Natural IODINE 12.5mg (same as name brand: Iodoral) 90 capsules
Iodine can actually help your body get rid of potentially harmful elements like lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, mercury and toxic amounts of fluoride. As we have seen in over 1000 Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis tests done in our offices those who have heavy metals are mostly slow metabolizers on a cellular level and show a strong tendency toward hypothyroidism and fatigue with sleep problems.
There is now a medically documented easily available solution: Lugol’s Solution. (NOTE: we have now custom formulated our own that is exactly the same as Lugol’s Solution in pill form: “MOTION” available by calling our office at 337-989-0572)
In the 1820’s the French physician Jean Lugol combined iodine and potassium iodide along with water. Since iodine kills germs, he used it for nearly any infectious disease, as well as many other problems, frequently with success. The combination quickly became known as *Lugol’s Solution* and was adopted by practicing physicians throughout Europe and the Americas. Lugol’s solution was widely used until the 1920’s. Many physicians recommended 2 drops daily for good health and more on occasion to help kill germs.
It’s not as commonly used anymore, but it is still available but as a liquid it is a bit inconvenient. It can stain clothing and has a rather metallic taste and it’s also easy to accidentally take too much.
Why is iodine deficiency common in the United States?
We first need to note that the body produces no iodine, and there is no organ other than the thyroid that can store large quantities of iodine. In some areas of the US, including mountain regions, the Mississippi River Valley, the Ohio River Valley, and the Great Lakes regions, the soil has always had a very low iodine content. But even in other areas of once iodine-rich soil, over farming has frequently depleted this iodine content. Hence, we no longer get adequate iodine via the plants we consume. To compensate for this, iodine was added to salt, bread, and milk. Today iodine is no longer added to bread or to milk, and the amount of iodine added to salt has steadily declined over the years. All of these factors contribute to the current prevalence of iodine deficiency in the United States.
More Iodine anthropology for nerds: Inhaling Iodine was very big in the early 1900s, both to cure bronchitis and to kill germs before they nested in the lungs. Doctors wrote up how they used atomizers . Later, lockets like the one in the picture were widely used in the UK and US.distributed by the British Red Cross in the 1930s. It contained a sealed cotton ball soaked in iodine. School children wore them hoping the fumes would discourage colds.
You can open the capsules and pour the powder into a little bit of water and nebulize or diffuse to “treat” upper respiratory issue or lung issues (viruses!)
How does iodine deficiency manifest itself?
Research work has shown that iodine deficiency in the thyroid presents as a thyroid goiter (enlargement of the thyroid). In those areas of the world where iodine deficiency is very high, such as in Switzerland and in certain areas of Asia and Africa, there are also higher incidents of thyroid cancer. Iodine is also concentrated by breast tissue, and a lack of iodine in the breasts manifests as fibrocystic breast disease (painful breasts with nodules and cysts and often more symptomatic prior to menstrual periods). 93% of American women have fibrocystic breast disease and the longer this disease exists, the higher the potential risk for development of breast cancer. 20% of all iodine in the human body is stored in the skin, specifically in the sweat glands. Lack of iodine in the sweat glands manifests as dry skin with a decreased ability to sweat. Iodine can also be concentrated in the stomach tissue, and the lack of iodine in the stomach manifests as achlorhydria (lack of digestive acid production). Iodine is used by the stomach cells, also known as parietal cells, to concentrate chloride which is necessary to produce hydrochloric acid (digestive acid). With the prolonged presence of achlorhydria, there is a much higher incidence of stomach cancer. Iodine is concentrated in the lacrymal glands of the eye, and a lack of iodine can cause dry eyes. Iodine can also be concentrated in the parotid and submandibular glands of the mouth, and iodine deficiency here can result in dry mouth. Iodine can be concentrated in the ovaries, and Russian studies done some years ago showed a relationship between iodine deficiency and the presence of cysts in the ovaries. The greater the iodine deficiency, the more ovarian cysts a woman produces. In its extreme form, this condition is known as polycystic ovarian disease.
Is there enough Iodine in our salt?
