Iodine Supplementation

The following are a list of questions I receive on my Yahoo Iodine group.  It's amazing that such a needed nutrient has fallen out of favor.  Some 50 years ago Albert Szent Gyorgyi (the physician who discovered Vitamin C in 1928) wrote:

"When I was a medical student, iodine in the form of KI was the universal medicine.  Nobody knew what it did, but it did something and did something good.  We students used to sum up the situation in this little rhyme:

If ye don't know where, what and why
Prescribe ye then K and I

Our medical predecessors, possessing very few and crude instruments only, had to make use of two given by nature (the use of which has since gone out of fashion):  eyes and brains.  They were keen observers and the universal application of iodide might have been not without foundation."

Why do I need iodine?  

Iodine is used by every gland and mucosal lining in the body.  Levels of iodine have been declining in the soils over the years leaving our food depleted of this nutrient.  Because of this we are seeing more gland related cancers along with cystic diseases.  For those of us in the goiter belt the situation is even more critical.

My doctor told me that I don't need iodine if I don't have a thyroid.  

Absolutely not true!!  Yes, you no longer need iodine to create thyroid hormones but the rest of your body needs it.  It is very necessary for breasts and prostate (second largest storage sites after the thyroid).  It is also used by the adrenal glands, paritoid glands, mucosal lining of the intestines, uterus, ovaries and many more.  It is a necessary nutrient in maintaining healthy cell life cycles.  The P53 gene requires iodine to function.  P53 has been called "The Guardian of the Genetic Code"  (To read more about this see Minerals for the Genetic Code by Charles Walters) and is responsible for the apoptosis process of damaged cells.

My doctor says I shouldn't take it because I am allergic to Iodine.

Are you really allergic?  An allergy to iodine is extremely rare.  Most determine that they are allergic to iodine through contrast dye testing.  This is not an allergy to iodine but to the dye that is used in testing (see Iodine Allergy Myth).  I thought that I was allergic to iodine after a bad reaction to a scan test I had done where an IV iodine contrast dye was used.  I am also allergic to shellfish.  Many doctors believe that this is an iodine allergy when in fact it is a reaction to the protein in shellfish not the iodine.  My doctor told me to avoid iodine and the results were devastating.  I believe this is one of the reasons why I ended up with thyroid cancer.  

If you react when taking iodine supplements odds are this is not Iodism. The individuals I have witnessed, as have the doctors using orthoiodosupplmentation, having issues with iodine are toxic.  Iodine mobilizes  the toxic halides into the bloodstream and if your liver and kidney are already overloaded by toxins you will react.  The reactions mimic those commonly described as an allergy to iodine. These can include but are not limited to, acne, rash, headaches, heart palpitations, aching joints, nasal congestion, and post nasal drip.  Other issues  can include heart palpitations and the feeling of being jittery which in many cases is a sign of weak adrenals.  In some cases when supplementing with thyroid hormone, you may need to lower your dosage.  Please consult your doctor before doing this.

To deal with these symptoms use the Salt Loading Protocol.  

Too much iodine will damage my thyroid.

In 1948 UC Berkley released a study called the Wolff-Chaikoff Effect.  This resulted in the removal of iodine from the nations food supply.  

The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect is defined as the inhibition of organic binding of iodide in the thyroid gland by excess iodide, resulting in the cessation of thyroid hormone synthesis.  In layman's terms, it was asserted that at a certain point when the thyroid became overwhelmed with too much iodine it would shut the thyroid down.   

Dr. Brownstein recommends testing Free T3 and Free T4 along with evaluating clinical symptoms when seeing increasing TSH numbers in iodine supplementation.  TSH can be elevated to levels of 75 for up to 6 mos with no clinical symptoms.  The thyroid gland is doing its job.  TSH rises to increase thyroglobulin which binds to the increased iodine in the blood stream to create thyroid hormones T4 and T3.  

After the Wolff-Chaikoff Effect was released in a medical report, the medical community jumped on the bandwagon and shunned the use of iodine stating it would damage your thyroid.    Thus began iodophobia.  

In 1970 Wartofsky evaluated the effect of Lugol solution, administered at 5 drops (30 mgs iodine / iodide) three times daily in five thyrotoxic patients.  Following this protocol it was concluded that the rapid decrease in T4 secretion induced by iodine was not a result of the Wolff Chaikoff Effect but from a decrease in the fractional rate of T4.  

As Dr. Abraham states - the Wolff-Chaikoff Effect is only crying wolf.  (article)

Why is this important to me as a thyroid cancer survivor?

Iodine is very important to an individual diagnosed with thyroid cancer - with or without a thyroid.  Iodine induces apoptosis.  Apoptosis is programmed cell death which is how the body removes cells that have damaged DNA as cancer cells do.   

More Thoughts on Iodine Deficiency - High Doses of Iodine Needed For the Very Sick:

Iodine Deficiency:  An Under Recognized Epidemic
By Dr. David Brownstein, MD

Excerpt from the article:

However, 50 mg/day of iodine in an individual ill with a serious illness such as cancer or an autoimmune disorder may be insufficient to meet their needs. My clinical and laboratory experience has shown that ill individuals generally need more iodine as compared to healthy individuals. At 25-50 mg/day of iodine, it may take years for an ill individual to become iodine sufficient. In these cases, I sometimes recommend increased dosages of iodine.

What do I take now that I know I need Iodine?

This is a list of commonly recommended Companion Nutrients that are needed to support the supplementing with iodine.

These are considered the "must haves" in supplementing per day:

Iodine (Lugols Liquid or Iodoral - contains  iodine & iodide)  25 - 50 mgs
Vitamin C - 2,000 - 4,000 mgs
Selenium 200 mcg 
Magnesium 200 - 400 mgs
Celtic Sea Salt - 1/2 - 1 tsp 

Additional nutrients to assist with the utilization of iodine:

ATP CoFactors - 2 - 2x / day

Vitamin A - 1 / day Needs to be from both Carrots & Cod Liver Oil - Recommend  Kroeger Herbs Sunny A