Dr Gabriel Cousens says ‘Iodine is found in every single one of our body’s hundred trillion cells. Without adequate iodine levels, life is impossible. Iodine is the universal health nutrient and brings health on many levels.’ http://drsircus.com/iodine/iodine-supplements-and-dosages/

95% of us are deficient in this essential, yet misunderstood, micro-nutrient due to poor nutrition and an increasingly toxic environment. Our diets contain half the Iodine they used to while our need for it has increased greatly due to toxins like chlorine, fluoride and bromine, according to the extensive research of Dr Guy Abraham, Dr Jorge D Flechas, and Dr David Brownstein throughout the 20th century. All of their research papers can be found here: https://www.hakalalabs.com/Research_ep_41.html

They tested more than 4,000 patients taking iodine in daily doses ranging from 12.5 to 50 mg, and in those with diabetes, up to 100 mg a day. Their report (https://www.optimox.com/iodine-study-10?fbclid=IwAR3QxhjCmSgF8POTpvMwHx0iQxX9XAkvmtOKzYWoMPjPFAecGMFVowJXQFQ) found that ‘iodine does indeed reverse fibrocystic disease; their diabetic patients require less insulin; hypothyroid patients, less thyroid medication; symptoms of fibromyalgia resolve, and patients with migraine headaches stop having them.’‘It is not just the fact that the tide of toxic chemicals is rising and accumulating in our cells and blood streams, wrecking physiological, emotional and mental havoc, but there is also a sheer drop in the quality and quality of key nutrients being consumed. Iodine is a perfect example, in today’s world the last thing you want to be short on is iodine. Iodine is detected in every organ and tissue in the body’. Mark Sircus OMD (Bring Back the Universal Nutrient Medicine) Iodine deficiency causes muscle cramps, cold hands and feet, proneness to weight gain, poor memory, brain-fog, constipation, headaches, edema, myalgia, weakness, dry skin, and brittle nails. Such sub-clinical hypothyroid issues are prevalent in our toxic world resulting in anxiety and depression which are wrongly treated by SSRIs.

‘We might debate about the optimum dosage but we should find quick agreement that iodine is absolutely necessary for a healthy thyroid as well as healthy ovaries, breasts and prostate. Besides the greater risk for breast cancer in iodine-deficient women, there is convincing evidence that iodine deficiency increases also the risk of thyroid cancer. These are just a few of the reasons to become interested in iodine. In an age of increasing toxic exposures, we all need more not less iodine because it has very specific protective effects against several common poisons like fluoride, bromide, and to a lesser extent it helps eliminate lead and mercury from the body.’ Mark Sircus OMD (Bring Back the Universal Nutrient Medicine)

Dietary Sources of Iodine

Natural sources of iodine include most sea foods, (ocean fish, but not fresh fish, shellfish, especially oysters), unrefined sea salt, kelp and other sea weeds, fish broth, butter, pineapple, artichokes, asparagus, dark green vegetables and eggs.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, the average daily consumption of seaweed by mainland Japanese is 4.6 gm(22). At an average of 0.3% I in seaweed (range 0.08-0.45%), that would compute to an average daily intake of 13.8 mg. Overall, the Japanese living in Japan are among the healthiest people in the world, based on cancer statistics.

13.8mg is a maintenance dose, but it isn’t enough to push the toxic halides out of folks living in the West, who are chronically Iodine deficient. Extensive research has shown that we need 50-300mg per day. Over 1.5 years I had to increase up to 150mg daily just to correct my thyroid. Breast cancer requires 300mg for at least 6 months.

Kelp does contain iodine but it’s not very high. Seaweed is a natural form of iodine and it was used for centuries as a good source of iodine the problem now is that if the seaweed is harvested from the polluted seas it can take up bromide or fluoride or chlorine and not half as much iodine. The other problem with seaweed now is the radiation problem from Fukushima where a lot of the seaweed came from.

Eating fish won’t give you iodine in mg amounts. To get 13.8 mg iodine, you would have to eat 10-20 pounds of fish per day.

