15 Must-Know Facts About Iodine

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on September 28, 2015

It is not an understatement to say our existence, and the quality of our lives, depends on having adequate iodine levels. In spite of this, mainstream medicine generally ignores the importance of this element. The following fifteen facts will reveal not only how important iodine is, but how much better your life can be with balanced levels of this life-giving element.

1. Iodine is an Essential Element

The thyroid creates hormones to regulate metabolism and cellular function. The two most important hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) require iodine for formation. Without iodine, the thyroid under-produces these hormones leading to hypothyroidism and other metabolic disorders.

2. Iodized Salt is Not a Good Source of Iodine

Most table salt has been iodized in an effort to eliminate iodine deficiency. Unfortunately, the process of manufacturing this salt can include adding artificial versions of iodine and other chemicals, making it anything but healthy. Plus, to make it white, most table salt is bleached. Dietary iodine can be found in better sources. And, for salt, go with Himalayan Crystal Salt.

3. Iodine Deficiency Remains a Problem

Much of the world continues to suffer from iodine deficiency. While many developing countries lack adequate dietary iodine, many western countries suffer iodine deficiency from diets based on processed foods. These foods introduce toxins which disrupt absorption of dietary iodine. This problem afflicts women more often than men.

4. Iodine Deficiency and Breast Cancer Have Been Linked

Although breast cancer has a number of causes and simply taking an iodine supplement shouldn’t at all be interpreted as a standalone cancer-preventative, studies have shown a correlation between breast cancer and thyroid disorders. Both the thyroid and breast require iodine to function properly. It has been noted in countries with a documented consumption of iodine rich foods that both problems occur less frequently in women. [1]

5. Good Dietary Sources of Iodine are…

Most dietary sources of iodine come from the sea. Fish such as cod, shellfish and shrimp provide better-than-average servings of dietary iodine. Sea vegetables like dulse seaweed, kelp, arame, kombu, nori, sea palm and wakame are the richest source of iodine. Other sources include eggs, organic milk and yogurt, dark leafy greens and prunes.

6. ‘Iodine Allergies’ are not caused by Iodine

While many doctors mistakenly refer to iodine allergies, rest assured no one has exhibited an allergy to this vital nutrient. Most allergies attributed to iodine result from an allergic response to iodine-based radio contrast media used to sharpen images from x-rays or CT scans. Studies have found the reactions resulted from molecules in the contrast media, not iodine. It is worth noting that while mild symptoms may be the usual response, anaphylactic response and death have occurred. Those ‘iodine allergies’ associated with seafood occur as reactions to proteins in the seafood, not as a reaction to iodine.

7. Iodine Helps Fight Harmful Organisms

Iodine has been used for centuries as a topical application to harmful organism infection. To this day it has proven effective against most varieties. Hospitals continue to use gallons of iodine daily to fight harmful microorganisms and maintain a sterile environment.

8. Iodine Protects the Thyroid from Radiation

During a nuclear event, radiation in the form of Iodine-131 can be released into the air. Exposure to this radioactive iodine can result in thyroid damage and hypothyroidism. The only way to protect the thyroid is to take iodine (atomic iodine is best) to flood the thyroid with a healthy, stable iodine. This prevents absorption of the radioactive iodine by the thyroid.

9. Pregnancy Exacerbates Iodine Deficiency

Women during pregnancy require higher amounts of iodine to meet their need, and the need of the developing fetus. Pregnant women suffering from mild iodine deficiency have been shown to develop more severe deficiencies. If not properly addressed, the thyroid imbalance and hypothyroidism can become a chronic problem even post-partum.

10. Adequate Iodine prevents Goitrogenic Effects

Goitrogens inhibit hormone creation by the thyroid. These compounds can lead to goiter and hypothyroidism. Iodine therapy has been recommended and used to address the problems created by these compounds and help the body speed their removal. [2]

11. Inadequate Iodine Leads to Slowed Development

Health authorities discovered years ago that iodine deficiency, especially during fetal growth, led to mental retardation and cretinsim. Dietary supplementation with iodine after birth and during childhood has been shown not to counteract the result of iodine deficiency while in utero. [3] Maintaining appropriate iodine levels during pregnancy, and supplementing when appropriate, is one of the best ways to support proper neural development.

