Q: I have hypothyroid – will iodine supplements help me lose weight?

Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function and metabolism, so this is an important supplement to take when you are trying to lose weight. Though you can get iodine from seafood and iodised salt, it is difficult to get an optimal level from food.

[Primer on thyroid tests]

The production of thyroid hormone needs tyrosine (that’s a part of protein) and iodine. Iodine is naturally available in sea vegetables, seaweed, fish. Your thyroid uses iodine to make thyroid hormones. If you don’t have enough, you don’t make enough hormone, resulting in hypothyroid symptoms. Iodine is added to factory-made foods such as breads, packaged foods, dairy and table salt. But if you are on an anti-inflammatory diet, you won’t be getting iodine through these sources. That definitely doesn’t mean you should start eating these foods. You can get a well-sourced supplement iodine if you have a deficiency and keep eating real food.

A urine test can determine if you are deficient in iodine. The optimal level is >100µg/L (urine test). If your iodine level is low, you need to get on a clean high-quality kelp iodine supplement that comes from waters with low levels of heavy metals. A daily dose of 800mcg-1000mcg iodine is good enough to boost thyroid function.

Iodine supplementation is just the tip of the iceberg – it is imperative to avoid gluten, dairy, sugar and other inflammatory foods, and include wholesome healing foods with the right type and quantity of fat for better hormone production. Along with this, add other essential micronutrients in the form of supplements to allow your thyroid to recover and function optimally.

Rashi Chowdhary is nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.