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Iodine: a discussion, and perhaps a civilized debate

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  • Iodine: a discussion, and perhaps a civilized debate

    Many countries and regions within countries are deficient in iodine, which is an important mineral for a number of processes in the body, especially thyroid function, and many of us need to increase our intake for optimal health.

    I'm sure that most of us aren't particularly interested in reading all of the (now locked) Iodine thread, with its 4149 posts, many of which are filled with ad hominim and/or ad verecundiam (from authority) arguments. Plus many of us are still very interested in talking at each other about our own iodine related activities and beliefs.

    Hence, yet another iodine thread.

    Please remember that we're allowed to disagree with each other, but we're not allowed to be rude, be insulting, or indulge in purposeless inflammatory posts. It's in the forum rules.

    Personally, I'm currently taking about 350mcg of iodine per day as part of a multivitamin, and a few days a week I'm adding in around another 3mg. I'm getting plenty of selenium too, so hopefully I'm not doing myself any damage with these doses (which are, by most standards, fairly safe). New Zealand has fairly poor levels of both iodine and selenium, and I really don't like seafood.

    What are your thoughts?
    Argue not with idiots, lest they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  • #2
    I read the report by Dr. Brownstein a few years ago - it was still free online, so I think it was before he turned it into a book. it all seemed reasonable to me, so I dove in. I tend to be pretty open to experimenting, and I was soon up to 12 mg per day using Lugol's solution. The biggest thing I noticed was that my nearly lifelong case of athlete's foot disappeared - completely. I had no ill effects from the dosage and even went higher on a few occasions. I happen to love seafood, but don't eat much of it. I was also having a weird skin 'thing' on my eyelid, which went away as well - although that was about the time I started on the PB, so don't know what cured that.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Piscator View Post
      I read the report by Dr. Brownstein a few years ago - it was still free online, so I think it was before he turned it into a book. it all seemed reasonable to me, so I dove in. I tend to be pretty open to experimenting, and I was soon up to 12 mg per day using Lugol's solution. The biggest thing I noticed was that my nearly lifelong case of athlete's foot disappeared - completely. I had no ill effects from the dosage and even went higher on a few occasions. I happen to love seafood, but don't eat much of it. I was also having a weird skin 'thing' on my eyelid, which went away as well - although that was about the time I started on the PB, so don't know what cured that.
      Any idea why he recommends a magnesium supplement? I'm sure most people aren't getting as much as they should, but is there an actual reason related to the iodine supplementation and/or the thyroid?
      Argue not with idiots, lest they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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      • #4
        Dr. Brownstein is in the business of selling iodine and supplements. Is it any wonder he advocates such a high dosage of iodine and says the supplements are "required"?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
          Dr. Brownstein is in the business of selling iodine and supplements. Is it any wonder he advocates such a high dosage of iodine and says the supplements are "required"?
          No, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a reason he specifically advocates magnesium supplementation as part of his advice. I have a strong suspicion that there are plenty of other higher margin supplements he could have recommended instead.
          Argue not with idiots, lest they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sceptic View Post
            No, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a reason he specifically advocates magnesium supplementation as part of his advice. I have a strong suspicion that there are plenty of other higher margin supplements he could have recommended instead.
            I don't know what the margin is or isn't on magnesium but Dr. Brownstein not just recommends but says that several supplements he sells are "required". I think his credibility was pretty well shot by cori, one of the infamous band of trolls, pointing out that he is a "research physician" specifically for this supplement company. He is a paid supplement salesman. He is not a source for credible medical advice.

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            • #7
              I recently started eating sushi wrappers (lavers), two of them have 5 mcg of iodine in them (at least the type I got). And I purchased some seaweed products so I'm going to start supplementing with whole-ish food products intermittently.

              For researching purposes, I really trust Dr. Mercola, a lot of what he says has worked for me. And he has a post about Iodine. He warns against using supplements by Lugol's or Ioderol, because he says our thyroids only transport iodine in its ionized form (i.e. iodide).

              Here's his post about iodine if some of you are interested in reading it: Too Much Iodine May Cause Hypothyroidism

              And here's part 1 of an interview he has with Dr. David Brownstein (posted below). [strike]I haven't listened to it myself, but a few of you mentioned Dr. Brownstein above, so I thought people would be interested in the link. [/strike] Okay, Edited to say that I just listened to part one, and found it very, interesting

              On a side note, I started a strict whole 30 approach (with some small carb re-feeds) 10 days ago, and I weighed this morning and happy day, I'm down to 215.8, so I'm down 10 lbs from my re-start. (I had regained from my low, by cheating 20% over the past few stressful months. For me, because of my insulin resistance and gluten allergy, I can't do 80/20. I have to do 100/0.)

              Last edited by lissee; 07-31-2012, 10:19 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                I don't know what the margin is or isn't on magnesium but Dr. Brownstein not just recommends but says that several supplements he sells are "required". I think his credibility was pretty well shot by cori, one of the infamous band of trolls, pointing out that he is a "research physician" specifically for this supplement company. He is a paid supplement salesman. He is not a source for credible medical advice.
                He may be a paid supplement salesman, and may not be a source for credible medical advice, but that doesn't mean we should automatically discount everything he says. From a quick google, there's a lot of material online linking magnesium with thyroid health. I'm just wondering if anyone has a relevant study to link to about it, or perhaps just a link to a credible and readable secondary source.
                Argue not with idiots, lest they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sceptic View Post
                  He may be a paid supplement salesman, and may not be a source for credible medical advice, but that doesn't mean we should automatically discount everything he says. From a quick google, there's a lot of material online linking magnesium with thyroid health. I'm just wondering if anyone has a relevant study to link to about it, or perhaps just a link to a credible and readable secondary source.
                  Your question was "Why does Brownstein recommend magnesium?" not "Is magnesium important to thyroid health?"