Iodine & Thyroid Function

David Brownstein MD says: ‘Iodine is an integral nutrient for promoting thyroid function. Presently, iodine deficiency is occurring at epidemic levels.’ (Overcoming Thyroid Disorders, p 14)
Dr Brownstein says: ‘The relationship between thyroid function and adequate iodine levels has been known for over 50 years. In order for the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormone, there must be adequate amounts of iodine present. In fact, T4 thyroid hormone has four iodine molecules attached to it while T3 has three iodine molecules attached to it. When there are inadequate iodine levels in the body, the thyroid gland will be unable to make thyroid hormone and the thyroid gland will be unable to make thyroid hormone and the thyroid gland will be more prone to developing a goiter (ie an enlarged thyroid gland). Lack of iodine in the soil and food will lead to poor thyroid function.’ (Overcoming Thyroid Disorders, p 84)

‘Along with magnesium and selenium, iodine is one of the most deficient minerals in our bodies. Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormone, but selenium-dependent enzymes (iodothyronine deiodinases) are also required for the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to the biologically active thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine (T3). Selenium is the primary mineral responsible for T4 to T3 (thyroid hormones) conversion in the liver.’ Mark Sircus OMD

Dr. Donald Miller Jr warns that ‘Women with goiters (a visible, non-cancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland) owing to iodine deficiency have been found to have a three times greater incidence of breast cancer.’
Some Stop the Thyroid Madness patients have found that they were able to lower their thyroid medication when following the iodine protocol and it is possible that if you start the iodine protocol early in your thyroid disease you may be able to fully restore thyroid health and avoid medication. But even if this is not the case the iodine will support your body in many other ways such as reducing brain fog and increasing energy.

Iodine & Energy

‘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. We learn in Vermont folk medicine, however, that this gland performs 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 be-tween the amount of energy you have and your iodine intake.’ Dr D C Jarvis ‘Folk Medicine’ http://lugols.com/

Iodine & ADHD

Dr. Brownstein talks about Iodine and ADHD during his lecture, ‘Iodine: Why You Need It. Why You Can’t Live Without It’ at the Health Freedom Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois- June 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOGHEoqc2UM
‘A high prevalence of ADHD has been reported before in children with genetic traits that interfere with thyroid function.’ http://theiodineproject.webs.com/addadhdautism.htm
Researchers in Italy found women in iodine deficient regions demonstrated reduced thyroid hormone and elevated TSH levels unlike women in iodine rich areas. Women in iodine poor regions gave birth to much higher numbers of children with impaired psycho-neurological development. ‘Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders in the offspring of mothers exposed to mild-moderate iodine deficiency: a possible novel iodine deficiency disorder in developed countries.’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15579758Additional research discovered higher levels of ADHD in these regions as well (Clin.Endocr.1005 April, 42(4)/409). A ten year follow up of children in the study showed a 69% incidence of ADHD in children born in iodine deficient locations compared to 0% in iodine sufficient areas. An 11-point decline in IQ was also noted in the children from iodine deficient areas.
‘Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder in People with Generalized Resistance to Thyroid Hormone’ http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199304083281403‘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 the body and enable it to or-ganize for peace and quiet, by the building and storing of body reserves against time of need. I have learned through Vermont folk medicine that 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’ time 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 teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar. I have repeatedly prescribed this in order to make it possible for a mother of a racehorse-type little boy or girl to be able to live comfortably with the child. I have never seen it fail to calm down a nervous child.’ Dr D C Jarvis ‘Folk Medicine’ http://lugols.com/

What if I am taking Levothyroxine?

Mark Sircus OMD says that ‘All thyroid patients should be on iodine therapy’ and reaching whole body iodine sufficiency with 90-95% saturation is essential ‘to counter the side effects of thyroid hormone medications. Long-term use of these drugs is associated with depletion of thyroid and tissue iodine levels, as well as increased rates of cancer.’ http://www.health-science-spirit.com/iodine.html

Iodine & Hormones

Why does iodine have such a noticeable effect on hormonal problems such as thyroid, breast diseases, fibroids, and endometriosis?
‘Iodine is utilized by every hormone receptor in the body. The absence of iodine causes a hormonal dysfunction that can be seen with practically every hormone inside the body.’ Dr George Flechas

The 2007 iodine conference reported that iodine down-regulates estrogen (particularly increasing estriol while decreasing estradiol and estrone) and up-regulates progesterone.

