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Iodine — Open Letter to Dr. Mercola
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James Offline

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Iodine — Open Letter to Dr. Mercola
This came in my e-mail today and I am addressing some of the claims. My statements are in bold lettering:

Iodine — Open Letter to Dr. Mercola

Posted by: Administrator on 6/5/2012

· Categories:


Open Letter to Dr. Mercola

By Gabriel Cousens, MD, MD(H), DD

Edited by Nonnie Chrystal

Click here for a referenced PDF version

Dear Dr. Mercola,

I have great appreciation for the good information you bring to the public as well as for your stances in favor of labeling GMO foods in California and against vaccinations. However, recently you made a statement that the highest amount of daily iodine intake should be no more than 400 micrograms, and that surprised me. For the sake of higher public good, I would like to suggest a variety of scientific and holistic reasons for why a significantly higher amount of iodine should be used. What you recommend is only slightly higher than the FDA recommendation, which is 150 to 290 micrograms daily, dependent upon age, gender and life cycle. This is dramatically less than some of the leading iodine medical experts suggest, which is closer to, at least, 12 to 18 milligrams daily, which is approximately 45 times higher. Drs. Abraham and Brownstein, also experts, suggest 12-50 milligrams daily and up to 100 milligrams per day for diabetics. Why is there this discrepancy, and how is it that you, Dr. Mercola, in my opinion, have missed the mark exponentially on this issue, when you are often so correct in your understandings?

What is a safe level for one person can be toxic to someone else. When getting in to higher doses of certain iodine products, such as Lugol's iodine, though the risk of toxicity increases significantly as the research has shown. Part of the reason for this is that in natural sources such as seaweeds the iodine is bound in ways making it safer to ingest and not corrosive to the tissues. Natural sources also contain synergistic compounds such as selenium and tyrosine needed for proper thyroid production and compounds that can affect proper iodine uptake by cells. These are not present in synthetic pharmaceutical drugs such as Lugol's iodine. This can greatly affect the effectiveness of iodine and thus the levels required for the same effect. This is true of a number of supplements. Synthetic vitamin C sources for example have been shown to be generally weaker and significantly less stable than natural vitamin C sources. For example, it takes 12 times more synthetic vitamin C to achieve the same effects as an equivalent amount of vitamin C from amla berry. Part of this can be explained by the fact that natural vitamin C sources contain the synergistic compounds such as bioflavonoids that allow the vitamin C to work properly. Plant sources of iodine may be lower in iodine than the pharmaceutical drug Lugol's, but so what? More is not always better. Selenium for example is essential to the body as well and is synergistic with iodine. Selenium like iodine though can be highly toxic. Just because selenium is essential to the body does not mean more is better. In this case, as with iodine, more can mean toxic.

There is some marginally relevant data supporting your concerns about excess iodine; namely, that there may be a transient (26-40 hours) hypothyroidism as described by Dr. Brownstein in his book Iodine: Why You Need It. Why You Can’t Live Without It. However, a one to two-day transient decrease in thyroid function is physiologically irrelevant and not a sign of hypothyroidism in the bigger holistic picture.

Hypothyroidism from excessive dosing of iodine is not always transient. See:

[/b]Doctors sometimes use high doses of iodine to treat hyperthyroidism long term by causing the thyroid to shut down due to the excess iodine.

There is also an increase in TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) with increased iodine, which may last up to six months. This, again, is not a sign of hypothyroidism. [/b]

Elevated TSH is an indicator of hypothyroidism. When the thyroid is not putting out sufficient thyroid hormones the levels of TSH, released by the pituitary, rise to stimulate the thyroid itself to increase production of thyroid hormones.

In fact, this claim contradicts the claim of transient hypothyroidism by excess iodine. Again, TSH rises do to a lack of thyroid hormones. If the hypothyroidism was transient for a few days as the author first claims then there would not be a 6 month rise of TSH since the thyroid would be back to normal in a few days as the author initially claims.

This is related to the fact that the whole body is deficient in iodine

This is a major unsupported claim common among iodine supporters. One of the major factors that they are overlooking is the fact that there are numerous causes of hypothyroidism. Very few of these causes involve a lack of iodine. Therefore to claim that the whole body is deficient in iodine is a wild unsupported claim.

and TSH stimulates the production of sodium-iodide-symporter (NIS). Without adequate NIS, iodine could not enter the cells and be utilized.

One of the primary roles of NIS is to move I- in to the thyroid follicular cells for thyroid hormone production. So that part is true. There has to be some form of feedback for thyroid hormone regulation though to prevent the over production of thyroid hormones, which leads to hyperthyroidism. This feedback mechanism is when the thyroid produces too much hormone the production of thyroid hormones is suppressed leading to what is referred to as negative feedback hypothyroidism.