When people go shopping for salt they will notice there is iodized salt verses regular salt. This is also true for sea salt that is plain sea salt verses sea salt with iodine. There is more iodine in iodized table salt that there is in plain sea salt, which contains very little iodine to start with. Quite frequently we see articles in the local press showing that there is a high amount of iodine in salt and we need to reduce the total amount of salt because of the potential damage from iodine. However, during the last National Nutritional Survey called the NHANES III from 1988 – 1994, the study revealed that 15% of the U.S. adult female population suffered from iodine insufficiency where this was defined as a urine iodine level 60 meq per liter. Another misconception that is out on the market is that high consumption of iodized salt helps prevent iodine deficiency. The fact is that iodized salt contains 74meg of iodine per gram of salt. The purpose of iodization of salt was to prevent goiter and cretinism and was never meant for optimal iodine requirements by the human body. An example of this would be the ingestion of iodine in order to control fibrocystic breast disease that is a level of five milligrams of iodine per day. In this particular case one would need to consume 68 grams of salt. In Japan, the Japanese population has an intake of around 13.8 milligrams of iodine per day. Among the population of the Earth, the Japanese have the lowest prevalence and incidence of female reproductive organ cancer in their tissues.
Can I use seaweed purchased from the grocery store to supplement my body with iodine?
Seaweed sold in the United States has a tremendous variation in the amount of iodine content. In Japan, the average Japanese eats around 13.8 mg of iodine per day with the vast majority of that iodine coming from seaweed that has been specifically grown and cultured to maximize iodine trapping in the seaweed. To my knowledge, this particular type of seaweed is not being sold in the United States at the present time.
What about iodine and aging?
As most of us know, hypertension (high blood pressure) often becomes an issue as we age. Because of this, many are being told that they need to decrease the total amount of salt in their diet. However, we must realize that most people over age 60 are becoming depleted of iodine due to the lack of iodine in the diet and that this particular group of individuals is also the group with the highest occurrence of thyroid nodules and goiters. Also of interest is that 25% of the people in this age category will become senile as a result of low thyroid (hypothyroidism). Iodine supplementation may alleviate these iodine-related maladies.
Can Iodine be used while a woman is pregnant?
In Japan, the average Japanese woman is eating 13.8 mg of iodine per day while the average American woman consumes 100 times less iodine per day (approximately 0.138 mg per day). Iodine is very crucial in the first three years of life from the development of the fetus inside the womb until two years after birth. In the development of a child’s IQ, I feel that it would be very advantageous for the mother to supplement her diet during pregnancy and, if she is nursing the child, for the first two years after pregnancy. Pregnant women are notoriously iodine deficient. This data was uncovered in the mainstream press recently. The impact on low birth weight and the baby’s IQ is evident in women with even slight iodine deficiencies.
When breastfeeding, evolution has programmed the mother’s dietary iodine to reroute the lion’s share of her iodine toward nourishing the baby. But the baby still may not get enough from breastfeeding if the mother’s intake is low. Unfortunately, moms rely on prenatal vitamins which usually contain inadequate iodine.
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.
What happens to thyroid hormone production in the presence of iodine supplementation?
Traditional medical literature indicates that patients who have thyroid nodules or thyroid goiter may have the potential to develop hyperthyroidism when supplementing with iodine. For iodine therapy patients not also on thyroid hormone replacement therapy, adjustments to the iodine therapy should be made if signs of hyperthyroidism should occur.
Should signs of hyperthyroidism occur in patients who are taking thyroid hormone replacement therapy as well as taking iodine supplementation, the practitioner should first recommend an adjustment in the thyroid hormone therapy rather than in the iodine supplementation.
This adjustment in therapy is recommended because iodine is required not only by the thyroid but is required for the proper functioning of many other tissues. The presence of pre-existing thyroid nodules or goiter does not preclude the patient from iodine supplementation therapy. In fact, in the extensive research with iodine therapy done in many medical offices, I have seen many case of pre-existing thyroid nodules and goiter shrink in the presence of iodine therapy.
Sometimes the breasts and thyroid temporarily swell after the introduction of iodine supplementation in an attempt to stockpile the available incoming iodine. Do not be alarmed… this usually changes within 3-4 weeks.
The interpretation of swelling and nodules would be interpreted as the result of such an extreme iodine deficiency that the tissue expanded to trap the sudden bounty of iodine. The iodine deficient body may hoard iodine because it’s so used to an iodine famine that it wants to stock up.
Specific NOTES on IODINE supplementation with HASHIMOTO’S disease:
Selenium deficiency is the underlying prerequisite for iodine induced thyroid damage in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Selenium supplementation is protective and prevents thyroid damage from iodine. Iodine opponents such as Dr K and Chris Kresser as well as the studies they quote tend to ignore the role of selenium.
