What do you know about iodine? Do you remember having it in the house as a child? It went on every cut and it burned! But it did the job! It protected you and cleaned that wound. But it is messy. See, I was in the iodine this morning (showing you my fingers that are stained with orange). Tim had some cuts from working on our bathroom floor yesterday. So I put iodine on them for him.
So there are claims that iodine causes, autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and who knows what else, but it is simply not true. Most of these issues are caused by iodine DEFICIENCY.
A lack of iodine creates goiter, which is a well-known medical condition. Goiter is a swelling of the thyroid gland. Why does it swell? Well, it swells to try to get more iodine out of the blood.
The teaser for the talk this morning, had several different conditions that are related to iodine. I am going to explain why iodine is so important to every thyroid condition, no matter if it is high, low, or autoimmune. The thyroid cannot make thyroid hormone without iodine. Period. That is the first thing that you absolutely must understand. If you do not have iodine, you cannot make thyroid hormone. If you cannot make thyroid hormone, you become hypothyroid.
But where else is iodine used in the body? The thyroid uses the most iodine out of all the endocrine organs in the body, but the rest of them all require iodine as well. The thyroid contains about 50 mg when saturated.
Iodine has been used as a very safe and effective medical treatment for signs of iodine deficiency. Typical doses range from 12-50 mg per day. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is only 150 mcg per day (severely inadequate). Between 1971-2012, the National Health and Nutrition Survey reports that iodine levels declined by 50% and that the incidence of thyroid illness (hypo, autoimmune and cancer) and cancers of the breast, prostate, endometrium, pancreas, and ovaries went up dramatically. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports 72% of the worldâ€™s population is deficient in iodine. (Lancet, 2003).
Iodine is responsible for the normal formation of glandular tissues: breast, thyroid, ovary, prostate. It is absolutely necessary for the production of all of the hormones in the body, the adrenals, ovaries, testicles, and of course thyroid. Deficiencies affect your intelligence, cause goiters and hypothyroidism, create autoimmune conditions, and several cancers. Every cell in the body contains and uses iodine. Even your White Blood Cells, cannot protect you from infection without adequate amounts of iodine. Every organ and all tissues contain iodine, so do you see why it is so important?
Yet we get very little from our food because the soil is depleted of iodine too. Ocean foods like cod, sea bass, haddock, and perch will give you some and who eats seaweed or kelp? That will give you iodine too, all in variable amounts. You have probably seen iodine added to salt because of this huge problem of deficiency but do not eat table salt. Table salt has been bleached, chemicalized, and stripped of everything GOOD that salt gives you, and YES< you need salt! Salt is not bad for you. All of the processed foods with bleaches salt in sky-high amounts, yes that is bad, but not real salt. Your kidneys, adrenal glands, and all organs and cells NEED IT to get iodine into the cells.
Another really important thing to know about iodine is that your body also needs sodium or sea salt, to get iodine inside the cells to be used. There is this transport system in your body, called a sodium/iodide symporter. It is how your body can use the iodine.
What are the good things that iodine does in the body?
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- It is an alkalinizing agent
- Mucolytic agent
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There is a very long list of conditions that CAN be PREVENTED with iodine:
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- Liver Diseases (Enterohepatic Circulation)
- Nephrotic Syndrome
- Ovarian Cysts
- Parotid Duct Stones
- Retinitis Pigmentosa
- Sebaceous Cysts
- Thyroid Disorders(hypo, autoimmune, and cancer)
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- Breast Disease
- Breast, ovaries, prostate, thyroid
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cystoid Macular Edema
- Dental caries
- Dry Eyes
- Dupuytrenâ€™s Contracture
- Excess Mucous Production
Periodic table of elements. All of the halogens are very similar in structure and can bind to the same receptor sites. Column 17 of the table contains Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, and Iodine. These three elements interfere with the bodyâ€™s use of iodine. Fluorine, or fluoride, is found in your water and toothpaste. Bromine is found in bread as a dough conditioner and, youâ€™ll love this, it is Gatorade products and Mountain Dew, and some other soft drinks. Stop drinking soda! Neither of these is needed by the body at all, and it is also in some medications that you may be taking. . Chlorine your body does need, we get it in the forms of sodium chloride (or salt) and most of our drinking water and bathing water also has chlorine. Donâ€™t forget about swimming pools too. The more you have of these other products, the less your body can use iodine and you can become deficient. Bromine specifically has been found to eliminate iodine from the thyroid gland. If you have low iodine, you can become very toxic with bromine.
This is extremely important because there may be some of you who have taken iodine and felt sick. Kind of like the flu until you stopped taking it. You are not allergic, no one can physically be allergic to iodine because your body needs it. You can be allergic to other things in the iodine or to a protein of the fish. The reaction is because you are bromine toxic and you are detoxing the bromine when you add in iodine! To prevent the detox reaction, start with magnesium, vitamin C, and SALT.
Lugolâ€™s Solution: 2 drops contain 5 mg of iodine and 7.5 mg of iodide.
If you need help getting a good quality supplement, just let me know and I will point you in the right direction. Make sure that the product has both iodines and iodide in it because of different parts of your body like one of those over the other.
Testing your iodine level. I am quite confident, that the majority of people are deficient in iodine. You can test it a crude way, that gives you an idea but is not super accurate. Or you can test it in your urine. Iodine is mostly excreted in the urine and there are two different ways to test for it there. A spot urine test, letâ€™s you know if you are low. But an iodine loading test will give you exactly how deficient you are. Either test will run around $100. For the crude test. I painted a large, very orange square on my forearm this morning. What I am going to do, is watch how long it takes to disappear. How fast does my body suck it into my bloodstream? (remember, your skin absorbs whatever you put on it in about 28 seconds. So my body will slowly absorb the iodine today because I do take an iodine supplement (12.5-25 mg daily), so it should take most of the day before it disappears. But if you are low, it should disappear in a couple of hours. Again, not the most accurate test, but gives you an idea.
Highly recommend Dr. David Brownsteinâ€™s book: Iodine Why you need it.
Why you canâ€™t live without it.