The French Food Safety Authority, ANSES, advises to keep the intake of algae limited due to the presence of iodine. Nowadays algae have become increasingly popular for use in food and particularly food supplements which led the Authority to evaluate the potential excessive intake. Although data on the intake by the French population is not available to assess current exposure levels, the Authority based its assessment on parameters which currently limit the intake.
As a benchmark in the assessment, the French legal iodine limit of 150 micrograms in food supplements was considered together with the upper limit established by EFSA of 600 micrograms per day. The French Authority found that the consumption of foods together with foods supplements that are both made from algae creates a considerable risk to exceeding the upper intake levels for iodine.
Especially people with thyroid disorder, heart disease or kidney failure, people taking iodine or lithium containing medication and pregnant or breastfeeding women are recommended to avoid consumption of algae-based food and food supplements, without seeking medical advice.
The use of algae food supplements is neither recommended for addressing iodine deficiencies.
AVIS de l’Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail relatif au risque d’excès d’apport en iode lié à la consommation d’algues dans les denrées alimentaires - link