This morning I opened Kris Carr’s blog and was surprised to see an article about “Iodine – The Universal & Holistic Super Mineral” she condensed from another post by Gabriel Cousens MD on July 6, 2012. Now I am found of Kris’ ideals of “peace and veggies” and Dr. Cousens, if read carefully, has a lot of good to say too. However, what amazed me was the topic of Iodine. Here is my own personal iodine journey and information I have gathered from a number of sources.
Chronic Fatigue or Hypothyroidism
I had been reading Drs. Abraham and Brownstein work on Iodine and was almost sure a year ago, (in the middle of my two years “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”), that the lack of Iodine was a part of my problems, perhaps a major part. Like doctor Cousens, I was unsure why there was such a big discrepancy among doctors as to how much was needed.
Last May, a post I read about a doctor who had given a cancer patient 100 mg a day. She had been told she only had days or weeks to live. She lived 7 more years with an improved quality of life. He recommended 25-50 mg a day for most patients. However, he said he regretted not giving the cancer lady a dose of 150 mg a day as he believes it would have helped her.
When I read about the 100-150 mg dose, I realized the 300 mcg dose I was contemplating was just not enough. This doctor said even the common two drops (12.5-13 mg) of Lugol’s is not enough for most people to recover on. Standard Lugol’s iodine, also known as Lugol’s solution, is 5% iodine (I2) and 10% potassium iodide (KI).
Caution: Some countries (like the USA) have weaker solutions they still call Lugol’s. And there is different ways of measuring. Standard Lugol’s is called 5% usually. That is to represent the amount of I2 Iodine. However, I have seen some call it 15% (5% I2 PLUS 10% KI). They still call it Lugol’s! In other places I have seen 1% (also called 3%) that was still called Lugol’s too! So be sure of what you are buying! All of these will work, but you need to adjust the dose.
The Iodine Plunge
A month a go I took the plunge. First day, 4 drops in 500 ml of water, I didn’t like the taste. The next day 8 drops and the following day 12 drops, always mixed in 500 ml water per 4 drops. Although I did not like the taste (it taste like metal to me), I did notice some real improvements, almost from the first day.
Now I am just filling up one “00″ cap and taking that. That would give me about 75 to 84.5 mg of Iodine, depending on small differences that are really too hard to measure (12 drops or 13, 6.25 mg per drop or 6.5 mg).
Your symptoms will likely be different. It is said 96% of the world is lacking Iodine! I had real signs of hypothyroidism (such as fatigue, headaches, weight gain (35kg!), weakness (often felt faint) and dry skin), but because I maintain normal T3 (though low) T3 level, the doctor was reluctant to do anything. Then there was the so very cold feet (I live in the tropics just 10 degrees north of the equator!). Some people lose hair, but I don’t have much of that!
The Lump in my Throat
For two years, I have been complaining about a lump in my throat that makes it more difficult to swallow. Not impossible, just not fun. It is right where the thyroid is, but the doctor said it is just lymph nodes that are swollen or infected. Three rounds of antibiotics seemed to do nothing about it.
A Better Method
The fourth day, I had an idea! I had some empty “00″ I put in 12 drops and noticed it was within a drop of filling the cap full! These are much easier to take as I do not get the bad taste in my mouth. I usually have something on hand as a “chaser” to eat right afterwards.
Caution: You should be ready to take the cap as soon as you fill it. I filled one, set it on my bed and got distracted. About five minutes later is exploded and shot iodine in about a six inch stripe on my sheet (made a real mess of that!).
Well, you mileage may vary, but I know I will NEVER stop using this! For one, my painfully cold feet are now no colder than the rest of me. I suffered with that pain for more than a decade! Truly my skin is less scaly. No more crocodile flakes! My Honeybun and I were just talking that I don’t get so faint and don’t seem to be running into walls now too. As I said, you may not have these symptoms.
I am hoping as I become more stable, I will be able to exercise more and start reversing this weight gain. One more thing, the lump in my throat is a lot less after a month of this.
