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Rob (PHH)

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Iodine is a trace element that is naturally present in some foods. It is necessary for humans to intake iodine as we cannot produce it, yet it is used by our thyroid to make specific thyroid hormones that help to keep cells and cell metabolism working in a healthy way, as well as being crucial for the growth and development of fetuses and children. Iodine is an ingredient in many supplements, including ones touted as hair-loss supplements.

Key insights:

  • There is some evidence in horses that had undergone hair follicle growth arrest, that supplementation of feed with vitamins, iodine, cobalt, and selenium (for around ~6 months) prevented recurrence the next winter, however, it’s not possible to know if this is due to the iodine or some of the other ingredients.
  • Lack of iodine can contribute to hypothyroidism (low thyroid activity) of which one of the symptoms can be hair loss, however for this to occur, you would have to consume less than 10-20 micrograms of iodine per day, which is less than 15% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
  • Perhaps paradoxically, overconsumption of iodine may also lead to hypothyroidism, as well as hyperthyroidism, so it is best to be aware of how much iodine is being consumed with supplementation in addition to what you are getting in your diet.
  • There does not appear to be any in vitro or in vivo evidence to suggest that iodine supplementation may improve hair loss outcomes therefore it may be beneficial to avoid iodine supplementation and instead look to gain iodine from food sources.
  • Our experience tracking members: iodine by itself is not enough to improve hair loss outcomes.
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