Did You Know…
…iodine deficiency may be drastically disrupting your health?
Unfortunately, iodine intake among Americans has plummeted 50% in the last 30 to 40 years, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). And iodine deficiency is being implicated as a contributor to the subsequent rise in thyroid disease, breast and prostate cancers, fibrocystic breast disease, and obesity.
To understand the severity of iodine deficiency that’s facing Americans, we merely need to look to Japan, where iodine consumption is 100 times higher. Incidences of associated diseases, such as thyroid disorders and cancer, are dramatically lower than they are in the United States.
To better understand how low iodine levels may be affecting your health, let’s first take a look at the causes behind the drastic declines in iodine consumption.
Where Has the Iodine Gone?
Iodine has been leached from food due to modern industrial and farming practices that strip away minerals from the soil. People with diets low in seaweed, sea vegetables, and saltwater fish—all rich sources of iodine—are at an even greater disadvantage. Sure, there’s iodized salt (table salt with iodine added), but table salt is not as healthy as sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, and only 10% of the iodine in iodized salt can actually be absorbed by the body.
Then there’s the use of radioactive iodine in medical procedures. Radioactive iodine damages thyroid tissue and other tissues that uptake iodine. Mercury, aspirin and other salicyclates, steroids and unfermented soy products likewise disrupt iodine intake.
The leaching of iodine from foods isn’t just a consequence. Iodine has been purposefully removed from certain foodstuffs, and replaced with poisonous chemicals such as chlorine, bromine, and perchlorate. A prime example is the substitution of bromine for iodine in wheat. Yes, the same toxic halogen used to kill termites!
The Serious Consequences of Iodine Deficiency
Iodine supports your endocrine glands: your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, sex glands, pancreas, pineal, and thymus. Without iodine, the thyroid cannot make enough thyroid hormones, which leads to an enlarged thyroid (goiter), hypothyroidism, and mental retardation in infants and children whose mothers did not get enough iodine.
Iodine deficiency may possibly contribute to autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s disease and Grave’s disease, and it has been linked to digestive malfunctions such as excess mucus production, hemorrhoids, fatigue, headaches and migraines, and keloid scarring.
Symptoms and Supplements
Iodine deficiency can manifest as the following symptoms:
- Difficulty swallowing, sore throat, or hoarseness
- Cold extremities
- Nails that are brittle and break easily
- High cholesterol
- Menstrual irregularities
- Early menopause
- Faltering memory and focus
- Hair loss
- Dry skin and hair
- Intolerance to cold
- Slower heartbeat
- Weight gain
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 2 billion people worldwide are deficient in iodine, and that up to 50 million of them are suffering the most serious side effects. Health care practitioners, including experts at WHO, consider the RDA of 150 mcg of iodine per day much too low, and recommend closer to 300-1400 mcg/per day, or 1-3 mg.
Remember, always consult with a health expert when considering a new supplement. Some experts recommend iodine supplements in the form of kelp or iodine drops. Dr. Edward Group of the Global Healing Center recommends Nascent Iodine because it is readily absorbed by the body.