Does Iodine Help with Weight Loss?

Various strategies and supplements have been explored in the quest for achieving weight loss. An interesting element that has gained some attention recently is Iodine. This is a fairly new find, so naturally, I have been targeted with questions surrounding the possibility that it could support weight loss. Below I break down the basics and science to see whether Iodine truly holds the key to shedding unwanted pounds or if it is simply another health myth.

Key Findings

  • Ideal Iodine levels support better thyroid functioning.
  • Fat burning isn’t one of the stated functions of Iodine.
  • Studies show that low Iodine levels can slow down metabolisms and calorie burns, but there is no direct link between Iodine supplementation and weight loss.

What is Iodine and its Primary Role in the Body?

Iodine is a fascinating element that plays a crucial role in our bodies. It's a shiny, purple-black mineral that naturally occurs in the Earth's crust and can be found in various places, such as oceans and soil. Our bodies don’t naturally produce this mineral, so like some other elements with nutritional value, we have to consume it.

But why should we? What makes Iodine so special? Well, for one, the element plays an important role in thyroid functions. It helps the gland produce hormones that help regulate your metabolism, a process that converts food into energy. When your body has enough Iodine, your thyroid can produce the right amount of hormones to keep your energy levels in balance, which is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and overall well-being.

So, the thought that Iodine supplementation can help with weight loss may be possible. But here's the thing: while Iodine does influence two processes (energy and metabolism) that can stimulate fat elimination, too much or too little can cause health issues, which means weight loss may not be on the cards. 

The Concept of Iodine for Weight Loss Explained

Iodine influences thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which regulate metabolisms. These hormones control how efficiently your body uses calories and converts them into energy. Adequate Iodine levels support the production and function of thyroid hormones, helping to maintain a healthy metabolic rate.

A properly functioning metabolism can increase the rate at which your body burns calories and helps the body become more efficient at converting food into energy, preventing excess calories from being stored as fat. This can lead to a more balanced energy equation, where you consume fewer calories than you burn, resulting in weight loss. 

A higher metabolism can also improve your energy levels, allowing you to engage in more physical activity and burn even more calories. When your energy levels are higher, you're more likely to feel motivated to exercise and make healthier food choices, further supporting weight loss efforts.

Together these effects synergistically contribute to a more successful weight loss journey. This clarifies why some may believe or give supplementation the green light, but science may not agree as few trials confirm success.

Fighting the Fat with Iodine, What Does Science Say

While Iodine is undeniably essential for thyroid function, the link between Iodine and weight loss is vague and virtually non-existent. I can see why some might believe Iodine to be useful in weight loss since it influences hormones that control the speed of our metabolisms which can cause the body to burn fewer calories, causing calories from the foods you consume to be stored as fat rather than burnt as energy. 

Some suggest adding more Iodine to your diet may help boost slow metabolisms, which can help with weight loss, but I haven’t found any evidence fully supporting this. The only study I found relating to weight loss and Iodine is one from PubMed. 

The study investigated the effect of constant Iodine intake in patients with hypothyroidism. Already the parameters are clear as we aren’t looking at a widespread study involving varied individuals, we are looking at a particular group. This means that the results from the study will not irrefutably prove the possible effect of Iodine intake on weight.

The study noted that the patients presented positive results: increased thyroid-stimulating hormone and cholesterol levels and significantly improved weight and body volume. Body mass indexes fell from 30.13 to 28.5 kg, the trial demonstrated that a constant Iodine intake for this specific patient group was effective for weight loss.

However, there was no data demonstrating the effect that continuous Iodine supplementation might have on the average Joe or Jane that doesn’t suffer from an Iodine deficiency, and as I mentioned earlier, due to the patient group, we cannot consider this solid proof. 

The result of continuous Iodine supplementation in a normal user group or those with other underlying health issues is unpredictable, may induce unwanted side effects, or be completely ineffective, which is why it cannot be used as a weight loss aid.


While Iodine can help thyroid function, no evidence supports its direct role in weight loss. In my opinion, iodine supplementation will not help shift you into fat-burning mode simply because it doesn’t directly trigger or support any fat-burning processes. If you hop on the net, you will see a lot of sites saying the opposite, but the science balancing efficacy with safety isn’t present, and from a bird's eye view, it sits as another weight loss trend.

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About the Author

Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

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