Based upon the success of last week’s Q&A style of newsletter I am following that up with one of the critical basic nutrients that is missing from our diet: Iodine.
This question makes me furious, “My doctor told me that my thyroid will produce all of the iodine I need, why do I need to take Nascent Iodine?”
I apologize in advance if my answer seems long-winded or even condescending but my experience tells me there is a serious lack of communication.Anyone who remembers school physics, chemistry or biology 101, knows that iodine is one of the 118 basic elements that made up the universe. There is nothing else in the Universe except these 118 elements. Iodine is an element, so is oxygen, hydrogen, gold, silver, copper, magnesium, and so on. These elements were created at the beginning of the Universe. Of course these elements can combine to make other substances and the most common we normally think of is water (2 parts hydrogen and 1 parts oxygen) known as H2O.
All of the oxygen we depend upon was also formed at the beginning of the universe. The nicest thing I can say about your doctor is that they were not clear that iodine should come from food and is utilized by your thyroid to produce important hormones for many jobs around your body. They should also tell you that you need another element called selenium to activate the iodine. To be fair to the doctor they are only saying what they learned at medical school. They don’t spend hours looking at all of the research… .
What do I need iodine for?
The thyroid uses iodine to produce essential hormones (for use around the body) and iodine is critical for both men and women. In women it is used to prevent and treat various thyroid diseases, breast diseases, fibroids, vaginitis, polycystic ovaries, infertility, newborn brain development problems, endometriosis and breast and ovarian cancers. In men it is needed for a healthy prostate and while thyroid problems are less common in men, they can still have problems needing iodine, especially for the organs below. Iodine is found in
healthy white blood cells in your bone marrow, adrenals, salivary glands, thymus, pancreas, skin, hair, stomach, brain and spinal fluid. A healthy body contains around 1,500,000mcg of iodine in these organs shown above and all of these are at risk without adequate levels. A healthy thyroid only contains 50,000mcg but this is critical for healthy hormones, and not least, protection against radiation.
Is that all I need for a Healthy Thyroid?
As well as needing selenium to activate iodine, a low sugar diet is essential, as it is also through high insulin (which is only needed to deal with high sugar), that the thyroid and its hormones can be disrupted. Chemicals which can also disrupt the iodine action are also to be avoided, such as fluoride in drinking water and toothpaste, bromides found in pesticides mainly for strawberries, bromates used in bread making and chlorine, found in drinking water and swimming pools.
I eat a good diet and feel OK, do I need to supplement iodine?
Iodine is a trace element or a dietary trace mineral that is needed in very minute quantities for the proper growth, development, and physiology of your body. The body gets these minerals from plants whose roots take these minerals in as minerals salts and convert them to organic minerals which is the form your body can absorb. Being trace minerals and in their mineral salt form, the soil literally becomes depleted of them with over-farming, or when rain washes them away to rivers and then to the seas. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends everyone living in low soil iodine areas and especially women of child-bearing age should take a supplement. The only good source of organic iodine is by consuming 3 cups of seaweed kelp and kombu every day. The best daily supplementation is with Nascent Iodine (atomic or colloidal iodine), which is the closest supplement available to food state iodine found in plants.
I have been taking Lugol’s Iodine and painting it on my skin to absorb rather than drink in water. Will it be OK?
Lugol’s is actually potassium iodide. Potassium iodide is the same form of iodine found in iodized table salt, tablet supplements, and fed to farm animals to keep them healthy. It is elemental iodine (not organic iodine) and bound to potassium to try to make it more absorb-able. This does not make it a food state and therefore is not healthy as a supplement. You can paint Lugol’s on the skin as a disinfectant as it has been used like this for many years but it will not absorb effectively into the bloodstream and be recognized by the body as organic iodine. For clarity, Nascent Iodine is the closest iodine can be to food state and it can still be painted on the skin as a antiseptic.
Are there any side effects or problems when taking Iodine?
The medical system would have you believe that anything in excess of 400mcg of iodine is too much but of course they are describing potassium iodide and not organic iodine. I don’t believe they are correct about food state iodine but they are likely to be correct about iodides. The healthiest, longest living people on the planet, who live on the island of Okinawa have a daily intake of 3000mcg of organic iodine (in seaweed and other foods). I base my supplementation upon their intake rather than an arbitrary guess by the food industry. I take over 3000mcg of Nascent Iodine per day.
I have existing thyroid problems and am taking pharma drugs from the doctor, who has told me not to take any iodine supplements. Do I need to and can I still take iodine?
Since iodine is needed for many other healthy organs around the body the simple answer is yes, carry on taking it.
In Conclusion… The science is at odds with what doctors have been taught at medical collage and my opinion is that the science is correct and the 3000mcg of iodine in the diet of healthy Okinawa islanders is my final guide for a healthy future.
You can read more about iodine and how to give yourself a more accurate test for your levels in these previous articles by clicking the links here: