Dr. Lawrence Wilson states that kelp tablets are an excellent source of calcium and mercury-free iodine. Kelp also contains protein, soluble fiber, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, notes Dr. Wilson.
Kelp provides iodine, which is an essential mineral. The thyroid gland uses iodine to regulate the metabolism and the growth and development of the skeleton and brain, notes Mercola. A lack of iodine is associated with hypothyroidism, certain cancers, goiter, mental retardation and cretinism, adds Mercola.
The daily recommended amount of iodine is debated; however, Oregon's Wild Harvest lists the upper limit as 1,100 micrograms. The daily minimum is 150 micrograms. However, Dr. Jorge Flechas points out that this minimum is only meant to prevent goiter and does not sufficiently provide for the body's other needs.
Oregon's Wild Harvest warns that the amount of iodine in kelp tablets can vary year to year. Dr. Wilson recommends that adults start with 1,800 milligrams of kelp per day if they can tolerate it, decreasing or increasing that amount depending on their physical reactions. If itching, irritability, nausea or hair loss occur, decrease the dosage.
Some individuals are more sensitive to iodine than others. Children over the age of 5 can take 600 milligrams of kelp tablets daily. Infants, toddlers and children under 5 years of age are not generally thought to need iodine or kelp supplements.