Iodine and Hair Testing

Iodine and Hair Testing

Iodine deficiency is widespread and epidemic!
Both fast and slow oxidizers improve with iodine.
Iodine is one of the most important minerals in the body that does not show in the hair test.

Iodine is one of the most important minerals needed for  thyroid, metabolic, immune system, neurological and digestive health.If this mineral is imbalanced – either too low or too high – as compared to the other minerals of magnesium, potassium and sodium, then important functions in the body that are altered.

Iodine and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

  • Iodine is not read by most hair mineral testing laboratories because it is difficult to measure accurately.
  • However, this does not diminish its importance!

Low Iodine and Mercury and Copper Toxicity

Iodine deficiency may increase the risk of toxicity from mercury and copper.
The mercury and copper will build up in the thyroid gland in some people, when the metabolic rate is sluggish.

  • Iodine deficiency may increase the risk of toxicity from mercury and copper.  Both mercury and copper tend to build up in the thyroid gland in some people, especially when the metabolic rate is sluggish.

Key Points About Iodine Deficiency

  • One of the most important and overlooked minerals today is iodine. Iodine is needed in the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. However, iodine is also required for every tissue of the body. It is called the endocrine mineral because it is important not only for the thyroid gland, but also for the adrenal glands, ovaries, breasts, prostate gland, and the entire hormone system of the body. More and more research indicates that the entire world population today is deficient in iodine.
  • IODINE (lacking the extra electron in its outer shell) binds to breast, prostate and stomach.
  • IODIDE (has an extra electron) binds to the thyroid glands, salivary glands and the skin.
  • A combination is required for supplementation to get a better systemic effect. 
  • Every cell in the body needs and uses iodine.
  • Every 12 minutes, all the blood flows through the thyroid gland so that it can purify the blood and kill bacteria and viral infections.
  • Iodine first goes to the thyroid gland for healthy thyroid function. The thyroid gland contains the bulk of iodine that stored in the body, but other glands also contain significant amounts of iodine.
  • Females breasts have the second highest concentration of iodine in the body. The requirement for iodine in the body at puberty goes up tremendously for girls.  This is also so that breast milk will be disinfected when we nurse children.  Studies have shown that breast cancer is the result of no iodine being stored in a women’s breasts.
  • Men store iodine in their prostate gland.  Prostate cancer is related to no iodine in the prostrate.
  • Only 10% of the iodine that is added to refined salt is bio-available.  We need naturally, unrefined salt in our diet.  Vegan and vegetarian diets are often low in iodine.
  • Our soil is deficient in iodine especially in the Midwestern USA.
  • Bromide, chloride and fluoride are all inhibitors of iodine.
  • Pollution and pesticides contain bromine.  Bromine was added to bakery products in the 1970’s and this significantly reduces iodine in the body.
  • Many prescription drugs contain bromide and fluoride as well (Prozac, Paxil, Luvox).
  • Iodine levels have dropped 50% in the past 30 years in the USA!
  • Enough iodine in the body will help the body to detox bromide, chloride, fluoride and mercury, in particularly from vaccinations.
  • Mercury will impair the enzyme that is needed for iodine processing in the body.

Iodine’s Essential Function In The Body

Iodine’s main function is in the production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland,
but many other organs in the body have a need for iodine in order to function normally.
There is an antagonism between iodine and iron, manganese, aluminum, nickel, copper and other minerals.

