Iodine Depletion - Vitamin A

by Molly Nocerino
(Hinsdale, IL USA)

I have found that too much Vitamin A Palmitate can cause Iodine Depletion. Have you seen this effect? This is my theory:

o Foods and supplements containing high levels of Vitamin A Palmitate over stimulate the thyroid. When the thyroid is over stimulated, it uses up more iodine. If sufficient iodine is available in the diet to support the high level of thyroid activity, the result may actually be positive.

The thyroid in overdrive provides high levels of energy and clear thinking. If sufficient iodine is not available, iodine is depleted from stores in the body.

These stores include the thyroid, ovaries, breasts, prostate tissues, muscles, blood, skin, and sinus. As these stores become depleted, the body experiences a wide variety of side effects.

Early side effects are fatigue, dry skin, increased blood fats, brain fog, inability to sleep, hoarseness, and delayed reflexes. When iodine is deficient for several months, the thyroid gland enlarges, forming a goiter, as it attempts to capture more iodine for the production of thyroid hormones.

Iodine deficiency causes the same symptoms as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Once a person is severely iodine deficient, even moderate amounts of Vitamin A Palmitate (without sufficient iodine) can worsen symptoms.

o Single serving of many foods (cereals, energy bars, multi-vitamins, supplements) are fortified with 50 to 100% of the RDA of Vitamin A.

If these foods do not also contain enough iodine, depletion will occur. The amount of iodine in milk can vary greatly, ranging from 50 mcg to 160 mcg. Most milk is fortified with vitamin A palmitate and vitamin D. If the amount of iodine in your milk/diet doesn’t support the higher thyroid function caused by the vitamin A, iodine will be pulled from stores in your body.

 When my family was drinking Vitamin A&D milk with lots of iodine (OV Brand) they functioned well. Overall health improved, but were not able to build up iodine stores.

 When my family switched Vitamin A&D milk with low iodine (WF 365 brand), they began showing signs of iodine deficiency. Because iodine stores were already low, they became completely depleted in a few months.

 We have seen iodine depletion symptoms when taking Cod Liver Oil, Vitamin A & D supplement, multivitamins (with no iodine), eating protein bars (clif, Jenny Craig), and eating cereals fortified with Vitamin A Palmitate.

 I have only noticed this problem with Vitamin A Palmitate (added to foods). It would make sense that beta carotene does not cause this problem, because the body has to convert it to vitamin A and only does so when it needs it.

We have now switched to a whole milk that is hight in iodine and has no added vitamin A & D.

I feel like a million dollars. My two sons, who seem to have more severe iodine deficiency, are experiencing other side effects.

I am wondering if it is because they are also iron and vitamin D depleted.

I am now adding some 'Vitamin D milk' and this seems to be helping.

Any thoughts?


I hope you and your family are supplementing with iodine.

I have started supplementing my diet with whey protein isolate 90%. This is pure protein from milk and has a very nice flavor. You might try that instead of whole milk as an alternative.

I believe the Vitamin A is causing a problem because it is an artificial A.

Good luck.

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