A major error the author makes though is that TSH is the regulator for uptake of iodine by cells through NIS expression. This is somewhat true for the uptake of iodine by thyroid cells, which actually relies on cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) for NIS expression. Other tissues in the body can express NIS through other compounds other than TSH. These include estradiol, prolactin, hCG, insulin, IGF -1, IGF-2, retinoic acid, cytokines, iodide, oxytocin and cAMP.

Therefore, a lack of TSH does not cause a decrease of NIS (expression) leading to an overall iodine deficiency of the body as the author claims.

In addition, it is has been demonstrated that excess levels of iodine inhibit TSH activity of the thyroid leading to hypothyroidism. The exact mechanism of this has not been identified but is believed to be due to the excess iodine inhibiting TSH induced NIS expression.

NIS is a carrier system into all the cells, and when this system becomes deficient then the whole body becomes deficient.

Again this is not true as evidenced above. TSH may up regulate NIS, but studies have shown that iodine, potassium iodide (KI) and the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 all down regulate NIS. See:

In addition, NIS is not the only I- transporter for the thyroid or other tissues. The Pendred syndrome (PDS) gene also plays a major role in I- transport in the thyroid and other tissues. See:

The key is that people who increase their iodine intake do not have signs of hypothyroidism (such as fatigue, hair loss, headaches, weight gain, weakness, and dry skin) and they maintain normal T3 and T4 levels.

This depends on whether or not the iodine induced hypothyroidism is actually transient or not. Again, not all cases of iodine induced hypothyroidism are transient as the author claimed.

In 1911, 900 milligrams daily (900,000 micrograms/day!) were considered usual and safe doses. In 1950 the Japanese had 100 times more iodine in their diet than Americans.

The author left out several very important points. The typical Japanese diet will be higher in iodine due to the higher consumption of ocean animals and seaweeds. The typical Japanese diet is also high in rice, which is high in iodine binding starch. In addition, the ingestion of free iodine, such as with Lugol's iodine, is not the same as organically bound iodine in foods. The point is that what is a safe dose of iodine in one form does not make the same dose safe in a different form of iodine.

Unfortunately many people are supplementing with more dangerous forms of iodine such as Lugol's iodine. Lugol's iodine is considered a poison due to the presence of toxic elemental iodine. Pure potassium iodide is considered considerably safer since the iodide ion is not as toxic as elemental iodine.

In 2001 they had 202 times more iodine than Americans and were using up to 13.8 milligrams daily as opposed to the average US intake of 425 micrograms daily. Unfortunately there has been no real study, ever, about what is the optimal safe dosage of iodine.

Yes, this is a major problem. But it is not just a lack of studies on the amount of iodine, but also the type of iodine. Again, elemental iodine, such as that found in Lugol's, has a very high toxicity compared to the iodide of potassium iodide and the even less toxic organically bound iodine.

Be that as it may, no one has ever died from iodine overdose or allergic reactions.

This is not true. See:

Emerg Med Australas. 2005 Apr;17(2):173-7.
Death by oral ingestion of iodine.

It is safe to suggest that at least the guidelines given by Drs. Abraham and Brownstein for the use of 12-50 milligrams of iodine daily, for overall sufficiency and wellbeing, and up to 100 milligrams/day for diabetics is reasonable in doing much more for our health than to prevent cretinism, mental retardation, and goiter.

Again the author overlooks the fact that not all forms of iodine are safe. Therefore, what is a toxic dose of one form will not apply to other forms of iodine.

In addition, goiters are not just a result of hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism, which as has been shown can be caused by excess iodine, can also lead to the formation of goiters.

Moreover, iodine is a universal health mineral having 22 major health and well-being benefits (see below) for humans, many of which are largely unknown to this day.

If the health benefits are unknown to this day then how does the author know if they exist in the first place?

In addition, there are numerous nutrients that are essential to the body, including many that are required along with iodine for proper thyroid function. Why just focus on iodine? What about the other nutrients needed for proper thyroid hormone production including selenium? Should people start taking excessive doses of selenium since it is also essential for thyroid function? I would say no considering the fact that selenium, like iodine can be very toxic.

This is how so many people get in to trouble. First they read sales websites to get their health information without researching credible sites to find out if the original claims are even true. Then they assume that more is better. Estrogen is essential to the body. Should people start taking excess amounts of estrogen? What about insulin? Steroids? Vitamin A?......... Many compounds work very well in small amounts in the body. Sometimes because that is all the body needs and sometimes because other synergistic factors help the compounds work properly at lower doses.

My prudent suggestion is that as we follow these ideas, it is important to move forward carefully as we treat this pandemic level of 72% iodine deficiency in the world and a shocking 96% deficiency in Americans, affecting the minds of billions of people.

Where is the evidence to those statistics? Sounds like more of scare tactic propaganda I have seen on some iodine promotion sites. In fact, considering how much of the world is reliant on the oceans on their primary food sources and the number of other people that live near ocean waters where they are exposed to iodine from ocean spray and iodine laden rain I would highly doubt those statistics.

