TERRY’S BOTTOM LINE:
If you feel tired all the time, have gained weight, can’t
tolerate cold, have dry skin, and worry about breast, prostate, or thyroid
cancer, there is a natural solution that can make a world of difference:
A strong daily supplement helps:
- Prevent breast, prostate, ovarian, and thyroid cancer
- Keep your weight low and your metabolism high
- Stop migraine headaches
- Boost energy and libido
- Stop “brain fog” and improve focus
- Improve dry, brittle hair, and cracked skin
- Stop food cravings
Did you know there’s one simple mineral that we need every
day that most of us never get? There was a time when it was considered a “cure
all”, but we’ve forgotten all about it in favor of prescription drugs, and as a
result, rates of cancer are skyrocketing, obesity is epidemic, and our energy
levels have plunged.
Iodine is one of nature’s most amazing minerals.
Unfortunately for our health, it is one that has been largely forgotten. But it
wasn’t always that way.
Before the widespread use of synthetic drugs, iodine was
recommended for everything: healing wounds and disease, destroying bacteria and
viruses, and possibly even preventing cancer.
But new pharmaceuticals brushed iodine aside, and we see the
result – high rates of cancer, thyroid dysfunction, and a build-up of toxins in
our bodies – many of them from the foods we eat and water we drink.
Where Did Iodine Go?
Iodine as a medicine was once very common, but dietary
iodine intake in many parts of the country was historically quite low. It
wasn’t until after the First World War that medical professionals advocated for
iodine enrichment in the diet.
Because most of us think we get enough iodine from table
salt, it’s easy to forget that iodine was added to salt to
reduce incidence of goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) back in the 1920s. And that
worked, for a while.
But in the 1940s, a single paper written by two researchers
completely changed the way we use iodine. This poorly documented paper gave the
impression that iodine use was not only archaic and unnecessary, but could even
be dangerous, citing hyperthyroidism as a side effect. Almost overnight, the
use of iodine in medicine was stopped and in its place we have a fear of one of
the most important and critical nutrients in our diet. Iodine costs just
pennies a day. With the advent of modern drugs in the 1940s and 1950s, could
the profits realized by the drug companies have a bearing on discrediting the
use of iodine for hypothyroidism?
Compounding the issue is the fact that people have cut back
on table salt at home, and most food manufacturers
don’t use iodized salt, and their products – especially frozen pizzas,
appetizers, and processed meats – are laden with unhealthy types of sodium
That’s because chlorine, fluoride, and bromide – which lower
iodine levels in the body by blocking iodine receptors – are increasingly
consumed from foods or through environmental exposure.
Chlorine is now used to purify water instead of iodine.
Fluoride is almost universally found in toothpaste and drinking water. And
bromide replaced iodine in commercial baked goods over 30 years ago.
Unfortunately, these minerals aren’t just toxic for your thyroid – they’re
dangerous for your health overall. Fluoride is a problem because it blocks the
ability of the thyroid gland to concentrate iodine and bromide can cause
depression, headaches, and even hallucinations.
Additionally, consuming soy and gluten blocks thyroid
function and inhibits the uptake of iodine. You find these ingredients not only
in obvious sources like soy milk and wheat breads, but also as hidden
ingredients in many processed foods. They are another reason why we are so
deficient in iodine.
Iodine is Making a Comeback – And We Need It!
Fortunately, not everyone has forgotten
what this amazing mineral can do. Integrative medical practitioners and other
holistic-thinking individuals are bringing iodine back. And science is
recognizing iodine’s great value, too. Researchers suggest that boosting iodine
consumption could improve thyroid health, lower incidence of breast and
prostate cancer and fibrocystic disease of the breast, and promote overall
Of course, our minimum daily requirement is still set far
too low – only 150 micrograms (mcg) per day. This is enough to prevent goiter,
but not enough for truly beneficial health effects. And there’s nothing scary
about getting more iodine in your system. After all, people in Japan consume
more than 12 mg – 12,000 mcg – of iodine per day. That’s 50 times more
than the average American, and it hasn’t hurt a bit.
