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Don't Depend on Salt to Get Enough Iodine

Posted By Carol L. Hunter, PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Everywhere you turn in the media, in published guidelines from professional medical associations, from private health and governmental organizations, from your own physician and from family members, we are told to restrict the use of salt. These public and private warnings are given to mainly avoid elevated blood pressures and the risks of cardiovascular events and cerebrovascular accidents or strokes.  

There is also a movement among naturalists to only use sea salt which contains little to no iodine. It comes in a variety of colors: pink, light gray and light blue and even black and is easy to find today in any health store. Kosher salt is also a pure form which also lacks iodine. With the public campaign to decrease animal fats in the diet and thereby reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, people are eating more vegetables which contain less iodine than animal sources. Iodine is also lost in sweat while exercising. 1

Back in 1926 a public health decision was made to include iodine in salt. The reasoning was that everyone loved their salt and used it daily, so they would also get the necessary daily trace amount of iodine. There was an epidemic back then of goiters, a large swelling of the thyroid gland that was not only uncomfortable but unsightly. The addition of iodine to salt resolved this public health problem and people’s thyroid problems were balanced just simply by a shake of salt at the dinner table.

Salt is an excellent preservative and so the inevitable happened. Food manufacturers started incorporating large amounts of sodium into their products, especially the packaged versions. And soon afterwards, blood pressures were on the rise.  With all the warnings, one would think salt had become public enemy number one; however, salt is necessary to life and without it, we cannot live. Due to the drastic reductions in salt intake today, iodine deficiency has increased to the point that nearly 74% of healthy adults may not consume enough.1 The US recommended daily allowance is 150 to 290 micrograms with a top limit of 1100 mcg; however, when that is compared to the daily intake of Japanese women which ranges from 5280 to 13,800mcg with no adverse effects, the RDA may be lacking in true efficacy. 1

The important realization here is that we can no longer depend upon salt to provide our source of iodine and as a result, hypothyroidism has reached epidemic proportions in our US population. Do you know someone who takes thyroid replacement? I would bet you do. It’s a rampant health problem that is largely treated with prescription medications today. In addition, iodine deficiency may result in obesity, cognitive and psychiatric disorders, heart disease and forms of cancer, especially breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease. In developing children, iodine can prevent mental retardation. Research has also shown that iodine can absorb and eliminate radioactive elements from our bodies, inhibit tumor formation and reduce cholesterol.  Please get your thyroid levels checked if you haven’t done so.

So what are the alternative sources of iodine, if our salt has largely been denied us? Don’t recoil when I present you with this gift from the sea, but seaweed is a vital source of iodine, especially for vegans who cannot depend on other sources. The sea is the greatest repository of iodine where various seaweeds are able to concentrate it to very high levels. Contrarily, there is very little iodine found in the soil. Seaweed is classified by its color which is either red, brown or green. Once company called Maine Coast Sea Vegetables provides its products in whole leaf, flaked, granulated, powdered and bulk forms. Their website is and is a wealth of information. Their products are easy to find in most nutrition centered stores and cooperatives. Seaweed can be used in soups, sandwiches, stirfries and salads. Because it is such highly concentrated food, only small amounts are needed to boost the flavor and nutrition of any dish. At their online store they feature their cookbook, Sea Vegetable Celebration, by owner Shep Erhart and organic chef Leslie Cerier, that contains over 100 vegetarian recipes.

There are many types including the Asian Nori, Hiziki, Arama and Wakame and the US coastal varieties such as dulse, kelp, alaria and laver. Incorporating seaweed into your diet is just a snip away. Simply get out your scissors and cut off tiny pieces to put in whatever dish you are cooking. Half the fun will be the experimenting so try out the dried seaweed which is crispy and salty and then the soaked version which cuts down on the salty taste. On the bag of my dulse seaweed, a one third cup serving based on the 2000 calorie per day intake yields only 18 calories and a whopping 780% daily value of iodine! This form of iodine intake may not be as easy as shaking a salt shaker, but being able to eat seaweed right out of the bag with a few snips is the next best thing. Here is a tasty and beautiful salad to get you started:

Grapefruit/Avocado Salad with Dulce

Spread a generous handful of spring mix on a platter.

Arrange the grapefruit slices and avocado slices in a circle on top of the lettuce.

In the middle place a few slices of cucumber.

Sprinkle walnut pieces on top.

Sprinkle dulce bits on top by snipping off small pieces with scissors.

Pour Citric dressing over salad. Use salt and pepper to taste.

Citric dressing:

2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice

2 tablespoons of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon of lemon or orange zest

½ teaspoon of cumin

2 grated garlic cloves

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste.  (If you like a creamy dressing, you can add ½ cup of tahini.)

Enjoy, your thyroid gland will thank you!