I strongly recommend that people reevaluate the amounts of iodine people consume. I recommend that children under 6 years of age take half the adult dose, children 0-2 years take ¼ the adult dose, pregnant women take 47% more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio), and lactating women take 93% more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio), as iodine is very important for brain development, from a holistic perspective. In the larger humanitarian context the risk to benefit ratio of these recommended doses is extremely safe for healing the planetary population and ourselves.

And the author recommends these higher levels after admitting no real research on what constitutes toxic levels. And without proof of the percentage of iodine deficiencies that the author claims. Or without taking in to account the forms of iodine being used nor the fact that excess iodine can aggravate some thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto's thyroidosis.

This is akin to telling a woman with hot flashes to take estrogen without specifying phytoestrogen, animal estrogen or xenoestrogen. And without determining if they have cancer or a history of cancer.

By looking at the overall holistic iodine story, we can create a fuller, more accurate understanding of this discussion. Iodine is found in every single one of our body’s hundred trillion cells. Without adequate iodine levels life is impossible. Iodine is the universal health nutrient that brings health on many levels.

I can think of many nutrients that if we took them away life would cease to exist. As with iodine though many of these nutrients can be toxic in excess levels. Just because a nutrient is essential this does not make it safe. Iron for example is absolutely essential for human life. Excess iron supplementation can cause all sorts of health issues such as constipation, increased infections and cancers, hemochromotosis, oxidative damage to the tissues, etc.

It is interesting to note, when addressing the question of safe dosage, that higher iodine levels have been used in studies since the early 1900’s. For example, in 1917 through 1922, Dr. David Marine proved that iodine reversed goiter in a study in which 2,000 schoolgirls were given an equivalent of 18.6 milligrams daily (18,600 micrograms/day) for 2 ½ years with a dramatic success rate.

Again he was using an iodide (sodium iodide), not products containing highly toxic elemental iodine like Lugol's. Therefore, we again must differentiate between the forms of iodine. In addition, if we follow the studies back they also showed that with the addition of iodide to salt there was an increase of hyperthyroidism with corresponding symptoms including goiter. See:

In 2003 Dr. Zhang showed that potassium iodide reversed lung cancer tumors in mice. The total amount administered was 100 milligrams (100,000 micrograms) daily for 20 days, and this is approximately 50 times more than the amount Wolff–Chaikoff recommended in 1948 and 250 times more than your recommendation. The study lasted for 60 days: 34 days to grow 5 mm tumors and approximately 26 days for the lung cancer tumors to significantly decrease.

Great news if you are a mouse. But humans are not the same as other animals and we cannot apply animal studies to humans. Chocolate will kill a dog. Does this mean it will also kill humans? Sheep can consume arsenic in levels that would kill a human. In short, there are numerous examples of animal studies that have been shown that they cannot apply to humans.

In 1993, Dr. Ghent administered to 1,368 patients 5 milligrams (5,000 micrograms) daily with no evidence of the Wolf-Chaikoff theoretical problem of hypothyroidism.

Yet the author mentioned earlier the "transient" hypothyroidism of excess iodine consumption. This is part of the Wolf-Chaikoff effect that the author is now referring to as theoretical.

And again, this principle has been used by doctors to treat hyperthyroidism.

The resultant drop in thyroid function is believed to be from the down regulation of NIS.

This is almost 12 times more than your recommendation. This was done by Dr. Ghent, who, at this dosage, reversed fibro-cystic breast disease with great rates of healing. Iodine deficiency is not only associated with fibrocystic breast disease, but also higher rates of breast cancer.

This is misleading on both counts. Neither fibrocystic breast disease nor breast cancer result from a lack of iodine. Both diseases are associated in part with an over abundance of estrogen. Iodine can help with these diseases because iodine has anti-estrogenic effects. Although there are a number of other ways to regulate excess estrogen in a safer manner including the consumption of plants, which all contain estrogen antagonizing phytoestrogens. Increasing intake of B vitamin sources can also help as several B vitamins are needed for the the process of methylation used by the liver to break down excess estrogens in the system.

In a most significant study called the Iodine Project, done from 1997 through 2005, Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. David Brownstein, and Dr. Jorge Flechas followed 4,000 patients and administered 12.5 to 100 milligrams daily, with 100 milligrams administered to diabetics primarily, because low thyroid function is also associated with Type 2 diabetes.

And again, this has nothing to do with low iodine levels. The answer as to why can be found in this medical abstract:

"Insulin downregulates iodide uptake and NIS protein expression even in the presence of TSH"

As I have said so many times in the past and cannot emphasize enough not all cases of hypothyroidism result from a lack of iodine.

They had positive results with only three adverse reactions out of 4,000 people (possibly allergic reactions to the binding agents, excipients, fillers, preservatives and/or synthetics commonly found in tablets, capsules and even liquids as opposed to the bioavailable form of iodine itself).

