Iodine is a trace mineral and a nutrient found naturally in the body, found to be effective for treating goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland).
It is considered that iodized salt is enough to meet the requirements of the body. But, many researchers have discovered that the iodine in salt has poor bioavailability, which means that the body will not completely absorb the recommended dosage.
The recommended dosage of iodine is 150mcg for adults, 220mc and 290mcg for pregnant and lactating women. These quantities are considered as enough to effectively prevent goiter, but they are not sufficient for the prevention of cancer or do not provide for the other needs of the body for optimal thyroid, endocrine, or immune system function. Iodized salt did not eliminate iodine deficiency disorders in the U.S. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted a study which proved that there are low iodine levels in more than 50% of the population.
Iodine’s Role in the Body
Iodine has powerful antibacterial, anticancer, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. Besides being essential for proper metabolism and thyroid function, iodine is necessary for a healthy immune system.
The thyroid is the body’s main storage site for iodine. This mineral is also concentrated in the body’s sweat glands. The brain, prostate, breasts and the ovaries contain high concentrations of iodine, and literally every cell in our body needs this important element. A deficiency of this mineral can make the thyroid competes with other storage sites, making all become depleted. A serious deficiency can increase your risk of numerous conditions and health issues, including cancer.
Moreover, iodine is extremely important for growth and development of children. According to the World Health Organization, a deficiency in pregnant women is the main cause of brain damage and preventable mental retardation.
Hypothyroidism and Its Symptoms
David Brownstein, M.D. explains in his book how our thyroid needs iodine in order to regulate the body’s metabolism and produce its hormones. Hypothyroidism is indicated by a low metabolic rate, and some of the most common symptoms include dry skin, fatigue, cold hands and feet, brittle nails, infertility, muscle cramps and weakness, elevated cholesterol, menstrual irregularities, inability to concentrate, weight gain, poor memory, and puffy eyes. Brownstein claims that iodine supplementation can lead to curing or improving the hypothyroid condition.
Iodine As An Anti-Cancer Nutrient
Normal cells have a natural life cycle that includes growth, division, and ultimate death. Apoptosis is a natural process that refers to the death of our body’s cells. As the normal cycle perpetuates, the spent cells are constantly replaced by new cells. Apoptosis is a process that keeps cell division in check in order to ensure their normal life cycle and eventual death. Abnormal cancer cells, on the other hand, do not undergo apoptosis and their uncontrolled growth can overwhelm and damage the body.
Causes of Iodine Deficiency
Many people around the world are experiencing epidemic proportions of iodine deficiency because of soil erosion, deforestation, and poor farming practices. There are many other factors that contribute this disturbing global problem. The toxins compete for iodine receptor sites and inhibit the ability of the body to absorb this essential mineral. So, the exposure to toxic chemical obstructs the uptake of iodine in the body. These toxins include elements called halides that have similar chemical structures.
Back in the 1980’s, bromine (known as breast carcinogen) replaced iodine as a bread dough ingredient. This change by the good industry leads to an epidemic of bromide toxicity and increases in thyroid disorders, thyroid cancer, and other health issues caused by iodine deficiency. Bromine is also used in pest control, carbonated drinks, crop fumigation, and several prescription medications. Exposure to chlorine, many pharmaceutical drugs, fluoride found in toothpaste, and the water supply can contribute to deficiency because these toxins compete with iodine for absorption.
It can be difficult to get the proper levels from food because the body does not produce iodine. The ocean is an abundant source as well as sea vegetables which are a rich source of iodine. Fish contains this mineral as well, but it can have a high content of mercury. The best-known sources of iodine include sea vegetables, organic crops grown in iodine-rich soil, animals that graze near coastal areas, iodized salts, and supplements.
A toxic body does not have the ability to absorb and utilize enough iodine only from a diet. If you have a deficiency you will need to take supplements. When the deficit is resolved, the body will slowly displace the toxic halides from tissue in your body, particularly the thyroid as well as other storage sites. The detoxifying effect of iodine can balance hormones and strengthen the immune system.
Testing for Iodine Levels
According to a number of studies, the critical need of the body for iodine is far above the RDA. More than 4,000 patients were tested and it was found out that 96% of them have a deficiency.
There is a reliable method of measuring iodine levels, that requires a two-part test: the urine loading test and the urinary spot test. The second one requires a urine sample in order to establish a baseline of iodine saturation in the body. This is usually followed by supplementation with 50mg of an iodine/iodide combination and 24-hour collection of urine. Then, these samples are sent to a lab for analysis.
Supplementing With Iodine
Many experts discovered that the combination of iodide and iodine is more effective compared to just one form because of the different concentrations in the body. For example, the prostate and breasts utilize iodine, whereas the skin and thyroid gland need iodide.
In order to interpret the test results and determine the proper iodine dosage, you should work with a healthcare practitioner. Also, there may be required companion nutrients for best absorption as well as binding of the supplement.
Proper supplementation can treat a number of conditions including ADD, breast, prostate, ovarian diseases, vaginal infections, migraine headaches, sebaceous cysts, thyroid disorders, etc.
When necessary, iodine supplementation not only treats various health issues, but also it is very beneficial for health maintenance and disease prevention.
Source: Living Traditionally