Despite being an essential nutrient, so many people fail to obtain an adequate intake of iodine, even fewer obtain an ideal intake.
Yet getting iodine is so easy and inexpensive. But don’t rely on the doctor to tell you how or why, as he/she is too busy planning your next procedure or trying to hand you a drug prescription, since doctors really don’t know how to dispense genuine health.
Let’s talk about iodine. Now I’ve talked about iodine before. It’s in the Wheat Belly Total Health program. It’s in the Undoctored Wild-Naked-Unwashed program. But I feel like the iodine message hasn’t gotten fully through. In fact, some people doing my program say “I’m not losing weight”, or “I don’t feel good. I’m cold. I’m tired.” Well, part of the solution is to make sure you’re getting iodine.
So why have Americans become so deficient in iodine? First of all, virtually all the world’s iodine, is in the ocean. The further inland you live, the less potential you have to be exposed; to obtain iodine. If you live coastally; the food grown coastally, or livestock raised coastally, you’ll have some iodine — and of course if you eat seafood or seaweed, you’ll get more iodine. But the further inland you are, the more potential there is for iodine deficiency — so much so, that where I live in Wisconsin (or Michigan or Illinois or Indiana, Missouri, Ohio) used to be called the Goiter Belt.
That’s because we obtained so little iodine, that thyroid glands would enlarge. This was a huge public health problem, up until the first several decades of the 20th century. Goiters would kill people. Mothers who had goiters when they were pregnant would deliver a child with a mental impairment — a huge public health problem — until it was recognized, in the 1920s, that it was due to a lack of iodine, in inland populations primarily. The FDA passed a regulation, encouraging salt manufacturers to add iodine to their salt. Morton’s iodized salt slogan for many years was “Use more iodized salt. Keep your family goiter-free.” Americans listened to this advice, and goiters essentially disappeared into the middle of the 20th century.
Well, use of salt made some people, particularly grain-consuming people, hypertensive, and had other health implications of excessive salt exposure. The FDA said: quit using all that salt! Well guess what happens over many years? Goiters come back, thyroid dysfunction re-appears. So we now have a nation, because we’ve been told to cut back on iodized salt, and we’re not all consuming seaweed/seafood all the time, and certainly not consuming the thyroid glands of animals (that also has iodine), we’re seeing a resurgence of goiter and thyroid dysfunction.
Thyroid dysfunction shows up as mild hypothyroidism: low energy, fatigue, sleepiness, inability to lose weight, thinning hair, leg edema. It’s so easy to correct: take iodine.
You can get it from salt, but that’s not a really a reliable way to obtain your iodine. One of the problems with iodized salt — it’s not the salt; the salt is fine; I encourage you to use salt once you’re grain free — it’s once you open the canister, the iodine is volatile, and it’s gone within three to four weeks. So that canister of salt does indeed provide iodine, if you go through it very rapidly. And you don’t quite know how much you’re getting.
So I advocate taking iodine supplements, such as kelp tablets or potassium iodide drops. I prefer kelp, only because it provides a mixture of iodine forms: potassium iodate, sodium iodate, molecular iodine, iodinated proteins, etc, because nobody really knows what the ideal form of iodine is, and there may be different benefits to different forms. So I opt in favor of doing it the natural way, which is getting kelp tablets, because it mimics eating kelp (seaweed).
And we try to obtain more than the recommended daily allowance. The RDA is 150 micrograms (µg, mcg) per day, for an adult. Where’d that come from? It was based on observations for how much iodine was required to not have a goiter. But there’s more to health and thyroid performance than not having a goiter. I aim what I think is the ideal range of iodine, which is 350, 400 or 500 micrograms per day. I’ve never seen toxicity. I’ve only seen benefits at that dose.
There are people who take mega doses, and they get toxic over time. Don’t do that. That’s a very bad conversation, that some people are having. They think that high doses of iodine are somehow good for you. They’re not. They’re toxic over time.
Iodine is a necessary nutrient for your thyroid gland to function, because your thyroid gland produces the T3 and T4 thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism. The 3 and the 4 refer to the number of iodine atoms per thyroid hormone molecule. If you don’t have enough iodine, your thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. You get tired, fatigued, get cold, and over time you thyroid gland enlarges — becomes engoitered.
Now there’s other benefits to iodine. People often ask “I don’t have a thyroid gland. They took it out [usually unnecessarily, by the way]. Do I still need iodine?”
Yes. Iodine has other functions, including breast health for women. Fibrocystic beast disease is probably one manifestation of iodine deficiency. So getting iodine is not an option, any more than getting vitamin C is an option. If you don’t get vitamin C, you get scurvy — your teeth fall out, your joints fall apart, you develop open skin sores — it’s not optional. Likewise, iodine’s not an option.
But understand this issue; correct it; and you have another way to regain magnificent health, via the Wheat Belly Total Health and Undoctored pathways.