15 Must-Know Facts About Iodine

iodine

By Dr. Edward F. Group

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

It is not an understatement to say our existence, and the quality of our lives, depends on having adequate iodine levels. In spite of this, mainstream medicine generally ignores the importance of this element. The following fifteen facts will reveal not only how important iodine is, but how much better your life can be with balanced levels of this life-giving element.

1. Iodine is an essential element

The thyroid creates hormones to regulate metabolism and cellular function. The two most important hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) require iodine for formation. Without iodine, the thyroid under-produces these hormones leading to hypothyroidism and other metabolic disorders.

2. Iodized salt is not a good source of iodine

Most table salt has been iodized in an effort to eliminate iodine deficiency. Unfortunately, the process of manufacturing this salt can include adding artificial versions of iodine and other chemicals, making it anything but healthy. Plus, to make it white, most table salt is bleached. Dietary iodine can be found in better sources. And, for salt, go with Himalayan Crystal Salt.

3. Iodine deficiency remains a problem

Much of the world continues to suffer from iodine deficiency. While many developing countries lack adequate dietary iodine, many western countries suffer iodine deficiency from diets based on processed foods. These foods introduce toxins which disrupt absorption of dietary iodine. This problem afflicts women more often than men.

4. Iodine deficiency and breast cancer have been linked

Although breast cancer has a number of causes and simply taking an iodine supplement shouldn’t at all be interpreted as a standalone cancer-preventative, studies have shown a correlation between breast cancer and thyroid disorders. Both the thyroid and breast require iodine to function properly. It has been noted in countries with a documented consumption of iodine rich foods that both problems occur less frequently in women. [1]

5. Good dietary sources of iodine are…

The best dietary sources of iodine come from the sea. Fish such as cod, shellfish and shrimp provide healthy doses of dietary iodine. Sea vegetables like dulse seaweed, kelp, arame, kombu, nori, sea palm and wakame provide the richest source of iodine. Other high quality sources of iodine include eggs, organic milk and yogurt, dark leafy greens and prunes.

6. ‘Iodine allergies’ are not caused by iodine

While many doctors mistakenly refer to iodine allergies, rest assured no one has exhibited an allergy to this vital nutrient. Most allergies attributed to iodine result from an allergic response to iodine-based radio contrast media used to sharpen images from x-rays or CT scans. Studies have found the reactions resulted from molecules in the contrast media, not iodine. It is worth noting that while mild symptoms may be the usual response, anaphylactic response and death have occurred. Those ‘iodine allergies’ associated with seafood occur as reactions to proteins in the seafood, not as a reaction to iodine.

7. Iodine helps fight harmful organisms

Iodine has been used for centuries as a topical application to harmful organism infection. To this day it has proven effective against most varieties. Hospitals continue to use gallons of iodine daily to fight harmful microorganisms and maintain a sterile environment.

8. Iodine protects the thyroid from radiation

During a nuclear event, radiation in the form of Iodine-131 can be released into the air. Exposure to this radioactive iodine can result in thyroid damage and hypothyroidism. The only way to protect the thyroid is to take iodine (atomic iodine is best) to flood the thyroid with a healthy, stable iodine. This prevents absorption of the radioactive iodine by the thyroid.

9. Pregnancy exacerbates iodine deficiency

Women during pregnancy require higher doses of iodine to meet their need, and the need of the developing fetus. Pregnant women suffering from mild iodine deficiency have been shown to develop more severe deficiencies. If not properly addressed, the thyroid imbalance and hypothyroidism can become a chronic problem even post-partum.

10. Adequate iodine prevents goitrogenic effects

Goitrogens inhibit hormone creation by the thyroid. These compounds can lead to goiter and hypothyroidism. Iodine therapy has been recommended and used to address the problems created by these compounds and help the body speed their removal. [2]

11. Inadequate iodine leads to slowed development

Health authorities discovered years ago that iodine deficiency, especially during fetal growth, led to mental retardation and cretinsim. Dietary supplementation with iodine after birth and during childhood has been shown not to counteract the result of iodine deficiency while in utero. [3] Maintaining appropriate iodine levels during pregnancy, and supplementing when appropriate, is one of the best ways to support proper neural development.

12. Medications interrupt iodine-thyroid function

Medications that use or mimic iodine have been found to interrupt thyroid function. Some drugs like amiodarone can lead to hyperthyroidism (the over-production of thyroid hormones). [4] Other drugs which can impact thyroid hormone metabolism include interferon, lithium, and dopamine. [5]

13. Iodine encourages detoxification

Healthy levels of iodine prevent toxic chemicals such as fluorine, chlorine, and bromine from interfering with thyroid function. Exposure to these chemicals occurs daily as they can be found in many foods, water and household chemicals. According to renowned iodine expert Dr. Brownstein, iodine supplementation does not allow these chemical toxins to accumulate in the body. This allows the body to pass these toxins out of the system.

14. Rejuvenates skin, from the inside out!

Iodine promotes healthy skin, nails and hair. It stimulates cellular function resulting in the regeneration of the lower layers of these cells. By rejuvenating the skin from the inside out – so to speak – iodine encourages smooth skin, hair color and strong nails.

15. Atomic iodine is the ideal supplement

Many iodine supplements use potassium iodide to provide iodine to the body. This iodide form requires the body to break it down into its component parts (which requires energy and by-products) before it can be used. Atomic iodine delivers the body a dose of iodine in the atomic form – the same form the thyroid uses for hormone creation. This highly bioavailable form of iodine allows the body to maximize the iodine supplement.

