January 2016, L.D.Wilson
information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment,
prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
of the most important and overlooked minerals today is iodine. Iodine is needed in the thyroid gland
to produce thyroid hormones.
However, iodine is also required for every tissue of the body!
It is called
endocrine mineral because it is important not only for the thyroid
gland, but also for the adrenal glands, ovaries, breasts, prostate gland, and
the entire hormone system of the body.
more research indicates that the entire world population today is deficient in iodine.
for iodine deficiency today.
The reasons are:
The RDA is much too low. This is a
disgrace, in my view. The RDA is
150 micrograms. It may be enough
to prevent a goiter, but it is not enough for optimal health. The ideal dosage of iodine today is
much higher, probably between 5 and 15 mg daily.
The same is
true for vitamin D, B vitamins, and other vital nutrients. The recommended amounts are designed to
just prevent deficiency diseases, and have nothing to do with optimal amounts
of these nutrients for health.
There are few good sources of iodine besides foods from the sea. In fact, iodine is a relatively
rare mineral that is not found much in any land-based foods at all such as vegetables,
meats, dairy products, fruits, or others.
Exposure to iodine antagonists. This is a
major factor in iodine deficiency today.
It is discussed in the section below.
Stress may deplete iodine.
Many people are being told by doctors to avoid or limit salt. For many people, iodized salt is one of
the few sources of iodine besides foods from the sea. Refined table salt is a junk food that is best avoided, but
unrefined sea salt is an excellent source of minerals, including some iodine.
Iodine is no longer added to commercial breads. Until the 1980s, iodine was routinely
used as a dough conditioner in commercial bakeries. This actually provided a significant amount of extra iodine
for many people. Due to fears
about getting too much iodine, (which were probably totally fabricated), the
government forced bakers to stop using iodine and instead to use bromine, a
poison, to make bread. Bromine is
also one of the iodine antagonists that makes iodine deficiency much worse.
very important topic related to iodine deficiency and thyroid disease is to
understand the iodine antagonists.
Iodine is a member of the halogen family of elements. Besides iodine, the halogens include fluorine,
bromine and chlorine, among others.
This is very
halogens compete with each other for
absorption and even utilization in iodine binding sites in the thyroid gland
and everywhere else in the body.
This occurs because all of the halogens “look alike” at an atomic level,
so they tend to bind to receptors similarly and can replace each other.
environment is literally swimming in the iodine antagonists:
and bromides. These toxic
chemicals are used in baking, by law, of all the breads in America and many
nations. It definitely interferes
with iodine uptake and also iodine utilization.
iodine is supplemented, people start eliminating large quantities of bromine
from the body. This can be
measured, to some degree, in the urine and hair. In fact, it is the cause of some healing reactions
associated with taking iodine or kelp supplements.
widespread use of brominated compounds in bread-making, soft drinks such as
Gatorade and Mountain Dew, and in other industries has also caused bromides to
find their way into the water and food supplies of America and other developed
nations. It is thus hard to avoid
this element in your food. This is just one of the reasons I do not
recommend eating any flour products or breads.
and chlorinated compounds such as chloramines. This is another highly toxic element
that interferes with iodine utilization in the body in an important way. The chlorine in salt is not toxic. However, toxic chlorine compounds such
as chloramines and others are widely used in modern societies to kill germs and
as bleaching agents. They are
added to most water supplies, by law, for example, so they find their way into
our food supply easily.
bleach is also added to flour to whiten it, even though it forms toxic
compounds when baked. Chlorine is
used to sterilize or sanitize fruits, vegetables, fish, meats and many other
foods before shipping them to markets.
It is also widely used in other industries such as paper-making and many
others. As a result, toxic
chlorine compounds are in the soil, the water supplies, and even the air.
Fluorides. The main source today is fluoridated
water supplies. Not only is the
water a problem in most major metropolitan areas, but the water is then used to
make many food products, from breads and other bakery goods to chips, dips,
pickles, beverages and thousands of others.
the fluorides from the water have found their way into the water table and
irrigations systems of most of the United States. Thus, the fluoride levels in all the crops grown in America
are too high.
public health authorities keep adding toxic fluoride compounds to the water
supplies, even though all the food products in the nation are now basically
contaminated with this extremely toxic element. For more information about the abomination of water
fluoridation, read Water
Fluoridation on this website.
supplementation has a wonderful effect on all the toxic metals in the
body. It can also help remove
toxic chemicals and infections.