"Possibly" means the author does not know what caused the adverse reactions. Therefore, the adverse effects could have just as easily been from the iodine compound itself as iodine compounds have been shown to have toxicity especially when taken in larger doses. And people who do not need iodine, such as those without iodine deficiency hypothyroidism, or that have had long term iodine deficiencies will be more prone to the adverse effects of high iodine dosages.

This research group theorized that because in Japan the average intake was 13.8 milligrams, and Japan had significantly less breast and prostate cancer and better health and longevity than in the US, that higher doses of iodine could be safely used.

Numerous studies have linked the decreased rate of breast and prostate cancer in Japan not to the higher iodine intake but rather the higher intake of plant phytoestrogens.

Furthermore, as I pointed out previously the standard Japanese diet also consists of a lot of rice containing starches that can bind iodine reducing the risk of toxicity.

In this 7-year study, they observed reversed fibrocystic breast disease, decreased insulin requirements in diabetics, significantly less need for medication for hypothyroidism, resolution for fibromyalgia, and also resolution of migraine headaches. In the study by Dr. Abraham, et al, the iodine ranges were somewhere between 12.5 and 100 milligrams daily (up to 100,000 micrograms/day) and were considered safe dosages. This is exponentially greater than your recommendation.

Abraham set out to prove his hypothesis based on a false premise in the first place as we can see in this statement he made:

"The literature search revealed that 60 million mainland
Japanese consume a daily average of 13.8 mg of elemental
iodine, and Japan is one of the healthiest nations, based
on overall well-being and cancer statistics.4 Japanese
women do not stop consuming iodine-rich foods during
pregnancy, and Japanese fetuses are exposed to maternal
peripheral levels of iodide at concentrations of 10-5M to
10-6M.1,4 Either the Japanese are mutants, capable of
thriving on toxic levels of iodine or we have been
grossly deceived, and the human body needs at least 100
times the RDA
, which was established very recently in
1980 and confirmed in 1989!7"

Abraham made an assumption that the iodine had something to do with this rather than investigating further. What about other cultures where there is a high reliance on seafoods providing an abundance of iodine in the diet? For example in some of the island nations. Yet obesity is rampant in many of these islands despite the high iodine intake. Clearly there is something other than the iodine that is making Japan such a healthy nation. And as I pointed out earlier this factor has been shown in numerous studies to be the high intake of phytoestrogens in the diet.

As for his comment that the Japanese must either be mutants or they are capable of thriving on toxic levels of iodine Abraham is overlooking some basic facts. Again, the starch in the typical Japanese diet binds iodine reducing its toxicity.

In addition, the Japanese consume a lot of seaweed that also contains the halogens fluorine and bromine that are antagonistic to iodine. Again, the ingestion of food based iodine sources is vastly different than some iodine sources such as Lugol's iodine that is considered a poison by most everyone. Abraham on the other hand considers Lugol's to be extremely safe as well as another well known poison known as tincture of iodine.

Even without these other factors it has already been demonstrated that the high intake of iodine can cause a transient hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism in most cases as has already been pointed out. This is the body's method of adapting to toxic levels of iodine. Does it really make sense therefore to increase the level of a toxin on the body just because the body has found a way to adapt to the toxic levels? The body also adapts to the toxic effects of ultraviolet radiation by increasing melanin production tanning the skin. Does this mean we should get excess exposure of sunlight since the body adapts to the dangerous effects of the ultraviolet radiation so we can increase our levels of essential vitamin D? Subjecting the body to the toxic effects of an excess level of a chemical for "health" purposes is as stupid as burning to a crisp in the sun to get healthy levels of vitamin D.

Being that Abraham set out to prove his hypothesis and failed to do the proper research to determine what was allowing the Japanese to be so healthy compared to other high iodine consumption nations, and failed to consider how the higher iodine intake was being offset I would not put much faith in to his research.

From a worldwide perspective, the current level of iodine deficiency is pandemic.

Again, there is no proof to this claim.

Over one third of the global population (1.5 billion people) is living on iodine deficient soils and are subject to significant iodine deficiency.

This is misleading. There are parts of the world where there is low levels of iodine in the soil. But the entire world does not subsist only on foods grown on the local soils. For example, the Midwest of the United States has low levels of iodine in their topsoil, although plants with deeper roots can reach iodine leached down in to the subsoils. Despite the lack of iodine in the soil though do people in the Midwest eat seafood? Of course. Do they drink milk, which has iodine? Of course. Do they eat beef that have been fed plants like alfalfa that have deep enough roots to reach iodine in the deeper subsoils and that have derived iodine from salt licks? Of course. Do they consume iodized salts? Of course. As we can see just because surface soils in an area are deficient in iodine this does not mean that the people in the area will also be deficient in iodine.

According to the WHO, 72% of the global population is iodine deficient.