                  Researching from other sources for independent confirmation is great. That is something that was severely lacking on the previous thread.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lissee View Post
                    I recently started eating sushi wrappers (lavers), two of them have 5 mcg of iodine in them (at least the type I got). And I purchased some seaweed products so I'm going to start supplementing with whole-ish food products intermittently.

                    For researching purposes, I really trust Dr. Mercola, a lot of what he says has worked for me. And he has a post about Iodine. He warns against using supplements by Lugol's or Ioderol, because he says our thyroids only transport iodine in its ionized form (i.e. iodide).

                    Here's his post about iodine if some of you are interested in reading it: Too Much Iodine May Cause Hypothyroidism
                    It's nice to see Dr. Mercola taking a moderate approach to this and advocating natural products such as sea veggies over huge supplemental dosing. An excerpt from that post:

                    "Too Much Iodine May Lead to Subclinical Hypothyroidism

                    Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone, a condition that is often linked to iodine deficiency. Ironically, new research has shown that taking too much iodine may also lead to a subclinical version of the condition, which is a milder form that is often missed by laboratory tests. Along with sometimes exhibiting many of the same symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and difficulty losing weight, people with subclinical hypothyroidism may have an increased risk of heart disease.

                    Some, however, may exhibit no symptoms at all.

                    The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that study participants taking relatively higher doses of supplemental iodine -- 400 micrograms a day and more – paradoxically began developing subclinical hypothyroidism. The finding highlights precisely why you need to be very careful with taking supplemental iodine, as taking too much can lead to health problems.

                    In fact, I don't generally advise taking iodine supplements like Lugol's or Ioderol, because your thyroid only transports iodine in its ionized form (i.e. iodide). Your thyroid reduces iodide (I-) into iodine (I2) for use in formation of thyroglobulin. Your body doesn't utilize iodine directly. It has to split the I2 into two I- ions, which is an oxidative reaction that causes oxidative stress."


                    He goes on to list good natural sources of iodine. Very interesting.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Piscator View Post
                      I tend to be pretty open to experimenting, and I was soon up to 12 mg per day using Lugol's solution. The biggest thing I noticed was that my nearly lifelong case of athlete's foot disappeared - completely.
                      Now that's interesting. I too have had athlete's foot for as long as I can remember, which lead to fungal nail infection on all toes. None of the 'guaranteed to work' remedies on the net have worked, & neither did some extremely powerful drugs (Sporanox - just made me feel like shite for 6 months).

                      I've been taking around 12mg Lugol's per day too for the last few weeks, also for experimentation purposes, & for the last week or so my feet have been peeling like crazy. Did that happen with you? Were there any specific signs to the athlete's foot disappearing, or did it just clear up after n days/weeks?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                        Too Much Iodine May Lead to Subclinical Hypothyroidism
                        TROLL!!!

                        (sorry couldn't resist)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Radialhead View Post
                          Now that's interesting. I too have had athlete's foot for as long as I can remember, which lead to fungal nail infection on all toes. None of the 'guaranteed to work' remedies on the net have worked, & neither did some extremely powerful drugs (Sporanox - just made me feel like shite for 6 months).

                          I've been taking around 12mg Lugol's per day too for the last few weeks, also for experimentation purposes, & for the last week or so my feet have been peeling like crazy. Did that happen with you? Were there any specific signs to the athlete's foot disappearing, or did it just clear up after n days/weeks?
                          I also had athletes foot very badly on and off for years. The first thing I noticed after starting primal eating (after weight loss, improved asthma and BP dropping!) was no athletes foot. That was before any Iodine supplements (which was seaweed pills for ages, then small amounts of lugol's).

                          The biggest thing for me recently is total removal of psoriasis, but whether that is due to small amounts of iodine, brazil nuts, vitamin K2 mk4 + 7, fermented cod liver oil or vitamin d3, I can't say - but it is wonderful!

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                          • #14
                            Beware--the majority of hypothyroid patients in the U.S. have Hashimoto's--and iodine supplementation should be AVOIDED by anyone with Hashimoto's. And given the fact that typical lab testing is notoriously inaccurate for diagnosing Hashi's [many false negatives], anyone who is hypothyroid cannot be sure he/she doesn't have Hashi's unless another specific cause has been identified.

                            It is true that in other countries, especially developing countries, thyroid problems are often caused by thyroid deficiency. But that has not been the case in the U.S. since early in the 20th century. We get more than sufficient iodine from our food sources.

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                            • #15
                              From the Mercola link above, I thought this was interesting. In one paragraph, he states:


                              "The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that study participants taking relatively higher doses of supplemental iodine -- 400 micrograms a day and more – paradoxically began developing subclinical hypothyroidism."


                              Then a few paragraphs down:

                              "The Japanese consume 89 times more iodine than Americans due to their daily consumption of sea vegetables, and they have reduced rates of many chronic diseases, including the lowest rates of cancer in the world. The RDA for iodine in the U.S. is a meager 150 mcg/day, which pales in comparison with the average daily intake of 13800 mcg/day for the Japanese.

                              There is a large body of evidence suggesting that low cancer rates in Japan are a result of their substantially higher iodine levels, as iodine has documented antioxidant and anti-proliferative properties."



                              So.... huh? Which is it? Amounts over 400mcg will hurt you. Or, amounts @ 13800 mcg will help you.

                              I cornfused...

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