This occurs for several reasons:
Iodine opposes or antagonizes the halogens. This has been discussed above. Taking iodine often leads to the elimination from the body
of bromines, chlorine, fluorides and other metals as well.
Iodine improves thyroid activity.
As thyroid activity recovers, the body is far more able to eliminate all
the toxic metals. This is the main
mechanism behind iodine’s ability to reduce the toxic metal burden in the body.
Iodine is a germicide – antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal
and anticancer. It appears to
help the body fight off many types of infection. This occurs partly by improving thyroid activity. However, iodine can also act as an
anti-oxidant, according to researchers.
to medical studies, iodine deficiency is definitely associated with breast
cancer, as well as ovarian, thyroid, and other cancers. It is probably no accident that as our
populations have become more iodine deficient, the incidence of these cancers
has risen significantly.
modern medicine has made little progress against these cancers after years of
research. Iodine can help, and
does help prevent and even eliminate some of these cancers. For more on cancer, please read Cancer And Alternative Therapies on this website.
AND THYROID HORMONE REPLACEMENT
research indicates that thyroid hormone replacement therapy worsens iodine
deficiency. This is important to
know. Also, it is my experience,
as well as that of other iodine specialists, that supplementing a person with
iodine or kelp in the proper amounts, along with a complete natural healing
program, often reduces and may completely eliminate the need for thyroid
such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and even Grave’s disease go away on their own
when the body is brought into better overall balance and health. For more on this topic, please read Hormone Replacement Therapy.
IODINE IN THE BODY
doctors do not measure iodine levels, and completely ignore iodine, sadly. However, a doctor can measure it one of
The blood serum iodine level.
This is not always accurate, but may be helpful.
The oral iodine loading test. One takes 50 mg of iodine in a pill or
liquid form. Then one collects all
urine for 24 hours. This urine is
sent to a specialized laboratory that calculates the percentage of iodine that the
body excreted from the loading dose that was given. It should be at least 90%. Most people are extremely depleted, however.
The iodine patch test. A much simpler
and somewhat less accurate test is to paint some iodine on one’s forearm and
then wait and see how long it takes for the body to absorb the iodine patch or
spot. This is very simple, can be
done at home at practically no cost, and gives a good general ideal of iodine
status. To do the test, one simply
buys some liquid iodine such as SSKI and paints a square about 2 inches on a
side, on the inside of one’s arm.
It should not disappear in less than a few days. However, in most people it is absorbed
and disappears within a few hours, indicating a severe need for iodine.
assessment with nutritional balancing programs. In my experience, so far, it is not
necessary to assess iodine status if one uses a non-toxic form of iodine
supplementation such as kelp. I
find extremely few people who cannot take up to 6 600 mg capsules of Nature’s
Way or Endomet kelp each day.
exceptions are those places where people eat a lot of seafood AND seaweed
both. These people, living in
places such as Japan, are generally healthier, and may only need 3 kelp
capsules daily. It is surprising to
me that they need some kelp, because they ingest a lot of iodine, but they
generally do need a supplement.
Perhaps they need the minerals in the kelp, rather than the iodine.
balancing programs supply a maximum of about 9.5 mg of iodine. (This
includes taking 6 kelp capsules daily, 6 Megapan tablets, 6 Thyro-complex
capsules daily, eating a normal amount of sea salt daily, and eating 3 cans of
sardines weekly. In fact, this is
more iodine than most everyone on a nutritional balancing program
ingests.) This seems to be What
our clients need.
most iodine-aware doctors give between 12
and 50 mg of Iodoral. They do
not like kelp because they say the iodine content varies. This is true, but it does not seem to matter
for our clients. In fact, we love
the other minerals and other phytonutrients kelp contains.
Iodoral and similar products are synthetic, and we find they tend to be
somewhat toxic, in all cases!