Iodine & Cancer

Stephanie Buist ND says: ‘Cancer is a result of mutated cells. Iodine is absolutely critical for something called the P53 gene which is known as the ‘keeper of the genetic code’. Without iodine and selenium, it will not function correctly to eliminate abnormal cells from the body, such as cancer. Cancer patients have taken between 50 to 300 mg per day successfully. http://steppingstonesliving.com/theguide/
Dr. Sebastiano Venturi, in Evolution of Dietary Antioxidants: Role of Iodine, makes it clear that iodine is a crucial antioxidant and apoptosis-inductor with anti-tumoral and anti-atherosclerotic activity. When we supplement with iodine we will see increased antioxidant activity [i] and immune system function [ii].
“Breast, ovarian, and skin cysts – In addition to fixing almost all cases of breast cysts, iodine also has a remarkable healing effect on ovarian cysts,” says Dr. Robert Rowen. Though few know it swollen ovaries is a condition analogous to goiter, when the thyroid swells in response to iodine deficiency. Goiters often also result in a hormonal imbalance leading to hypothyroidism. In the case of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) the starvation of the ovaries causes them to become cystic, swollen and eventually unable to regulate the synthesis of their hormones leading to imbalances and infertility. Russian studies when investigating Fibrocystic breast disease also discovered that the greater the iodine deficiency the greater the number of cysts in the ovaries. Since 1928, the iodine concentration in the ovary has been known to be higher than in every other organ except the thyroid. Dr. Browstein has found in his research with high doses of iodine that cysts on the ovaries became smaller and began to disappear. He also found that libido in women and men increased.

It takes 20 to 40 times the amount of Iodine needed to control breast cancer and fibrocystic disease than it does to prevent goiter.

‘We are just beginning to rediscover the amazing curative powers of iodine. While it may not be the panacea that old-timers have claimed it to be when used alone, when combined with magnesium chloride, ALA, and in the special case of cancer, with sodium bicarbonate, we will find something quite extraordinary. Survival Medicine for the 21st Century contains a revolutionary protocol for breast cancer that includes magnesium chloride, iodine and sodium bicarbonate. These three emergency room medicines when combined and used correctly will revolutionize the field of oncology but will threaten the pharmaceutical industry whose profits will suffer enormously from the widespread use of these inexpensive, safe and effective nutritional medicines.’

Mark Sircus OMD

Gabriel Cousens MD reports that ‘In 2003 Dr. Zhang showed that potassium iodide reversed lung cancer tumours in mice. The total amount administered was 100 milligrams (100,000 micrograms) daily for 20 days, and this is approximately 50 times more than the amount Wolff–Chaikoff recommended in 1948 and 250 times more than your recommendation. The study lasted for 60 days: 34 days to grow 5 mm tumours and approximately 26 days for the lung cancer tumours to significantly decrease.’ http://www.regenerativenutrition.com/content.asp?id=601

Iodine & Adrenal Function

Dr Malcolm Maclean has studied the role that iodine and mercury play in adrenal function and has speculated that the symptoms Dr Brownstein considers to be caused by bromine detox at the start of iodine supplementation might also caused by the effects of mercury. High levels of mercury that have accumulated in the body from amalgam fillings and vaccines can damage the adrenal, thyroid, and methylation functions, which in turn cause adrenal insufficiency. The detox effects of headaches, dizziness, fatigue, palpitations etc. often experienced on low iodine doses are usually blamed on bromine but Dr Maclean says that many of the symptoms are similar to those of adrenal fatigue.
Individuals with high mercury levels are likely to be suffering from adrenal insufficiency which may therefore cause them to feel worse on starting iodine. It is possible that the companion nutrients, such as unrefined salt and vitamin C, recommended in the Iodine Protocol to relieve bromine detox also alleviate any adrenal fatigue. So unless an adrenal test is done prior to iodine supplementation a patient wouldn’t know if the symptoms were due to bromine detox or poor adrenal function.

Thyroid hormone and cortisol work together but if your adrenals are not functioning correctly iodine can cause a ‘crash’ because the cells cannot handle the increased levels of stimulation (via thyroid hormone) without a correspondingly elevated level of cortisol. This ‘crash’ can cause you to feel dreadful and may give you palpitations. Dr Malcolm Maclean considers that the issues with adrenal function may explain why some people who start on a low initial dosage and increase slowly find that they feel worse than those on a higher dose. It is thought that the antioxidant effect of iodine at higher doses may help to overcome the issues with adrenal function and bypass the crash effect. Mercury is known to be able to block cortisol synthesis by acting as an oxidant and therefore exerts stress on the antioxidant system, causing low cortisol levels. Because iodine opposes mercury at high levels it should support the antioxidant system. This means that by expelling mercury from the body adrenal function can be restored, thus improving cortisol levels through better cortisol synthesis.

