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Are you getting enough IODINE?


Are you getting enough IODINE?

By Lauren Ayers

Iodine is found in each of our body’s hundred trillion cells yet the vast majority of Americans are deficient.  Some symptoms of iodine deficiency: 

  • ADD
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Autism
  • Brain fog
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Dry hair, skin, mouth, and/or eyes
  • Edema (swollen ankles, puffy face)
  • Fatigue
  • Goiter
  • High cholesterol
  • Infertility
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Low sex drive
  • Lower than average body temp
  • Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • SIDS
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Weight gain (especially in the belly)

A third of the world’s population lives in iodine deficient areas, according to the World Health Organization. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy is the most common (and entirely preventable) cause of mental retardation.  Iodine deficiency can lead to socio economic decline for two reasons: poor health and lower IQ. 

Some researchers consider Neanderthals to be merely iodine deficient Homo sapiens.

One study found that when “mothers had very low levels of thyroid hormone early in pregnancy the chance of having a kid with autism was multiplied by four.” Neonatal mortality can drop up to 50% when iodine deficiency is treated.  

Dr. David Brownstein reports that 94.7% of his patients were deficient in inorganic iodine. Iodine has always been scarce but in the 30 years between the 1971 iodine survey and the 2000 survey, the average American iodine level dropped 50%

Why is there more deficiency now than ever before?

  • We use less (iodized) salt
  • Restaurant and convenience foods don’t use iodized salt
  • Iodine is no longer added to milk
  • Commercial bakers now use bromine dough conditioner, not iodine 
  • The modern tidal wave of iodine antagonists

Iodine and chlorine are halogens we need for health, but absorption is blocked by the two ‘ugly step sisters,’ also halogens: fluoride in drinking water and bromine as a flame retardant in synthetic carpet, foam carpet pads, upholstered furniture, mattresses, car seats, and electronics. 

Tris (now banned), PBDEs, and PBBs all contain bromine, which can be 5 to 30% of a product’s weight. The EPA says PBDEs are toxic to humans, pets, and livestock, are bioaccumulative and toxic, yet California’s Technical Bulletin 117 (1975) requires flame retardant in furniture upholstered with foam; mattresses were added 2007. This explains why Californians have nearly 200 times more PBDEs in their bodies than Germans. The label never says “contains bromine.” Bromine is not inert but outgases, harming children’s IQ, attention, and motor skills.  Other iodine antagonists: PCBs, dioxins.

In 1998 Drs. Guy Abraham and Jorge Flechas began the Iodine Project  ( Other contemporary iodine-savvy doctors are David Brownstein, David Derry, Gabriel Cousens, and W.R. Ghent, who wrote about the Russian research. 

It all goes back to Jean Lugol, a researcher in Paris. In 1829 he discovered that mixing KI (potassium iodide) and NaI (sodium iodide) produces triiodine (I3), which is 150 times more soluble than either component.  

Lugol’s Solution was incredibly curative for TB in lungs and lymph nodes and this success was the start of modern medical practice; iodine was called the “universal medicine” until the 1960s. Old time doctors were able to treat an ever expanding list of ailments that up to then had been hopeless, starting with goiter. Iodine was even used to cure syphilis and chronic lung disease, using 6 grams daily (which is 6,000 milligrams/day!).  

Cancer etc.

Dr. Brownstein has found 200 to 300 mg of iodine daily are effective for prostate and breast cancer, with 100 mg/day for people in remission.  In perspective, this seemingly “high” dose is still far lower than what the 1910-1911 Encyclopedia Britannica cites as the “usual” daily dose of 300-900 mg. Other doctors go as high as 1000 mg a day.  Now 1 in 7 American women (almost 15 percent) develop breast cancer, but 30 years ago, when the average American got twice as much iodine as now only 1 in 20 women got breast cancer.

The highest doses, 6 grams daily (which is 6,000 mg/ day!), were used to cure syphilis and chronic lung disease.  The spirochete for Lyme disease is similar to that for syphilis, shouldn’t doctors make sure their Lyme patients are iodine replete? Iodine as an aerosol was used in the Spanish flu epidemic and is put into nebulizers in our time for lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and tuberculosis. Shouldn’t aerosol iodine be considered for both swine flu and regular influenza? 

High levels are needed because humans evolved in coastal iodine-rich environments; we ‘use up’ large amounts of iodine each day in ordinary metabolism (i.e. a person with optimum intake of iodine excretes a lot of it in the urine). 

In the 1950s Dr. Orian Truss had patients with serious Candida from antibiotics, which blocked proper assimilation of nutrients from food. They regained health with Lugol’s. 