  • Iodine is an essential mineral that’s vital to the proper functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid gland is responsible for managing growth and metabolism.
  • An iodine deficiency can cause symptoms such as fatigue, high cholesterol, lethargy, depression, and swelling of the thyroid gland.
  • Prevent this dangerous deficiency by eating the right amount of iodine rich foods each day. Iodine is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Since the body cannot synthesize this mineral, it’s important to include various iodine rich foods in your diet each day. Fortunately, there are many fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and seafood options that make it easy to get the iodine your body needs each day.
  • Several studies have demonstrated a relationship between low iodine intake and fibrocystic disease of the breast (FDB), both in women and laboratory animals.
  • During the early 1900’s, the iodine/iodide solution called Lugol solution was used extensively, effectively and safely in medical practice, for both low activity and above normal activity of the thyroid gland.
  • The recommended daily intake for iodine supplementation was 2 to 6 drops of Lugol Solution which contained 12.5 to 37.5 mg total iodide. That amount was mentioned as lately as 1995 in a book on Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Tableted Lugol’s are called “Iodorol” and are also available online and there is not taste, so compliance is better. Each capsule contains 12.5 mg of iodine and iodide.  It is also sold in 50 mg pills.
  • Several investigators have shown convincing evidence connecting inadequate iodine intake and breast cancer. Japanese women living in Japan consumed a daily average of 13.8 mg total elemental iodine and they experience one of the lowest prevalence (risk) for breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • In the 1960’s, one slice of bread in the USA contained the full RDA of 0.15 mg iodine. The risk for breast cancer was then 1 in 20. Over the last 2 decades, iodine was replaced by bromine in the bread making process.
  • Bromine blocks thyroid function and may interfere with the anticancer effect of iodine on the breast. Currently, the risk for breast cancer is 1 in 8 and increasing 1% per year.
  • The RDA limits for vitamins and minerals were established after World War II and one of the last essential elements included in the RDA system was iodine, established in 1980 and confirmed in 1989.
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is only 50 mcg per day for iodine and this was based on the amount of iodine/iodide needed to prevent goiter, extreme stupidity and hypothyroidism. This amount is not adequate!
  • The optimal requirement of the whole human body for iodine has never been studied. Therefore, the optimal amount of this element for physical and mental well-being is unknown.
  • Based on demographic studies, the mainland Japanese consumed an average of 13.8 mg daily and they are one of the healthiest people in all countries.

A Female Mineral

Iodine may be called a  “female mineral” because women need more of it and it is critical today for breast health.

  • Next to the thyroid gland, the ovaries require more iodine than any other gland or organ in women or men.
  • While it affects all the hormones, it is particularly important for the female hormones such as the proper balance between the forms of estrogen – estriol, estrone and estradiol.

Iodine Supplementation Tips

The thyroid gland needs iodide to function properly.
The original study done 80 years ago to control goiter in adolescent girls used 9 mg iodide daily.

  • We recommend that you do not begin supplementation unless you have done a urine loading test for iodine deficiency and have supervision.
  • The thyroid gland and the body needs iodide to function properly. The thyroid gland can store 50 mg of iodine, the whole body 1500 mg.
  • Therapeutic supplementation of iodine are typically between 6 – 50 mg per day depending on the case and under the supervision of your health care practitioner, with proper urine testing done prior to supplementation.
  • To supplement iodine and iodide, use tablet form called Iodoral or IodoRX. Another option is the liquid solution called “Lugol’s Solution”.
  • Both are available on the internet as non-prescription nutritional supplements, BUT supervision by a health care practitioner is strongly urged.
  • The Iodoral or IodoRX has no taste  and does not cause gastric upset which can sometimes occur for some people on the Lugol’s Solution. Each tablet of Iodoral or IodoRX contains 12.5 mg.  Iodoral or IodoRX also comes in 25 mg and 50 mg doses on the internet. To prevent  gastric irritation, the iodine/iodide preparation is absorbed into a colloidal silica excipient and to eliminate the unpleasant taste of iodine, the tablets are coated with a thin film of pharmaceutical glaze.
  • Lugols’ Solution comes in 2 types: a 5% and a 2% solution. One (1) drop of the 5% Lugol’s Solution contains 6.25 mg (2 drops contain 12.5 mg.) One (1) drop of the 2% Lugol’s Solution contains 2.5 mg (2 drops contain 5 mg.)  It has a taste to it, but can be diluted in water or juice if needed to cover the taste. 
  • These Iodine specialists have recently discovered it is very helpful to have the Iodine Spot and 24-hour Loading Test before implementing iodine supplementation in order to investigate the presence of a possible iodine absorption defects. 
  • If a person is going to start Iodine Therapy, it is highly recommended having a thyroid panel test done as well for TSH, T4 and Free T3.
  • Iodoral or IodoRX will enhance the response of any thyroid hormones taken.  You may need to cut down on the amount of thyroid hormones being taken if you experience palpitation, anxiety, increase sweating and intolerance to heat.  This is all because Iodoral or IodoRX decreases your need for thyroid hormones.  It is recommended that you reevaluate after 1 month if you are on thyroid hormones and starting Iodoral or IodoRX.
  • It is recommended that you reevaluate with your health care practitioner after about 3 months of supplementation with Iodoral or IodoRX if you are not on any thyroid hormones, and at 1 month if you are.
  • These three iodine research doctors: Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. David Brownstein and Dr. Jorge Flechas have treated more than 4,000 patients with iodine supplementation. The supplementation protocol is from their writings and lectures.

