Iodine - Everybody's Supplement
There's a lot to know about Iodine and, fortunately, there's a lot of research being done lately. We are likely to associate it with table salt and thyroid conditions. But there's a lot more to it. Just about everyone should be supplementing their diet with this inexpensive mineral to maintain or even restore their health.
Many people believe that they ingest enough iodine by using iodized table salt. There are some problems with that idea, though. First, we've generally cut down on salt use thinking that it was unhealthy. There are some that use no salt at all. Second, the iodine in the salt breaks down very quickly and is non-existent long before you even have a chance to buy it and bring it home. Third, table salt is the waste product of mineral mining. After the profitable minerals have been extracted and sold, the waste product is sodium chloride. But, because it clumps due to attracting moisture, some things are added to prevent this. Things like:
sodium ferrocyanide (yes, as in cyanide the poison)
dextrose (as in sugar)
Did you know that most Americans have aluminum toxicity and that it has been strongly linked to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and dementia?
Hmmm. Maybe there's a good reason not to eat table salt. There are some really good sea salts (not all are good) that provide a nice mix of other minerals besides sodium which the body needs. High blood pressure is another subject...
Deficiency is associated with both hypo and hyperthyroidism (goiter), both having symptoms like extreme fatigue, fuzzy-headedness, hair loss, memory problems, and unexplained weight gain or loss. This has been known for a long time, and explains the increasing numbers of people taking Levoxyl or Synthroid, synthetic thyroid hormones. Once you've been taking one of these prescription drugs for awhile, you usually can't stop because any thyroid function you had will have shut down. It may be possible to turn it back on, that is if you haven't been talked into having your thyroid removed or destroyed by radiation. While that may be what needs to be done for some, these procedures are becoming increasingly common and may not be necessary. Thyroid cancer is being diagnosed a lot more in recent years, not because it's more common, but because the diagnostic procedures are more sophisticated. In fact, there's no proof that there's been any increase in incidence at all!
The newer news is that deficiency is now being associated with breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate disease, heart disease, and type II diabetes. In addition, it's related to respiratory conditions like sinusitis, bronchitis, and asthma. Some of these conditions also have a link to vitamin D deficiency, another hot topic.
Breast cysts have been known to disappear within weeks or even days of beginning supplementation. Other conditions vary as to how quickly they clear up.
More Iodine Research
It's interesting that some of the symptoms that are related to deficiency are also attributed to bromine and chlorine toxicity. Anyone familiar with a periodic table of elements recognizes the halogen family, with flourine, chlorine, and bromine being smaller and lighter in weight than iodine. Most of us believe that we need flourine to make our teeth hard and chlorine to sanitize our drinking water. Both of those concepts are questionable. But, worse, there is no known human need for bromine, but our toxicity is increasing at an alarming rate. Bromine and chlorine are used in swimming pools and hot tubs to disinfect the water (what about UV lights?). They're also used in making plastics (that degrade when used with food, especially if they're microwaved) and in any of the many fake scents we're bombarded with daily. Like room spray, soap, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, deodorant, hair products, dryer sheets, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, etc, etc.
Bromine is also used as a flame retardent. Brominated vegetable oil is used as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored soft drinks such as Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Powerade, Mello Yello, Pineapple and Orange Fanta, Sun Drop, Squirt and Fresca to help natural fat-soluble citrus flavors stay suspended in the drink and to produce a cloudy appearance.
Chlorine has been linked to high blood pressure, anemia and diabetes and is a contributor to heart disease. Even in the minute quantity, sufficient to kill germs, chlorine undermines the body's defences against atherosclerosis - the hardening and thickening of the arteries. The EPA knows that the halogen compounds in our drinking water are linked to cancer. Clorine also seems to be linked to serotonin levels. Pretty scary stuff.
Bromine Toxicity from a Chemical Standpoint
So, we're putting a considerable amount of fluorine, chlorine, and bromine into our bodies. So what? Well, because they're smaller, they slip into the halogen receptors that iodine should be occupying and funny things start to happen.
The newer research suggests that these elements are not so easy to displace and larger amounts of iodine are required. While Lugol's solution and seaweed are also choices, I prefer the easier to dose and easier to take supplements. There are a couple of choices, but the higher dose of Iodoral is usually my first choice. Sometimes patients need to work up to a full dose and need to be monitored because the symptoms of bromine toxicity can worsen while the body is clearing.
So, this is one of the top three supplements that I use. Multiple vitamins may be used to help maintain your health (if you use a very high quality one), but the patients I see need their health improved. So I rarely use multiple vitamins. I prefer to help the body fix the problems, then see if it needs any more help.
Return to Health Care