iodinebattle

Iodine vs Bromine – What They are not Telling YOU

Forty years ago the food industry decided to remove iodine from baked goods and replace the iodine with bromine.

Iodine and bromine appear similar to the thyroid gland and bromine easily binds to the thyroid gland’s receptors for iodine. Bromine, however, is of no value to the thyroid gland unlike iodine and it inhibits the activity of iodine in the thyroid gland. Bromine also can cause impaired thinking and memory, drowsiness, dizziness and irritability. This substitution of bromine for iodine has resulted in nearly universal deficiency of iodine in the American populace. Iodine therapy helps the body eliminate fluoride, bromine, lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and mercury. Could this substitution of bromine for iodine have been carried out to increase diseases and thus create more need for pharmaceutical drugs?

You may not be aware of this, but hypothyroidism is an epidemic. One in ten women in this country have been diagnosed with thyroid problems. Some endocrinologists believe that as many as one in four women have either an underactive or overactive thyroid.

Why are our diets lower in iodine than ever before? In the 1960s, we got more iodine from the bread we ate. Iodine-containing dough conditioners added 150 mcg of iodine to each slice! But over the past 20 years, food processors have substituted this conditioner with bromine, a substance that opposes every iodine and actually contributes to goiters. So instead of getting a little iodine in every slice of bread you eat, you’re now getting a little bromine. The problem is that bromine lowers your iodine levels even further.

What about just using iodized salt to increase your iodine intake? Simply put, it won’t work. Iodine was originally added to salt to prevent goiters. Iodized table salt contains 74 mcg of iodine for every gram of salt. Sea salt, soy sauce, and Bragg’s liquid amino acids are all salty condiments that contain no iodine. To get sufficient iodine you’d need to eat 168 grams of salt every day! A healthy Western diet contains less than 0.500 milligrams (mg) a day–including whatever is naturally found in our foods. You can’t safely eat enough iodized salt to reverse an iodine deficiency.

SECRET #2   Not all forms of iodine are safe.
Getting enough iodine in your diet is vital to preventing many health problems. But you have to make sure you’re getting the right type of iodine. There are two forms of iodine: iodine 127 (safe, natural dietary iodine) and iodine 131 (a harmful, radioactive byproduct of nuclear energy). Your body absorbs and retains any kind of iodine to which it is exposed. Most of it is deposited in your thyroid gland or breast tissues. These are the two places that use the highest amounts of iodine.

SECRET #3   Seaweed improves low thyroid function.
The good news is, there’s an easy way to get dietary iodine and fight of all these dangerous substances. Seaweed provides a safe form of dietary iodine for better thyroid function and healthier breast tissues. It also protects you from the harmful effects of radioactive iodine. The regular consumption of seaweed could even restore your thyroid function.

You can eat as much of it as your body wants. There are red and brown seaweeds (although the don’t look either red or brown). Brown seaweeds are highest in iodine. They include all forms of kelp. Focus, also known as Bladder-wrack, is considered to be the best for underactive thyroids because it contains the most iodine. Hijiki and Sargassum are two other forms of brown seaweeds, Red seaweeds include dulse, nori, Irish moss, and Gracilaria.

If you’ve been told that your thyroid is borderline-low, eating seaweed makes sense. But remember, if you’re iodine-deficient, you need to eat seaweed every day or take iodine in a different form.

If you’re taking thyroid medication and want to try seaweed, you may want to call Dr. Drum first for a consultation. The protocol for taking seaweed while on thyroid hormone replacement is different from the one I’ve described. Instead of using seaweed to boost your iodine levels, you might consider using an iodine supplement. Some contain iodine alone, while others have both iodine and iodide.

SECRET #4  An iodine supplement should also contain iodide.
The form of iodine you take determines where it will go and which parts of your body it can help. While both thyroid and breast tissues need iodine, your thyroid gland prefers it in a form called iodide. Iodide is a reduced form of an iodine compound containing potassium. Textbooks on endocrinology say that iodine by itself is sufficient since it is converted into iodide in the intestines. But a study using both iodine and iodide indicates our thyroid gland functions better when iodide is included. Research endocrinologist, Guy E. Abraham, M.D., developed both a test to determine iodine sufficiency and an iodine product designed to reverse this deficiency.