12. Medications Interrupt Iodine-Thyroid Function

Medications that use or mimic iodine have been found to interrupt thyroid function. Some drugs like amiodarone can lead to hyperthyroidism (the over-production of thyroid hormones). [4] Other drugs which can impact thyroid hormone metabolism include interferon, lithium, and dopamine. [5]

13. Iodine Encourages Detoxification

Healthy levels of iodine prevent toxic chemicals such as fluorine, chlorine, and bromine from interfering with thyroid function. Exposure to these chemicals occurs daily as they can be found in many foods, water and household chemicals. According to renowned iodine expert Dr. Brownstein, iodine supplementation does not allow these chemical toxins to accumulate in the body. This allows the body to pass these toxins out of the system.

14. Rejuvenates Skin, from the Inside Out!

Iodine promotes healthy skin, nails and hair. It stimulates cellular function resulting in the regeneration of the lower layers of these cells. By rejuvenating the skin from the inside out – so to speak – iodine encourages smooth skin, hair color and strong nails.

15. Atomic Iodine is the Ideal Supplement

Many iodine supplements use potassium iodide to provide iodine to the body. This iodide form requires the body to break it down into its component parts (which requires energy and by-products) before it can be used. Atomic iodine delivers the body a serving of iodine in the atomic form – the same form the thyroid uses for hormone creation. This highly bioavailable form of iodine allows the body to maximize the iodine supplement.

Have you noticed a change in your health since starting iodine supplementation? Please share your experiences with us and leave a comment below!

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  1. Peter PA Smyth. The thyroid, iodine and breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2003; 5(5): 235–238. Published online 2003 July 29.
  2. Dakubo JC, Naaeder SB, Tettey Y, Gyasi RK. Pathology and the surgical management of goitre in an endemic area initiating supplementary iodine nutrition. West Afr J Med. 2013 Jan-Mar;32(1):45-51.
  3. Hynes KL, Otahal P, Hay I, Burgess JR. Mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy is associated with reduced educational outcomes in the offspring: 9-year follow-up of the gestational iodine cohort. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 May;98(5):1954-62. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-4249. Epub 2013 Apr 30.
  4. Maby-Mottet V, Ollo D, Meyer P. [Amiodarone and thyroid]. Rev Med Suisse. 2012 Nov 14;8(362):2175-6, 2178-80.
  5. Nishikawa M, Toyoda N, Nomura E. [Drug-induced thyroid dysfunction]. Nihon Rinsho. 2012 Nov;70(11):1958-64.

  • Neil

    Dr. Group I have researched that nascent iodine can help detox the body, and eliminate candida. I have had reoccurring ringworm for a few years now and I am trying to determine the best method of elimination. Currently, I am a vegatarian, drink about a gallon water a day, take an organic multivitamin, and 25bil probiotic. I eat lots of veggies, exercise, but cannot rid this annoying issue. Will iodine help with this process, and do you have any other suggestions? Enjoy your work, and research. Thank you.

  • http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/ Global Healing Center

    Thanks for reaching out, Neil. Hadn’t heard about the candida balancing effects, do you have a link to that info I could check out?

  • theresa

    I have been on iodine therapy 8years ago and thank God I did…I suffered from sjogrens which is an autoimmune disease …my natural path physician told me you can call it whatever you want..your thyroid screwed up you whole body…so much so I had no tears at all…I couldn’t function…I was a mess…bottom line..he put me on iodine therapy…I lost 30 lbs…and I got 70 percent of my tears back…also my sjogrens has been in remission for the last 5 years…I was so happy..until recently having contrast dye…my whole body was thrown out of kilter…I always had low blood pressure…well for 6 months following this dye my blood pressure shot up to 190 over 110 and I was sick for 6 months..also I had asthma attacks ans anaphylactic shock…I am still suffering from this dye..I know I will get better but my hypo thyroid is back…don’t take contrast dye if you can avoid it…

  • Jlag67

    I have been taking this for 2 weeks now. I have never felt better. I seem to have a greater sense of calm and well being. I have never slept better either. I have given this to my teenagers and they all said they slept great! What I am wondering is how does iodine affect sleep?