In fact, life expectancy in Japan is just over 83 years old,
while in the United States it is about 78 years. The infant mortality in Japan
is half that of the United States, too. And, America faces almost three
times the number of deaths from breast cancer than Japan.
Studies have noted a connection between thyroid
abnormalities and breast cancer, and iodine intake may be a factor.
Today, one in eightAmerican women will develop breast cancer during
her lifetime. Compare that to thirty years ago, when iodine consumption was
much higher, and one in 20 women developed breast cancer. Women in Japan who
consume high amounts of dietary iodine have much lower rates of breast cancer
and thyroid problems. However, when women emigrate from Japan to the United
States and begin eating a Western diet, with its fractional amount of iodine,
their breast cancer and thyroid disease rates increase dramatically.
Iodine Helps Stop Cancer
Iodine’s anticancer functions are one of its most important
benefits. Scientific tests using estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells exposed
to iodine have shown that they are less likely to grow and spread. Fibrocystic
breast disease, which creates swelling, tenderness, and discomfort, is also a
common concern. In other clinical research, approximately 70% of patients
experienced relief of pain and reduction in abnormal tissue with iodine
supplementation. In patients with mastalgia – breast pain – at least 50% of the
women had significant reductions in breast pain after taking 6 mg of iodine
In another study, 98% of women receiving
iodine treatment were pain-free by the study’s end, and 72% had
improvements in breast tissue.
Why Iodine Can Help Prevent Breast and Prostate Cancer
Iodine works so well for breast health because it makes
breast cells less sensitive to estrogen, and detoxifies toxic halogens –
bromide, fluoride, and chloride. It’s important that you help your body flush
out these harmful elements: one study found that breast cancer patients
had double the bromide levels compared to non-cancer
For the same reasons, iodine helps prevent the hormonal
imbalances that leave some men more prone to prostate cancer. After all, women
and men are equally subject to the estrogen-like chemicals so prevalent in
modern packaging, home and office furnishings, and foods.
Different Forms of Iodine for Different Reasons
Supplemental iodine is available in different forms, each of
which affects specific tissues in the body. Potassium and sodium iodide are
best absorbed by the thyroid. Breast tissue uses iodine most efficiently in the
form of molecular iodine.
Because of this, you need a supplement that includes more
than one form of the mineral. The best formula provides three forms of iodine;
sodium iodide, potassium iodide, and molecular iodine – at levels that can
actually make a noticeably positive difference.
Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., is an author and iodine expert
who has treated thousands of patients in his clinic. He states, “As I started
to use larger amounts of iodine (12.5-50 mg/day) to achieve whole body
sufficiency, I began to see positive results in my patients. Goiters and
nodules of the thyroid shrank, cysts on the ovaries became smaller and began to
disappear, patients reported increased energy, and metabolism was increased as
evidenced by my patients having new success in losing weight. Libido improved in
both men and women. People suffering from brain fog reported a clearing of the
fogginess. Patients reported having vivid dreams and sleeping better. Most
importantly, those with chronic illnesses that were having a difficult time
improving began to notice many of their symptoms resolving.”
Why You Need Iodine for Thyroid Support
Your thyroid is under attack all the time, and it’s going to
affect your mood, your immune system, your focus, and definitely, your weight.
There are few reasons for thyroid health problems becoming so prominent, but
I’m certain that the disappearance of iodine in our diets and common
conventional medical practice are two of the major causes.
What the Thyroid Does
This butterfly-shaped gland sits at the base of the throat.
One of the chief functions of the thyroid is the production of the hormone,
thyroxine (T4), and the conversion of this hormone into triiodothyronine (T3)
as needed for metabolism.
However, things can go bad if the body produces too little
thyroxine to begin with. Normal metabolic and other chemical processes slow
down, and you have hypothyroidism or low thyroid.
Low functioning thyroids are common in both men and women,
although from my experience, women are far more apt to have hypothyroidism than
men. But diagnosing hypothyroidism isn’t always what it should
be. The most serious problem is that many doctors rely completely on a blood
test that is grossly inaccurate and overlooks a majority of low thyroid
Why Most Thyroid Tests Don’t Provide the Full Picture
When doctors test for blood levels of T4, they generally
find adequate levels of the hormone, so they naturally rule out hypothyroidism.
