A study in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that vegetarians are at increased risk for iodine deficiency that causes low thyroid function.

You need to eat foods that contain iodine for your body to be able to make thyroid hormone. The best sources are iodized salt and seafood. Plants can be a good source, but only if they are grown on iodine-rich soil. In this study, 25 percent of vegetarians and 80 percent of vegans had low blood levels of iodine, compared to only nine percent of people who eat both meat and vegetables. While iodized table salt is a good source of iodine, sea salt often is not. If you don't use table salt or eat ocean fish, dairy products or kelp, get a blood test for iodine. If your iodine level is low, you need to eat more sea food or iodized salt, or take iodine pills.

Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, Sept-Oct 2003.

Checked 2/3/13

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