AND HAIR MINERAL ANALYSIS
not read by most hair mineral testing laboratories. The reason is that it is somewhat more difficult to measure
accurately. However, this does not
diminish its importance and I hope some day the labs will read the hair iodine
level, which would give some indication of the iodine level in the soft tissues
of the body.
forms of iodine. Every cell of the body utilizes iodine in some form. There are two major forms, iodide
and iodine, required by various tissues, according to
researchers. They claim the body
cannot convert the forms one to another.
I am not sure about this, but that is the research.
instance, the thyroid gland and the skin requires primarily iodide. The breasts, however, require
iodine. Without it they can become
fibrocystic or develop precancerous and cancerous lesions.
tissues, including the kidneys, spleen, liver, blood, salivary glands and
intestines, can use either form, apparently.
of iodine supplementation:
Everyone needs extra supplementary iodine. This is one mineral you cannot get from your food, unless
you were to live on a lot of fish AND seaweed, and this would give you so much
mercury you could die from it.
not listen to doctors, nutritionists or anyone else who claims that you can get
enough iodine from your food. They
may have learned this in school, but in my experience, and that of many others,
they are entirely wrong. Even
worse, it could cost you your life, since iodine deficiency is associated with
more cancers, strokes and other serious health problems.
It is important that one supplement both forms of iodine. This is easy using kelp or other preparations.
Chemical forms of iodine are somewhat toxic. Here I differ from many doctors who use potassium
iodide, elemental iodine in water, and other chemical forms of iodine. They say it is not toxic, but my
research is that it is toxic and it will build up in the liver.
As a result,
I much prefer kelp as one’s iodine supplement. Most other natural doctors prefer to use iodine pills such
as Iodoral, or liquids such as Lugol’s solution. Other natural doctors prefer supplements such as prolamine
iodine, Liquidulse, or others.
These are all somewhat toxic, in my experience, or have other
adult dosage of kelp is about 3600-4000 mg daily. This is usually given as 6 (six) 660 mg capsules daily. Some adults need a little more than
this, and a few people need a little less. Children need less.
If there is a reaction to this much kelp, it is usually a healing
reaction. Just start with a pinch
and work up. To learn about kelp,
please read the article entitled Kelp on this website.
and Seafood as iodine supplements.
These foods are excellent sources of iodine. However, all fish -
and even more so shellfish - are high in mercury. In fact, mercury replaces iodine in the
As a result,
I cannot recommend eating fish, except for 3-4 cans of sardines weekly. Sardines are an excellent food because
they are high in omega-3 oils, available vitamin D, selenium and other
nutrients everyone needs today.
They are also so small they do not accumulate nearly as much
mercury. They are also always wild
caught, and are cooked promptly when they are caught.
they do not provide enough iodine to supply our needs today, in my
experience. So even with 3-4 cans
of sardines weekly, an iodine supplement is always needed.
regulated in many ways in the thyroid.
However, the most important pathway is the conversion of iodide into
iodine through an oxidation reaction.
requires an enzyme called TPO or thyroperoxidase. It also requires hydrogen peroxide. If too much hydrogen peroxide is left
in the thyroid, however, it leads to Hashimoto’s disease, a common thyroid
that helps control hydrogen peroxide is selenium. It is needed to make glutathione peroxidase, whose function,
among many others, is to detoxify hydrogen peroxide after it has done its job
in the thyroid gland.
also required later in the metabolism of the thyroid hormone in the conversion
of the relatively inactive T4 to the active thyroid hormone T3. The enzyme primarily responsible for
this conversion is iodothyronine deiodinase. This enzyme also requires selenium to function
deficiency of selenium in the body will impair T3 production and thus cause
hypothyroidism symptoms, even if the body is producing plenty of T4. This is sometimes called a conversion problem, as opposed to an iodine deficiency problem.
selenium is critical for two phases of thyroid hormone production. It is thus considered a close relative
to iodine in the correction of thyroid difficulties. For more information about selenium, see the article on this
website entitled Selenium, A New Mineral For Health and
and iodine. Soy products
not only contain copper, which can interfere with iodine and thyroid
activity. They also contain enzyme
inhibitors that affect the thyroid at times. So soy is not generally good for the thyroid gland and
water and iodine. This is also
detrimental for thyroid activity, thanks to its chlorine and possibly fluoride
mixed with the water. Spring or
distilled water are far better for the thyroid and iodine metabolism.