Iodine Supplementation and Other Supports

Adequate unrefined sea salt daily such as Celtic sea salt, Himalayan, Redmond’s, etc. supports adrenal function.
An easy way to support this is to use 1/2 tsp. of unrefined salt daily (adult amount) on your food.

  • Daily Salt Supplementing When Supplementing Iodine
    Once you start supplementing with iodine, you should also be on approximately ½ of unrefined salt (Celtic sea salt, pink Himalayan, Redmond’s) to assist in the removal of toxins released by iodine. Not all sea salt is unrefined.  It should be gray, red or black in color.  If it is white, it is likely refined.  Unrefined salt helps bind toxins so they can effectively exit the body.  It also contains a full spectrum of minerals.  These minerals help to maintain balance in the body and do not react like a refined salt.
  • You should NOT use any white (REFINED) table salt.  This is a toxic substance that has been cleaned by a brine containing chloride. You should not experience hypertension or swelling from a good unrefined salt. If you do, contact your health care provider.  Unrefined salt is also healing for the adrenals which can become stressed during detoxing and through daily stresses of modern life.
  • Adequate water intake for your weight is essential for detox.  Your minimum water intake should be half your weight, in ounces, drunk per day.
  • B Complex vitamins are essential in detox.  They must have  the correct forms of B9 (methylfolate) and B12 (methylcobalamin) especially for those with the MTHFR genetic mutations – you should NOT be taking supplements with folic acid or foods high in folic acid (i.e. asin white flour products).Avoid all white flour products during detoxification and beyond. Many white flour products are brominated which reduces iodine in the body AND contain folic acid, which decreased the methylation cycle in the body for detoxification.
  • Avoid all chlorinated or brominated pools or hot tubs during detox during and after detox.
  • Avoid all fluoridated water, tooth paste, fluoride dental treatments during and after detox.
  • Avoid all birth control pills, synthetic hormones, hormone replacement therapy, fluoride based medical drugs (like Prozac) or bromide based medical drugs including most asthma inhalers. Always research what prescription drugs are made of before agreeing to take them!
  • Avoid fruits and wines treated with pesticides during and after detox. 
  • Eat organic fruit and produce whenever possible!
  • Other supplements needed to support detox pathways and key organs are: Magnesium, Omega-3’s, Selenium, Vitamin C (in the form of sodium ascorbate), Vitamin D and Zinc.
  • Consult your practitioner for their recommendations.

Salt Loading For Detox Support While On Iodine Supplementation

  • Consult your health care practitioner for their professional advice.
  • Salt loading is done to help when the individual is feeling overloaded by the toxins being released from supplementing with iodine.
  • It is only done a few days at a time to relieve the detox symptoms.
  • If your iodine detox is happening too fast, and you are uncomfortable, a rash develops, swelling, etc. then we recommend that you stop the supplements for 1 or 2 days.
  • If there is a detox aggravation, then the dosage of iodine should be reduced to slow the release of toxins down and not overload the detoxification pathways. Consult your health care practitioner for their professional advice in your case.

Salt Loading Procedure: How to slow detox symptoms from iodine supplementation

  • Add ½ tsp of unrefined salt into 4 ounces of warm water.
  • Drink the mixture and follow it up with a 12 oz glass of filtered water.
  • Repeat every 30-45 minutes as needed until urination begins

      What Depletes Iodine

      Besides iodine, the halogens include fluorine, bromine and chlorine among others.

