Iodine & your thyroid

As I promised last time, I will talk a little about iodine, which I feel is one of the most important and misunderstood nutrient in the body that every cell needs. Living with no natural thyroid function, due to my cancer, has not been easy. I know the ramifications of an underactive thyroid, and iodine is the key to its proper functioning. Please don’t take my word for it, research some of the premier iodine research doctors like Guy Abraham, David Brownstein, and Dr. Flechas. Because the thyroid is the dominant iodine user in the body, thyroid cancer treatment is so effective using radioactive iodine. The majority of the iodine will be absorbed by thyroid tissue which thyroid cancer always acts like regardless of where it might have spread to. Having said that, I’m sure other parts of my body suffered with this treatment since every cell uses iodine. This, of course, was not discussed back when I had treatment nor did I know about it since I wasn’t into natural health then. 

Iodine deficiency has also been linked to many other cancers such as breast and prostate. The Japanese have the lowest cancer rate and other chronic diseases in the world, and part of that may be due to their high iodine consumption through sea vegetables. They consume about 50 mgs of iodine daily, which is more than 888 times what our FDA has listed as our daily recommendation! Iodine is crucial for the thyroid to work and a deficiency of iodine is disastrous for it. RDA of iodine is 105mcg (micrograms) which is 0.15mg. Studies have shown this to be the amount needed before a goiter may appear, but it is not the amount necessary for optimal cellular functioning.
Because of the toxic halides I discussed last time, fluorine, chlorine, and bromine, higher doses of iodine need to be taken in order to detoxify those out of the body freeing up the iodine receptor sites. This is a process of introducing iodine supplements at an increasing rate to detoxify the halides thus accomplishing “orthoiodosupplementation”, which is whole body sufficiency of iodine for proper cellular function. Due to low RDA of iodine, many feel this is unsafe, but here is what Guy E. Abraham, MD and David Brownstein, MD say about that in the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, October 2005

“In the practice of medicine, we have seen very few natural therapies as safe and effective as orthoiodosupplementation. In the proper forms of iodine (inorganic non-radioactive forms), in daily amounts of iodine for whole body sufficiency and properly monitored, orthoiodosupplementation is not only safe, it is an effective tool for the clinician. Prior to the availability of assays for thyroid hormones and without any test for assessing whole body sufficiency for iodine, our medical predecessors recommended a range of daily iodine intake from Lugol solution (12.5-37.5 mg) exactly within the range required for achieving whole body sufficiency for iodine. Relying on clinical observation of the patient’s overall wellbeing, our predecessors have given us useful information, which we have discarded in favor of preconceived opinions of self-appointed pseudoexperts. This has resulted in pandemic iodine deprivation. Iodine deficiency is misdiagnosed and treated with toxic drugs. Orthoiodosupplementation may be the simplest, safest, most effective and least expensive way to help solve the health care crisis crippling our nation.”

You may be wondering if you might benefit from iodine. I have used a very easy test that may not be the most precise, but can give an indication of deficiency. It is done by simply painting a 2” square of iodine tincture (make sure you don’t get colorless) on your forearm or belly. If the patch stays the same color for 18 hours, you have no iodine deficiency. The quicker it fades, the lower your iodine reserves are. This is based on the premise that your body needs iodine so much that if it isn’t getting it in food, it will absorb it through the skin. Any of you old enough to remember using it as a kid on cuts and scrapes will remember iodine staining the skin for days. It stained because our foods were richer in iodine back then and our body didn’t need additional iodine! The other more accurate medical test for iodine deficiency is the “Iodine Loading Test” which is a 24 hour urine test. 

Many think using iodized salt is enough, but it is not even close to what is needed for good health, but it is enough to keep a goiter away! There are a few supplements available for iodine therapy: Prolamine Iodine by Standard Process, Iodine Plus from Nutritional Frontiers, Iodoral, and Lugal’s solution. I have used all of these at one time or another. I personally think everyone needs some iodine, depending on symptoms how much.
Iodine deficiency links to thyroid disorders and cancer are not the only problems seen. Fibrocystic Breast Disease also responds very well to orthoiodosupplementation sometimes relieving pain within a couple of weeks.

Do some research yourself and open your eyes to see if iodine might be helpful to you! Western Pennsylvania is one of the leading cancer concentrated areas in our nation. Maybe, just maybe, iodine has a part to play in it. Take steps today to lessen your chance of being a part of that statistic like I am.