Minus those with a massive allergy to it, Iodine is an essential mineral. In fact, all the cells in the body use Iodine. Did you know that Iodine actually improves insulin response? It can even help fight fungal infections. It is also vital for adrenal, ovarian, breast pancreatic, and all endocrine (hormone) gland function, and of course, thyroid function.
The thyroid is an extremely important little organ. This little guy produces the hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate and heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development and bone maintenance, and so on. That is a big job, but it needs Iodine to get it done! Can you imagine life without this? Unfortunately, some of you are already living it.
The US recommended daily intake of Iodine is 150 MICROgrams (mcg) per day for most adults and about twice that for pregnant and nursing women. How much the average person actually gets is anyone’s guess. It is probably a lot less than what is recommended. Let us take Japan, for instance – again. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (U.S. National Library of Medicine), it is estimated that the Japanese Iodine intake averages 1-3 MILLIgrams (mg) a day (Zava & Zava, 2011). That is quite a contrast to the average American intake, right?
So most are already deficient. To add insult to injury, some are simply displacing what little they do get. Again, here in the states, we fluoridate our waters (Fluoride is the simplest anion of fluorine – which can displace Iodine) (Grandjean & Landrigan, 2014), and as we have already discussed; if we do not use Fluoride, we use Chlorine (which can also displace Iodine) (CDC, 2010). We drink it; we brush our teeth with it, wash our food, and bathe in it. But it gets worse because then there is Bromine (CDC, 2013). Like fluorine, it is a halogen, but unlike Iodine, it has no health-promoting qualities. In fact, it is very toxic (Group, 2014). Unfortunately, like Fluoride and Chlorine, some people choose to consume Bromine.
When you factor in the world, we have built around us, such as our fabrics and plastics, and then factor in our food supply (such as bread and Mountain Dew) – (all potential sources of Bromine), it is no wonder everyone is so sick. And I am not just picking on Mountain Dew here; I am picking on similar drinks as well (Sun Drop, Squirt, Fresca, etc.)! I am talking about the ingredient known as brominated vegetable oil or “BVO.” That’s right! We are literally eating and drinking it up! Yikes!
The point is that Iodine is protection against toxicity from mean halogens like Bromine, Fluoride, and Chlorine. It has been said that getting enough Iodine actually chelates these halogens from our bodies, thus decreasing their Iodine-inhibiting effects.
SIDE NOTE: Bromine should not be confused with “bromelain.” Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found naturally in the juice and stems of pineapples.
So let us look at Bromine a little closer for a second and figure out why you might be loaded with it. This is a nasty element. The problem is that Iodine and Bromine appear similar to the thyroid gland, and Bromines are said to compete for the same receptors that are used to capture Iodine; then, Bromines turn around and inhibit the activity of Iodine in the thyroid. So Bromines act like a bouncer and either kick out the Iodine or stop it from doing anything.
You need to understand that if you are exposed to high amounts of Bromine (which you probably are), your body may not hold on to the Iodine because it thinks it needs to hang with the Bromine. Basically, it means the exact opposite of the good things listed that Iodine can do for you. This obviously presents a problem because your body needs that Iodine; it affects every tissue in your body in ways I do not have the room to explain. This creates a domino effect unless the Iodine brings in his friends (more Iodine)!
In fact, there is something called the “Bromide Dominance” theory to help explain this (Farrow, 2015). This is when Bromine has been picked up from the environment, work, and food and has risen to such a level that it literally begins to inhibit Iodine enzyme metabolism altogether. This results in big problems for the body. And to think, this could have been stopped had we just supplied the body with what it needed in the first place.
The odd thing is that many other nations worldwide have already banned Bromine substances in their food supply because they recognized this potential danger. Your government, on the other hand; well they probably enjoy your visits to their healthcare facilities where they can tell you more about how avoiding salt is a great idea, while they encourage you to drink the city water and then tell you to follow a food guideline similar to how they fatten up cattle.
The thing you need to ask yourself now is, “What is my major source of Iodine?” I can probably guess that for most, it is the iodized salt you were told to reduce dramatically. So that is three major beneficial elements (sodium, chloride, & Iodine), basically off the table for most Americans. Yet being sick is some surprise.
And do not think that iodized salt is the answer. You would need at least 20 teaspoons of iodized salt daily to get adequate quantities of Iodine – and that is IF you are not already deficient. While I tend to advocate the consumption of salt, even that might be a bit much. The point is that the chances that you are salt and Iodine deficient and halogen toxic are actually extremely high. If you are only putting trace amounts of Iodine in the body while unknowingly loading your body with lots of Bromine, Chlorine, and fluorine, what other conclusion is there?
Understand that there is a reason why Discovery Magazine wants to blame iodized salt for boosting the IQ of America (Raffensperger, 2013). Salt maintains the correct balance of certain fluids, which bathe the cells in our bodies – which, if you are consuming a decent amount of Iodine, will also help deliver that Iodine into the cells of our bodies where it is needed. They work synergistically to make you better, healthier, and even smarter.
Smarter? That’s right! Iodine is also needed for brain development and brain function in general. As I have already shared, several studies have shown the correlation between Iodine shortage and lowered cognitive function and ability.
To give you a better idea, Iodine deficiency was once (and may still be) the leading cause of preventable mental retardation. This is not a joke. This brings us back to the point: it has been said that Iodine deficiency rates are now reaching epidemic levels (Piccone, 2011). In fact, today, “nearly 74% of normal, “healthy” adults may no longer consume enough Iodine.” And we already know there is some war against salt underway. So do the math! If you are thinking a little slower than you would like, it could be a sign that you need to up the Iodine and salt and then decrease the Mountain Dew.