      • Stress depletes iodine!
      • Many people are being told by doctors to avoid or limit salt.
        For many people, iodized salt is one of the few sources of iodine besides foods from the sea. Refined table salt is a junk food that is best avoided, but unrefined sea salt is an excellent source of minerals, including some iodine.
      • Iodine is no longer added to commercial breads.
        Until the 1980s, iodine was routinely used as a dough conditioner in commercial bakeries. This actually provided a significant amount of extra iodine for many people. Due to fears about getting too much iodine, (which were probably totally fabricated), the government forced bakers to stop using iodine and instead to use bromine, a poison, to make bread. Bromine is also one of the iodine antagonists that makes iodine deficiency much worse.
      • Bromine and bromides
        Bromide interferes with iodine uptake and also iodine utilization. When iodine is supplemented, people start eliminating large quantities of bromine from the body. Healing reactions associated with taking iodine or kelp supplements. The widespread use of brominated compounds in bread-making, soft drinks such as Gatorade and Mountain Dew, and in other industries has also caused bromides to find their way into the water and food supplies of America and other developed nations. It is thus hard to avoid this element in your food. 
      • Chlorine and chlorinated compounds such as chloramines.
        This is another highly toxic element that interferes with iodine utilization in the body is chlorine. Toxic chlorine compounds such as chloramines and bleaching agents are in most public water  supplies. Chlorine bleach is also added to flour to whiten it and is used to sterilize or sanitize fruits, vegetables, fish, meats and many other foods. It is used in other industries so that chlorine compounds are at toxic levels are all around us
      • Fluoride and Fluoridated Water Supplies
        The water is a problem in most major metropolitan areas and the water is then used to make many food products, from breads and other bakery goods, chips, dips, pickles, beverages and thousands of others.
        In addition, the fluorides from the water have found their way into the water table and irrigation systems of most of the United States. Fluoride levels in all the crops grown in America are too high.

      Iodine and Toxicity

      Iodine opposes or antagonizes the halogens.

      This has been discussed above. Taking iodine often leads to the elimination from the body of bromines, chlorine, fluorides and other metals as well. Iodine improves thyroid activity. As thyroid activity recovers, the body is far more able to eliminate all the toxic metals. This is the main mechanism behind iodine’s ability to reduce the toxic metal burden in the body.Iodine is a germicide – antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anticancer. It appears to help the body fight off many types of infection. This occurs partly by improving thyroid activity. However, iodine can also act as an anti-oxidant, according to researchers.

      Iodine and Cancer

      According to medical studies, iodine deficiency is associated with breast cancer,
      as well as ovarian, thyroid, and other cancers.

      • As  populations have become more iodine deficient, the incidence of these cancers has risen significantly.
      • Allopathic medicine has made little progress against these cancers after years of research.
      • Iodine can help, and does help prevent and even eliminate some of these cancers.

      Iodine and Thyroid Hormone Replacements

      Medical research indicates that thyroid hormone replacement therapy worsens iodine deficiency.

      • Supplementing a person with iodine in the proper amounts, along with a complete natural healing program can reduces and eliminate the need for thyroid hormone replacement.
      • Conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease go away on their own when the body is brought into better overall balance and health.

      How To Assess Iodine In the Body

      • The blood serum iodine level. This is not always accurate, but may be helpful.
      • The oral iodine loading test. One takes 50 mg of iodine in a pill or liquid form. Then one collects all urine for 24 hours. This urine is sent to a specialized laboratory that calculates the percentage of iodine that the body excreted from the loading dose that was given. It should be at least 90%. Most people are extremely depleted, however.
      • The iodine patch test. A much simpler test is to paint some iodine on one’s forearm and then wait and see how long it takes for the body to absorb the iodine patch or spot. This can be done at home at practically no cost, and gives a good general ideal of iodine status. To do the test,buys some liquid iodine and paint a square about 2 inches on a side, on the inside of one’s arm. It should not disappear in less than a few days. However, in most people it is absorbed and disappears within a few hours, indicating a severe need for iodine.

          Iodine and Selenium

          Selenium is critical for two phases of thyroid hormone production.
          It is thus considered a close relative to iodine in the correction of thyroid difficulties.
          Selenium is critical for two phases of thyroid hormone production.
          It is close related to iodine in the correction of thyroid function.

          • Iodine is regulated in the thyroid but the most important pathway is the conversion of iodide into iodine through an oxidation reaction.
          • This requires an enzyme called TPO or thyroperoxidase. It also requires hydrogen peroxide. If too much hydrogen peroxide is left in the thyroid, however, it leads to Hashimoto’s disease, a common thyroid problem.
          • The mineral that helps control hydrogen peroxide is selenium. It is needed to make glutathione peroxidase, whose function, among many others, is to detoxify hydrogen peroxide after it has done its job in the thyroid gland.
          • Selenium is also required later in the metabolism of the thyroid hormone in the conversion of the relatively inactive T4 to the active thyroid hormone T3. The enzyme primarily responsible for this conversion is iodothyronine deiodinase. This enzyme also requires selenium to function properly.
          • Any deficiency of selenium in the body will impair T3 production and thus cause hypothyroidism symptoms, even if the body is producing plenty of T4.
          • This is sometimes called a conversion problem, as opposed to an iodine deficiency problem.

