This post about iodine is a must read for those concerned about their overall health.
David Brownstein, MD states:
I have been involved in the iodine project for seven years. During this time, iodine has consistently provided the most satisfying clinical results as compared to any other nutrient. To date, my partners and I have tested nearly 5,000 patients for iodine levels. Our results show that more than 96 percent of patients tested have low iodine levels with the vast majority being severely iodine deficient. I believe iodine deficiency is occurring at an epidemic rate across the United States. The consequences of iodine deficiency are severe: mental retardation, lowered IQ, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), infertility, thyroid problems, and cancer of the breast, prostate, ovaries, thyroid and uterus.
“Many physicians would be surprised to learn that more than a hundred years ago, iodine was called “The Universal Medicine”.
Over 95 % of my patients
tested were deficient in iodine.
Dr. David Brownstein
In the US, it’s estimated that one in seven women suffers from iodine deficiency.
Women are naturally prone to iodine deficiencies. That’s because the thyroid gland in women is twice as large as in men — so under normal circumstances, women need more iodine. However, when women are under stress, the need for iodine can double or triple. Yet the foods we eat contain less and less dietary iodine. For example, back in 1940, the typical American diet contained about 800 micrograms of iodine. By 1995, that amount plunged to just 135 micrograms. That’s an 83% decline.
The nutrient iodine is essential for every cell of the human body.
Congenital hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency is the most common preventable cause of mental retardation in the world. Even mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy, which may be present in some women in the United States, may be associated with low intelligence in children.
Pregnancy-related problems – Iodine deficiency is especially important in women who are pregnant or nursing their infants. Severe iodine deficiency in the mother has been associated with miscarriages, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and congenital abnormalities in their babies. Children of mothers with severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy can have mental retardation and problems with growth, hearing, and speech. In the most severe form, an underactive thyroid can result in cretinism (a syndrome characterized by permanent brain damage, mental retardation, deaf mutism, spasticity, and short stature), though this is not seen in the United States.
• Metabolic rates: Iodine influences the functioning of thyroid glands by assisting in production of hormones, which are directly responsible for controlling the basic metabolic rate. The hormones, like thyroxin and triodothyronine, influence heart rate, blood pressure, body weight and temperature. The body maintains the BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate) with the help of these hormones, which also helps in protein synthesis.
• Energy level: It also plays an important role in maintaining optimum energy levels of the body by ensuring optimum utilization of calories, without allowing them to be deposited as excess fats.
• Healthy nails, hair, sking, and teeth: The health benefits of iodine include formation of healthy and shiny skin, teeth and hair. Iodine is an important element for haircare as lack of this mineral can result in hair loss. Moreover, it also aids hair growth.
• Reproductive system: Iodine helps in the normal growth and maturity of reproductive organs. Sufficient quantity of iodine in pregnant women is essential to prevent still births or neurocognitive conditions like cretinism in the babies. It also ensures proper movement and growth, along with speech and hearing in babies.
• Fibrocystic disease: Iodine can significantly reduce conditions like fibrosis, turgidity and breast tenderness. Iodine acts as a relief for fibrocystic diseases and is widely used even in therapies.
• Iodine programmed cell death: Iodine ensures the apoptosis or the programmed cell death which is essential in the formation of new organs as well as in the removal of malignant cells like cancer cells or diseased cells, which might prove harmful to the individual.
• Anti-cancer properties: Probably, the most important health benefits of iodine apart from thyroidal influence are its anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that cancer cells when administered with iodine shrink.
• Iodine removes toxic chemicals: Iodine can flush out chemical toxins like fluoride, lead, mercury etc., apart from biological toxins and can strengthen immune system. It also prevents the proliferation of harmful bacteria in the stomach.
• Thyroid and Goiter disorders: Iodine deficiency is the basic cause of Goiter as widely known. You can have eggs, salt, sea food, dairy products to facilitate the reduction of iodine deficiency which works as a cure for enlarged thyroid gland.
There is so much misinformation out there about Iodine, that I suggest you research it thoroughly in order to make an informed decision for yourself because once you understand the importance of this vital element, you will understand why it is crucial to ensure adequate iodine levels in you and your family.
Continue reading my next post on how to get iodine in your diet.