My belief is that I was either suffering from hypothyroidism, or at least borderline. This was at least a contributor to a number of symptoms I was having. I also believe my thyroid was growing a small goitre that was growing inward and pressing on my throat, making it difficult to both swallow and to breath at times. After a month of Lugol’s Iodine I can feel a very significantly decrease in the pressure on my throat.
I’m Very Happy
I am very happy with this! I want a garden, I hear putting a couple drops of Lugol’s around plants that are usually good source of iodine (or add some to your water can) and it is a good way to boost your iodine uptake – but that is another story… Here is some of what I have learned so far…
Recently, a popular authority on nutrition and alternative health publicly stated that the highest amount of daily iodine intake should be no more than 400 micrograms. That really surprised me. For the sake of my friends, I would like to suggest a variety of scientific and holistic reasons that a significantly higher amount of iodine should be used, even 50 to 100 times higher (Lan: I am taking 200 times as much! 80,000 micrograms). This doctor’s recommendation is only slightly higher than the FDA recommendation, which is 150 to 290 micrograms daily, dependent upon age, gender and life cycle. This is dramatically less than most of the leading iodine medical experts suggest, which is closer to, at least, 12 to 18 milligrams daily 12,000-18,000 micrograms), which is approximately 45 times higher.
Drs. Abraham and Brownstein, real experts on iodine, suggest 12 to 50 milligrams daily and up to 100 milligrams per day for diabetics. Why is there this discrepancy?
There is some marginally relevant data supporting common concerns about excess iodine; namely, that there may be a transient (26 to 40 hours) hypothyroidism as detailed by Dr. Brownstein in his book, “Iodine: Why You Need It. Why You Can’t Live Without It.” However, a couple day transient decrease in thyroid function is physiologically irrelevant and not a sign of hypothyroidism in the bigger holistic health picture. There is also an increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) with increased iodine, which may last anywhere up to six months. This, again, is not really a sign of hypothyroidism. This is related to the fact that the whole body is really deficient in iodine, and TSH stimulates the production of sodium-iodide-symporter (NIS). Without adequate NIS, iodine could not be transported to and enter the cells and be used. NIS is a carrier system into all the cells, and when this system becomes deficient, then the whole body becomes deficient. The key is that people who increase their iodine intake do not have signs of hypothyroidism (such as fatigue, hair loss, headaches, weight gain, cold extremities, weakness and dry skin) and they maintain normal T3 and T4 levels in blood tests.
By looking at the overall holistic iodine health story, we can create a fuller, more accurate understanding of this discussion. Iodine is found in each and every single one of our body’s hundred trillion cells. Without adequate iodine levels in our blood, life is impossible. Iodine is the universal health nutrient that brings health on many levels, and without it we have no health.
It is interesting, when addressing the question of a safe dosage, that higher iodine levels have been used in studies since the early 1900s. For example, from 1917 to 1922, Dr. David Marine proved that iodine reversed goitres in a study that saw 2,000 schoolgirls given an equivalent of 18.6 milligrams daily (18,600 micrograms/day) for 2.5 years with a dramatic success rate!
In 2003, Dr. Zhang showed that potassium iodide (KI) reversed lung cancer tumours in mice. The total amount administered was 100 milligrams (100,000 micrograms) daily for 20 days, and this is approximately fifty times more than the amount Wolff–Chaikoff recommended in 1948. The study lasted for 60 days: 34 days to grow five mm tumors and approximately 26 days for the lung cancer tumors to significantly decrease.
Dr. Ghent, in 1993, administered to 1,368 patients five milligrams (5,000 micrograms) daily with no evidence of the Wolf-Chaikoff theoretical problem of hypothyroidism. At this dosage, Dr. Ghent reversed fibrocystic breast disease with great rates of healing. Iodine deficiency is not only associated with fibrocystic breast disease, but also higher rates of breast cancer.
