PureSea®: Optimising cognitive performance for students

Cognitive function is undoubtedly important throughout life, but there are certain times when ensuring optimum mental performance is vital. Groups such as students, who need peak cognitive abilities to achieve success in their studies are a prime example. With a study of European students finding that nearly 40% of the participants were taking or had previously taken at least one food supplement,there is a market need for brain boosting supplements targeting this demographic. There are key nutrients, such as iodine, that are essential when optimising the brain’s capabilities to enhance memory, learning and focus.

What is Iodine

Iodine is an essential nutrient that the body cannot make, and so must be consumed regularly within the diet. Iodine is required for the normal functioning of the thyroid – a small butterfly shaped gland in the neck. Without iodine, the thyroid is unable to produce the thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), which are critical for the regulation of adult brain function.Ultimately, a diet lacking in iodine can result in hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), which can have negative impacts for neurological health and function.

Iodine deficiency

Despite its essential role for cognition, as well as multiple other aspects of health, iodine deficiency remains a major public health challenge - even in developed countries. In fact, the UK currently ranks seventh among the ten most iodine-deficient nations in the world.3 Furthermore, in 2021 the Iodine Global Network reported (from an EU funded study) that Europe is now an iodine deficient continent.4 On a global scale, the World Health Organisation have estimated that 1.9 billion people have an insufficient iodine intake across 47 countries, corresponding to 31% of the world’s population.5 Those following a more plant-based diet have been identified as particularly at risk of experiencing iodine deficiency.6

Dietary iodine

Good dietary sources of iodine are few and far between, exacerbating the deficiency issue. The main sources of iodine within the diet are white fish and dairy products, especially milk and yogurt. Generally, these food groups are not consumed in adequate amounts to reach the recommended daily intake of iodine, and the rise in plant-based diets is only worsening the risk of iodine deficiency. The only good natural and plant-based source of iodine is seaweed.

Iodine and cognition

Since the brain is a major target organ for thyroid hormones, iodine deficiency disorders such as hypothyroidism can have a significant impact on cognitive function. Hypothyroidism can affect various aspects of cognition, including areas which are vital for students hoping to reach their potential. Studies have reported the negative effects of hypothyroidism on general intelligence, attention, concentration and memory – with memory consistently being the most affected domain.7

PureSea® for cognitive performance

PureSea® gold-standard seaweed is a naturally good source of iodine, ideal for including in cognitive and brain health blends to allow for the use of relevant EU approved health claims around:

  • Cognitive function
  • Energy yielding metabolism
  • Nervous system

PureSea® is natural, plant-based, kosher, organic and allergen free. It’s also uniquely DNA authenticated and fully traceable, with every batch measured for iodine levels - evidencing safe and consistent results over many years of production.

Combining the essential nutrition of PureSea® with Vitamin B-complex, PureWay C® and Bacognize® provides a simple, caffeine-free formula, with additional EU approved health claims around:

  • Normal psychological function
  • Reduction of tiredness and fatigue

For more information, visit our dedicated PureSea® page or contact us.


(1) Sirico, F., Miressi, S., Castalso, C., Spera, R., Montagnani, S., Di Meglio, F. and Nurzynska, D. (2018) Habits and beliefs related to food supplements: Results of a survey among Italian students of different education fields and levels. PloS One, 13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29351568/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29351568/

(2) Schroeder, A.C. and Privalsky, M.L. (2014) Thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, in the brain. Frontiers in Endocrinology. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2014.00040/full

(3) The Lancet (2016). Iodine deficiency in the UK: grabbing the low hanging fruit. Diabetes & Endocrinology, 4(6) pp. 469.https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(16)30055-9/fulltext

(4) The Euthyroid Consortium (2018) The Krakow Declaration on Iodine: Tasks and responsibilities for prevention programs targeting iodine deficiency disorders. European Thyroid Journal.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30283738/

(5) Machamba, A.A.L., Azevedo, F.M., Candido, A.C., Macedo, M.d.S., Priore, S.E. and Franceschini, S.d.C.C. (2021) Assessment of the impact of salt iodisation programmes on urinary iodine concentrations and goitre rates: a systematic review. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2021/9971092/

(6) Weikert, C., Trefflich, I., Menzel, J., Obeid, R., Longree, A., Dierkes, J., Meyer, K., Herter-Aeberli, I., Mai, K., Stangl, G.I., Muller, S.M., Schwerdtle, T., Lampen, A. and Abraham, K. (2020). Vitamin and mineral status in a vegan diet. Deutsches Arzteblatt. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33161940/

(7) Samuels, M.H. (2014) Psychiatric and cognitive manifestations of hypothyroidism. Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, 21(5).https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4264616/