15 Must-Know Facts About Iodine

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! And, if you want to learn more about iodine, check out the video for my webinar, Everything You Need to Know About Iodine.

- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

  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.

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  • JdL

    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.

    This is not correct. Potassium iodide is soluble in water and spontaneously splits into its “component parts”, K+ and I-. Illustration: in one beaker add equal moles of sodium chloride and potassium iodide. In another, add equal moles of sodium iodide and potassium chloride. No test can determine which got which, because once dissolved, the individual ions mix freely.

    It may be that “atomic iodine” (what does this mean? I2? I3-? As far as I know, iodine is unstable in monotonic form, as are other halides) is better absorbed than I- iodide is, but if so your explanation is still incorrect.

  • indigo

    While I agree with Dr Group that iodine is an essential nutrient and most people are deficient.
    Most people today have some degree of metal toxicity.Iodine detoxes heavy metals.This is fine unless you happen to be a person who has difficulty detoxing metals.This mean that iodine will make you sick and if you didn’t know you had heavy metal toxicity,you won’t have any idea what is going on.

    Also there is a huge amount of the population with undiagnosed thyroid problems especially autoimmune thyroid problems.One of the reason for this is that drs only check TSH and T4 which doesn’t even diagnose a thyroid problem ,let alone an autoimmune thyroid problem.A person with autoimmune thyroid problems will get very sick from iodine and have their thyroid problem become much worse.
    So my suggestion is ,to never take iodine unless you have been tested and are under the care of a Dr who understands that iodine has the potential to make you very sick.I tested low for iodine and started taking it as a supplement.I also have heavy metals toxicity and thought this would be a kill 2 birds with one stone kind of thing.WROMG.I lost half my hair,had a lot of my thyroid symptoms retutne and had to increase my thyroid medication.

  • Alan D Smith

    Just tell us the name of the iodine to take and how much. Thank you.

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  • Edward Group

    Hi Alan,

    I recommend Detoxadine, it is a high quality form of nascent iodine. You can read information about it and the serving instructions here-

    http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/nascent-iodine-detoxadine.html

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  • Yells

    wow thank you for your story. hope you are feeling better these days

  • Yells

    Has anyone tried Detoxadine? Did you see any change?

  • jillybean

    Source? Doesn’t add up.

  • carolyn

    I use the survival shield nascent iodine on infowars that Dr. Group helped create. I am nursing so I am unsure if I should take it at all. Will the detox effect my breastmilk in a negative way?

  • ghc_health

    Sometimes we suggest against cleansing while breastfeeding for the reason you mention but that effect isn’t going to be extreme with iodine. Pregnant women require iodine as much as non.

  • Steve

    Dr. Group, are there any potential negative side effects to taking nascent iodine? Is there any way that it can have a negative impact in your health?

  • ghc_health

    Too much of anything can be harmful but nascent iodine doesn’t accumulate in the body, it just passes out in the urine. Another reason why mega-serving sizes beyond the recommended serving are not necessary.

  • steve ryan

    Hi Dr Group. I’ve been taking nascent iodine for about 6 months and have noticed that since then I have been having vivid dreams, not nightmares, every night. My wife and friends who also take nascent iodine have said the same thing. Do you know why this might occur? Also, the serving on the bottle states that it provides 1,796% of your recommended daily intake. Is this excessive over long periods? Thanks

  • ghc_health

    Hey Steve, thanks for the feedback. I haven’t seen anything in any research that links iodine to vivid dreams but it wouldn’t really surprise me that you’re experiencing more restful sleep. There is some question as to whether the bare minimums of the RDA is what’s most beneficial to the body hence the higher serving. Excess iodine will be excreted from the body.

  • C

    Positive effects are mental clarity, water weight loss. Much less pms especially by using this along with other minerals like beyond tangy tangerine. Much easier cycle now . I also use lugols iodine on skin as well as the nascent iodine.

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