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Iodine and Thyroid

By The Lucy Rose Clinic

January 7, 2020

Iodine and Thyroid

Iodine deficiency is a serious health problem. The evidence is overwhelming.

Iodine is the most important nutrient involved in thyroid health. For this reason it is imperative we have adequate intake to maintain optimal health. All cells in the body need iodine. There is a lot of misinformation about iodine and how it can have negative side effects. Like anything if taken at the right dose it is harmless. The body also has a regulatory system to excrete it if you have too much, making sure we are safe at all times!

The most important things to know about iodine

1. Without iodine the thyroid cannot work properly at all –the thyroid influences every cell in the body and 98% of the western population is iodine deficient.

2. Iodine helps to prevent breast cancer – Dr. Broda Barnes noted that only 6 of his patients ever had cancer once he had balanced the thyroid (NB: there are lots of iodine receptors in the breasts).

3. Iodine helps prevent lumps and cysts (PCOS, breast lumps, thyroid nodules/lumps)

4. Iodine is involved with every hormone in the body. There are lots of iodine receptor sites on the ovaries, breasts and thyroid in particular.

5. Iodine works in the body to kill parasites, fungal and yeast overgrowth much as it does when you use it on your skin for infections of any type.

6. Iodine helps to detox the other damaging halides (bromide, fluoride, chloride) and heavy metals like mercury and cadmium by competitive absorption.

7. Iodine increases stomach acid which in turn helps you to digest your protein better and kill off bacteria entering your body through your oral passage, helping with gas and bloating.

8. Iodine helps the utilisation of sugar in the body for fuel, including in the brain, therefore increasing brain function, cognitive function and energy levels

Low iodine levels cause hormonal dysfunction, goitre (swelling of the thyroid) and hypothyroidism, immune dysfunction, digestive problems, mental retardation, infertility, depression and cretinism (severe mental retardation accompanied by physical deformities). Taking iodine can help with these conditions and also help with fibromyalgia, insulin dependent diabetes, thyroid  diseases, arthritis, breast and prostate cancer and even weight loss.

How to know if you have enough Iodine

1. Get tested – It is important you have a urinary screen for iodine levels. The 24 hour load test is the gold standard for iodine testing. This is where you take an initial urine sample, then take a supplied dose of 50mg of iodine, then collect your urine for 24 hours in a large container and then a small sample of this is tested and compared with the initial sample at the lab. This test measures your Iodine saturation and usage, indicating your personal Iodine requirement for optimal body function. For people with time or money restrictions, a spot urine test can be done as an alternative. It is faster because it only requires one sample after an absence of iodine intake, cheaper because you are only getting one vial assessed, and it gives you a good ballpark figure for iodine status and what safe dose of Iodine you need to take. It is worth mentioning that dramatic changes of water will alter spot testing for iodine, but the 24hour load test is much more accurate as it is measuring our iodine loading and excretion per dose.

2. Take the right dose for you. The evidence shown by 30 years of research by Dr. Guy Abraham and Dr. Brownstein that the adequate daily intake for iodine is 12.5mg. Mainland Japanese women intake 13.8 mg daily with no negative side effects whatsoever. Interestingly, they also have the lowest rates of breast cancer and menopausal symptoms in the world and live the longest. The recommended dose in Australia is 300mcg, this is a huge difference to the levels we actually need to maintain health!

3. Understand why you are taking it. Iodine has almost disappeared from the western diet, with seaweed and sea fish are the only adequate sources. You would need to eat these foods daily to get the right amount of iodine in your diet. Salt and iodised salt are poor sources of iodine as chloride (sodium chloride) competes with iodine in the body, meaning you don’t absorb the iodine very well.

4. Iodine is detected in every organ and tissue in the body. Without enough of it, it will bring a wide variety of health conditions. It is a key (if not the most important) mineral the body needs. It eliminates abnormal cells floating around the body. It helps to detox poisons and heavy metals and is key in maintaining thyroid health.

Case Study

Amy came to see us with sugar cravings. It was negatively affecting her life because she couldn’t lose weight. She went on big sugar binges, making her tired, overweight and depressed. We tested her iodine levels, discovered she was low and gave her a 12.5mg dose of iodine. Within 3 days her sugar cravings had completely disappeared. It is necessary to point out that it is unusual for a patient to be given only iodine to someone for this issue, however, in this case that was all she took and bingo…result! Sometimes the cravings are not the patients fault and they can be powerless to sugar when nutritionally out of balance.

“Misinformation about the essential element Iodine, may have caused more human misery and death than both world wars combined ”.

Dr Guy Abraham – Endocrinologist (researching iodine for 30 years)

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