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Mar 15 2007

The Wonderful Effects of Iodine

Iodine in combination with the amino acid tyrosine is manufactured into the thyroid hormone thyroxin. Iodine intake is grossly insufficient, and since Americans have begun restricting their salt intake at the advice of their physicians, deficiency has become epidemic. The average person takes in 170-250 mcg/day of Iodine. Japanese ingest about 100 times more because of their consumption of seaweed. Japanese subjects were fed Chinese cabbage, turnips, buckwheat, and noodles with 2.0 mcg of Iodine, soybean or seaweed – goiter developed in all groups except the seaweed group.
Some 50 million Americans have a hypothyrold (low, underactive) condition. Thyroid hormones control and regulate digestion, heart rate, body temperature, sweat gland activity, nervous and reproductive system, general metabolism and body weight.
Just because you don’t have a goiter does not mean that you have enough iodine. Deficiency has been recently associated with breast and prostate cancer.
During the early 1900′s, the iodine/iodide solution called Lugol solution was used extensively, effectively and safely in medical practice, for both low activity and above normal activity of the thyroid gland. The recommended daily intake for iodine supplementation was 2 to 6 drops of Lugol solution containing 12.5 to 37.5 mg total iodide. (Abraham, G.E., The Original Internist, 11:17-36, 2004.)
In the 1960′s, one slice of bread in the USA contained the full RDA of 0.15 mg iodine. The risk for breast cancer was then 1 in 20. (Epstein, S.S., et al, Breast Cancer Prevention Program Macmillan, NY, 1998, pg 5.)
Over the last 2 decades, iodine was replaced by bromine in the bread making process. Bromine blocks thyroid function and may interfere with the anticancer effect of iodine on the breast (Abraham, G.E., The Original Internist, 11:17-36, 2004)
Now, the risk for breast cancer is 1 in 8 and increasing 1% per year (Epstein, S.S., et al, Breast Cancer Prevention Program Macmillan, NY, 1998)
The RDA limits for vitamins and minerals were established after World War II. One of the last essential elements included in the RDA system was iodine, established in 1980 and confirmed in 1989 . The RDA for iodine was based on the amount of iodine/iodide needed to prevent goiter, extreme stupidity and hypothyroidism. The optimal requirement of the whole human
body for iodine has never been studied. Therefore, the optimal amount of this element for physical and mental well being is unknown. (Abrahams)
Iodine (iodide ions) is an essential trace mineral nutrient required to produce thyroid hormones. The element iodine occurs in food and in the body as the ionized or chemical form called iodide. The thyroid gland combines iodide with the amino acid, tyrosine, to produce thyroxin and triiodothyronine. These hormones control the body’s idling speed (Basal Metabolic Rate) and support normal growth and development.
Symptoms of iodine deficiency include sluggishness (hypothyroidism), weight gain and, in extreme cases, an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). During pregnancy, iodine deficiency can cause severe mental retardation (cretinism) in children. Before salt was iodized in the 1920s, goiters were common in areas of the United States, especially the South, with iodine-deficient soils. Though rare, goiter sometimes occurs in women and children in certain areas of California, Texas and the South, and in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada. Goiter is still common in parts of Africa. Certain substances called goitrogens in vegetables like cassava and rutabagas block iodine uptake and may contribute to the occurrence of goiter when excessive amounts of these foods are consumed.
Sources of iodide include seaweed (kelp & dulse), shellfish like shrimp, clams and oysters, marine fish and iodized salt. Iodine occurs in food in other chemical forms besides iodide. Sodium iodate, a commercial dough oxidizer, occurs in some commercially baked goods. Milk and milk products may contain traces of free iodine, used as a disinfectant for milk cows and in milk production (a Betadine-type solution is applied to the teats and udder of the cows during the milking process as an antiseptic).
The typical diet supplies more than twice the U.S. Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of 150 mcg. Consuming 2 mg per day is generally considered safe for healthy adults. Breast milk contains iodine to provide for the infant’s requirements, and lactating women require extra iodide in their diets. An additional 50 mcg of iodine per day is recommended. Iodine as supersaturated potassium iodide (SSKI) has been used clinically in the treatment of asthma, slow lymphatic drainage, sebaceous cysts, fibrocystic breast disease and to promote desirable balance of estrogens. Iodine, as a water purifier, possesses antiviral and antibacterial activity (5 drops of Tincture of Iodine per quart of water). Excessive amounts of iodide can cause iodine-induced goiter. Other side effects include rash and allergies.
Sources of Iodine that are derived from kelp or dulse (sea lettuce) are much less apt to cause any of the nasty side effects you can get from using Tincture of Iodine (antiseptic) or in the form of Potassium Iodide (expectorant) or Sodium Iodide (table salt) which are not water-soluble.
Iodized Salt
In the United States, sodium iodide has been added to table salt (sodium chloride) to create “iodized salt” since 1924. It provides 76 mcg of iodine per gram of salt. With this enrichment, goiter virtually disappeared in America. Small amounts of additives stabilize iodine in iodized salt and prevent caking: They include glucose, sodium thiocyanate, sodium aluminum silicate or sodium bicarbonate. Sea salt is not a good source of iodine. Although seawater is rich in iodide, iodide is lost during purification. Note that sea salt and iodized salt contributes the same amount of sodium as standard table salt.
Hetzel, Basil S., “The Control of Iodine Deficiency,” American Journal of Public Health, 83:4 (April 1993), pp. 494-95.
Iodine is an essential constituent of the thyroid hormones thyroxine [3,5,3'5'tetraiodothyronine (T4)] and 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3). The major role of iodine in nutrition arises from the important part played by the thyroid hormones in the growth and development of humans and animals. Iodine nutritional status can be assessed by means of goiter surveys, the determination of urinary iodine excretion and the measurement of levels of thyroid hormones and of the pituitary thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

Fatigue, Cold intolerance, Muscle aches & pains, Heavy or more frequent periods, Low sex drive, Brittle nails, Weight gain, Hair loss, Muscle cramps, Depression, Constipation, Elevated blood cholesterol, Puffy face, Dry skin and hair, Inability to concentrate, Poor memory, and Goiter.
See the link below for iodine supplementation:
For more information on Bio Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Testosterone Replacement Therapy, or information on Iodine Supplementation please visit us at http://www.griffinmedical.com or Call (714) 549-6550

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