recall of the soy milk,
and the distributor agreed to voluntarily withdraw the product from sale in
brand of soy milk was fermented in seaweed, which is thought to improve the
flavour, and is promoted as having wide-ranging health benefits. The NSW Health
alert for the soy milk stated that, in a child, ingestion of only 5mL, and, in
an adult, only 30mL, would exceed the safe upper limit of iodine intake.
Learoyd said that iodine toxicity causes a spectrum of thyroid disorders,
ranging from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism.
iodine deficiency is a documented and serious concern in Australia, these cases
highlight the risks of excess iodine intake from dietary sources," Dr Learoyd
food industry is not strictly regulated, imported products are not usually
tested to confirm their contents, and contamination of food and drink is only
detected when unusual or severe clinical events ensue.
is a strong public health argument for monitoring iodine levels in imported
foods and commercially available seaweed preparations."
The Medical Journal of Australia
publication of the Australian Medical Association.