From 1997 through 2005, a most significant study called the Iodine Project was done. Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. David Brownstein, and Dr. Jorge Flechas followed 4,000 patients and administered 12.5 to 100 milligrams daily, with 100 milligrams administered to diabetics primarily, because low thyroid function is also associated with type 2 diabetes. They had amazingly positive results with only three adverse reactions out of 4,000 people (likely allergic reactions to the binding agents, excipients, fillers, preservatives and/or synthetics commonly found in tablets, capsules and even liquids as opposed to the bioavailable form of iodine itself). This research group theorized that, because in Japan the average intake was 13.8 milligrams, and Japan had significantly less breast and prostate cancer, as well as better health and longevity than in the US, higher doses of iodine (than used in the USA) could safely be used. In this seven-year study, they observed reversed fibrocystic breast disease, decreased insulin requirements in diabetics, significantly less need for medication for hypothyroidism, resolution for fibromyalgia and resolution of migraine headaches as well as eliminating a number of lesser complaints. In the study by Dr. Abraham, et al, the iodine ranges were somewhere between 12,500 and 100,000 micrograms daily (up to 100 milligrams/day) and were considered safe dosages.
From a worldwide perspective, the current level of iodine deficiency is actually pandemic. Over one-third of the global population (1.5 billion people) is living on iodine-deficient soils and are subject to significant iodine deficiency. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a full 72 percent of the global population is iodine deficient. According to the more recent Dr. Abraham, et al, study, in the USA 96 percent of the people are iodine deficient. This is a significant problem with significant consequences, as iodine deficiency is among the top two causes of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Associated with this increased iodine deficiency is a 690 percent increase in cretinism, Intellectual Disabilities and ADHD in the last several decades.
From a larger physiological perspective, it is very important to realize that the thyroid is only one gland of many glands and tissues that need iodine. A list of other glands/organs/systems with high iodine uptake would include the breasts, ovaries, cervix, blood, lymph, bones, gastric mucosal, salivary, adrenal, prostate, colon, thymus, lungs, bladder, kidney and skin. Putting this into perspective, the thyroid holds 50 milligrams of iodine, the breasts hold 200 milligrams, the skin holds 400 milligrams of iodine, and the whole body holds 2,000 milligrams, and possibly much more, depending our our size. We know how important hormones are to our daily health, so just consider that iodine is found and used in every hormonal receptor in the body.
In 1911, 900 milligrams daily (900,000 micrograms/day!) was considered usual and safe doses for iodine. In 1950, the Japanese had 100 times more iodine in their diet than the average Americans. However, by 2001, they had 202 times more iodine than Americans and were using up to 13.8 milligrams daily as opposed to the average US intake of 425 micrograms daily. Unfortunately, there has never been a real study of the optimal safe daily dosage of iodine. Be that as it may, no one has ever died from iodine overdose or allergic reactions with a dose of 150 milligrams of less. It is safe to suggest the guidelines given by Drs. Abraham and Brownstein, or the use of 12 to 50 milligrams of iodine daily for overall sufficiency and well-being, and up to 100 milligrams/day for diabetics or most cancer is reasonable, doing much more for our health than to prevent cretinism, intellectual disabilities and goiter.
Moreover, iodine is a universal health mineral having 22 separate major health and well-being benefits for humans (see here), most of which are commonly unknown to this day. My prudent suggestion is that as we follow these recommendations to increase our iodine consumption. It is important to move forward carefully as we treat this whopping pandemic level of 72 percent iodine deficiency in the world and a totally shocking 96 percent deficiency in Americans, affecting the minds of truly billions of people. I strongly recommend that people reevaluate and increase the amounts of iodine they consume. I recommend that children under 6 years of age take half the adult dose, children 0 to 2 years take one-quarter of the adult dose, pregnant women take 47 percent more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio), and lactating women take 93 percent more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio), as iodine is very important for brain development from a holistic health perspective. In the larger humanitarian context, the risk-to-benefit ratio of these recommended doses is extremely safe for healing the planetary population and for healing ourselves.
For more by Dr. Gabriel Cousens, visit www.treeoflife.nu.
For the post of Kris Carr I was inspired by, visit crazysexylife.com.
Photo credit: Stitch