Iodine is a crucial mineral that is often overlooked. It is essential in the thyroid gland for producing thyroid hormones and required by every tissue in the body. This mineral is referred to as the endocrine mineral as it also plays a role in the hormone system of the body by supporting the adrenal glands, ovaries, breasts, prostate gland, and others.
Iodine deficiency is a widespread issue with increasing evidence suggesting the entire world population is affected. The reasons for this deficiency include:
The Iodine Antagonists:
Iodine is a key element in the halogen family, which also includes fluorine, bromine, and chlorine, among others. It’s crucial to understand the role of iodine antagonists in relation to iodine deficiency and thyroid disease.
Iodine: An Effective Detoxifier
Iodine supplementation has a positive impact on the body’s toxic load, including toxic metals and chemicals, as well as infections. Here’s how:
Iodine and Cancer: A Connection
Studies have linked iodine deficiency to a higher risk of breast, ovarian, thyroid, and other cancers. As iodine deficiency becomes more prevalent, the incidence of these cancers has risen significantly. Despite years of research, conventional medicine has made limited progress against these cancers. Iodine, on the other hand, has been shown to prevent and even combat some of these cancers.
Assessing Iodine Levels in the Body
Unfortunately, many doctors do not consider measuring iodine levels in the body. However, there are three ways to assess it:
Mineral Balancing Programs and Iodine Assessment: According to the Dr L Wilson, assessing iodine levels is not necessary when using non-toxic forms of iodine supplementation, such as kelp. Most people can take up to 6 600 mg kelp capsules daily, with the exception of people in Japan who eat a lot of seafood and seaweed and may only need 3 kelp capsules daily. Mineral balancing programs provide a maximum of 9.5 mg of iodine through different sources, which seems sufficient for clients.
Iodoral and similar synthetic products are preferred by some iodine-aware doctors but are considered toxic by the author. They also vary in iodine content, while kelp contains other minerals and phytonutrients that are beneficial.
Iodine and Hair Mineral Analysis
Iodine is not a commonly measured component in hair mineral tests due to its difficulty to measure accurately. However, measuring the hair iodine level could give insight into the body’s soft tissue iodine levels and its importance should not be disregarded.
Iodine is utilized by every cell in the body in either iodide or iodine form, and some researchers claim the forms cannot be converted. The thyroid and skin primarily require iodide while the breasts require iodine to prevent fibrocystic growth or precancerous and cancerous lesions. Other body tissues such as the kidneys, spleen, liver, blood, salivary glands, and intestines can use either form.
Principles of Iodine Supplementation:
Fish and Seafood as Iodine Supplements
Fish and seafood are rich in iodine, but also contain high levels of mercury which replaces iodine in the body. Eating fish, except for 3-4 cans of sardines weekly, is not recommended due to the mercury content. Sardines are a good source of omega-3 oils, vitamin D, selenium, and other essential nutrients but do not provide enough iodine and a supplement is still necessary.
The relationship between iodine and selenium is critical for thyroid function. Iodine is converted from iodide through an oxidation reaction, which requires an enzyme TPO and hydrogen peroxide. Excess hydrogen peroxide can lead to Hashimoto’s disease. Selenium helps control hydrogen peroxide by producing glutathione peroxidase, which detoxifies hydrogen peroxide. Selenium is also needed in the metabolism of thyroid hormone to convert T4 to the active T3, through the iodothyronine deiodinase enzyme. Any deficiency of selenium can cause hypothyroidism symptoms.
Soy products and tap water can negatively impact the thyroid and iodine metabolism. Soy contains copper that can interfere with iodine and thyroid activity, as well as enzyme inhibitors that affect the thyroid. Tap water contains chlorine and fluoride that is detrimental to thyroid and iodine metabolism.
Taking iodine supplements may cause a healing reaction, including nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach. This reaction occurs when iodine removes the iodine antagonists, bromides, chlorides, and fluorides. Reducing the dosage and slowly increasing it over time usually resolves the symptoms.
People with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can take kelp without any problems, as long as it is part of a complete mineral balancing program. Iodine should not be given to babies, but can be given to children age 4 and older who may have a deficiency from their mothers. Iodine can be taken by people with fast or slow oxidation, as both metabolic types are usually deficient in iodine. People with Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism) should use iodine cautiously until the disease is gone.