  • Lori Sullivan

    I started taking iodine/ potassium iodide a couple months ago and felt incredible for the first week or two. I have taken 90 mg of Armour thyroid for years, but never felt completely ok. I felt like iodine was the missing link. Then, after a couple more weeks, my energy dropped extremely low and my hair started falling out. Could this be related to what I was taking? I stopped taking it and the hair loss seemed to slow down and my t3/t4 & tsh levels are good. I believe
    I need the iodine supplement and wonder if the brand I took could have been the problem. I’m afraid to start taking something again though.

  • Health Babe

    Dr. Group I just have a question I have been taking Detoxadine for the last four months. It is amazing I’ve had excellent results. But my question is Dr. Brownstien says the body needs potassium iodide as well as iodine. As different parts of the body use iodine and some use iodide. So my question is can the body convert iodine to iodide or should I take iodide. Please I am so confused lol.

  • A

    Hi Neal. I had Candida for over a year. I suffered so badly i was going insane. I was so fed up with no doctors being able to help I went to my health food store and got a product called SYNTOL AMD. You can buy it online much cheaper in stores. Within days, my Candida symptoms disappeared. I highly recommend this! I am not paid and was not asked by the makers of the product to recommend it. I just suffered far too long and SYNTOL brought my sanity back.

  • A

    Huh….i find this interesting. I normally cant recall my dreams, but i began taking survival shield 4 days ago and remember my dreams. They have been intersting ones…to say the least.

  • http://healthy-vitamins.me Gail

    I read about iodine supplementation a couple of years ago. I am just really glad I found out. Thanks for this article!

  • guest

    Dr Group,
    I’m really confused. I had an allergic reaction to the contrasting solution used in an IVP. It almost killed me. After that I was careful not to get x-rays in that manner. I was raised vegetarian and never ate fish. A few years after having the IVP, I took a supplement that contained kelp, same reaction – – immediate swelling of eyes, lips, itching, lungs constrict, etc. So I make sure never to eat anything containing seaweed or kelp or algae. And I carry an epipen and Benedryl just in case. Last week I got a facial. Within an hour, I broke out in bumps all over my cheeks and jawline, the eye area swelled with fluid and had large welts, and my cheeks looked and felt as if they were burned – sever inflammation. I immediately got a steroid shot, steroid cream, and it is resolving. I learned that the facial used a product containing seaweed.

    What do you think is going on? If you were my doctor, what you you tell me to avoid?


  • http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/ Global Healing Center

    That’s a good question but it might not have the most simple of answers. You’d need to take inventory of all the ingredients in each of those situations to begin to narrow down what’s causing those reactions.

  • Synickel

    I’m concerned about the recommendation to get iodine from ocean sources. Fish the world over are loaded with mercury, whether in a mountain lake, a river, or the ocean. Especially shellfish and bottom dwellers are horrible sources of toxins. They function like the filters in your car, gathering toxins as they filter water through their body systems. You’d be as well off freezing your used oil filter from your car, and then eating it like Popsicle.

  • FalconMoose

    I eliminated toenail fungus with the application of Vapo-Rub on my nails (big toes) x 1/day. It took ~ two weeks, and I continue use every third day.

  • FalconMoose

    Josh, I eliminated toenail fungus with the application of Vapo-Rub on my nails
    (big toes) x 1/day. It took ~ two weeks, and I continue use every third

  • Pingback: Iodine: An old life-saving medicine – rediscovered! | Healthy Cures()

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