Patients taking iodine have said that bromine detox symptoms only occur at low doses and not at high doses over 100 mg, which could be due to the antioxidant effect of iodine. Iodine only acts as an antioxidant at high doses when there is enough excess to produce an antioxidant lipid called delta-iodolactone, which is 300 times more powerful than Vitamin C. The body does not make it when there is insufficient iodine available so it is thought that a dose of over 100 mg would be required. At high doses the antioxidant effect starts enabling iodine to support the adrenals and reduce cortisol levels by opposing the strong toxic effects of mercury. High doses also tighten up the mitochondrial membrane preventing leakage of cytochrome C from the mitochondria across the mitochondrial membrane into the cytosol (cytoplasm). This diminishes the oxidative processes in the cytosol and reduces the negative effects of oxidative stress by restoring enzymes which were once suppressed, which assists the recovery of 17-Hydroxylase, 5′ Deiodinase, and Methionine Synthase. Thus contributing to the recovery of adrenal, thyroid, and methylation function respectively which may explain why some people who take 25 mg and feel dreadful can take 100 to 150 mg without a problem.

Dr Maclean says that once your iodine dosage has restored adrenal function by opposing the effects of mercury, any further increase may start to be counter-productive, causing iodine overdose. However, I would take this hypothesis with caution; one needs to bear in mind that the purpose of taking iodine at high doses is also to push out the toxic halides from the thyroid, particularly bromine, so it is important to continue on a high dose until the bromine has been expelled. It is therefore prudent to test iodine and bromine levels regularly so that one is aware when 90 to 95% saturation has been achieved.

Iodine & Cardiovascular Disease

Mark Sircus OMD describes the link with iodine deficiency and cardiovascular disease: ‘The occurrence of iodine deficiency in cardiovascular disease is frequent. The thyroid hormone deficiency on cardiovascular function can be characterized with decreased myocardial contractility and increased peripheral vascular resistance as well as with changes in lipid metabolism. A study done with 42 patients with cardiovascular disease were divided into five subgroups on the ground of the presence of hypertension, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, coronary dysfunction and arrhythmia. When urine concentrations were tested the most decreased urine iodine concentration was detected in the subgroups with arrhythmia and congestive heart failure. An elevated TSH level was found in three patients and an elevation in lipid metabolism (cholesterol, triglyceride) was associated with all subgroups without arrhythmia. The researchers concluded that iodine supplementation might prevent the worsening effect of iodine deficiency on cardiovascular disease.’ [xvi]

