Health Benefits of Iodine For Thyroid Health

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

A bowl of organic seaweed salad. Eating plant and sea-based foods is great for thyroid health because it contains iodine.

There are many health benefits of iodine for thyroid health as well as a complex relationship. Research affirms that iodine, a micronutrient present in many of the foods we eat (in trace amounts), is key in helping the thyroid gland make thyroid hormones.[1] The body cannot produce iodine by itself, we are required to get it from the foods we eat or supplemental sources.[2]

As micronutrient concentrations in the soils are depleted, due to natural or toxic overload factors, the foods that used to hold iodine have been depleted of their natural levels. People have gone from eating plant and sea-based foods, to processed junk foods. All of these factors cause iodine levels to suffer.

The thyroid gland is commonly referred to as the “master gland.” One of the largest endocrine glands in the body, it is responsible for a variety of super-important processes such as the use of energy, the creation of proteins and our overall reaction to other forms of hormones.[3] The key bodily functions that the thyroid manages are impossible to implement without the creation of its main hormones, known as T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). The thyroid cannot make these two hormones without first hosting three and four iodine molecules (as well as the trace nutrient tyrosine) in both of these two main hormones.

The body does this by capturing iodine from the blood stream, and encasing it in an “iodine trap.” Without adequate iodine, these hormones cannot be produced, and when this occurs, your health may suffer drastically.

T3 and T4 are critical for metabolic functions that include metabolic rate, and the growth and smooth functionality of almost all of the body’s major organ systems. Research shows that, on a daily basis, a minimum of approximately 70 µg of iodine is needed to produce T3 and T4 hormones in the thyroid gland every day.[4] When the thyroid does not have enough iodine, it can’t produce calcitonin, a chemical related to the body’s ability to keep calcium levels in balance.

There is a delicate relationship between the thyroid gland, iodine levels, and overall health. Without iodine, energy levels plummet, hormones can become imbalanced, and physical and emotional states can suffer.

In many areas of Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia and Africa, iodine deficiency is a serious health concern. Scientists agree that iodine deficiency is still a serious global health issue and that insufficient levels of iodine in the thyroid is the most common cause of global brain damage. Estimates show that approximately 1.9 billion people are at risk for brain damage due to lack of iodine and that these numbers fall heavily on unborn fetuses and children. Globally, a lack of iodine will affect around 50 million children.[5]

Thyroid Gland Illustration

Another staggering statistic from the World Health Organization estimates that around 1 billion people will suffer from some form of health issue due to a lack of iodine in the diet.[2] Estimates on Latin American countries show up to 25% the population at risk for goiters due to faulty thyroid function from a lack of dietary iodine.

This problem also exists in the West. A 1998 report from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reported that rates of iodine deficiency had dramatically increased in the United States over the past 20 years.[6] The number of U.S. residents with low intake of iodine increased fourfold. These scientists suggested that lowered rates of iodine intake could be traced to dietary changes.

Iodine and the Thyroid Gland

It is simplistic to think taking iodine will solve thyroid problems. Some thyroid imbalances stem from a genetic condition, such as autoimmune thyroid disease.

It is important to determine if the condition is based on iodine, and this can generally be determined by looking at geographic location and diet. A qualified doctor or nutritionist can detect current iodine levels through a simple urine test. A small percentage of people are iodine sensitive so iodine supplementation should begin in small amounts to prevent a thyroid flare-up.

The Health Benefits of Nascent Iodine

There are many instances where dietary iodine converted to iodide within the body, meaning that its full potential for supporting wellness is not reached. Nascent iodine is a supplemental form of iodine that was designed to be a more bioavailable form of iodine. Here are some benefits of iodine supplementation:

  • Keeps thyroid iodine levels in balance
  • Improves thyroid and endocrine system function
  • May improve emotional disorders by balancing glandular systems
  • Helps regulate hormone imbalances associated with weight gain
  • Works as a moisturizing expectorant for the respiratory tract
  • Helps protect the thyroid from absorbing radioactive isotopes
  • Assists in improving brain development
  • May assist in reducing or preventing goiters
  • Aids in the improvement of autistic children
  • Helps aid digestion, transit time and normal bowel function
  • Increased energy and stamina have been reported
  • Supports breast milk production and quality
  • Helps balance body odors (vaginal, foot, underarm, etc.)
  • Helps detoxify harmful halogens like bromides, fluoride, and chlorine

I recommend supplementing with nascent iodine on a regular basis and personally use a supplement called Detoxadine. Detoxadine® is manufactured with a unique transformative bio-elemental matrix using a revolutionary process and contains nano-colloidal nascent iodine.

