UKC Forum Member
Registered: Dec 2006
Originally posted by Pat Bizich
So after years of discussion on this issue I'd say it comes down to a couple things we need to really focus on.
1. Genetic Hypothyroidism
2. Dietary Induced Hypothyroidism - ie. Iodine deficiency/excess, toxins
3. Euthyroid Sick Syndrome - ie. Tick Born Illness and others
These are the same conclusions I have made.
I have a difference of opinion though on the surge beginning with the grain free diet push.
I am going to repost something that AAFCO did that gave the go ahead to the increasing of Iodine in our dogs feed.
Pay particular attention that these increases were done without any study of consequences on our dogs health .
They were adopted from the FEDIAF, the equivalent of AAFCO in Europe. AND Europe had problems with Thyroid dogs before the US did.
Pay attention to the amount that the increases were and the year it was done.
One other thing I have railed against and that is FISHMEAL.
It has iodine levels that vary from batch to batch.
IT HAS NEVER, NEVER, NEVER , EVER BEEN APPROVED FOR LONG TERM USE IN COMPANION ANIMALS FEED!!!
Check your feed for added kelp products .
Now a lot of what I am going to post had been copied and pasted to my folders so I no longer can give credit of where I found it.BUMMER I had a bunch of links to medical journels I checked after posting that no longer are valid that backed a lot of what I have posted here.
The 2006 NRC RA for iodine in dog foods is 0.88 mg/kg DM. The FEDIAF
Guideline concentrations range from 0.9 to 1.5 mg/kg DM. In considering the basis for
these various recommended concentrations the 2007 CNES felt a recommended
minimum concentration of 1.0 mg/kg to be prudent and adequate to support adult
maintenance as well as growth and reproduction.
The 2007 CNES revised the maximum concentration for iodine based on the
following considerations. Although neither the 2005 Mineral Tolerances for Animals
nor the 2006 Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats established a tolerance or SUL
for iodine in diets for dogs, both publications cite data that indicate a commercial
formulation containing 5.6 mg iodine/kg diet had adverse effects on thyroid
2008 FEDIAF Guidelines indicate a maximum concentration for iodine of 11 mg/kg
The tolerances for iodine in the 2005 Mineral Tolerances of
Animals that have been established for various species range from 5 mg/kg DM in diets
for horses to 400 mg/kg DM in diets for swine. Given that the NRC tolerance for
horses is 10 times less than the general maximum concentration of 50 mg iodine/kg
DM recommended by AAFCO, the 2007 CNES felt the value of 50 mg/kg DM to no
longer be appropriate for setting a maximum concentration for iodine in dog foods.
The 2007 CNES acknowledges that additional studies may allow further refinement of
a maximum amount of iodine in foods for dogs, but until such data are available the
CNES felt it prudent to adopt the FEDIAF position and set 11 mg iodine per kg DM as
the maximum concentration of iodine in dog foods.
Excess Iodine implicated in Thyroid disease: RDA's for Iodine in Dogs ...are they too high?
I raise this important topic for 4 reasons:
1) I recently proved that one of my dogs had suffered needlessly for more than 2 years due to a diet induced case of hypothyroidism(documented here at OurDogsOnline.com). This was the second dog (different breeds) of mine in the last 5 years that had been diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease.
2) I have noticed that thyroid disease (and associated symptomatic conditions) is one of the most common ailments reported on-line.
3) The National Research Council's RDA with respect to iodine (approx 300 mcg for a 50 lb adult dog) is more than triple the human RDA (approx 100 mcg) for an adult human weighing 3 times as much ... so potentially 9 times greater on the basis of weight alone.
4) Lastly, I have noticed that many commercial dog foods include kelp or seaweed as a key ingredient, often in unspecified quantities. One gram of kelp of the species Laminaria digitata contains approximately 5mg of iodine. The iodine content in 17 different kelp supplements studied by one group of researchers varied from 45 to 57,000 mcg per tablet or capsule!(1) Further many home-made dog food recipes seem to include kelp as a necessary dietary component of well-being ...why else would they call it "healthy powder"?
With the increasing number of both dogs being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and the hype around the benefits of kelp, I feel it necessary to ask the question -- are we putting too much iodine in their diet?
Some facts and scientfic studies that suggest yes -- we may be ingesting too much iodine in both our own and in our pets' diet...
In humans, the RDA for iodine is approx 40 to 200 mcg per day (Source 1). Most nutrtional experts use 100 mcg of iodine per day as a target RDA.
One gram of kelp of the species Laminaria digitata contains approximately 5mg (5000 mcg) of iodine (Source 1) -- ie. 50x the upper limit RDA.