But focusing on T4 levels only provides half of the picture, and the tests
aren’t truly far-reaching. Many of these “good” readings of T4 don’t take into
consideration the levels of T4 that need to be converted to T3, the active
In fact, readings of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone),
thyroxine levels, and other blood parameters may lead one to believe you are in
the “normal” range when the normal range may be far too broad. A test initiated
by Dr. Broda Barnes, considered to be one of the premier experts on thyroid, is
far better. Plus, it has the added convenience of being able to be performed at
The procedure is simple:
- Take a non-digital thermometer and place it on your
- In the morning upon wakening – without getting out of
bed – place the thermometer in your armpit and hold arm close to body for
- Read temperature and record (women in menstruation
should wait for ovulation to cease)
- Repeat procedure each day for three days
Normal is between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anything under 97.8 probably means varying degrees of
hypothyroidism. The lower the temperature, the worse the condition. In some
cases, it’s not unusual to find readings as low as 96 degrees.
Unfortunately, in many cases of hypothyroidism, doctors fall
back on the catchall diagnoses: stress, anxiety, or depression because these
are symptoms of the real disease. They overlook the root cause of these
Let me emphasize the fact that low thyroid is very serious.
Beyond weight gain, disruptions to the health of the thyroid can alter your
personality significantly, completely taking away the enjoyment of life and
eventually leading to depression, anxiety, and anti-social behavior.
L-Tyrosine – Required for Your Thyroid
You may not hear about l-tyrosine that much, but without it
there would be no hormone function and the adrenals would also be severely
L-tyrosine, also known simply as “tyrosine”, is a natural
amino acid found in legumes, cheese, and many protein-rich foods. It is a must
for creating thyroid hormones, and that’s why you may need it in supplemental
form – especially if your diet is a bit shy of food sources.
The thyroid gland uses two major building blocks to make
thyroid hormone—iodine and l-tyrosine. Insufficient levels of either nutrient
cause a decrease in the formation of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4)
and triiodothyronine (T3).
Of course, l- tyrosine isn’t only involved with thyroid
hormone production – it also helps produce noradrenaline and dopamine. But it
is impossible to have a well-functioning thyroid without sufficient quantities
in the diet or through supplementation. Due to l-tyrosine’s role in creating
neurochemicals, it’s probably no surprise that this amino acid is an excellent
stress reliever and a natural treatment for depression as well.
Selenium – The Other Crucial Mineral for Your Thyroid
Selenium is a critical mineral for overall health, and your
thyroid needs it in addition to iodine and L-tyrosine. While selenium can be obtained
from regular dietary sources, some people need that extra mineral “push” in
order to get their thyroid hormones to activate properly. In the case of
autoimmune disorders and their relationship to the thyroid, selenium may be the
next most important mineral for the health of the gland, right after iodine.
If you have been trying to rejuvenate your thyroid with
iodine and l-tyrosine, and even after a few months, your progress seems to have
stalled, I would recommend adding selenium to your regimen, or finding a
supplement that combines iodine, l-tyrosine, and selenium.
Thyroid Health Really is That Important!
It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that just one small
system in the body can be allowed to “slow down a little”, but thyroid health
is extremely important.
The thyroid regulates the complete metabolic function of the
body. Any dysfunction will make a tremendous impact on how much weight you
carry, and how easy (or not) it is to regulate that weight. Plus, an imbalance
of its hormone can produce skin disorders, irregular heartbeat, congestive
heart failure, high blood pressure, muscle dysfunction, gastrointestinal
disturbances, mental confusion, severe depression, decreased libido, extreme
fatigue, and apathy. But I think you get the idea. The thyroid very definitely
affects how you feel and how you relate to life in general.
Supplementing With Iodine
There’s a fear surrounding iodine and iodine supplementation
that is completely unfounded, but it’s important to get iodine in different
forms — including molecular iodine, sodium iodide, and potassium iodide — for
more complete whole-body effects.
Remember, iodine was routinely used by physicians until the
late 1930’s at doses of 37 mg or more per day, depending upon the disorder.
Aside from thyroid, recent research has proven that all cells have a receptor
site for iodine, in particular the breast, prostate, ovaries, and uterus,
which require iodine in order to function properly.
