Seafood and iodine: an analysis of a medical myth

Allergy Asthma Proc. 2005 Nov-Dec;26(6):468-9.


There is a prevailing myth that iodine levels in seafood and seafood allergy are connected. Therefore, we designed a study to collect information about this misconception from patients referred to our pediatric allergy clinic because of suspected seafood allergy. We presented five questions to our patients, and the most surprising result was that the majority of them believe that iodine is linked to seafood allergy. As a result, many felt uneasy about the use of iodine radiocontrast media. A survey of iodine content in common foods showed that, although the iodine content of seafood is higher than nonseafood items, daily consumption of the latter is much greater and, therefore, any phobia about iodine in seafood is unfounded. We encourage strong public education about seafood allergy by allergy specialists.

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media / adverse effects
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / etiology*
  • Iodine / adverse effects*
  • Iodine / analysis
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Seafood / adverse effects*
  • Seafood / analysis


  • Contrast Media
  • Iodine