18 May 2018

Iodine Simplified

Why Iodine is Important
The entire body uses iodine, not just the thyroid. Various tissues and organs are designed to concentrate large amounts which are necessary for their normal structure and function. Conversely, low iodine levels are associated with autoimmune thyroid disease, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, goiter and fibromyalgia, as well as cysts and nodules of the breast, thyroid and ovaries. Iodine researchers Drs. Abraham, Brownstein and Flechas tested 35,000 people – and 96% were deficient in this nutrient!

  • CYSTS: Many women also report positive results with using iodine for breast cancer and ovarian cysts. “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 are a condition comparable to goiter, when the thyroid swells in response to iodine deficiency. 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. The iodine concentration in the ovary has been known to be higher than in every other organ except the thyroid. Research with high doses of iodine cysts on the ovaries became smaller and began to disappear. It takes 20 to 40 times the amount of Iodine needed to control breast cancer and fibrocystic disease than it does to prevent goiter. Iodine deficiency causes fibrocystic breast disease with nodules, cyst enlargement, pain and scar tissue.
  • HORMONAL IMBALANCES Goiters often also result in a hormonal imbalance leading to hypothyroidism. "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 most obvious answer is that iodine is a trace mineral used to synthesize hormones and is a mineral that is very important to how hormones function at the hormone receptor sites.
  • BACTERIA, FUNGI, VIRUSES Sufficient amounts iodine can assist with a host of glandular imbalances as well as a wide assortment of internal as well as external bacteria, fungi, and virus's.
  • BRAIN, HEADACHES etc Iodine has been used successfully in headaches, keloid formation and parotid duct stones. Iodine is found in large amounts in the brain (including the parts of the brain associated with Parkinson’s disease) and the ciliary body of the eye, a possible factor in glaucoma.
  • LUNG PROBLEMS Doses up to six times the RDA have been used safely for months to combat the excessive mucous in chronic lung diseases.
  • WELL BEING many people who take iodine report that they have a greater sense of well-being, increased energy, and a lifting of brain fog? They feel warmer in cold environments, need somewhat less sleep, improved skin complexion, and have more regular bowel movements.
  •  DIABETIC Dr. Flechas sees such dramatic results with his diabetic patients.

Signs & Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency
  • Swelling in the front of the neck, or a goiter, is a common symptom of an iodine deficiency. It occurs when your thyroid gland is forced to make thyroid hormones when there is a low supply of iodine in the body
  • Low iodine levels may slow your metabolism and encourage food to be stored as fat, rather than be burned as energy. This may lead to weight gain.
  • Low iodine levels may leave you feeling tired, sluggish and weak. This is because your body needs the mineral to make energy.
  • An iodine deficiency may prevent hair follicles from regenerating. Fortunately, getting sufficient iodine can help correct hair loss that occurs due to an iodine deficiency.
  • Dry, flaky skin may occur with an iodine deficiency, as the mineral helps your skin cells regenerate. It also helps your body sweat and hydrates your skin cells, so an iodine deficiency can cause you to sweat less.
  • Iodine helps generate body heat, so low levels of it may leave you feeling colder than usual.
  • An iodine deficiency may slow your heart rate, which may leave you feeling weak, fatigued, dizzy and at risk of fainting
  • An iodine deficiency at any age may cause you to struggle to learn and remember things. One possible reason for this might be an underdeveloped brain.
  • Getting enough iodine is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as they have higher needs. An iodine deficiency may cause severe side effects, especially for the baby, such as stunted growth and brain development.
  • Some women with an iodine deficiency may experience heavy or irregular periods. This is because low thyroid hormone levels may interfere with hormones that are involved in regulating the menstrual cycle.

So why do so many people state that they cannot take iodine due to a reaction?
  • The answers may lie with what are termed the “companion nutrients”, which was coined by Lynne Farrow of the Iodine Workshop group. Each of these nutrients are critical to the success of the Iodine Protocol, and thus is essential to the proper working of your body.
  • When the full protocol is implemented amazing benefits are realized. It also helps to mitigate the issues seen by many practitioners that causes them to sound the alarm bells. When iodine is supplied in isolation it can be problematic.
  • Take care to do it right and you too can reap the benefits that adequate iodine levels in the body can offer. 
  • Another common issue with iodine supplementing is detoxification. We live in such a toxic world that it is hard not to be toxic on some level. As it relates to iodine the key toxins are bromide, fluoride and to a smaller degree mercury. We need to support the body when supplementing to help it push what iodine releases, out of the body through the kidneys and out in the urine. This detoxification can also cause stress to the adrenal glands so supporting them is important to your success.
  • If you are dealing with Hashimotos it is critical to ensure that there is a sufficient level of selenium either already “on board” in your body or that you are taking it along with your iodine. Because selenium can reach toxic build up levels in the body it is important that you monitor your levels through a RBC (Red Blood Cell) Se lab test. Please work with your doctor / healthcare professional to determine your specific needs.