Cholesterol levels rise when the thyroid gland malfunctions due to inadequate iodine.  Iodine moves cholesterol out of arteries in order to make lipid-based hormones. 

Dr. Michael B. Schachter says, “The treatment dose when a person is iodine insufficient is generally between 12.5 mg and 50 mg daily.”  It takes about 3 months to become iodine replete when ingesting 50 mg of iodine a day, or a year when ingesting 12.5 mg of iodine a day. “However, the patient needs to be monitored closely with awareness of detoxification reactions” as toxic iodine blockers like bromide, fluoride, and perchlorate are released into the blood.

Detoxing from Bromine, Fluorine, Etc.

Iodine alone can’t cope with detoxing. Download the Iodine Group’s free Guide (below) where you’ll learn how essential-but-scarce nutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, boron, and silica, protect from the release of bromine etc.  The amino acid tyrosine also helps during detoxification, when the body loosens toxins faster than the body can eliminate them. 

“Salt loading” with one teaspoon of sea salt a day (added to food or drink) helps most people avoid the headaches that sometimes result when the body is detoxing.

To learn how to handle these modern toxins, download naturopath Stephanie Buist’s free 16-page “Guide to Supplementing with Iodine,” drawn from thousands of people who subscribe to the Yahoo Iodine Group.  Dr. Brownstein wrote Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It. Then there is Lynne Farrow’s book The Iodine Crisis, What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life (with a forward by Dr. Brownstein) and her online forum,  

Why did iodine therapy disappear? 

The baseless fear of overdosing with iodine arose in 1948 when the poorly performed, never replicated Wolff-Chaikoff study alleged that hypothyroidism could occur as a result of ‘excess’ iodine. The study concluded that only 2 milligrams daily would be safe. 

This one flawed study on rats was extrapolated to humans, leading to a new treatment for goiter and hypothyroidism— Synthroid, which contains thyroxine.  Synthroid is now the second top selling drug in America.  Dr. Abraham explains, “Supplying thyroid hormones to iodine-deprived individuals masks the iodine deficiency and can result in a zombie-like effect. The patients are capable of performing physical work but are not able to think and reason at maximum capacity.” 

And now there is another reason the medical establishment doesn’t like iodine—CAT scans and some types of x-rays use an iodine-based radiocontrast agent, therefore iodine-replete subjects can’t get clear images.  

Iodine deficiency is exacerbated if patients’ food or water contain goitrogenic (iodine repelling) chemicals like bromide, fluoride, perchlorate, PCBs, or dioxins. 

The Japanese consume 13.8 mg/day of iodine.  Fish have plenty of iodine in their thyroid but not in their flesh.  Dr. Weston Price found that most inland native peoples traded with coastal people for iodine-rich kelp or dried fish eggs. 

Red, Hot, Swollen – Grangulomas Are Signs of Healing

Our amazing bodies form a granuloma when any protein, such as bacteria, virus, or allergen is enveloped by white blood cells in a process called phagocytosis.  The three required ingredients to produce the “oxygen burst” that kills and disintegrates the protein are: 

  • Peroxidase enzyme (a catalyst)
  • H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide)
  • Either chlorine or iodine 

White blood cells wall off invaders such as the chicken pox virus in a granuloma. If the white blood cells only have chlorine (from table salt) but no iodine, the invader is weakened but not destroyed.  With age a person’s immune system slows, and walled-off invaders escape their granuloma, which is when shingles, cold sores, and genital herpes hit.  This usually happens about once a month or when the person gets tired, stressed or the body chemistry changes— usually from low calcium due to lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.  Vitamin D and omega-3s in the intestinal villi help the blood upload calcium.

Iodine as Veggie Wash

The CDC reports that a rare form of E. coli has sickened or killed people, and elsewhere the CDC says, “Disinfection with iodine or chlorine has a high effectiveness in killing bacteria such as E. coli.” Dr. Mark Sircus suggests the public should be told that an iodine veggie rinse protects from E. coli.

Protection from Radiation

Children absorb four times more radioactive fallout than adults. Newly revealed tapes, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has failed to alert West Coast parents that Fukushima’s annual radioactive iodine-131 dose is 4 REM for infants under one year of age in California.  Since a child’s dose of 5 REM is immediate grounds for evacuation, we clearly haven’t been given the whole story!  

Iodine-131 has an 8-day half-life and decays in months, but causes cancer when captured in thyroid tissue. Potassium iodide (KI) taken 8 hours prior to nuclear exposure prevents absorption of 131, but long term use has some serious side effects.  Instead, iodine repletion (from regular consumption of Lugol’s solution or Iodorol) can safely prevent absorption of radioactive iodine.


Lauren Ayers, Chapter Co-Leader,

Sonoma, CA 95476

707  939-9999


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