Iodine is very important nutrient that we all need, that we just don’t hear a lot about. What happens to our physical health when we’re deficient in it, however, leaves us wondering why more people aren’t talking about it.
What are some symptoms of iodine deficiency?
- Thyroid goiters
- Weight gain
- Thyroid cancer
- Hair loss
- Brain fog
- Muscle aches and pain
- Breast tenderness
- Breast cancer
- Feeling cold all the time
- … just to name a few…
According to Dr. David Brownstein, M.D. – one of the worlds leading experts on iodine supplementation, all thyroid hormones require iodine, as does every cell in the body – including the white blood cells. All glandular tissue – including breasts, uterus, prostate, and ovaries require adequate amounts of iodine in order to function well. In fact iodine is actually found in all body’s cells, and it concentrates in the glandular tissue. There has been evidence of the tie between hypothyroidism and breast cancer for more than a century, with the common denominator being iodine deficiency.
How do we become deficient in iodine?
Well, not getting enough iodine in the diet is definitely one way to become deficient in it. But what you may not know is that there are other substances, such as bromide (as found in breads, cereals, pasta, soft drinks, and absorbed through the skin from fire retardants) and fluoride (as found in many water supplies, toothpaste, and mouthwash) that compete with iodine for receptors. When toxic substances are in competition with essential nutrients for receptors in the body, this means that you get less of the nutrient you need, while your body becomes plastered with the toxins.
Interestingly, iodine is a potent detoxifier of bromine and fluoride – as well as heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, and aluminum. It also detoxifies arsenic from the body.
So how do you go about getting more iodine in your diet?
Most people think that iodized table salt is enough iodine supplementation, but unfortunately this just isn’t the case. Processed, iodized salt is actually very unhealthy and toxic. Unrefined pink Himalayan sea salt is actually one of the healthiest things on the planet that we can put into our bodies, as it’s natural for our bodies to utilize – but it doesn’t have the levels of iodine that we need.
According to Dr. Brownstein, the best way to get the iodine we need is to use a combination of iodine and iodide. He recommends using either Iodoral® or Lugol’s iodine for best bioavailability. It’s also very important to supplement with selenium, which you can purchase as supplements, or eat a handful of Brazil nuts every day. Without selenium, the thyroid cannot correctly utilize the iodine.
Iodine does not stay in our system for long, so it’s important for us to replenish our iodine daily. Check with your healthcare practitioner if you think you need more iodine, to find out what the right dosage is for you.