Supplementing Tips & The Iodine Protocol
The preferred form of iodine is Lugol’s formula. This is because Lugol’s contains both Iodine and Potassium Iodide. Various organs and tissues in the body prefer one form over the other. The breast, prostate and stomach prefer to utilize Iodine while the thyroid, salivary gland and skin prefer to use iodide. When you supplement with one form, most often iodide, you rob the body of functioning at optimum levels.

How much Iodine do I need to take?
·        There are no amounts that can be given as a blanket recommendation. Everyone needs different amounts based on their body’s ability to utilize the nutrients as well as the level of toxic halide exposure they have each day. If you are dealing with a severe health condition then your dosages would need to be higher than those trying to maintain good health.
  • Maintenance – It was once believed that a good maintenance dose is 25 mgs per day. But with more information being gained about the exposures to halides bombarding our systems (bromides, fluorides, chlorine) as well as mercury, etc., maintenance of health may require higher doses of iodine. The iodine doctors are now beginning to believe that 50 mgs may be the minimum required dose.
  • Cancer – Cancer is a result of mutated cells. Iodine is absolutely critical for something called P53 gene which is known as the “keeper of the genetic code”. Without iodine and selenium it will not function to eliminate abnormal cells from the body such as cancer. Cancer patients have taken anywhere from 50 – 300mgs per day.
  • Children – These are the levels for children at the various ages. This is not meant to be a recommendation but a guideline. General guidelines suggest .08 mg x the weight of the child but is dependent on the health condition.
    • Up to 3 years –Take 1 drop of 5% Lugol’s solution in water and then take ½ of the water and give it to the child. his results in 3.125 mg / dose. (ie ½ a drop)
    • 3yrs to 5 yrs        –1 drop 5% Lugols Solution (6.25mg)
    • 5 yrs to 9 yrs       – 12.5 mgs of Iodoral or 2 drops 5% Lugols Solution (12.5mg)
    • 9 yrs to 16 yrs    – 25 mgs of Iodoral or 4 drops 5% Lugols Solution (25mg)
    • 16 yrs and up     – will depend on health issues, weight, etc and cannot be given in generalities. Dosages range from 12.5 mgs to 300 mgs.
When should I take my supplements?
  • Iodine should be taken with food. This seems to enhance absorption as well as protecting sensitive stomachs from a potential upset.
  • The supporting nutrients can be taken with iodine and with food. There is no spacing or timing required.
  •  Iodine should be taken earlier in the day (before 2 pm) because for some it increases energy so much that they are unable to sleep.
Supporting Nutrients for taking Iodine.
When supplementing with the supporting nutrients do not try to cut corners. Use high quality supplements. Do not try to obtain them from food alone. It is critical that you ensure that the right levels are available to your body.  These are required to support the body while supplementing with iodine:
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)– 2,000 – 5,000 mgs / day – supports the symporters and assists as an antioxidant to detoxing.  This vitamin is critical for combating oxidation due to toxin release. The adrenals also thrive in a vitamin C rich environment. The adrenal glands are the largest storage site of Vitamin C in the body. The NIS symporters (where iodine is pulled into the cells) are supported and in some cases healed when higher doses of Vitamin C are provided.
  • Selenium – 100 – 400 mcg / day – needed for detoxification and thyroid hormone creation process by working in conjunction with glutathione peroxidase as a protective mechanism to reduce and neutralize excess hydrogen peroxide. Without this building block the risk of autoimmune thyroid condition flare ups increases due to the oxidative damage of TPO. Selenium is also a critical nutrient in the creation of glutathione in the liver where detoxification occurs.
  •  Unrefined salt – ½ tsp / day – supports adrenals, binds to bromide and assists in removal, supports symporters (sodium iodine symporters or NIS).  Adequate levels of sodium are needed to ensure proper function. Salt is also used by the body to pull out the bromide being released from the receptors and tissues by the iodine supplementation and carry it from the blood through to the kidneys where it is filtered out into the urine. Unrefined salt is also rich in minerals that help to support the adrenals.
  • Magnesium – 200 - 400 mgs / day – critical for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. During the organification of iodine, intracellular calcium stimulates the NADPH-Oxidase System. When this becomes over active as it can with autoimmune thyroid conditions, magnesium works as a natural “balancer”. The production of ATP also requires magnesium along with other nutrients.
Other nutrients that have helped – but are not part of the core protocol:
  •  Vitamin B2 & B3 (aka ATP CoFactors) 1 tablet 2x / day – when individuals continue to feel fatigued or have autoimmune thyroid disease this product can assist in increasing ATP (energy) within the cells. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) are cofactors to the NADPH oxidase pathway. They work at the mitochondrial level to provide more energy. Many with Hashimotos will comment on an increased level of energy when they add these two nutrients to their protocol. They are both also key in providing sufficient hydrogen peroxide to efficiently oxidize iodide. This is an optional supplement but can be added for the above reasons.
  • Boron – This nutrient has proven to be beneficial in the removal of fluoride from the body. It has also shown a positive impact on the NADPH Oxidase and ATPase processes within the cells.
  • Beta Carotene 25,000 iU – For some individuals who supplement in iodine, their menstrual cycles or hormones may become imbalanced. Supplementing with higher doses of Beta Carotene can assist in maintaining proper balance. Research has also shown that it may help to upregulate NIS gene expression to increase iodine uptake. While research has been done on radioactive forms of iodine, it may also equate to the non-radioactive forms as well since the radioactivity is not a key element in its benefits.