TO IODINE SUPPLEMENTS
a client reports that taking kelp or another iodine supplement causes nausea,
vomiting, an upset stomach, or some other symptoms. In my experience, this is a healing reaction, and in 99% of the cases, it is NOT an allergy to
iodine, as I hear frequently from some doctors.
reaction occurs, usually when one begins taking an iodine supplement, because
the iodine begins to interfere with and remove the iodine antagonists –
bromides, chlorides and fluorides.
This is the cause of the reaction, and little else.
all cases, if one will simply reduce the dosage and begin with just a small
amount – one capsule daily or less, if needed – the symptoms will
go away. Then, over a period of
weeks or a few months, if necessary, slowly increase the dosage until one
reaches the full dosage of kelp, ideally.
To understand healing reactions, please read Retracing
And Healing Reactions on this website.
IODINE WHEN A PERSON HAS HASHIMOTO’S THYROIDITIS
people have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is associated
with hypothyroidism. We regularly
give kelp to everyone who has Hashimoto’s disease. No problems occur and it hastens the
healing of the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
internet articles that say one must not take iodine in this situation. Perhaps this is true if one does not
follow a complete nutritional balancing program. We always use kelp along with a complete healing program,
and it works well.
IODINE TO BABIES AND CHILDREN
I do not
suggest giving iodine to babies, as a general rule. I do give it to some children around age 4 and older, as
they can be born low in iodine due to deficiency in their mothers.
children usually take about half a kelp capsule daily (about 300 mg), and more
is given to older children, without any problems. Most experience better energy and an enhancement of their
IODINE WITH BOTH SLOW AND FAST OXIDATION
ask if one can take iodine if one is a fast and/or a slow oxidizer. The answer is yes. While there are articles describing
that iodine can inhibit the thyroid gland, at times, I find that both fast and
slow oxidizers improve with kelp.
The likely reason is that both metabolic types are
usually deficient in iodine. A
fast oxidation rate in an adult, for example, is always just a stress situation
that quickly resolves to slow oxidation as the body is renourished and
detoxified. To read more about the
oxidation types, please read Fast, Slow
And Mixed Oxidation on this site.
TAKING IODINE IN CASES OF GRAVE’S
with Grave’s disease or hyperthyroidism (an excessively high level of thyroid hormones)
cannot take much kelp, in my experience.
They may need more iodine, but one must use it cautiously until the
Grave’s disease is gone, which can take several months or more on a nutritional
balancing program. For more on
this topic, please read Grave’s disease.
RELATION OF IODINE TO
TOXIC FORMS OF IRON, MANGANESE AND ALUMINUM
there is an antagonism between iodine and what are called “the amigos”. These are oxides of iron, manganese, aluminum, nickel,
copper and at times other minerals.
When iodine is deficient, the amigos may build up in the body.
LOW IODINE MAY PREDISPOSE
TO TOXICITY WITH MERCURY AND/OR COPPER
that iodine deficiency may increase the risk of toxicity from mercury and copper. The reason I say this is that mercury
and copper tend to build up in the thyroid gland in some people, especially
when the metabolic rate is sluggish.
be called a modern “female mineral” because women need more of it, and it is
critical today for breast health.
Also, next to the thyroid gland, the ovaries require more iodine than
any other gland or organ in women or men.
While it affects all the hormones, it is particularly important for the
female hormones such as the proper balance between the forms of estrogen -
estriol, estrone and estradiol.
VEGETARIAN DIETS AND
best sources of iodine are products from the sea, vegetarians and especially
vegans are very prone to iodine deficiency. The amount of iodine found in sea salt is not sufficient. The only way a vegetarian can get
enough iodine is to eat a lot of kelp or other sea vegetables on a daily
basis. For more on vegetarianism,
please read Vegetarian Diets on this site.
DANGERS IN RESEARCHING
IODINE ON THE INTERNET
checks the internet, there is information about iodine that I believe is
totally incorrect. Please be
careful with internet research.
For more on this important topic, please read Internet Research on this website.