Have you noticed a change in your health since starting iodine supplementation? Please share your experiences with us and leave a comment below!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

iodine Reconmendation

Article References

[1] Peter PA Smyth. The thyroid, iodine and breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2003; 5(5): 235–238. Published online 2003 July 29.

[2] Dakubo JC, Naaeder SB, Tettey Y, Gyasi RK. Pathology and the surgical management of goitre in an endemic area initiating supplementary iodine nutrition. West Afr J Med. 2013 Jan-Mar;32(1):45-51.

[3] Hynes KL, Otahal P, Hay I, Burgess JR. Mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy is associated with reduced educational outcomes in the offspring: 9-year follow-up of the gestational iodine cohort. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 May;98(5):1954-62. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-4249. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

[4] Maby-Mottet V, Ollo D, Meyer P. [Amiodarone and thyroid]. Rev Med Suisse. 2012 Nov 14;8(362):2175-6, 2178-80.

[5] Nishikawa M, Toyoda N, Nomura E. [Drug-induced thyroid dysfunction]. Nihon Rinsho. 2012 Nov;70(11):1958-64.

Previous articles by Dr Edward

About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.


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  • I have been on Iodine supplementation for at least a couple of years. My doctor wanted me to take Levithyroxin, as I had a low Thyroid blood readings- a raised TSH. I was not keen on taking this medication because of the side-effects and limitations- its side-effects are the same as the symptoms of low thyroid levels! the only difference is your TSH levels are low. Does nothing for your thyroid.
    The first dose of 2 drops of Lugols Iodine in water – made a difference within a few minutes. My head cleared and my energy levels picked up.I take 2 drops of Lugols Iodine a day on my skin, following practitioners advice.
    I have had adrenal support capsules for a few weeks too. My skin, hair , energy levels, blood pressure, my constitution all back to normal.No need for the medication. And I can continue with Liver flushes – which I wouldn’t be able to on medications

    • John

      Hi Dianne, where do you get your iodine from? I’m only just looking into it so would appreciate any advice etc. Cheers, John

      • Health Leads in the UK. It is available on Amazon I am sure. 100ml lasts me a year. I also use 2 drops a day in a bowl of water to sterilize my veg – salads mainly – of parasites.

  • Shawna

    I have been taking iodine for a couple of years. I also take other supplements to support my immune system etc as being well is priority. My hair, skin and nails have improved, my energy levels are at peak I have energy to do things I did 20 years ago. I work in the healthcare field, drugs have not cured any disease they mask the condition until more drugs are required. My doctor had me on thyroid meds before I started taking the iodine, I have had better results with the natural medicine and will never go on drugs for anything again, I will always look for the alternative without the side effects.

    • Mona

      How did you get off your thyroid medication? Did anyone monitor your iodine intake? I am on thyroid meds and desperately want to find a way to get off them and find a natural product to use instead of the drug route.

      • Rafael Hernandez

        I had hypothyroidism and used nascent iodine and coconut oil.
        I am back to normal.

  • I had been taking Dr. Lugol’s 2% iodine and ended up with hyperthyroidism. It took an endocrinologist to get me back under control prior to colon surgery. I read articles all the time about the use of iodine and what it is good for but no one ever states how much is enough. I still have some iodine and am willing to use it again, but what is the correct dosage?

    • I understand it can be dangerous if you have too much.I use Lugol’s 12%. I know its too much when the stain on my skin remains the next day. Then I miss a dose. It has only happened once in 2 or so years.I have a good practitioner who uses kinesiology for dosage.
      If I didn’t need the drops I would switch back to sprinking seaweed onto food such as Risotto. I prefer the milder Nori Flakes compared with Wakami which is an excellent source but I find the flavour a bit strong.

  • Jessie

    I started taking an iodine supplement about a month ago because I read it can help with pms and oh my gosh did it make my life so much better! I didnt have the mood swings or bad cramps. I wasnt fatigued at all and not nearly as bloated as I have been. Besides that my hair and nails have been growing like weeds! I would complete recommend iodine for everyone.

  • Name (required)Steve Elder0

    My wife and I have been taking Magnescent Iodine. My wife use to have fibroids in her breast and uterus. Not anymore. It is also helpful for mens prostate health. Just a drop a day.

  • Marion Barnett

    I agree with Rich, I read Elaine Hollingsworth’s book and did the Barnes Basil Temperature test, HOWEVER, how does one know how much is enough. I can get Lugol’s on Amazon (I live in the UK) but don’t know how much to take without it causing problems.
    Hopefully, someone out there will know.
    Marion

  • Name (required)Max

    Several decades ago, I read an article in my agriculture ecology magazine, “Acres, USA” that said that recent research is showing the amount iodine considered toxic is not even the minimum amount needed. Of course I went to the health food store to get some, and their prices were sky high for just a tiny amount. Being an agriculturist, I checked my veterinary supply catalog and I could get a pound of iodized salt for adding to a ton of animal feed for almost as little in price as the little sample at the health food store. In my table salt shaker it went. Lo and Behold, I always have had pale skin, low blood pressure, dreaded cold weather, and slow to sweat. Not anymore. And I will be 90 years young this year. Nothing I did, had ever changed my metabolism like the extra iodine, even though I am one to keep up with the latest nutrition. I doubt that this effect would occur for those who live near the ocean coast as they probably get enough iodine from the soil and air . I grew up in South Dakota.

  • userzen

    I have had a cystic breast condition all my life. no doctor ever told me to take iodine. I discovered iodine may be the cause through watching youtube. since taking iodine via eating seaweed snacks, my breast are no longer painful…at all!!!!! I encourage everyone to take iodine for health.