Iodine is present in the trillions of cells in the human body. It is a chemical element that is responsible for the production of hormones, proper immune system function, protection of cells, for smooth brain function, detoxification, thyroid function, and more. So if your blood tests show an iodine deficiency, here’s why you should take a supplement:
Iodine Deficiency is Widespread
You will be surprised to know that 72 percent of the world’s population is affected by some type of iodine deficiency. Another study showed that iodine levels have dropped by 50 percent in the last 30 years. The reason behind this is probably a reduction in iodized salt consumption, iodine-depleted soils, the removal of iodine as a dough conditioner in bread, and iodine no longer being used to disinfect machinery in the dairy and meat industry.
Iodine is no Longer Present in Commercial Breads
In 1980, the government was made to believe that the public was getting too much iodine, and the essential mineral was forcefully removed as a dough conditioner in all baked goods, commercial bread, and pasta. The problem was made worse by its replacement, bromide. Bromide is a toxic chemical compound that competes for iodine receptors and inhibits iodine uptake in the body, especially in the thyroid and the breasts, where it is most needed. A study revealed that after ingesting 50 mg of iodine, bromide excretion in the urine increased by 50 percent. Bromide is also used as a fumigant on crops, as well as a flame retardant chemical that is found in most furniture and carpets, and even kids pajamas!
Iodine Promotes Breast Health
The breasts are one of the main storage sites for iodine in the body. In fact, the iodine levels found in breast milk are 4 times greater than that taken up by the thyroid gland. Doctors are of the opinion that the iodine in breast milk is needed for a baby’s immunity and brain development. Iodine has been shown to block the uptake of toxic estrogens and increase the uptake of estriol, the breast-healthy estrogen. Iodine was also shown to lower several estrogen-responsive genes that enhance the duration of successful Tamoxifen Therapy, a hormone therapy commonly used to treat breast cancer.
Iodine Causes Timed Cellular Death
Did you know that healthy cells have a normal life and predictable life cycle? The programmed timing of cell death is called apoptosis. Abnormal cells do not have a predictable life cycle or timed cell death - they just keep dividing out of control. This is where iodine can help. Iodine has been shown to increase timed cell death or apoptosis in abnormal cells present in both breast and thyroid. Apoptosis is important because it encourages the formation of new, healthy organs as well as the removal and replacement of harmful cells.
Iodine Has Antioxidant Benefits
Iodine has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant. As a cellular-protective agent or antioxidant, iodine has outshone other antioxidants like phosphatidylcholine, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Iodine Helps in Urinary Detoxification
Fluoride is present everywhere - from drinking water to non-stick pans and medications alike. In the 1950s, this compound was used to suppress thyroid function in cases of hyperthyroidism in South America and Europe. Numerous studies show that iodine supplementation has been found to significantly improve urinary detoxification of toxic halides like fluoride, chloride, and bromide, thus taking a significant toxic load off of the thyroid glands. It was seen in a study that a day after consuming 50mg of iodine supplement, urinary excretion of fluoride increased by 78 percent.
Iodine Improves Thyroid Function
With iodine deficiency, the thyroid becomes much more vulnerable to taking up environmental toxins that can block thyroid function. Also, iodine is required to produce thyroid hormone (T3, T4). Iodine is also needed along with selenium to convert the less active thyroid hormone, T4, into the more active thyroid hormone, T3.
Iodine Prevents Breast Lumps and Maintains Lymph Health
Iodine is a natural lymphatic mover. The breast, thyroid, prostate, and gut all have high concentrations of iodine and are very dependent on lymphatic flow. When the lymphatic system becomes congested, it could lead to the buildup of scar tissue or fibrous tissue. This can be a cause of a problem, particularly in the breast. Studies are proof that iodine can reduce fibrous tissue buildup in the breast.
Iodine Promotes Prostate Health
Studies have shown a strong connection between high levels of iodine and the health of thyroid and prostate glands. Although circumstantial, it is interesting to note that Japanese men who get 14,000 mcg of iodine per day have better prostate health than American men who get 150 mcg of iodine per day.
A thyroid supplement drives the body to make energy. Iodine plays an essential cellular role in making energy. The more a thyroid hormone stimulates energy production, the more iodine you may need. Thyroid hormone medications also falsely tell the body that there is no need to take iodine. Be careful because, with the thyroid’s need for the thyroid hormone being satisfied by a particular medication, the natural intake of iodine for the rest of the body can get dangerously affected.