I really wish people would post their sources when making such claims. According to this study by the WHO the numbers are not even close to 72%:

It also needs to be noted that not all countries were involved in the study and the study was based on the incidence of goiters, which can also be caused by hyperthyroidism that can be induced by excess iodine.

According to the more recent Dr. Abraham, et al, study cited, 96% of the US population is iodine deficient.

Again I don't put any faith in Abraham's research. According to the WHO though, in 2003 the incidence of goiter in all of the Americas was only 4.7%. Only a potion of this would be attributed to the United States itself. Even if the entire 4.7% was for the US alone we would still expect a considerably higher incidence of goiter if Abraham's 96% percent of the population being deficient was correct.

This is a significant problem with significant consequences, as iodine deficiency is among the top two causes of mental retardation. Associated with this increased iodine deficiency is a 690% increase in cretinism, mental retardation, and ADHD in the last several decades.

It is not a significant problem if the original numbers of the percentages of actual iodine deficiencies are fabricated and exaggerated. In fact, mental retardation has various causes and ADHD has not been linked to low iodine levels. So again, it appears that evidence is being fabricated to make a point.

From a larger physiological perspective, it is important to realize that the thyroid is only one gland of many glands and tissues that needs iodine. Other glands/organs/systems with high iodine uptake are the breasts, ovaries, cervix, blood, lymph, bones, gastric mucosal, salivary, adrenal, prostate, colon, thymus, lungs, bladder, kidney, and skin.

These same glands are also reliant on other nutrients as well such as zinc. But as with iodine too much zinc has detrimental effects on the body. Just because a nutrient is essential this does not make it safe at high doses.

In perspective, the thyroid holds 50 milligrams of iodine, the breasts hold 200 milligrams, the skin holds 400 milligrams of iodine, and the whole body holds 2,000 milligrams, and possibly much more. Iodine is found and used in every hormonal receptor in the body.

There are so many important functions of iodine that it is hard to put them into proper order of importance. The implications of iodine sufficiency go far beyond the levels necessary to avoid cretinism, brain damage, and goiter; and based on the previous cited studies, it is possible that the FDA’s recommended dosage may not even give the minimal protection from these nutritional deficiency diseases.

And again, brain damage can occur from a number of reasons other than iodine deficiency. And goiter can also result from hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroidosis associated with excess iodine intake.

There are more than twenty-two functions of iodine.

Magnesium has over 400 beneficial functions. This does not mean you should take excess levels of magnesium. Excess magnesium also has side effects.

These important functions include:

1) Iodine helps synthesize thyroid hormones and prevents both hypo- and hyperthyroidism.

And an excess of iodine is associated with both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

2) Iodine sufficiency reverses hypo- and hyperthyroidism.

And an excess of iodine can cause these problems as well.

3) Iodine supports apoptosis. From a broader perspective, one of iodine’s major functions, in conjunction with oxygen, is to support the process of apoptosis (programmed cell death of unhealthy cells), to protect against cancer and facilitate youthing.

Excess iodine has also been shown to induce apoptosis of healthy thyroid cells in animal studies:

And in healthy human thyroid cells:

4) Iodine activates hormone receptors and helps prevent certain forms of cancer. The primary cause of cancer, from an energetic perspective, is mitochondrial failure. It is clear that the prevention of cancer, particularly cancer of the breasts, thyroid, ovaries, stomach, and esophagus, is increased with iodine sufficiency. Iodine serves to prevent lipid peroxidation especially in breast cancer. Deficiencies of iodine also increase the incidences of breast cancer.

First of all activation of hormone receptors would increase cancers. As I stated earlier the anti-cancer effects of iodine on some cancers is due to its anti-estrogenic effect, which can be accomplished in many safer ways.

As for the claim of prevention of lipid peroxidation again the studies show that the apoptosis of healthy thyroid cells by excess iodine is a result of free radical production.

Whether or not deficiencies of iodine increase the risk of breast cancer is speculative. There is no real evidence that estrogen causes breast cancer in the first place. It appears that the estrogens antagonized by iodine, phytoestrogens, flavonoids, etc. only act as a growth factor for existing cancers.

5) Iodine protects ATP function and enhances ATP production.

Many nutrients are involved in the production of ATP including magnesium, phosphorus, citric acid, malic acid, oxygen, etc. Glucose is a primary nutrient needed for ATP production. Does this mean everyone should load up on sugar to increase their ATP?

6) Iodine prevents fibrocystic breast disease.

Again misleading. FBD is linked to excess estrogen. Iodine is anti-estrogenic, but so are phytoestrogens and flavonoids that are abundant in plants and much safer than iodine. Studies have also shown that avoiding caffeine can help prevent or reduce existing FBD. FBD is not a result of an iodine deficiency.

7) Iodine decreases insulin needs in diabetics.

