Latest research has found that thyroid cancer patients can achieve better results with Radio Active Iodine (RAI) Therapy if they take a low iodine diet. A study was conducted in two groups of patients with differentiated thyroid cancers who had undergone total thyroidectomy (surgical removal of the thyroid gland) and were on routine RAI therapy. One group followed the low iodine diet and the other the normal diet. It was observed that in low iodine group the 24-hour urinary iodide excretion was decreased to 26.6 micro g as compared to 158.8 micro g in the normal diet group. Also in the low iodine group, the radio iodine uptake by the remaining thyroid tissue was increased by 65%. This study shows that taking a low iodine diet improves the efficacy of RAI treatment.

Therefore it is advisable that all thyroid cancer patients on RAI treatment should take a diet low in iodine. Avoid the following foods prior to the radio iodine active test and until the completion of RAI treatment: iodized salt, sea food, milk and dairy products (such as cheese, butter, yogurt, ice-cream), eggs, bread products that contain iodate dough conditioners, chocolate, molasses, soy and soy products (such as tofu, soy milk, soy sauce), foods and medications that contain red food dyes (the specific bad red dye erythrosine).