Renato Iwakura Reviews the LiteratureAn excellent review of this Iodine Question can be found in a two part article by Mario Renato Iwakura, a Brazilian engineer and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patient who is intimately familiar with the hypothyroidism literature.
“A survey of the literature suggests that Hashimoto’s is largely unaffected by iodine intake. However, the literature may be distorted by three circumstances under which iodine increases may harm, and iodine restriction help Hashimoto’s patients:
1. Selenium deficiency causes an intolerance of high iodine.
2. Iodine intake via seaweed is accompanied by thyrotoxic metals and halides. 3. Sudden increases in iodine can induce a reactive hypothyroidism.
All three of these negatives can be avoided by supplementing selenium along with iodine, using potassium iodide rather than seaweed as the source of iodine, and increasing iodine intake gradually.” endquote Renato Iwakura.
Iwakura quotes animal studies which support his conclusion from Drs. Xu and Yang. In these studies, animals (mice) were given varying amounts of iodine as well as varying amounts of selenium. Dr Xu concludes in his 2011 report:
“Conclusion: Excess iodine intake can cause an autoimmune thyroiditis that bears all the characteristics of Hashimoto’s. However, in animal studies this occurs only if selenium is deficient or in excess. Similarly, in animal studies very high iodine intake can exacerbate a pre- existing autoimmune thyroiditis, but only if selenium is deficient or in excess. With optimal selenium status, thyroid follicles are healthy, goiter is eliminated, and autoimmune markers like Th1/Th2 ratio and CD4+/CD8+ ratio are normalized over a wide range of iodine intake. “
In addition, human studies such as this 2007 report by Fan Yang in the European Journal of Endocrinology concluded:
“Chronic iodine excess does not apparently increase the risk of autoimmune hyperthyroidism or influence the incidence and outcome of subclinical hyperthyroidism, which suggests that chronic excessive iodine intake may not be involved in the occurrence of autoimmune hyperthyroidism as an environmental factor. ” end quote Fan Yang
Role of Selenium in Hashimoto’s
Dr Elias E. Mazokopakis from Greece reports in 2007:
Selenium (Se) supplementation in patients with AITD (autoimmune thyroid disease), including HT (hyperthyroidism), seems to modify the inflammatory and immune responses, probably by enhancing plasma glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and thioredoxin reductase (TR) activity and by decreasing toxic concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and lipid hydroperoxides, resulting from thyroid hormone synthesis.
Selenium supplementation is a prerequisite in all patients with elevated anti-thyroid antibody levels and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Iodine deficiency is a health risk and supplementation is beneficial, realizing that selenium must be started first to avoid aggravating the auto-immune thyroid disease. Selenium is inexpensive and readily available as a supplement in tablet or capsules. Usual dosage is 200-400 mcg/day of seleno-methionine. (this is the form of selenium we use in our office).
1. It is impossible to get enough iodine from iodized salt.
2. If you’re allergic to shellfish you can still take iodine supplements! People allergic to shellfish are allergic to the protein molecules in the fish, NOT the iodine!
3. Eating dried seaweed or seaweed / Kelp supplements does not give you the iodine you need!
4. The iodine in your multi-vitamin is not sufficient
5. Iodine supplementation/replacement will NOT shut down your thyroid function
6. Iodine supplement may cause an increase or fluctuation of your TSH on testing during the first 2-3 months of starting iodine. We usually suggest not testing the TSH until after 90 days of 50mg of iodine supplementation daily. Test ONLY the FREE T3 and FREE T4 and Reverse T3 during this time. If you’re taking “thyroid” (synthroid, etc.) for hypothyroidism, whether it’s the whole natural variety or the single hormone, synthetic type “ you’ve probably improved your energy levels, become a bit more alert, lowered your cholesterol and improved your overall health. (or maybe you’ve had no real results at all), in either case, unless you’re getting enough iodine you simply won’t get the results needed! There’s a very good chance that you simply are not getting enough iodine even though you eat well and take supplements on a regular basis.
7. Your body needs at least 15mg of iodine daily to metabolize lipids (fats)
8. 50mg of iodine daily reduces cancer cells significantly
9. Your body cannot make hormones without iodine