Again this is misleading. Most diabetics do not require insulin. around 95% of diabetics are type 2, which in the early stages produce too much insulin. Insulin receptors though are closed often due to a lack of magnesium and/or chromium that keep the receptors open. Iodine may help in some cases by increasing thyroid function thereby reducing body fat, which can help decrease insulin resistance as well.

8) Iodine helps support protein synthesis.

Again, many nutrients are involved in protein synthesis. Iodine is not the holy grail of protein synthesis.

9) Iodine deficiency is a global health threat. Iodine deficiency, in the general population, yields 1-10% cretinism, 5-30% brain damage, and 30-70% loss of energy. In this holistic context, iodine deficiency is a major threat to global health. Iodine deficiency has increased fourfold in the last 40 years and is considered the most common and yet preventable cause of brain damage throughout the world.

Again unsupported claims.

10) Iodine destroys pathogens, molds, fungi, parasites, and malaria.

In direct contact with sufficient concentrations in direct contact then yes. This does not mean that it will do the same thing diluted throughout the tissues of the body. The concentrations required to kill most infections in the body would also be highly toxic to healthy cells.

Zinc will kill most pathogens as well if in direct contact with sufficient concentrations. I would not pop zinc tablets though to treat most infections because the concentrations will be too dilute by the time it is absorbed and distributed throughout the body.

11) Iodine supports immune function.

As do many compounds. Again iodine is not the holy grail. We need zinc, copper and manganese for example for our immune supporting superoxide dismutases. We need zinc to support the thymus, vitamin C to support the adrenals, thymus and white blood cell activity, etc. It is not as simple as you can take one nutrient to support the whole immune system.

12) Iodine eliminates toxic halogens from the body (including radioactive

I-131). One of the most critical toxic health issues we have today is the exposure of radioactive I-131 from Fukushima. We still have continued and increasing exposure from Fukushima, and unlike Chernobyl, Fukushima has not been sealed off. When the thyroid, as well as the whole body, is filled with healthy iodine (I-127), because of I-127’s similar outer electron shell, in higher saturation levels, it can provide significant protection of vulnerable receptor sites from uptake of radioactive I-131 and also push out radioactive I-131 already present. This is known as competitive inhibition, and explains why Chernobyl survivors who took iodine, even after the nuclear fallout, escaped thyroid cancer.

Potassium iodide is used to protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine not by pushing out the radioactive iodine but rather by saturating the thyroid so it cannot take up any more iodine. The NIS the author mentioned earlier cannot differentiate between the normal and radioactive forms of iodine and will carry both in to the thyroid. Therefore, the potassium iodide is used to saturate the thyroid with a non-radioactive form of iodine. This way the thyroid cannot take up any more iodine including the radioactive iodine. But the potassium iodide cannot displace radioactive iodine out of the thyroid that is already present.

Did the Chernobyl survivors who took iodine really escape thyroid cancer? There is no evidence of this. Thyroid cancer was widespread after the accident:

And continues to this day:

This despite the fact that many of the residents were given iodide prophylaxis after the accident and since. Again, potassium iodide does not displace radioactive iodine already taken in to thyroid cells by NIS.

13) Iodine regulates estrogen production in the ovaries.

This is a pretty vague statement. By regulation does the author mean increases? Decreases? Both? We know that iodine has an anti-estrogen effect, but estrogen also inhibits uptake of iodine by the thyroid.

14) Iodine is anti-mucolytic (meaning it reduces mucus catarrh).

Potassium iodide has been used as an expectorant. Other iodine compounds though such as Lugol's can burn the mucous membranes leading to increased mucus formation.

15) Iodine neutralizes hydroxyl ions and hydrates the cells.

Hydroxyl ions are strong free radicals. Although as pointed out earlier excess amounts of iodine have been shown to induce apoptosis of healthy thyroid cells through the production of free radicals.

As for hydrating the cells, hydrate refers to water, which is the only thing that can hydrate a cell.

16) Iodine makes us smarter. As previously mentioned iodine helps with mental functioning. Low iodine is associated with low IQ’s with a difference of up to 13.5 points as cited in the Bleichrodt study of 1994 in children; but iodine deficiency is also associated with mental functioning in adults, because iodine not only chelates lead, but, according to Dr. Jorge Flechas, iodine prevents lead from lodging in the body in the first place. This occurs if enough iodine is supplemented, as discussed above, in order to push out fluoride, a culprit responsible for lead accumulation in the body. Low thyroid function decreases brain circulation, which slows intellectual function. Dr. Steven Langer in the book Solved: The Riddle of Illness, points out that low thyroid function is associated with cognitive impairment, memory loss, depression, slowness of mind, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, and a variety of psychiatric disorders. Bleichrodt, in 1994, did a meta-analysis looking at 17 studies showing iodine sufficiency increases IQ by 13.5 points in children.

Again this is misleading as many things are involved in proper brain function. Lecithin for example, fatty acids, oxygen, ATP formers, etc.