          Thyroid Antagonists

          • Soy and iodine. Soy products not only contain copper, which can interfere with iodine and thyroid activity. They also contain enzyme inhibitors that affect the thyroid at times.
          • Tap water and iodine. This is also detrimental for thyroid activity, thanks to its chlorine and possibly fluoride mixed with the water. Spring or distilled water are far better for the thyroid and iodine metabolism.
          • Vegetarian Diets. Since the best sources of iodine are products from the sea, vegetarians and especially vegans are very prone to iodine deficiency. The amount of iodine found in sea salt is not sufficient.  The only way a vegetarian can get enough iodine is to eat a lot of kelp or other sea vegetables on a daily basis.

          Foods High In Iodine

          • Bananas Bananas contain iodine, making them a healthy and nutrient-rich food to supplement. A medium-sized banana contains 3 mcg of essential iodine.
          • Baked Potatoes (skin on)One medium potato provides 60 mcg of iodine.
          • Baked Turkey Breast – Three ounces of baked turkey breast meat provides 34 mcg of essential iodine. Turkey also provides your body with B-vitamins, potassium, and phosphorus, all of which are essential to a strong and healthy body.
          • Boiled Eggs – One hard boiled egg provides just under 12 mcg of the iodine needed for the day.
          • Canned Tuna –Tuna that is canned in oil usually contains more iodine than when it’s canned in water. Three ounces of canned tuna provides 17 mcg of iodine, has high protein, Vitamin D and iron contents.
          • Cheddar Cheese – Cheddar cheese in one ounce of cheddar cheese provides 12 mcg of iodine.
          • Cod – A three-ounce serving size of cod provides your body with 99 mcg of iodine. Cod is also a healthy source of protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin E.
          • Corn –Just half a cup of canned corn a provides 14 mcg of iodine.
          • Cranberries – Cranberries have 400 mcg of iodine in a four ounce serving. They have a high concentration of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and fiber, and they’re known to prevent urinary tract infections.
          • Dried Prunes – Just 5 dried prunes provide 13 mcg of iodine for your body with essential fiber, boron, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and much more.
          • Dried Seaweed – A quarter-ounce serving contains 4,500 mcg of iodine. Consume smaller portions over time in order to gain the health benefits.
          • Fish Sticks Two fish sticks can supply your body with 35 mcg of iodine.
          • Fortified Iodized Salt  Many brands of salt are fortified with the essential mineral iodine and 1 gram has 77 mcg of iodine.
          • Green (String) Beans A half-cup serving contains 3 mcg of iodine. And they are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
          • Himalayan Crystal Salt  – Himalayan crystal salt is a viable alternative. Half a gram of Himalayan crystal salt provides 250 mcg of iodine.
          • Lobster – Lobster at a 100-gram serving provides 100 mcg of the essential mineral.
          • Milk – One cup of milk contains an impressive 56 mcg of the mineral, or about 37% of what the average person must consume each day.
          • Navy Beans  – Enjoy a half-cup serving with any meal, and you’ll provide 32 mcg of iodine plus protein, copper, potassium, calcium, folate, and iodine.
          • Seafood and fish as iodine supplements – These foods are excellent sources of iodine. However  all fish – and even more so shellfish – are high in mercury and mercury replaces iodine in the body.  Eating 3 to 4  cans of sardines weekly are are an excellent food because they are high in omega-3 oils, available vitamin D, selenium and other nutrients everyone needs today. They are also so small they do not accumulate nearly as much mercury. They are also always wild caught, and are cooked promptly when they are caught.
          • Shrimp  – A three-ounce serving of shrimp provides 35 mcg of iodine. Shrimp also provides your body with other essential minerals, primarily protein and calcium
          • Strawberries – Strawberries are a nutritious fruit that provides your body with many vitamins and minerals. A 1 cup serving contains 13 mcg of iodine.
          • Yogurt – A cup of plain yogurt provides 154 mcg of iodine.