Are You Getting Enough IODINE?
At some point or another, we all wish we could find the magic pill or ingredient that would safeguard our health and/or restore our bodies to their healthiest state, maybe even prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease. And with so many supplements on the market, there are certainly plenty to choose from. Well, perhaps it’s time to pay a little more attention to iodine.
A hundred years ago, iodine used to be called the “universal antibiotic”. Much higher doses of iodine than today were given for just about every known disease or disorder, often with very positive results. Areas of the world where high dosages of iodine were routinely ingested, such as Japan, were known to have lower instances of cancer and other diseases .Every cell in the body needs iodine.
Iodine is related to the ability of the body to resist disease. Iodine is necessary for the thyroid gland to perform its work properly. The human thyroid gland is located in the front of the lower part of the neck, and all the blood in the body passes through the thyroid gland every 17 minutes. Because the cells making up this gland have an affinity for iodine, during this 17-minute passage, the gland’s secretion of iodine kills weak germs that may have gained entry into the blood through an injury to the skin, the lining of the nose or throat, or through absorption of food from the digestive tract. Strong, virulent germs are rendered weaker during their passage through the thyroid gland. Every 17 minutes, they are made still weaker until finally they are killed if the gland has its normal supply of iodine. If it does not, it cannot kill harmful germs circulating in the blood as Nature intended it should.
It is well established that the iodine content of the thyroid gland is dependent upon the iodine available in the food and water intake of the individual. If the iodine intake is low, the gland is deprived of an element it needs to do its work.
This gland performs several other functions besides killing harmful germs in the blood. The first is the rebuilding of energy with which to do the day’s work. There is a definite relationship between the amount of energy you have and your iodine intake. The first question to be asked in the presence of a condition of depleted energy is, “Is the soil of the state in which one lives iodine-poor?” Second, “is the deficiency being made up by supplementary means?” When energy and endurance run low in relation to doing the day’s work, then consider taking iodine.
A second function of iodine is to calm the body and relieve nervous tension. When nervous tension runs high, there is irritability and difficulty in sleeping well at night, and the body is continually on a combat basis, organized for fight and flight. All these points stress a body’s need for iodine to lessen nervous tension, relax, and enable it to organize for peace and quiet by the building and storing of body reserves against time of need. It is possible to repeatedly change an irritable, impatient, and restless child under ten years of age into a calm, patient individual within two hours by giving one drop of Lugol’s solution of iodine by mouth in a vegetable or fruit juice or in a glass of water made acid in reaction by adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. This is useful for calming a hyperactive child.
A third function of iodine in the human body relates to clear thinking. The mind simply works better when the body is supplied the iodine it needs.
Then there is the matter of the storing of unwanted fat. Iodine is one of the best oxidizing catalysts we have. A catalyst is the match which touches off in the body the fire that burns up the food we take in each day. If this food is not properly burned off, it may be stored as unwanted fat.And if your thyroid gland isn’t getting the iodine that it needs to work optimally, your metabolism may be slower than it should.
Now while the thyroid gland helpfully stores iodine from the blood passing through it every 17 minutes, the gland may also be made to lose that stored iodine if, for example, the body is exposed to other halogens in the environment.
There is a well-known law of halogen displacement. The halogen group is made up of the following elements, shown with their Relative Atomic Weights:
• Fluorine: 19.0
• Chlorine: 35.5
• Bromine: 80.0
• Iodine: 127.0
The critical activity of any one of these four halogens is in inverse proportion to its atomic weight. This means that any one of the four can displace the element with a higher atomic weight, but cannot displace an element with a lower atomic weight. For example, fluorine can displace chlorine, bromine, and iodine because fluorine has a lower atomic weight than the other three. Similarly, chlorine can displace bromine and iodine because they both have a higher atomic weight. Likewise, bromine can displace iodine from the body because iodine has a higher atomic weight. But a reverse order is not possible. A knowledge of this well-known chemical law brings us to a consideration of the addition of chlorine to our drinking water as a purifying agent. We secure a drinking water that is harmful to the body not because of its harmful germ content but because the chlorine content now causes the body to lose the much-needed iodine.
Because we may live in an iodine-poor area; because drinking water may be treated with chlorine; because we may be sick too often, lack energy and endurance, develop nervous tension, lack the ability of clear thinking, and accumulate unwanted fat, how shall we go about bringing up the iodine content of the body to the point needed?
There are several ways:
• Eating foods which analysis has shown are particularly rich in iodine. Among these are all food out of the ocean, radishes, asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, rhubarb, potatoes, peas, strawberries, mushrooms, lettuce, bananas, cabbage, egg yolk, and onions.
• Painting a small area of the body with tincture of iodine.
• Taking preparations known to be rich in iodine, such as cod-liver oil, Lugol’s solution of iodine, kelp, or iodine supplements.
Iodine consumption by Americans has dropped over 50% since the 1970s as breast cancer rates have risen. Did you know that after the thyroid, the breast and ovaries have the highest concentration of iodine in the body? In the US Goiter Belt, where iodine in the soil is lower, breast cancer is higher. By contrast, the incidence and severity of breast cancer are less in Japan than in Europe and the US, attributable to the diet. Japanese women consume 25 times more dietary iodine than North American women and have lower breast cancer rates.
Meanwhile, since the 1970s, in the US and several other countries, iodine-blocking bromides have been added to flour, some sodas, and medications, exacerbating the iodine deficiency. Fluoridated drinking water also depletes iodine absorption. Thus, as women consume less iodine and excrete more due to toxic elements, our risk for breast cancer grows.
For women with painful breasts accompanying fibrocystic disease, iodine improved symptoms in more than 50% of the women who took 6.0 mg. of iodine for 6 months, and brown sea alga improved pain and nodularity in 94% of the women.
Would iodine supplementation benefit you? Do some research on your own. Here are some sources that you can start with…
“The Iodine Crisis, What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life”, by Lynne Farrow
“Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It”, by Dr. David Brownstein