In Canada and the US table salt is iodized at a rate of 100 ppm. So 1 gram of salt contains 100 mcg of iodine (approx. the RDA for most adults). One teaspoon of iodized salt contains 400 mcg of iodine.
Iodine is considered to be an important environmental agent known to increase the risk of thyroid autoimmunity. Too much iodine or too little iodine can have very consequential effects on thyroid function. Several studies support a role for iodine in the initiation and promotion of auto-immune thyroid disease.The well known side effects of iodine include iodine induced hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. It has been shown that the introduction of iodine in a previously iodine deficient population may precipitate the emergence of thyroid autoimmunity. Thus, epidemiological studies have shown that appearance of thyroid autoantibodies has been associated with salt iodination in iodine-deficient regions. In addition, animal studies have confirmed that high iodine intake accelerates autoimmune thyroiditis in autoimmune-prone animal models. See Medical Journal Ref's (2), (3), (4).
The American Thyroid Association recommends that the low-iodine diet (used in the treatment of thyroid cancer patients) include less than 50 mcg of iodine per day. (Source 2) Besides iodized salt, the following food items contain copious amounts of iodine: seafood products, dairy products, egg yolks, baked products, red dye#3, molasses, soy products, some beans (red kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, and cowpeas), fresh meat, and some rices.
Kelp is a good source of bioavailable iodine. One gram of kelp of the species Laminaria digitata contains approximately 5mg of iodine.
Health Canada advises against use of SEAVITE products containing iodine
Health Canada is advising consumers not to use SEAVITE Premium Atlantic Kelp Blend and SEAVITE Premium Atlantic Kelp Tablets. These products, when consumed according to the instructions on the label can provide 25 times the recommended daily allowance (RDA) per day of iodine for adults; and could lead to serious adverse health consequences.
5000 mcg of Iodine in Maine Coast Sea Vegetables
Maine Coast Sea Vegetables offers two types of Kelp. Whole leaf kelp (Laminaria longicruris) has approximately 450 mcg. (micrograms or parts per million) iodine per gram. Our milled kelp (Laminaria digitata), sold in bulk and in our Sea Seasonings, has even higher amounts, about 5000 mcg. In comparison, Dulse contains 50 mcg per gram. These amounts are approximations as there is variation depending on season of harvest and the age of plant.
I am currently reviewing a signficant body of literature on the dark side to soybean of which many byproducts are used in pet foods. Soy has been purported to have a role in thyroid-related problems.
This past week a poster (who suffers from hypothyroidism) alerted me to its potential cause/effect relationship. So I did a bit of poking around in the medical journals and sure enough there was some compelling evidence that soy may be implicated in thyroid disfunction and immune disorders.
This general/layperson's article in Mother Jones (2004) encapsulates many of the more recent findings. It is also accompanied by a full set of references.
Wrt to iodine,(and other additives) the biggest problem is that the pet food companies do not disclose how much is alleged to be in the formulas, and even if they did they have an astoundingly bad track record for getting the quantities of food items wrong. Kelp, a huge source of iodine with great variabilty in iodine content, is routinely added to most dog foods now on top of calcium iodate. Check out these dog food comparisons. Most contain both kelp & calcium iodate!
What the hell is going on?? Who's designing this chow?? How many sources of iodine do we need? And who's measuring it?
5. Some additional links on iodine, hypothyroidism & testing
Canine Autoimmune Thyroid Disease And Symptoms
Iodine Induced Hypothyroidism
I agree that Kelp is one cause.
I have one dog with hypothyroidism, and buried another with hypothyroidism. They were both fed kibble containing kelp. The dog that is still living was put on a raw diet. Within several months, he had an intolerance to warmth and was panting. A blood draw indicated a lower dose of Soloxine thyroid hormone. He was put on once/day dosing instead of twice/day. The warmth intolerance stopped, as well as the panting.
Can I explain how a thyroid can start working somewhat properly again after changing the diet? No. But it happened. That's all the proof I needed to know that kelp should not be fed. Unfortunately, he was fed that kibble for 6 years, so some of the damage to the thyroid is permanent.
I think once humans intervene in what Nature provides for us and our animals, we're asking for trouble.
That is more or less the experience I have had with my little aussie. Sadly, I also had a previous dog (a springer spaniel) that suffered thru years of hypothroidism (I just didn't know enogh at the time) and finally died suddenly of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia -- all brought on by the s*** in the commercial feed.
I lose lots of sleep due to the guilt of blindly following my vet's advice about what to feed my dogs. Never again!
What feeds did your vet recommend for your dogs? What are you feeding now?
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