The right dosage truly depends on individual needs.
Unfortunately, like many healthy nutrients, the reported amount for a suggested
intake is only enough to prevent goiter. Integrative practitioners often
suggest 50 mg per day for 3 months followed by 3.0 or 12.5 mg daily thereafter
for optimal health. However, it’s best to find a practitioner that can help you
develop a regimen that’s perfectly tailored for you. Look for supplements that
provide these dosage levels so you get exactly the amount you need.
The ingredients I’d recommend more specifically for thyroid concerns
include a combination of 15-30 mg of three forms of iodine along with 200-400
mg of l-tyrosine daily, depending on your situation. It may take 3-6 months to
fully restore the thyroid and its metabolic function, so please be patient.
After all, you may have inherited this condition. If after a few months
your progress seems to have stalled, you might want to consider adding 150-300
mcg of selenium daily to the iodine and l-tyrosine.
I’d also highly recommend reading Iodine Why You
Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It and Overcoming
Thyroid Disorders by Dr. David Brownstein. You can find them in
your local health food store or on his website at www.drbrownstein.com.
Boost Your Metabolism and Protect Your Health with Iodine
If you’re extra-sensitive to cold, put on weight easily,
have dry skin, or feel “foggy”, you may be deficient in iodine. Other signs
include a thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows, stiff joints, and dull,
lusterless hair. Sound like common symptoms? Of course they do – most people
don’t get the iodine they need. They may wonder for years what exactly is
“wrong”, until they restore the iodine levels their bodies are crying out for.
Fortunately, iodine supplementation either alone, or more specifically
targeted with l-tyrosine for your thyroid, can make a big difference. And, if
you have a family history of breast, uterine, or prostate cancer, you can help
your body overcome the risk by getting the iodine you need.
Do You Need Iodine?
Test Yourself For Iodine Deficiency:
The following is a list of symptoms that may be experienced
by someone with low or deficient iodine levels. This is not a diagnostic test.
It is meant as a nutritional guide to raise awareness of suboptimal iodine
levels. It may also help you determine whether you should have further
discussions with your healthcare practitioner for clinical testing.
Please read each descriptive symptom and check off any that
describes how you feel.
Do you have iodine deficiency? This checklist may help
- I’m sensitive to cold. My hands and feet are always
- My face is puffy and my eyelids are swollen in the
- I put weight on easily.
- I have dry skin.
- I have trouble getting up in the morning.
- I feel more tired at rest than when I’m active.
- I’m constipated.
- My joints are stiff in the morning.
- I feel like I’m living in slow motion.
- I have foggy brain.
- The outer 1/3 of my eyebrows is missing.
- My lips are swollen and protruding, particularly the
- I have ringing in the ears.
- My hair is coarse and falls out, it is dry, brittle,
and grows slowly.
- My hair is dull and lusterless.
- I have frequency of urination.
- I have impaired hearing.
- I have reduced initiative.
- My calves are big.
- My legs and ankles are swollen in the morning.
- My buttocks and thighs are too well padded, and when
I look in the mirror, I’m pear shaped.
- I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- My heart is weak and I have a weak heartbeat.
- My stomach sags and is pushed forward by the
curvature of my spine.
- My body temperature is below 97.8
You said “Yes” to 12 or more symptoms: You would
almost certainly benefit from iodine supplementation; check with your doctor to
see if you have iodine or thyroid insufficiency.
You said “Yes” to 5 – 12 symptoms: You
may want to consider testing and would likely benefit from iodine
You said “Yes” to 0 – 5 symptoms:
Although you have few symptoms, you may want to consider taking iodine at a
lower dosage for ongoing good health, disease prevention and detoxification.
For general iodine supplementation: 3.0
-12.5 mg daily
Note: Integrative practitioners often suggest 50
mg per day for 3 months followed by 3.0-12.5 mg daily thereafter for optimal
health. However, it’s best to find a practitioner that can help you develop a
regimen that’s perfectly tailored for you.
For thyroid support:
A combination of 15-30 mg of three forms of iodine along with 200-400 mg of
l-tyrosine and selenium daily, depending on your situation.