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Watch an In-Depth Video on Everything You Need to Know About Iodine
References (6)
  1. Medline Plus. Iodine in diet. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Ahad F, Ganie SA. Iodine, Iodine metabolism and Iodine deficiency disorders revisited. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2010;14(1):13-17.
  3. Ekholm R, Björkman U. Glutathione peroxidase degrades intracellular hydrogen peroxide and thereby inhibits intracellular protein iodination in thyroid epithelium. Endocrinology. 1997 Jul;138(7):2871-8.
  4. Robert D. Utiger MD. Iodine nutrition - more is better. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2006 June 29. 354:2819-2821, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe068092.
  5. Nyenwe EA, Dagogo-Jack S. Iodine Deficiency Disorders in the Iodine-Replete Environment. The American journal of the medical sciences. 2009;337(1):37-40. doi:10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31817baaf0.
  6. Burgess JR, Dwyer T, McArdle K, Tucker P, Shugg D. The changing incidence and spectrum of thyroid carcinoma in Tasmania (1978-1998) during a transition from iodine sufficiency to iodine deficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Apr;85(4):1513-7.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Steve

    I was wondering about this… especially when people in Japan had to take Iodine pills.

  • Deb

    Hello, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, Double Goiter, Thyroid Glands both sides were 5X bigger, on both sides than they should have been. I was having terrible symptoms for a long period of time before I finally found a doctor that found my condition. Unfortunately, he advised me to have that Radio Active Iodine Procedure done, I really don’t know which is worse? I take Levothyroxin 150MCG, Everyday, for the rest of my life, I have to have blood work done every 6 month to see if the MCG’s change,and I can say for sure I feel just as bad if not worse. My health has just changed symptoms….’Flipped-Flopped’, if you will. At least when I had Graves Disease I had Energy and No depression! Found out after talking to my 90 yr. old Grandmother that Thyroid Disease runs in the genetics, so it is important to know family history so you can nip it in the butt before its to late. I really would like to have other choices available to me for my Thyroid problem but everyone just puts me off, like there is nothing more I can do. So yes, thyriod is extremely important it controls everything, mental health, organ and hormone function, hair, skin, I never realized how much it does until mine went wacky.

  • eeg of brain

    Good article. It is very unfortunate that over the last several years, the travel industry has had to take on terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, flu virus, swine flu, as well as the first ever entire global tough economy. Through all this the industry has really proven to be strong, resilient plus dynamic, finding new tips on how to deal with difficulty. There are often fresh troubles and possibilities to which the sector must once again adapt and respond.

  • pj

    on another site, the dr, was saying that they were going to do lab
    tests on the nascent iodine in the glycerin because he says in a
    glycerin base, the nascent iodine would go back to an iodide……..that
    it was not a true “nascent” iodine product. I would love to see your
    independent lab results showing that the iodine is nascent in the
    glygerine base just to shut the guy up. Im certain you have that. You
    have been very conscientious and thorough in your research and process. I
    have purchase 10 bottles. My husband and I have taken 6 drops a day
    under the tongue. 3 in the morning and 3 at night. 1 mnth plus now. we
    are 48 yrs. old probably very deficient. may need more. not sick. cant
    tell yet if helping but I know we need it and we don’t want to wait to
    be sick. I did post this, on the glycerin spot and then figured it was the wrong place for the question……..nascent status still in glycerine?

  • ghc_health

    Hey PJ, thanks for jumping in on this. Yes, there is company out there promoting an alcohol based iodine product and attempting to down play the more significant benefits of glycerin based nascent iodine in the process. Too bad but that’s a salesman for you.

    Glycerin is safe and gentle, you could give it to a baby. Alcohol… not so much.

    Keep your eyes peeled on the blog, we’re working on an article right now that will correct the misinformation that’s out there.

  • Dale

    Your Detoxadine has a k inside a scroll on the label. What is the difference between that and a k label with a circle around it?

  • ghc_health

    Kosher, they mean the same thing.

  • Kakaty Semedo

    im having also the same problem DEb!!!!!I have graves disease and almost 4 years iv done the treatment of radioactive and now at seems to be ok but im still taking the pils levothyroxine 125mg but they said I would stop with the pils but until now nothing happens …I have to go every 6 monthst taking my blood to control but I want to ask what can I do to solve this problem !!!!????I have to use natur pils ?somebody advise me something please????im tired about living in this way

  • Kakaty Semedo

    hello deb .are you there??

  • Topsy Krets

    I just starting taking the Nacent iodine (purchased through infowars) in an attempt to reduce or even totally remove the taking of my 175 mcg of levothyroxine. I just don’t want to take pills any more. Thanks to Dr Group for doing such great work.

  • vsmom

    If you had the radio active you can never stop the drugs. What they did in essence was kill the gland. It wont come back.. I would get off the synthetic form and go to a natural dessicated form, and I have started taking an iodine supplement as mine wasnt killed just crapped out
    . That helped me.

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  • Kakaty Semedo

    sorry i didnt see your coment before because i forget the side…..but thanks for repley….this will never finishd yes….but do you know if canabis oil will help me i used one month and then finished but was very expensive 24 euros only one month

  • vsmom

    No. I dont know anything about cannabis. Sorry

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  • Lorraine Schatz

    What happens when thyroid is removed from cancer

  • The thyroid is very important for a lot of reasons, so a number of things can happen. A lot of times people end up on supplemental hormones and other medications.

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  • sarahwilsonn

    In fact, I’m going to share with you the medical research showing that 90% of hypothyroidism sufferers treated by modern medicine today show absolutely ZERO IMPROVEMENT in their symptoms and thyroid function (actually their symptoms got worse). Read more about complete thyroid cure here in my PLANBEFOREDO blog.

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