Long before we have our first date, we have attention on our breasts. We love them, we hate them. We want them bigger. We want them smaller. We wonder why guys stare at them. We wish they weren’t in our way. We are embarrassed by them. We flaunt them. No matter what we feel or think about our breasts… they also cause us the most fear when it comes to our health.
It’s interesting that we are more afraid of breast cancer than we are of heart disease, which is up to 10 times more likely to kill us. Yet fewer women develop breast cancer than ever before.
Cancer is NOT inevitable. It’s well understood in both the medical and holistic communities that cancer is mainly a “lifestyle” disease. It’s one that is DEVELOPED in the body due to unhealthy lifestyles, toxins, and imbalances.
Everything that we do from the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we lay our heads on the pillow at night contributes to the factors that can turn on or off the genetic switches that could lead to cancer. This includes what we eat, what we wear on our bodies, whether or not we exercise and avoid toxins and synthetic hormones.
What can you do to slash your chances of developing the disease?
- Ditch the underwire bra. Wearing tight fitting bras can but off the lymph drainage which can contribute to the development of breast cancer. After repeated bouts of inflammation, the breasts develop scar tissue in many places forming cysts. Fibrocystic breast disease is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables to decrease inflammation. Did you know that a vegetarian diet has been shown to decrease cancer rates by up to 75%?
- Balance your hormones and nutrients naturally. Ensure that your levels of Vitamin D3, Estradiol, DHEA, Progesterone are all optimal and use ONLY bio-identical hormones in replacement therapy. Iodine deficiency should also be considered. In clinical studies iodine deficient breast tissues show alterations in DNA and increases in estrogen circulation. Numerous studies show fibrocystic breast tissue can be reversed with iodine supplementation.
The necessity of iodine isn’t exclusive to the thyroid… the entire body needs it. You might say that your body requires iodine the way a car requires oil — it’s simply necessary for the entire system to function properly. Many people don’t realize that female breast tissue has a greater concentration of iodine and has a special need for iodine. When breast tissue has low iodine levels, health problems can follow.
I’ve heard that Iodine prevents breast cancer. Is this true?
We’ve seen a 30 fold increase in breast diseases in the last 50 years. Research does suggest that some breast cancers are linked to an iodine deficiency. It is a fact that as iodine consumption has gone down, breast cancer rates have gone up. It’s interesting to note that Japanese women consume 25X more dietary iodine than American women and have lower breast cancer rates.
Iodine has been determined to actually alter breast cancer associated gene expressions. It turns off cancer promoting genes and turns on genes that promote cancer cell apoptosis or cellular destruction. (http://www.medsci.org/v05p0189)
Another study proves that large iodine intake does not adversely affect thyroid hormone production or quality. The researchers did this to allay concerns in the medical profession about potential downsides for using iodine against breast cancer. Iodine, a well-known topical antiseptic and antimicrobial agent, also directly kills cancer cells and serves as the key player in our body’s surveillance system for removing abnormal pre-cancer cells. There is considerable medical research to support this statement. Dr. B.A. Eskin published 80 papers over 30 years researching iodine and breast cancer, and he reports that iodine deficiency causes breast cancer and thyroid cancer in humans and animals. Iodine deficiency is also known to cause a pre-cancerous condition called fibrocystic breast disease. Iodine supplementation which not only resolves breast cysts and fibrocystic breast disease, it also resolves ovarian cysts and thyroid cysts.
Can Iodine help with Breast Tenderness and/or Pain?
Often, when a woman has breast pain, she will be frightened and fear the worst. Thankfully, in most cases breast pain is benign and not a reason to panic. One study showed that breast pain alone is a symptom in only seven percent of women who had early-stage breast cancer, and another eight percent presented with both pain and a lump.1 That said, if you are concerned, see your health care provider.
Breast pain is caused by the fluctuation of fluids. During your menstrual cycle, there is a build-up of fluid in your uterus and your breasts due to inflammatory hormonal changes. When you get your period, some of this fluid leaves your body (when you menstruate). However, the fluid in other parts of your body, like in your breasts, has to be reabsorbed before it can be eliminated.
If you no longer menstruate, it’s still possible for inflammatory hormonal changes to affect your body. This could occur if you eat inflammatory foods, like highly-processed, chemical-laden, or high-glycemic foods. It also occurs when you’re under chronic stress for prolonged periods.
Daily iodine intake can help many women with breast pain. Research shows that those who take iodine in doses ranging from 6 mg to 90 mg per day feel healthier and have a greater sense of well-being. Taking iodine at these levels eliminates breast pain from fibrocystic changes about 70 percent of the time. In one recent study of women with breast pain, more than half of those who took 6 mg of iodine daily reported a significant reduction in overall breast pain.
Iodine decreases the ability of estrogen to adhere to estrogen receptors in the breast. This ties into the compelling evidence that iodine deficiency is a cause of breast cancer. The ductal cells of the breasts, those most likely to become cancerous, actually have an iodine pump in them, indicating that they have the ability to actively absorb iodine. Iodine taken in doses 100 times the RDA (which is only 100–150 mcg per day) has important benefits. These include its role as an antioxidant, in preventing and treating fibrocystic disease of the breast, and in preventing and treating breast cancer.
I have suggested iodine supplements for women with breast pain and saw excellent results, usually within only two weeks. I recommend a minimum of 12.5 mg/day to start and may have to build up to 50mg daily.
