Laura G Owens ~ Writer

Humanity. Health. Happiness.

Category: Weight Loss

Iodine is critical

Why Iodine is Critical to Good Health.

Iodine is critical

Iodine is needed for more than the thyroid. The thyroid only holds less than 1% of the body’s iodine store; the skin holds 20%, the breasts hold 5%. Our whole body needs iodine.¹ – Dr. David Brownstein author of “Iodine: Why You Need It. Why You Can’t Live Without It.” 

You probably think of iodine as that red-rust-colored liquid your mom dabbed on your skinned knee. But iodine is so much more than just an anti-bacterial.

Maybe you’ve noticed these salt box disclaimers,  “This salt provides iodine necessary nutrient” or “This salt does not contain iodide, a necessary nutrient.”

Because not only is iodine a necessary nutrient, but more than two billion people worldwide are deficient. (Read here to learn why). 

Iodine is an essential mineral commonly found in seafood. Your body needs it in order to produce thyroid hormones and reverse the effects of a slow metabolism.  Iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormones).  It’s critical for fetal brain development, immune support, and endocrine gland functions including the breasts, ovaries, uterus and prostate.

Public health experts report that adding small amounts of iodine back to salt may be one of the simplest and most cost-effective steps to tackle Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) in over 118 countries.

Iodine is also gaining attention for it’s use in cancer prevention, and in some cases, cancer treatment.

“The good thing about iodine is, it has apoptotic properties,” says Dr. David Brownstein, a Board-Certified family physician and Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI.  “Meaning it can stop a cancer cell from just continually dividing, dividing, dividing until it kills somebody. Iodine can stop this continuum wherever it catches it and hopefully reverse it, but at least put the brakes on what is happening.”

How to use iodine

How much to use and what form depends.  I strongly advise working with a holistic health practitioner familiar with iodine supplementation.  

You can apply iodine directly to your skin or you can drink iodine mixed with a small amount of filtered water. 

My doctor told me to rub Wellness Resources Iosol Iodine drops directly on my neck because I have a lot of thyroid nodules (I recently had the largest biopsied and thankfully it was benign).

So this is what I do:

I rub one to three (small) drops of iodine on my throat in the morning and one to three before dinner. I used to use more based on my doctor’s recommendation.  Five drops 2x a day plus one I-Throid capsule in the afternoon. But it turned out that amount was too much for me. 

With that high dose sometimes I experienced adrenal crash (felt weak) or had  mild heart racing.  Eight years ago I was diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue. I’m much better now but I have to stay on the low side of iodine dosing. 

So, how much you use is highly individual which is why I strongly recommend working with an integrative/holistic health practitioner. 

Okay but here’s the irony. My doctor put me on the high iodine dose that caused problems. She told me she thought my stronger adrenal glands could take it (They couldn’t). So while I always recommend people work with their health practitioner, ultimately you need to listen to your own body. 

I quickly lost weight with iodine 

Anyway, when I first started using iodine I didn’t notice anything. But a couple weeks later I starting losing weight. I lost a total of about five to seven pounds until I leveled off.  I never weigh myself  but I easily dropped a pant size without changing a thing (I work I out six days a week and eat pretty healthy). 

Wellness Resources Iosol Iodine dosing guide:

“The most commonly used dose of Iosol Iodine is 1 drop of the preparation in a few ounces of water, taken once a day. Each drop has 1.8 mg of iodine or 1200% of the governments recommended daily value. If you would like to get only 100% of the daily value then take 1 tsp of a mixture of 1 drop of Iosol Iodine in 2 ounces of water; however, most people like taking more than this.”

There’s quite a few forms of iodine available. I don’t mean brands, I mean forms. Lugol’s vs iosol vs nascent. 

Wellness Resources claims that iosol iodine offers superior water solubility and therefore superier bioavailability (the body’s ability to absorb and efficiently use a substance).

“There are two sources of iodine in the Iosol formulation. One is from kelp. Iodine in kelp is naturally in the form of potassium iodide. However, potassium iodide is not very soluble in water and may be difficult for your body to easily use. For example, if you get liquid potassium iodide on your clothes it causes a permanent stain of red. If you get Iosol Iodine on your clothes the red will evaporate out in a few minutes or readily come out with washing. In fact, potassium iodide has been shown to congest the thyroid gland when taken in high doses and is how Hashimotos thyroiditis was first discovered (Japanese citizens consuming too many sea vegetables). This is why I don’t use potassium iodide.

During the production of Iosol, iodine is extracted from kelp and made into pure iodine crystals. This is not potassium iodide, rather it is an unbound form of iodine.

The second form of iodine used is ammonium iodide, a form that readily dissolves in water. These two forms of iodine are combined in a proprietary manner in a base of vegetable glycerin.

Ammonium iodide is a combination of the mineral iodine and ammonium (NH4). This is a synthesized compound, not derived from a food source. It has superior bioavailability as the iodine readily disassociates from the ammonium upon exposure to water, producing a free iodide ion exactly what your body would like to use in metabolism. ” Wellness Resource website. 

Whatever form you choose, start low and go slow.  

Want to read my full article on Whole Life Times? 

¹Interview with Dr. David Brownstein: MD. Board certified family physician, integrative practitioner and an expert in thyroid disease, hormones and iodine

Foods naturally high in iodine

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Vitamin C lowers cortisol to decrease abdominal fat

ab fat, abdominal fat, vitamin c, lower cortisol, lower stress, fat and stress

Photo: Ohmega1982 Free Digital Photos

Chronic stress elevates cortisol which creates excess fat around the middle. Adequate intake of vitamin C however, may lower levels of this adrenal hormone.

Stress Increases Cortisol, Overproduction Harms Health

Cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands during stress, increases when the pituitary gland releases another hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).

Humans experience a physiological reaction to stress as a built-in protection response to perceived threats from predators and other aggressors. While primitive dangers are now rare, people are still hard-wired to respond to threats which today generally means daily stress. Stress elicits a “flight or fight” reaction in the body.

This stress response varies in individuals and is similar to if a soldier stands guard, reacts to a threat, sees the threat isn’t real and either relaxes or remains on alert. Chronic overwork, financial strain, lack of exercise, too little sleep, relationship problems, substance abuse, ill health, poor nutrition, any stress prompts cortisol production in the body and puts the body on alert.

Read more…

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Apple Cider Vinegar May Lower Blood Sugar, Help Type 2 Diabetes, Reduce Ab Fat

Apple Cider Vinegar May Lower Blood Sugar, Help Type 2 Diabetes, Reduce Ab FatStudies suggest a substance in apple cider vinegar can reduce blood sugar in type 2 diabetics, lower blood pressure and decrease hunger & fat accumulation.

Researchers have uncovered a signaling mechanism that occurs within the excess abdominal fat of obese people and is associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Fatty liver disease however, may be more likely the root cause of these metabolic disorders, an earlier study suggests.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Supported by Research 

While it may be too early to make vinegar a weight loss staple, the evidence is promising. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry(1) found that vinegar helps prevent the accumulation of body fat.

Lab mice fed a high-fat diet along with acetic acid, gained significantly less body fat (up to 10 percent less) than mice fed a high fat diet without acetic acid. Researchers believe acetic acid turns on genes that produces proteins involved in breaking down fats, which in turn suppresses body fat accumulation.

Lower Blood Sugar

Several small sample studies showed that vinegar lowers glucose levels in the body and increases insulin sensitivity, issues of particular concern for people at risk for or managing, type 2 diabetes. Insulin sensitivity is the body’s ability to handle excess sugar after eating high glycemic index foods, foods that cause sharp spikes and drops in blood sugar. Insulin sensitivity is one measure of someone’s risk for heart disease; the more sensitive someone is, the lower their risk for heart problems.

Results from a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition(2) found that vinegar lowered glucose and insulin levels in healthy subjects and increased their feeling of being full.

In a study published in Diabetes Care conducted by the Arizona State University’s Department of Nutrition(3), researchers divided 29 subjects into three groups: people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; prediabetics; and healthy subjects. Each group consumed vinegar before eating a high carbohydrate test meal. Subjects in all three groups showed improved blood glucose levels and increased sensitivity to insulin compared to the control group who did not consume vinegar.

Researchers in the 2009 study, “Preliminary evidence that regular vinegar ingestion favorably influences hemoglobin A1c values in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus,(4)” compared the affect of the acetic acid found in vinegar, a dill pickle and a commercial vinegar pill on hemoglobin A1c in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Hemoglobin A1c is a measure of how much sugar has been around in the body for the preceding three months, a more accurate measure of sugar levels than the finger stick. Results showed Hemoglobin A1c values dropped with the vinegar but increased with the commercial vinegar pill and the dill pickle.

Reduce Blood Pressure

Gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in creating a state of focused calm, has been shown to also decrease blood pressure.(5,6). In a study conducted in Japan,(7) researchers measured the effect of adding GABA to vinegar on people with mild or moderate hypertension (high blood pressure).

After a pre-treatment period of two weeks, subjects with mild or moderate hypertension drank fermented drinking water with vinegar mixed with a flavoring base of fish flakes (dried bonito), with or without GABA added (in the form of sodium glutamate). Blood pressure rates dropped in both the GABA and the non-GABA groups, suggesting vinegar was the compound that lowered the subjects’ blood pressure.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Form, Dose & Warnings

Dr. Mercola, a physician, health and nutritional expert, suggests in his article, “Apple Cider Vinegar: Healing Wonder or Hype,” that people use apple cider vinegar, and in the form that is murky and brown. “Organic, unfiltered and unprocessed apple cider vinegar has a tiny, cobweb-like substance floating in it, called the “mother,” which indicates good quality,” Dr. Mercola explains. “Since the benefits of the apple cider vinegar are still being studied, there is no clear-cut guide on how to take it.” One or two tablespoons before a meal is generally the reccomended dose.

Dr. Mercola warns that because apple cider vinegar is extremely acidic to dilute it with water or juice. Straight cider ingested over time can harm tooth enamel or the tissues of the mouth and throat. An excess can also lead to low potassium levels and lower bone density.

While more research needs to be done on the health benefits, dosing and long term effects of vinegar, studies suggest the acetic acid in vinegar can lower fat accumulation, reduce blood pressure, hunger and glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity, issues of importance to pre-diabetics and people with type 2 diabetes.

Photo credit: Andy Roberts Photo
Sources:

Kondo et al. “Acetic Acid Upregulates the Expression of Genes for Fatty Acid Oxidation Enzymes in Liver To Suppress Body Fat Accumulation.” Journal of Agricral and Food Chemistry, 2009.

E. Östman, E et al, “Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005.

Johnson, CS, Kim, CM, Buller, AA, “Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes,” Diabetes Care, January 2004

Johnston CS, White AM, Kent SM, “Preliminary evidence that regular vinegar ingestion favorably influences hemoglobin A1c values in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, May, 2009.

Inoue K, Shirai T, Ochiai H, et al, “Blood-pressure-lowering effect of a novel fermented milk containing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in mild hypertensives,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003.

Hirata H, Kimura M, Nakagawa S, et al. Hypotensive effect of fermented milk containing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in subjects with high normal blood pressure,”Journal of the Japanese Society for Food Science and Technology, 2004.

Tanaka H et al, “The Effects of gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Vinegar, and Dried Bonito on Blood Pressure in Normotensive and Mildly or Moderately Hypertensive Volunteers,”Journal of Clinical Biochemical Nutrition, July 2009.

Mercola, Joseph, DO, “Apple Cider Vinegar: Healing Wonder or Hype,” http://www.drmercola.net/search/label/vinegar, June 12, 2009.

Copyright Laura Owens. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

 

 

 

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Can Vitamin D Impact Weight Loss?

Vitamin D continues to make headline news. Findings suggest adequate levels may break barriers with individuals battling excess weight.

Research reveals a relationship between vitamin D levels in the body, vitamin D intake, and body weight. While the exact relationship is not entirely understood, a growing body of evidence suggests an association between obesity/excess body weight and D levels exists.

(Photo credit, Flickr)

vitamin d, weight loss, vitamin d deficiency

In addition, the link is supported by the fact that obesity and low D are co-morbid (occur at the same time) with diseases such as: disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, depression and even periodontal disease.

Vitamin D Levels Predict Weight Loss Success

In a 2010 study researchers found that adequate vitamin D levels in the body improves weight loss success with a diet program.

“Vitamin D deficiency is associated with obesity, but it is not clear if inadequate vitamin D causes obesity or the other way around,” said the study’s lead author, Shalamar Sibley, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota.

For the study, scientists measured circulating blood levels of vitamin D in 38 overweight men and women before and after the subjects followed a diet plan for 11 weeks consisting of 750 calories a day fewer than their estimated total needs. Subjects also had their fat distribution measured with DXA (bone densitometry) scans.

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While the participants’ vitamin D levels were lower than what many experts consider sufficient, the subjects’ baseline, or pre-diet vitamin D levels predicted weight loss in a linear relationship. For every increase of 1 ng/mL in level of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, the precursor form of vitamin D and a commonly used indicator of vitamin D status, subjects lost almost a half pound (0.196 kg) more on their calorie-restricted diet. For every 1-ng/mL increase in the active or “hormonal” form of vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol), subjects lost nearly one-quarter pound (0.107 kg) more.

In addition, subjects with higher baseline vitamin D levels (both the precursor and active forms) lost more abdominal fat. The implications of these findings, researchers believe, are promising. “Our results suggest the possibility that the addition of vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet will lead to better weight loss,” Sibley said.  

Obesity and Vitamin D Levels

In another study out of the University of Madrid researchers found that excess body weight was associated with decreasing amounts of vitamin D. Scientists measured the body weight of 61 young, overweight/obese women and randomly assigned them to two different weight control programs: diet V, increased greens and vegetables, or diet C, increased cereals (some of which were enriched with vitamin D).

Taking into account only women with a vitamin D intake below expert-recommended levels, the women who were obese had a significantly lower average serum 25(OH)D concentration than those who weighed less. In addition, group C (increased cereals, some enriched with vitamin D) subjects lost more weight than the Group V subjects.

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In another study out of Spain, researchers gathered the following data on 102 children ages nine to 13: height, body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist and hip measurements (to determine the quantity of visceral or abdominal fat), and the thickness of the tricipital and bicipital skinfold (to determine the quantity of subcutaneous fat). Scientists also analyzed the childrens’ diet with a three-day weighed food record and their vitamin D intake as compared to recommended (expert) levels.

Results showed while there was no significant difference in body weight based on vitamin D intake, children who had insufficient levels of D in their body had higher weight, BMI, waist measurement and waist/height ratio than the children with adequate levels of D in their body.

In addition, results showed that children with a body weight, BMI, bicipital skinfold thickness, waist measurement and waist/height ratio above the 50th percentile for each variable were at a greater risk of having a low serum 25(OH)D concentration.

Obesity and Vitamin D Epidemic: Coincidence? 

Dr. John Cannell, Director of the Vitamin D Council in his 2004 Newsletter article, “Obesity and Vitamin D,” writes, “One third of Americans are obese. While much of that epidemic is surely due to playing Nintendo instead of baseball, or the consumption of soft drinks instead of water, does that explain it all? Is it a coincidence that the twin epidemics of obesity and vitamin D deficiency are occurring together?”

A growing body of research suggests more than a coincidence. While there are numerous alternative explanations for the findings notes Dr. Cannell, an overwhelming number of studies suggest a link. The following is an incomplete list, for the full list refer to Dr. Cannell’s September 2004 newsletter.

Click image 

  • When aboriginal populations migrate from high altitude (more UV rays to convert to D in the skin) to low altitude, body fat increases.
  • Higher calcium intake is consistently associated with lower body weight, as vitamin D significantly increases calcium absorption.
  • The combination vitamin D and calcium reduced subsequent spontaneous food intake and increased the metabolism of fat.
  • Genetic abnormalities of the vitamin D receptor (called VDR polymorphisms) are associated with body weight and fat mass. Patients with VDR polymorphisms have reduced vitamin D activity at their receptors.
  • Blood parathyroid levels, which are elevated in vitamin D deficiency, predict obesity.
  • Starting since 1981 studies have consistently shown that 25(OH)D levels are lower in obese subjects.
  • Obesity is associated with early death, and low vitamin D levels are more likely in the winter. Scientists have known about and debated the cause of excess winter deaths for years
  • Obese subjects obtain lower 25(OH)D levels when exposed to ultraviolet light or when they take supplemental vitamin D. Subjects appeared to deposit some of their vitamin D in their excessive fatty tissue which impaired their ability to raise their 25(OH)D levels.

Whether excess weight contributes to lower levels of vitamin D in the body or low vitamin D causes excess weight is still unclear. Research indicates however, a relationship exists. The implications for weight management and leveraging the effectiveness of a diet program are promising.

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Sources

The Endocrine Society (2009, June 12), “Successful Weight Loss With Dieting Is Linked To Vitamin D Levels,” ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 18, 2010.

Ortega RM, López-Sobaler AM, Aparicio A, Bermejo LM, Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Perea

JM, Andrés P, “Vitamin D status modification by two slightly hypocaloric diets in young overweight/obese women.”International Journal of Vitamin & Nutritional Research 2009 Mar;79(2):71-8.

Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Navia-Lombán B, López-Sobaler AM, Ortega RM,

“Associations between abdominal fat and body mass index on vitamin D status in a

group of Spanish schoolchildren,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010 Mar 10.

Cannell, John, MD, The Vitamin D Council, “Obesity and Vitamin D,” The Vitamin D Newsletter, September 17, 2004.

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