As for lead accumulating in the body this has been going on for long before fluoride become a common substance we are exposed to. Even the Romans would use lead to sweeten their wine. Lead does not require fluoride to deposit in the body. And again, various things can remove lead from the body such as calcium and silica.

I have never seen any evidence that iodine will remove lead from the body.

17) Iodine prevents heart disease

Again this is misleading. It is well known that hypothyroidism can increase the risk of heart disease. This is due to increased production of homocysteine. Homocysteine though is reduced by methylation. And the body's primary methyl donor is SAMe produced by vitamins B6, B12 and folate along with the amino acid methionine. Not iodine.

18) Iodine is needed with the use of cordless phones, cell phones and now smart meters to prevent hypothyroidism.

OK, the claims have gotten off the chart weird!

19) Iodine supports pregnancy (as the fetus undergoes more apoptosis than any other developmental stage).

Supports pregnancy how specifically? Keep in mind that the human fetus and cancer cells share a lot of the same morphology. And as claimed excess iodine can kill cancer cells. So what is the effect of excess iodine consumption on a fetus?

20) High doses of iodine may be used to reverse certain diseases. At 6 grams daily (which is 6 million micrograms/day or 6,000 milligrams/day!), a much higher dose, iodine has been used to cure syphilis, skin lesions, and chronic lung disease.

Again, what are the sources of these claims so they can be verified. So far all the claims sound like unsubstantiated sales site claims.

21) High doses of iodine may be used for wounds, bedsores, inflammatory and traumatic pain, and restoration of hair growth when applied topically. Iodine has many other uses, including relieving headaches and eliminating toenail fungus.

Many of these would use high concentrations, not doses, topically that would not have the same level of or forms of toxicity that orally ingested iodine would have. The rest of the claims are vague and unsubstantiated as most of the claims have been.

22) Iodine helps in the diminishing of tissue scarring, cheloid formations, and Dupuytren’s and Peyronie’s contractures, which are hyper-scarring conditions.

Again sources. Keloid scarring is pretty common with certain skin types. So there is a major hereditary component, not nutritional component here. As for the other claims such as Peyronie's to break down the scar tissue would require fibinolytics. Where is the evidence that iodine has fibrinolytic properties?

It really sounds like all this information came from some bogus sales site that is trying to make iodine sound like the cure-all of all time without a single shred of evidence to back up any of the claims.

With all these uses and effects at different dose levels, what then is a reasonable and safe dose in a holistic context?

First of all there is no evidence to back the above claims of the supposed benefits of iodine.

Secondly, it was implied that iodine was the sole factor or the only thing that dealt with these conditions, which is not true. The organs, glands and other tissues of the body are reliant on various nutrients, not just iodine. Even thyroid hormones cannot be formed nor can they function properly without other nutrients outside of iodine. This is like trying to claim that one person makes up the whole football team and everyone else just sits around doing nothing. In reality the iodine is only one player that is reliant on all the other players so the whole team can function properly.

Iodine itself is reliant on cAMP for proper uptake by cells. If a person is not generating sufficient cAMP then the iodine is not going to do much good. Again iodine relies on numerous other factors for absorption and function. It is not the cure-all people try to make it out to be.

And let's not forget the dangers of excess iodine including its link to Hashimoto's thyroidosis.

From a systemic holistic perspective, adequate iodine is crucial for our health.

Adequate can be a far cry from the excess levels that some people promote.

It is the universal health mineral.

What mineral used by the body is not a universal health mineral? Do you think you can live without calcium? Magnesium? Manganese? Copper? Zinc? Boron? Selenium? Silica? Phosphorus?............... Again, iodine does not keep us alive on its own. It is only one of many necessary nutrients that we require to exist and survive.

Its role goes far beyond the less than 400 micrograms used to prevent cretinism and goiter. Its many important roles also give us a clue as to the seriousness of the 50% increase in iodine deficiency in the last 30 years, including 96% of Americans who are presently iodine deficient. This is why today, more than ever before, there is a real need to supplement with iodine with holistically adequate levels.

Again, where is the evidence to back up those numbers since the studies I have seen come nowhere close to the percentages being claimed in this letter?

Additionally the serious I-131 exposure from Chernobyl, Fukushima, and radiation from medical procedures, and the ethylene dibromide from chemtrails all force iodine out of the body.

Wait, another major contradiction. The author just got done saying not too long ago that iodine pushed radioactive iodine-131 (I-131) out of the body. But now the author is claiming just the opposite by claiming that radioactive I-131 pushes iodine out of the body.

Ad where is the evidence of ethylene dibromide being a component of chemtrails?

Perchlorate from rocket fuel

Perchlorate has been shown to inhibit thyroid hormone formation, but I have not seen any evidence that it displaces iodine out of the system.

Furthermore, how many states have rocket fuel contaminating their water?

and fluoridated and chloridated water also force iodine out of the system. These toxic halogen pollutants have increased over time, and iodine deficiency has become more seriously pronounced in today’s population.

