Thyroid Studio - What about Iodine?
Iodine and thyroid hormones go hand in hand. While there are a number of key nutrients that are needed for our body to produce thyroid hormones, one of the most important and possibly well known is Iodine.
If we take a closer look, iodine is absolutely fundamental for normal thyroid function, however, we will find that iodine is critical in many areas and a deficiency can lead to many signs symptoms that relate to not only thyroid health but the functioning health of many body parts and body systems. Let me be blunt here - Each and every one of our cells require iodine to function optimally!
What is Iodine? Iodine is an essential trace element and is uniquely required for and in the production of hormones. Hormones that contain Iodine are involved in some significant processes in the body and they include - embryogenesis, differentiation, cognitive development, growth, metabolism, and maintenance of body temperature. The thyroid gland is recognised as a major storage site for Iodine as it is highly concentrated in this one gland, the sight of a goiter or a visibly enlarged thyroid is a very common response by the body when there is a simple deficiency of Iodine.
It is the most deficient trace element in the world with a massive chunk of mankind functioning below optimal level due to its deficiency and how about this for a bombshell - Low intake of Iodine is the world’s leading cause of intellectual deficiency. We will come back to that later.
Iodine is a naturally occurring element that is found in the soil, sea salt, sea vegetables and fish. Much of the soil our foods are grown in are lacking adequate iodine, this is even more prevalent for inland areas.
1) Iodine has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-cancer properties
2) Iodine tends to concentrate in the body’s endocrine/glandular systems
3) Overall amount stored throughout the body should be 1,500 – 2,000 mg
4) There is an estimated 96% deficiency in general global population
5) A frank deficiency of Iodine can cause goiter, thyroid issues, mental retardation, breast and prostate cancer, behavioural disorders like ADHD, hypertension, fatigue, infertility, SIDS, SADS, ovarian and breast cysts, multiple sclerosis, excess mucus production
6) Historically Iodine was added as a dough conditioner to bread through the 60's - 70's more recently it was replaced by bromine, bromine is a halide that is an antagonist to iodine.
7) All halogens (halides) compete in life systems and interfere with absorption (fluorine, chlorine, bromine)
8) Breasts need up to 5 mg/day of iodine. The thyroid 6 mg/day; the thyroid should store 50 mg in an adult in iodine saturation.
The first question that comes to mind is HOW? How did we get to the point where so many of us just don't get enough Iodine?
What has happened to make such a high percentage of the population iodine-deficient?
One issue is that Iodine is one of 5 elements in what’s known as the halogen family of elements. The other four are fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and astatine.
Halogens are all similar in structure with one important characteristic, that is they can attach to the iodine receptors in your thyroid and take the place of iodine.
Unfortunately, these other halogens are essentially poisonous to your thyroid. And we have plenty of sources in our environment of halides. For instance, there’s fluoride in your toothpaste and in many places its added to the water supply.
And bromine is everywhere! It’s an additive that is used in many products that we use every day, including:
Overexposure to bromine can cause a condition called bromism—symptoms of this could be: irritability, restlessness, confusion, depression, headache, fatigue, brain fog, and muscle weakness.
When your thyroid is loaded with bromine, instead of iodine, it cannot function properly and your metabolism and endocrine function may become imbalanced.
This could explain why you feel sick, tired, foggy, and bloated, the possibility of bromine dominance is very real these days.
Keeping the body replete with iodine will make it more difficult for the other halides to take over.
With proper levels of iodine, there will be no room for dangerous bromine, fluoride, or chlorine molecules to exist in your system.
Of course, while your thyroid requires iodine, this element is also essential for:Healthy, Soft Breast Tissue
Iodine is collected by breast tissue, and in fact, may be an antioxidant that helps protect it. And when the breast gets an adequate supply of iodine, it has been found to help reduce fibrocystic breast disease.Metabolism and Nutrient Absorption
Is weight gain actually a simple nutrient deficiency? A Spanish study found that thyroid hormone levels could predict whether patients would gain weight. Supporting the thyroid with iodine may help your body get more nutrients from your food and raise your metabolism.Healthy Immune Functioning
Iodine helps protect against free radicals. It helps mobilize white blood cells, which protect the body from infectious diseases and foreign invaders.
And because of its antiseptic properties, an iodine-rich environment makes it impossible for viruses, bacteria, and pathogens to survive.
When you have enough iodine, it works as an “adaptogen,” which means that it helps the body adapt to stressors and toxins that disrupt normal functioning.