Notes on Iodine Deficiency

by Ann Marie Michaels on November 25, 2008

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At the WAPF Wise Traditions conference this year, they had a whole series of lectures on iodine deficiency. Contrary to popular belief, iodine deficiency is widespread in America. Iodine deficiency causes all sorts of health problems, including thyroid disease, cancer, and Down’s Syndrome.

Why are so many people iodine deficient? First of all, most of us don’t consume enough iodine. On top of that, we consume many substances that block iodine absorption in our body. There are halogens in our water including fluoride, chlorine, and perchlorate (rocket fuel).

Goitrogens also block iodine uptake. There are some notable goitrogens in our food supply. One of them is bromide which is in most commercial bread, as well as some soft drinks (Mountain Dew for example).

One of the biggest goitrogens in our food supply (and it’s everywhere in our food supply) is soy. Soybean oil is in salad dressing and mayonnaise. It’s in commercial baby formula. It’s in almost all packaged cakes, candies chips, and crackers. And pretty much every meal you eat at a restaurant cooks their food in soybean oil.

Not only that, but most of the cows, poultry and pigs in this country are fed a diet of industrial corn and soybeans. So even if you think you’re not eating lots of soy, you probably are.

I didn’t attend these lectures since I was working, but I will be ordering them on CD. When I listen to them, I will post more about iodine, but in the meantime I want to get you started with some information from the lectures. The following notes were taken by one of my readers (and new friend), Christine Kennedy on two of the iodine lectures — one by Dr. David Brownstein and another by Dr. Janet Lang. (Thanks, Christine, for typing them up!)

Speaker Bios:
David Brownstein, MD, is a Board-Certified family physician who utilizes the best of conventional and alternative therapies. He is the Medical Director for the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Brownstein is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College for the Advancement in Medicine. He is the father of two beautiful girls, Hailey and Jessica, and is a retired soccer coach. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally about his success using natural remedies. Dr. Brownstein has authored eight books: Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, 3rd Edition; Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do; The Miracle of Natural Hormones 3rd Edition; Overcoming Thyroid Disorders 2nd Edition; Overcoming Arthritis; Salt Your Way to Health; The Guide To Healthy Eating; and The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet. Visit his website at

Dr. Janet R. Lang, BA, DC, is a 1979 summa cum laude graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic. She began studying Dr. Royal Lee’s whole food nutrition philosophy while a student at Palmer and has used Standard Process nutrition extensively in her practices. She is the author of Understanding the Peripheral Nervous System and a contributing author (along with others, including Bernie Siegel, MD, Norman Cousins and Prince Charles) of the book The Heart of the Healer. Dr. Lang developed a large practice in the Catskill region of New York before being invited to join the multi-professional Healing Arts Clinic in Loveland, Colorado. There she developed another substantial practice which included two chiropractic associates. The other health professionals at Healing Arts included a dentist, medical doctors, psychologists, and massage therapists. In practice for 28 years, Dr. Lang now resides and works in St. Louis, Missouri. Her time is devoted to her consulting practice, ongoing clinical research, and teaching professional Functional Endocrinology seminars across the country. Visit her website at

And here are the notes:

In Dr. Brownstein’s thyroid and iodine lecture he said that we are ALL toxic in bromide, and it would be a waste of money to even have it tested.

  • The thyroid gland develops in the first trimester in the fetus
  • If you are deficient in iodine, you will have increased risk of spontaneous abortion, or premature birth
  • Iodine deficiency can lead to ovarian cysts, cysts in breasts, infertility, and menstrual disorders
  • Iodine deficiency can lead to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Iodine can help get people off insulin and diabetes medication
  • 47% of breastfeeding women are iodine deficient in their milk
  • Iodine deficiency increases ADD, ADHD, and decreases IQ
  • We need iodine to be able to use cholesterol correctly in the body
  • Iodine is necessary for the production of ALL hormones
  • All cysts are an iodine deficiency, which if left untreated WILL turn into nodules, then fibroids, then cancer
  • The longer seaweed is out of the water from where it originated, the less iodine will be in it, it will dissipate out in a gaseous form
  • Iodine is antibacterial, antiparasitic, anti-fungal, anti-everything!, anti-cancer, and a detox agent
  • You need a combination of BOTH iodine and iodide to be effective (found in Lugols’, Iodoral, and Dr. Ron’s)
  • More iodine is needed during puberty as the breasts are growing
  • Only 10% of the iodine in iodized salt is bio-available
  • Most pesticides/insecticides contain bromide, flouride, and chlorine
  • Bromine has no known role in the body, and it is a goitrogen
  • People with cancer need very large doses of iodine

Dr. Brownstein showed pictures of the night shirt of a woman in her 60’s who was detoxing the bromine out of her breasts (breast cancer) and nails. Her night shirt was dotted all over with yellow, night after night for weeks, and her nail beds were yellow.

Here are my notes from Dr. Janet Lang. She emphasized how important it is to fix the adrenals FIRST, before the thyroid. She said if you are having thyroid symptoms, you have already exhausted your adrenals, and no matter what you do for the thyroid, it will not respond unless you fix the adrenals first.

  • The thyroid is the largest of all 7 endocrine glands
  • If the thyroid has sufficient iodine, it exerts a profound anti-microbial and antispetic effect body wide
  • All hormones are made from cholesterol, CHOLESTEROL is GOOD!
  • Estogen dominance can produce the same type of symptoms as thyroid imbalance, though there is nothing wrong with the thyroid, you must correct the hormone imbalance
  • Proper adrenal tests are saliva, not blood
  • Iodine loading will excrete the halogens (flourine, chlorine, bromine) and other heavy metals
  • It can cause severe detox symptoms, but you must go SLOW (can take anywhere from 3 mos. to many years)
  • Iodine can help acne (though breakouts can initially worsen from bromine excretion)
  • Sufficient iodine intake can result in resistance to parasitic infections
  • Selenium, magnesium, and flax/fish oil should always accompany iodine loading
  • Selenium is very important (can be obtained by eating 1 oz. of brazil nuts daily, garlic, astragalus)
  • Magnesium is needed to help minimize detox reactions
  • Iodine is carried from the intestines into the blood via EFA’s (fermented CLO)
  • The body also needs to produce bile (eat beets)
  • Most common symptom of thick/sluggish bile is bloating (caused by estrogen dominance)
  • Sea salt is also important, as well as whole food complex B vitamins, vitamin A and C
  • Sea salt does not contain enough iodine (for iodine supplementation)

So now you’re probably asking yourself, how do I get more iodine?

How To Get More Iodine: Seaweed and sea salt are not going to cut it! The best way to get more iodine is to take either Lugol’s (drops), Iodoral (the pill version of Lugol’s), or Dr. Ron’s iodine.

You can buy Iodoral at Breast Cancer Choices or Illness is Optional. (I take Iodoral.)

You can buy Lugol’s at J. Crow. (I use the Lugol’s drop for my 19-month-old daughter.)

Or you can buy Dr. Ron’s ultra-pure additive-free iodine supplement here: Dr. Ron’s

You can find more information about iodine deficiency here: The Iodine Group

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