Whether or not iodine deficiency has become more pronounced again is speculation. Worldwide studies have shown a decrease in iodine deficiency since the recognition of the problem and the introduction of iodine based products such as iodized salt.

Iodine, when activated (in its bioavailable form, which is its singlet iodine atomic form as I-), is used first to detoxify the system, and so there is often not enough iodine initially, especially with low doses, to support the thyroid hormone function, unless adequate iodine is added into the system. One can see there are a number of modern stresses contributing to this widespread iodine depletion.

The body uses various methods of detoxification that do not involve iodine directly. The main role of I- would be in maintaining metabolism, which includes rapid uptake by the thyroid.

There are subtle things that can be mistaken for hypothyroidism such as a healing crisis that may be misunderstood as a problem with iodine.

Again this is speculation.

The percentage of iodine allergy is quite low – Drs. Abraham and Brownstein in their work with 4,000 people were only able to identify 3 of 4,000 people who had a negative allergic response to the iodine. People do not become allergic to iodine per se, but people can become allergic to protein-bound iodine as is found in shellfish or to the binding agents, excipients, fillers, preservatives and/or synthetics (rather than the bioavailable form of iodine itself) commonly found in tablets, capsules, and even liquids.

Finally, some correct information. People have allergies to proteins associated with the iodine, not the iodine itself. If they were allergic to actual iodine then they would be in serious trouble considering how widespread iodine is in the body.

Actually, iodine can help eliminate food allergies according to Dr. Derry (p. 15 from Breast Cancer and Iodine, by David M. Derry, MD, PhD, copyright 2001).

Being that iodine has some effect on the adrenal glands this is in part true. But the adrenals, which regulate allergic responses, are more dependent on vitamin C and pantothenic acid than iodine for proper function. So once again iodine is not going to cure this condition either without other essential nutrients.

In summary, in 1911, 900 milligrams (900,000 micrograms/day!) were considered usual and safe dosage.

And they used to think back in those days that mercury compounds were safe and that cocaine was a tonic as well.

In 1950 the Japanese had 100 times more iodine in their diet than Americans. In 2001 they had 202 times more iodine than Americans and were using up to 13.8 milligrams daily as opposed to the average US intake of 425 micrograms daily.

And again there are other factors I have already addressed concerning the iodine intake of the typical Japanese diet. Without taking these other factors in to consideration these repeated claims about the higher iodine intake are meaningless and misleading.

Unfortunately there has been no real study, ever, about what is the optimal safe dosage of iodine.

True, which makes the recommendation of high levels of iodine without proof of safety a dangerous practice.

But, again, no one has ever died from iodine overdose or allergic reactions.

Again, not true. I posted evidence disproving this claim earlier.

It is safe to suggest that at least the guidelines given by Drs. Abraham and Brownstein for the use of 12-50 milligrams of iodine daily, for overall iodine sufficiency and wellbeing, and up to 100 milligrams/day for diabetics is reasonable in doing much more for our health than to prevent cretinism, mental retardation, and goiter.

Again, there is no proof of safety for higher doses of iodine, especially toxic forms such as Lugol's iodine.

Secondly, excess iodine can induce hyperthyroidism that can also result in a goiter.

Moreover iodine is a universal health mineral having 22 major health and well-being benefits for humans, many of which are largely unknown to this day.

Again, if they are unknown to this day then how does the author supposedly know about them?

And as I pointed out earlier what mineral used by the body is not a "universal health mineral"? In other words, what mineral used by the body can we live without?

As for the number of functions, as I pointed out earlier magnesium has over 400 functions in the body. But as with iodine excess levels come with adverse effects. Essential does not mean safe at high doses.

My prudent suggestion is that as we follow these ideas, it is important to move forward carefully as we treat this pandemic level of 72% iodine deficiency in the world and a shocking 96% deficiency in Americans, affecting the minds of billions of people.

Again the studies show that iodine deficiencies around the world do not come even close to 96%. Just more sales hype.

I strongly recommend that people reevaluate the amounts of iodine people consume. I recommend that children under 6 years of age take half the adult dose, children 0-2 years take ¼ the adult dose, pregnant women take 47% more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio), and lactating women take 93% more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio), as iodine is very important for brain development from a holistic perspective. In the larger humanitarian context the risk to benefit ratio of these recommended doses is extremely safe for healing the planetary population and ourselves.

I have a better idea. How about people research the different forms of iodine since some, such as Lugol's iodine, are highly more toxic than others. And we don't encourage people to go overboard on iodine based on the sales propaganda some people have read on some sales sites instead of looking at the actual research. It would also help if people learned how the body actually works such as how iodine is actually taken up by the cells and how excess levels of iodine can induce both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
(This post was last modified: 07-09-2012 07:16 PM by James.)
06-23-2012 07:29 AM
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