Tags:  Carol Hunter  iodine  salt 

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Iodine Insufficiency in America: The Neglected Pandemic

Posted By Frank O. McGehee, Jr, MD, CCN, Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Updated: Thursday, May 7, 2015
True I False
______ 1. Eating iodized salt will provide sufficient iodine for the average person.
______ 2. Iodine deficiency is not widespread in America today.
______ 3. Correcting Iodine insufficiency has proven to prevent autoimmune illness, polycustic ovary and breast syndromes, thyroid disorders, cancers, and other conditions.
______ 4. In the last 30 years iodine levels have fallen by 50% in the United States.
______ 5. Celtic salt will increase blood pressure.
*Answer to quiz at end of the article

Iodine has been largely forgotten, and now ignored by the pharmaceuticals and physicians in America today. The reason that iodine has been neglected is that is inexpensive, can cure most diseases, or significantly improve symptoms of disease. In the 1940's, when antibiotics came into vogue as the treatment for most disease, iodine therapy vanished from popular medical vernacular. Some of the therapeutic actions of iodine are antibacterial, anticancer, antiviral, antimicrobial, parasitic, and elevation of body Ph to healthy alkaline levels.

Conditions that can be remedied by iodine supplementation are: ADD, ADD/ADHD, breast disease, overgrowth of yeast, excess mucous production, fatigue, fibrocystic breasts, headaches, migraine headaches, hypertension, liver disease, ovarian disease, carotid duct stones, prostate disorders, thyroid disorders, vaginal infections, and many more common ailments. Iodine is plentiful in sea organisms such as seaweed. In fact, seaweed is one of the most abundant sources of iodine, because seaweed has the ability to concentrate a large amount of iodine from the ocean in water" 1. Consuming daily portions of seaweed salad would be an excellent source of iodine supplementation. Maybe McDonald's will feature it soon!

There are only a few sources of iodine available to us in our food sources today. Years ago our soil used to be abundant in selenium and iodine. Decades of irresponsible farming and drought have depleted the food supply of these vital minerals. Iodized salt today contains only tiny micrograms of iodine. Manufacturers have substituted bromide for iodine; in the baking and salt industries to save a few pennies. "As of 2008, Drs. Brownstien, Ng, and Nasbaum have now tested iodine levels on well over 4,000 patients. Our results have been consistent; approximately 967 of patients test low for iodine. The balance of patients initially tests near zero for iodine levels, as their results are reported below detectable limits." 2

Doctor’s Data offers a water test for toxic metals. If the water test for your home reports significant levels of toxic metals in the water, the homeowner will also have toxic metals in entire body. In addition, if the homeowner also has mercury amalgams or fillings in their mouth, heavy metal toxicity is assured. Mercury has no half-life, so it continues indefinitely to wreak havoc upon the body.

Heavy metal toxicity is believed to be one of the cause of coronary heart disease, cancer, pulmonary embolism, high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia, Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, infertility, and many other illnesses. There is a reasonable and convenient way to check for heavy metals in the body. The test is called the Fecal Metals test by Doctor's Data. We "provoke" the metals into the blood stream from the deep tissues using an algae product called Neprorella, manufactured by Marko Pharma. The patients consume 5 Neprorella 3 times daily for five days, and then collect the sample. If the fecal tests report excess toxic metals, the patient with Mercury fillings would do well by having them removed by a biological dentist.

Further ongoing detoxification can be accomplished in several ways. A glutathione suppository of 300mg is given before the EDTA suppository. The glutathione will increase heave metal removal by 300%! One method is use of an EDTA suppository called Detoxamin. Detoxamin is administered as a suppository 3 times weekly before bedtime, at home. In our practice, World Health Products formulates a EDTA 1500 mg suppository for our patients. In addition, a Glutathione Suppository of 300 mg is added to the Detoxamin. It increases toxic metal excretion by 300%. We recommend patients continue to take suppositories three times weekly, indefinitely, because of high levels of toxic metals in our society today.

Bromide is a halide, (as are iodine, fluoride, and chloride). Bromide interferes with iodine utilization in the thyroid, as well as wherever else iodine would concentrate in the body3. Other halides in our environment are found in our water sources. They are chlorine and fluoride; fluoride is an industrial waste product!

Most municipal water supplies are supplemented with fluoride levels of 1or 2 or more parts per million. "For over fifty years, the American Dental Association has advocated the addition of fluoride to drinking water, toothpaste, and mouthwash, as a preventative against cavities. Fluoridation has been linked to dental fluorosis (discoloration of the teeth), hip fractures, bone cancer, lowered intelligence, and other negative effects. Research has shown that fluoride is much more toxic to the body when there is iodine deficiency present. Many commonly prescribed medications contain fluoride including SSRI antidepressants such as Paxil and Prozac. Interestingly, there have been reports of this class of antidepressants increasing the risk of breast cancer”4.

Chlorine and fluoride are halides; and they compete and win in the body over iodine every time. If a person takes a shower in most municipal water for fifteen minutes, it is the equivalent of drinking one cup of swimming pool water treated with chlorine. Our skin absorbs all the chlorine we bathe in every day. Imagine ten or 15 years of drinking water, showers, and baths with halides added!