You know where you can get salt, but let me agree with modern medicine for a second and suggest that you stay away from ordinary table salt. Instead, go with a Celtic Sea Salt and/or Himalayan Sea Salt. These salts have other elements that you will probably need. As for Iodine, Iodine’s rich natural sources include fresh ocean fish, shellfish, sea vegetables like seaweed, etc.
WebMD states that “As a rule, there is very little Iodine in food unless it has been added during processing, which is now the case with salt. Most of the world’s Iodine is found in the ocean, where it is concentrated by sea life, especially seaweed (WebMD, 2016).” They have found some in REAL milk and organic potatoes, but let me stress REAL and ORGANIC… because pasteurization is said to destroy 20 percent of the already low levels of Iodine present in raw milk, and potatoes tend to suck up pesticides… which are rich with halogens. But there is always my favorite way to get it; supplementation – which comes in pill or liquid form and both of which you can probably pick up at your local pharmacy or natural foods store.
How many Americans do you think either live away from the ocean, do not eat kelp, do not eat fish, do not eat organic food, follow the RDA regarding their nutrition, drink processed milk, follow the normal advice about salt, and follow the normal advice provided about things like Fluoride or Chlorine? When you look at it this way, it is easy to see why America is sick and dumb. We have been left malnourished, under-educated, and guided toward brain-dead by those we trusted.
This is why each day, I personally consume a mixture of Iodized Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, and Himalayan Sea Salt, and I supplement with Lugol’s Iodine Solution and kelp pills. Dosages may vary but starting out using the manufacturer’s recommended dosage is just fine.
My point is this; if you are a generally healthy individual, I would HIGHLY encourage you to start researching for yourself the benefits of getting a decent supply of REAL salt and a healthy dose of Iodine in your diet. While you are at it, you might also consider looking into drastically reducing any form of halogen in your food supply and environment. The future “you” might appreciate it!
Let me also suggest that you do not overdo it. Actually, learn about what you are consuming. Even too much of a great thing can be bad, and both salt and Iodine are no different. To clarify: I am not saying go out and load up on this stuff; I am just saying that for quite a few of us, it is best if we do not pass it up. And remember, “Educating yourself does not mean that you were stupid in the first place; it means that you are intelligent enough to know that there is plenty left to learn.” – Melanie Joy.
How do you know if you are one of the millions with Iodine deficiency? How do you know if you need to supplement with Iodine? These are common questions that I often get after explaining the horrors of not having enough. So I wanted to dedicate a page or two to answer this question for everyone else.
There are, of course, the major physical signs of Iodine deficiency. These include but are not limited to things like thyroid enlargement or “goiter.” But mental imbalances such as depression, anxiety, slowed brain function, or confusion can also be signs. Weight swings, sexual issues, allergies, hair loss, constipation, and general weakness can all be signs as well. I have even read that varying degrees of autism can be a strong clue. Also, low immunity, emotional swings in general, cysts, soreness, and associated conditions are strong indicators.
Iodine deficiency can be more than just a personal issue. For instance, pregnant mothers who lack Iodine also run the risk of hurting their children. Sure, autism can be a result, but mental retardation is a risk as well. This list also includes fetal hypothyroidism, which can lead to brain damage in unborn children, among many other things.
I hope that I have made my point abundantly clear by now: Iodine is essential, and if you are avoiding decent sources of Iodine in your diet, eating or drinking things that displace Iodine, or surround yourself with certain chemicals that rob the body of Iodine, there is a good chance that you might be running a little low. Again, the sad truth is that the standard American diet does not contain much Iodine. This is especially true if you live inland or follow a restrictive diet.
Of course, the symptoms listed can also be symptoms of other issues within the body, so you want to be sure. If you see a doctor that actually cares, he or she may help you test for deficiency, but there is a decent way to find out without the added expense.
Here is how you can tell if you have an Iodine deficiency without running to the doctor and all the major tests. This method will not provide you the percentages but will give you a pretty strong indication that perhaps Iodine rich foods or supplementation are in order. The best part about it… it is cheap!
So here is what you do…
Go to the pharmacy and pick up a bottle of Iodine tincture. Make sure it says “Iodine tincture”. (Do not ingest this – ever.)
NOTE: Iodine Tincture is not to be confused with other various forms of Iodine you can get at the pharmacy. Make sure it says just that.
Paint a small patch on your forearm, your stomach, or the inside of your thigh before you go to bed. This is because your metabolism slows when you sleep.
In the morning… check the patch.
If the entire patch remains, you are getting enough Iodine. If the color is much lighter, faded in any way or even gone, you are not getting enough Iodine.
To clarify: if the color is only partially gone, your deficiency is not terrible, but still an issue. If the patch is completely gone, you have a clear deficiency. So if you fall into either of these categories, you are probably still in need of Iodine.
The following types of Iodine supplements can be ingested safely.
Or Check This Out…
NOTE: Do not overdo it. You do not want too much too fast or even in general. Just follow the directions. The good news is that if you are deficient, your body will soak up whatever you give it, so it is hard at first to overdo it. But be safe, and follow the direction anyway. Take it slow and see how you feel over time.
Here are some Iodine rich food choices to consider:
- Sea Vegetables (Kelp, Hiziki, Kombu, etc)
- And to some degree… Cranberries.
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This article was originally published as a chapter in the book Natural Health Made Easy: The Briobiotic Protocol (2016)
David Robertson is not a medical doctor. Articles/Books herein are not medical advice, a professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or service to you or to any other individual. This is simply general information for educational and anecdotal purposes only. The information provided herein, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. David Robertson is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain or utilize. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN.