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