Fluoride routinely is added to city water, supposedly to "keep our teeth from falling out." Fluoride is an industrial waste product of smelting. For more information go to: The greatest scam ever perpetuated on the American public and our dentists may be the addition of fluoride to water systems, dental office treatments, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. How could fluoride; the end product of industrial smelting possibly help us retain our teeth? Once again, the profit motive has overruled known science for our communal health. "In a remarkable turnabout, federal health officials say many Americans are getting too much fluoride, and it's causing splotches on children's teeth and perhaps other, more serious problems”. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced plans Friday, January 7, 2011 to lower recommended level of fluoride in drinking water for the first time in nearly 50 years."5

Not the least dangerous aspect of fluoride; which is found in almost every part of our life, is the fact that it will totally eliminate any iodine we might have in our bodies. Iodine kills many single celled organisms like virus, bacterium, fungi, and protozoa. Sufficient iodine also allows the thyroid to operate efficiently. Witness the pandemics of candida (yeast), virus, mycoplasma, bacterium, and parasites routinely found in people in the world today.

Today, all people are routinely deficient in iodine. The results of the deficiency are hypothyroiditis and/or Hashimoto's Syndrome. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is represented by a low TSH and T3 and T4 in the "normal range." The low TSH is a marker for the presence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies. These conditions occur separately or concombinantly. "The definitive test for Hasimoto's thyroiditis is testing for thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO Ab). It is the most important test to diagnose Hasimoto's. Other contributing factors to Hashimoto's can be if the patient has pernicious anemia, gluten intolerance or celiac disease."6 Often gluten intolerance can CAUSE Hasimotor's thyroiditis! Ergo; pathogens in our environment begin the process of Hashimoto's.

Hashimoto's Syndrome was a rare occurrence years ago, when iodine was still readily available in food sources to the population. Even five years ago, we rarely saw Hasimoto's patients. Today, these patients are more the routine than the exception.

Hypothyroidism is usually an additional complication of the health status of the patient along with Hashimoto's Simply stated, we believe the antibody response by the thyroid has occurred because of thyroid infection by various pathogens. A variety of pathogens are now widely disseminated into our society, through the water system and food chain. They are bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, mycoplasmic, allergic responses, or routinely; a "Frankenstein-istic" combination of all the above. Because the thyroid is a soft tissue organ, microorganisms prefer to "set up shop" there; to eat, thrive, discard dead cells in the gallbladder/liver, and cause general distress to the function of other organ systems.

The thyroid antibodies generated by a person with Hasimoto's are actually antibodies to the PATHOGENS in the thyroid; not actually to the thyroid itself. Radioactive treatment will be of little benefit to most patients, unless a cancer
condition exists. Until the pathogens are eliminated, or at least reduced, optimal thyroid function and health will not occur.

Some of the obesity in America can be attributed directly to the lack of iodine in our food sources. Of course, poison fast food, processed food, frozen food, carbonated drinks, lack of iodine in salt and bread, and copious consumption of beer have not helped the iodine deficiency we experience today.

You probably would like to know if you are "iodine deficient." A simple way to test yourself is to apply a 1" by 1" square of Lugol's iodine on your inner arm. Note the time of application. If your body has sufficient stores of iodine, the "patch" should remain for 24 hours. Never have we witnessed a patient whose "patch" remains for 24 hours. Today, we routinely consume 50 mg of Lodoral, in addition to a dose of Naturesthroid T3 and T4 daily. T4 values are also usually depressed unless the person is taking Synthroid, which is synthetic T4.

Lugol's solution was discovered by Jean Lugol, a Paris physician, in 1829. He found that iodine is more soluble in water that contains potassium iodide. "Lugol's is a liquid mixture of iodine iodide, and potassium iodide (which is 77% iodine)."7 Lugol's can be obtained from compounding pharmacy with a prescription from an M.D. Lodoral is an iodine oral supplement, identical to the iodine mix in Lugol’s. It is taken orally in a long acting dextrose compound, iodate salts, and the antimicrobial betadine (17% iodide).

1 "Iodine Why You Need It Why You Can't live Without It", David M. Brownstein M.D. Copyright 2008 Medical Alternatives Press. P26.
2 Ibid. p. 54
3. VO Becky M., Effect of enhanced bromide intake on the concentration ratio of 1/BR in the rat thyroid gland. Bio. Trace Element Research, 43:509-513,1994.
4. "Iodine Why You Need It Why You can't Live Without It", David M. Brownstein, M.D. Copyright 2008 Medical Alternatives Press. P.110
5. Houston Chronical. "Experts Frown on Too Much Fluoride." January 8,2011.
6. Jerry Tennant, M.D., Newsletter Volume, Copyright 2008, "Hypothyroidism - The Epidemic".
6. Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS, "Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?", Copright 2010

*Answers to quiz:
1. F
2. F
3. T
4. T
5. F

Tags:  iodine  nutrition  pandemic  salt 

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