22 Functions of Iodine

Gabriel Cousens, MD, MD(H), DD, lists twenty-two functions of iodine:
1) Iodine helps synthesize thyroid hormones and prevents both hypo – and hyperthyroidism.
2) Iodine sufficiency reverses hypo- and hyperthyroidism.
3) Iodine supports apoptosis. From a broader perspective, one of iodine’s major functions, in conjunction with oxygen, is to support the process of apoptosis (programmed cell death of unhealthy cells), to protect against cancer and facilitate youthing.
4) Iodine activates hormone receptors and helps prevent certain forms of cancer. The primary cause of cancer, from an energetic perspective, is mitochondrial failure. It is clear that the prevention of cancer, particularly cancer of the breasts, thyroid, ovaries, stomach, and oesophagus, is increased with iodine sufficiency. Iodine serves to prevent lipid peroxidation, especially in breast cancer. Deficiencies of iodine also increase the incidences of breast cancer.
5) Iodine protects ATP function and enhances ATP production
6) Iodine prevents fibrocystic breast disease.
7) Iodine decreases insulin needs in diabetics.
8) Iodine helps support protein synthesis.
9) Iodine deficiency is a global health threat. Iodine deficiency, in the general population, yields 1-10% cretinism, 5-30% brain damage, and 30-70% loss of energy. In this holistic context, iodine deficiency is a major threat to global health. Iodine deficiency has increased fourfold in the last 40 years and is considered the most common and yet preventable cause of brain damage throughout the world.
10) Iodine destroys pathogens, moulds, fungi, parasites, and malaria.
11) Iodine supports immune function.
12) Iodine eliminates toxic halogens from the body (including radioactive I-131). One of the most critical toxic health issues we have today is the continued and increasing exposure to radioactive I-131 from Fukushima, which, unlike Chornobyl, has not yet been sealed off. When the thyroid, as well as the whole body, is saturated with healthy iodine it can provide significant protection of vulnerable receptor sites from uptake of radioactive I-131 and also push out any already present. This is known as competitive inhibition and explains why Chornobyl survivors who took iodine, even after the nuclear fallout, escaped thyroid cancer.
13) Iodine regulates estrogen production in the ovaries.
14) Iodine is anti-mucolytic (meaning it reduces mucus catarrh).
15) Iodine neutralizes hydroxyl ions and hydrates the cells.
16) Iodine makes us smarter. As previously mentioned iodine helps with mental functioning. Low iodine is associated with low IQ’s with a difference of up to 13.5 points as cited in the Bleichrodt study of 1994 in children; but iodine deficiency is also associated with mental functioning in adults, because iodine not only chelates lead, but, according to Dr. Jorge Flechas, iodine prevents lead from lodging in the body in the first place. This occurs if enough iodine is supplemented, as discussed above, in order to push out fluoride, a culprit responsible for lead accumulation in the body. Low thyroid function decreases brain circulation, which slows intellectual function. Dr. Steven Langer in the book Solved: The Riddle of Illness, points out that low thyroid function is associated with cognitive impairment, memory loss, depression, slowness of mind, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, and a variety of psychiatric disorders. Bleichrodt, in 1994, did a meta-analysis looking at 17 studies showing iodine sufficiency increases IQ by 13.5 points in children.
17) Iodine prevents heart disease
18) Iodine is needed with the use of cordless phones, cell phones and now smart meters to prevent hypothyroidism.
19) Iodine supports pregnancy (as the fetus undergoes more apoptosis than any other developmental stage).
20) High doses of iodine may be used to reverse certain diseases. At 6 grams daily (which is 6 million micrograms/day or 6,000 milligrams/day!), a much higher dose, iodine has been used to cure syphilis, skin lesions, and chronic lung disease.
21) High doses of iodine may be used for wounds, bedsores, inflammatory and traumatic pain, and restoration of hair growth when applied topically. Iodine has many other uses, including relieving headaches and eliminating toenail fungus.
22) Iodine helps in the diminishing of tissue scarring, cheloid formations, and Dupuytren’s and Peyronie’s contractures, which are hyper-scarring conditions.
Supporting Nutrients Are Essential
By nourishing every cell in your body iodine supplementation can relieve brain fog, low energy, ADHD, chronic fatigue, dry skin, hormonal imbalances, breast and prostate cancer, and more. Because it is a powerful detoxifier of heavy metals and halides (bromine, chlorine, fluoride) it is essential to follow the guidelines in the protocol before starting supplementation. Please read the file Iodine Protocol: Supporting Nutrients.

Buying Lugol’s in England

Further Reading

The Iodine Crisis, by Lynne Farrow
Iodine: Why You Need It, by David Brownstein
Iodine and Breast Cancer, by Dr David Derry. He also highlights the importance of thyroid hormone with iodine for a more multi-targeted approach to cancer metabolism.

Facebook Support Groups
Stephanie Buist’s Iodine FaceBook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/iodine4health/

YouTube Films
Introduction to Iodine by Stephanie Buist ND: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g15byA3MtQc&feature=youtu.be

Jorge D Flechas MD lecture on Whole Body Iodine Sufficiency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBM2qWKkFxE
David Brownstein MD lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku2lylX13h4
David Brownstein MD – Does Iodine Cause, Worsen, Treat or Improve Autoimmune Thyroid? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih6Kpzu2E74

Dr Malcolm Maclean’s article on adrenal function can be read at: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/2016/01/14/iodine-effects-at-different-doses/
This is a good link for working out how many mg each drop of liquid Lugol’s Iodine is worth: http://dropulator.com/

Iodine and Iodide: Functions and Benefits Beyond the Thyroid: http://www.townsendletter.com/Dec2008/iodine1208.htm
Mark Sircus OMD article on iodine: http://www.health-science-spirit.com/iodine.html