Some FaceBook comments from those using Iodine
  •  I've been on iodine for a couple of years... And I'm not dead yet. Ha! And I take a LOT!!! I actually only started feeling good from iodine after taking high doses.... When I was taking the smaller amounts, I noticed the sluggishness and detox symptoms more. Keep pushing!
  • If your body has used all the iodine it needs it just purges the rest in your urine so I'd try going up before worrying I was taking too much.
  • Most iodine advocates suggest 50mg as a good maintenance dose for all but sick people often require far more. I can't tell you what to do but if it were me, I'd up weekly until I felt a difference. I've mentioned it here before but everyone should read "the iodine crisis" by Lynne Farrow. It's an awesome read and will explain the iodine protocol and the importance of iodine and how to know what you need etc.
  •  I have breast issues too and eradicated my ovarian cyst with iodine. Per my Dr, I take DIM with my iodine... You should look at adding that. It really helps!  Note: (DIM - Diindolylmethane is formed in the body from plant substances contained in “cruciferous” vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. ... Diindolylmethane is used for preventing breast, uterine, and colorectal cancer)
  •  In my first 8 months of iodine protocol, from 3 mg/day to 50 mg/day, multiple ovarian cysts shrunk by 35%, 40%, and 50%. I started at daily dosage from 3 mg, and increased weekly by 3 mg, from 3 mg, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40, 43, 46, 50 mg. Total 16 weeks reaching 50 mg/day from 3 mg/day. Then stayed on 50 mg for 4 months.
  •  This week was total 16 months of 50 mg/day of iodine, and I had another ultrasound check. One of these three cyst is completed gone, and the other two kept shrinking. The fibroid was also decreased in size noted by the doctor.
  • The technician told me that she heard of iodine protocol because of her other patients also switched from thyroid medicine to iodine protocol and found reduction in cysts.
  •  Those who are on iodine protocol and have cysts, do expect swollen feeling of the uterus, massive bleeding when the cyst erupts. It will feel like miscarriage, the cramp and bright colour blood. You will also see cluster of tissues. Do not panic. It is good news.
  •  Use 10% Lugol's iodine. Start with one drop per day and doubled it every 3 days until you reach 12 drops, 2 x day (300 mg). I took this amount because 300 mg is the amount the iodine doctors used to fight cancer, and, although I have no reason to think I have cancer, that showed that 300 mg was a very effective amount. I'm not recommending everyone do this, I'm just describing my personal protocol. To be cautious, you could increase the daily amount by only another drop per day, or even another drop every 2 or 3 days. I have since reduced it to 100 mg/day (which some iodine doctors believe nearly everyone should take) but continue to take it because of a suspicion I may have thyroid issues. I am also taking 1/2 tsp Celtic salt (I put it in capsules), 2,000 mg Vit C, 1200 mg magnesium, 200 mcg selenium, 1,000 i.u. Vit E (for my heart), 2,000 mg MSM (for my joints), 2,000 mg Coral calcium (for everything). When I do this and eat right (no sugars or grains) I feel absolutely fabulous.
  • For those who are taking some kind of synthetic thyroid medication, I would recommend just as gradually decreasing it while gradually increasing the iodine. If you start to feel bad, keep taking the amount of iodine you've reached, but increase the medication some until you feel normal. But keep gradually increasing the number of drops of iodine and try again later to decrease the medication.  The goal is to gradually replace the medication with the iodine that your body needs.

Further reading
  • ·         Read a book “The Iodine Crisis” by Lynne Farrow
  • ·         Join the Facebook groups “Iodine Workshop” and “Iodine Protocols”

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