Let’s take a look at the top six things you need to know regarding iodine and its impact on breast health.
- Iodine Deficiency is a Problem
Iodine deficiency is a problem that affects up to 40% of the world’s population, including people in America. One of the primary causes is inadequate iodine intake. Food has been a source of iodine but this has been in decline for decades. Bread is a perfect example. Until 1980, iodine was used to condition dough, it was then substituted with bromide, a toxic halogen that offers no benefits and competes with iodine for absorption. Fluoride is another example, it’s a common, toxic halogen that’s present in many water supplies and negatively affects iodine absorption. The decline in iodine consumption has coincided with an increase in breast diseases, certain cancers, thyroid impairment and developmental problems in children.
2. Healthy Breasts Need Iodine
Every cell, organ, and system in the human body needs iodine, and this is doubly true for female breast tissue. Breast tissue has a greater concentration of iodine than the thyroid and the same iodine-transporting proteins used by the thyroid gland. In healthy breast tissue, iodine offers antioxidant benefits. Conversely, iodine deficient breast tissue is susceptible to lipid oxidation, a contributor to many diseases including cancer.
3. What is Fibrocystic Breast Disease?
Fibrocystic breast disease is an extremely common and underreported condition in which hormonally influenced cysts develop in the breast tissue.  The cysts, which can cause breast pain and tenderness, especially before menstruation, are fairly easy to detect. In fact, they’re most often detected during at-home examinations and are often a source of immediate anxiety for the women who discover them and fear the worst — breast cancer. Although fibrocystic breast disease itself is often benign, the New England Journal of Medicine has reported that it is a risk factor for breast cancer.
For any client that has fibrocystic breast tissue or cysts of any sort we strongly suggest using our GLUTASOD cream directly on the breast tissues nightly. I personally formulated GLUTASOD cream to help reduce pain and inflammation in the body topically. The 2 main ingredients are GLUTATHIONE and SOD. Glutathione Deficiency is connected to just about every single degenerative disease, illness and health challenge there is! Reducing inflammation is KEY to preventing or healing any disease state in the body. Our GlutaSOD Cream, with an enhanced and super effective combination of Glutathione and Human Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), works perfectly to do just that!
4. Fibrocystic Breast Disease is linked to Iodine Deficiency
Without adequate iodine, breast tissue is susceptible to estrogenic stimulation. That can lead to the production of micro-cysts, and those can lead to fibrocystic breast disease. Animal studies have shown, directly, that depriving breast tissue of iodine is an immediate catalyst for fibrocystic breast disease.
5. Iodine Promotes Breast Health
Although birth control is sometimes used to shrink cysts, many women prefer to avoid its associated health risks and instead opt for iodine supplementation. Not only is iodine safe, but it promotes breast health. A 1993 study reported that iodine supplementation had reduced indications of fibrocystic breast disease. 2004 research found that 50% of women who experienced breast tenderness due to fibrocystic disease had an improvement in their situation after iodine supplementation.
6. Iodine is Even More Important When Breast Feeding
A nursing mother needs enough nutrition to support her own needs and to produce milk for her developing child. Iodine is important for breast health and equally important for normal brain development in children. Iodine deficiency is, in fact, the number 1 cause of developmental problems. Iodine is crucial for a newborn brain and breast milk is the perfect means for supplying iodine to a nursing infant.
The thyroid gland synthesizes thyroid hormones and iodine is an essential trace mineral that is crucial for the thyroid to function properly. Eating foods rich in iodine ensures the thyroid is able to manage metabolism, detoxification, growth and development.
Research has shown that a lack of dietary iodine may lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland, lethargy, fatigue, weakness of the immune system, slow metabolism, autism, weight gain and possibly even mental states such as anxiety and depression.
The good news is that there are many popular foods with iodine, all of which are easy to incorporate into your daily diet.
Iodine Rich Foods
1. Sea Vegetables
The ocean hosts the largest storehouse of iodine foods, including Kelp, Arame, Hiziki, Kombu, and Wakame. Kelp has the highest amount of iodine of any food on the planet and just one serving offers 4 times the daily minimum requirement. 1 tablespoon of Kelp contains about 2000/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Arame contains about 730/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Hiziki contains about 780/mcg of iodine, 1 one inch piece of Kombu contains about 1450/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Wakame contains about 80/mcg of iodine. I recommend sprinkling these into soups or salads.
This antioxidant rich fruit is another great source of iodine. About 4 ounces of cranberries contain approximately 400/mcg of iodine. I recommend buying fresh organic berries or juice. If you buy cranberry juice from the store, be aware of how much sugar it contains.
3. Organic Navy Beans
Many beans are a great food source of iodine and navy beans may top the list. Just 1/2 cup of these beans contain about 32/mcg of iodine. Beans aren’t just an iodine food, they are also incredibly high in fiber.
4. Organic Strawberries
This tasty red fruit packs up to 10% of your daily iodine needs in just a single serving. One cup of fresh strawberries has approximately 13/mcg of iodine. Try buying fresh, organic strawberries from your local farmer’s market, they do not disappoint!
5. Organic Potatoes
The common potato is an easy addition to most meals and is one of the richest sources of iodine in the vegetable kingdom. Leave the skin on and one medium-sized baked potato holds 60/mcg of iodine. Be sure to get organic only as potatoes tend to suck up pesticides very easily!
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