His supplement is a high-potency iodine/potassium iodide tablet containing 5 mg of iodine and 7.5 mg of potassium iodide. Doctors will recognize this as a tablet form of an iodine solution called Lugol’s solution, a well-absorbed form of iodine that has been used for 180 years. The tablet is called Iodoral, and it’s available through several sources to anyone who has been found by their doctors or by Dr. Abraham’s test to be iodine-deficient.

SECRET #5   Your iodine level can now be measured accurately.
At one time, people would paint a circle of tincture of iodine on their inner arm to see whether or not they were iodine-deficient. The thought was that if you were not deficient in iodine, this iodine-patch would disappear in from twenty minutes to two hours. But if it was visible for more than four hours, your iodine level was just low. It’s not a particularly accurate way to measure your iodine level. But until recently, it was all that was available.

Now there’s a simple twenty-four hour urine test developed by Dr. Abraham that measures the amount of iodide in your urine using an ion-selective electrode (ISE) following an oral intake of iodine/iodide. The ISE method to measure urinary iodide has been tested effectively on more than 4,000 Japanese men and women by Japanese researchers.

SECRET #6   A deficiency of iodine can increase your risk for breast cancer.
This is because iodine is highly concentrated in breast tissues. When radioactive iodine breaks down in your breast, it can contribute to breast cancer. And, if you remember, dietary iodine blocks the absorption of this harmful iodine.

Low iodine can increase the production of estrogens, and your lifetime exposure to estrogens increases your risk for breast cancer. Iodine normalizes the effect of estrogens on breast tissues.

SECRET #7  Iodine is more than a mineral.
Iodine is also an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that help normalize various bodily functions. Usually, adaptogens are herbs like Rhodiola rosea or Cordyceps mushrooms. Now we’re seeing that iodine, so crucial to good health, may in fact be the ultimate adaptogen. Studies show that if you take enough iodine (100 to 400 times the RDA) it helps to regulate other body functions as well.

SForward-thinking doctors are seeing that iodine may hold the key to their patients’ health problems. Until you have been tested, and have achieved iodine sufficiency, you won’t know how vital iodine is to your own health.

How Can Iodine Deficiency Be Detected?

An accurate test for diagnosing iodine deficiency exists. Dr. Jay Abrahams has developed a loading test to settle this issue. The patient takes 4 iodine tablets (12.5 mg each). If there is sufficient iodine in the individual the excess iodine is excreted in the urine in the next 24 hours. If iodine is lacking the body retains most of the iodine with little iodine appearing in the urine. Use of this test has shown that nearly every patient with any condition known to be associated with iodine deficiency tested positive for iodine lack. Therefore, it often is sensible to assume iodine lack and proceed to treat with iodine.

However, when a patient takes iodine for several months and has shown no improvement this test can be used to exclude a problem with absorption of iodine. Iodine lack is known to be a factor in the development of breast and prostate cancer. Sixty patients with a variety of cancers were studied. All sixty patients were found to have serious iodine deficiency.

To correct iodine deficiency by taking iodized salt is not feasible. You would need 20 teaspoons of iodized salt daily to get adequate quantities of iodine. Dr. Abrahams has developed an iodine preparation named Iodoral to treat iodine deficiency. This is composed of dried Lugol’s solution containing 12.5 mg of iodine per tablet. A person with adequate iodine stores who takes 4 of these tablets (50 mg.) will excrete 90 % of the iodine in their urine.

Dr. Abrahams thinks that the correct quantity of iodine needed to maintain sufficient amounts of iodine in the body is 13 mg. daily. This is 100 times more than the government recognized RDA for iodine. This quantity of daily iodine would be distributed as follows –six mg. to thyroid gland, five mg. for the breasts in females and two mg. for the remainder of the body. Males appear to usually, but not always, need slightly less than females.

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