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Thread: Iodine Toxicity page

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    maba's Avatar
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    I got kelp granules/powder from the store the other day and have been using it as a seasoning for eggs, stir-fries etc. The shaker says a 1/4 tsp of kelp powder has about 2000% RDA of iodine. How do I know what is the right amount for me and what are the symptoms of excess iodine?


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    Excess iodine will throw you into hypothyroid symptoms... weird I know. I think adults need about 150ug a day, sooo maybe drop off the kelp usage for a while. I use furikake (nori flakes), because I like the flavor and it has much less iodine in it than kelp so I wont OD!

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    I take a tab of Iodoral (5mg elemental I2 and 7.5mg I- in KI for 12.5mg total) every day, which is a solidified version of one drop of Lugol's solution, which was used from 1830 until around WWII to treat both hypothyroidism and to blunt the effects of hyperthyroidism to allow patients to survive thyroidectomies. Around WWII, we started trying to use radiation for everything it could possibly be used for, and some drug companies came up with organic-iodine (elemental or ionic are the only types you want to ingest) thyroid-killing drugs, so iodine supplementation was smeared in a manner reminiscent of Ancel Keys's escapades, because drug companies have to make their money. The Wolff-Chaikoff effect is characterized by a temporary depression of thyroid function due to an acute dose of iodine (which is what allowed hyperthyroid patients to get their heart rate down enough to survive thyroidectomy), but the thyroid adjusts and returns to normal after a few days -- the effect was not even shown in the original research, and it's largely the basis for the current RDA, as the researchers believed anything over 200mcg would be disastrous (although everyone in the US gets that or more). The drugs ended up being so toxic they were pulled off the market, so nowadays the standard method is a toxic dose of radioactive iodine when someone has hyperthyroid, and we give people inadequate T4-only replacement and don't even try iodine when they're hypothyroid.


    The symptoms of iodism (iodine overdose) are pretty stark:
    [quote]

    an acute or chronic intoxication caused by the ingestion or absorption of iodides. Manifestations of acute poisoning include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, hypersalivation, conjunctivitis, and collapse. Chronic manifestations include hypersalivation, fever, acute rhinitis, swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands, and dermatitis and stomatitis in hypersensitive individuals. Iodism is a toxic condition that sometimes follows the use of preparations containing iodine.</blockquote>


    The RDA is 150mcg and the tolerable upper limit is 1mg in the United States (most people get around 230mcg). This is just enough to prevent huge goiters and cretinism, but not necessarily optimal. I&#39;ve consumed up to 62.5mg for a few weeks with no issues, and the standard dose for preventing radiation poisoning is 140mg (this was given to millions of people in Europe following Chernobyl with no ill effects), which saturates the thyroid with iodine so it will not uptake the radioactive iodine (which will quickly cause thyroid cancer).


    Japanese people consume, on average 13.8mg/day because of the amount of sea vegetables they eat. Measurements of their thyroids have shown no change in thyroid volume as a result. So in other words, they show no ill effects from consuming 100x the US RDA of iodine. The higher doses are also significantly protective against breast cancer and other female reproductive cancers.


    In other words, I take my 12.5mg/day and sleep well at night doing it. If you want to know a whole lot more, check out Dr. Guy Abraham&#39;s site:

    http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/opt_Research_I.shtml


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    Nick, I read that The Japanese have one of the highest rates of Iodine-induced hypothyroidism on the planet.


    I have been very interested on the topic b/c a lot of people I know have hypothyroidism (general or hashimotos) so Im trying to keep my little thyroid healthy! I also take an adrenal supplement because frankly, most people suffer adrenal fatigue that can lead to thyroid problems.


    Im trying to get enough, but not too much. It seems to me that too much is just as bad as not enough.

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    So, Nick, I gather my quarter tsp of klep flakes are not going to induce hyperthyroidism in me. I use it in addition to iodized salt. So, 3mg that I get from kelp should be safe.


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    My recollection is that the findings of iodine induced hypothyroidism in the Japanese are all based on a small study of one population in Hokkaido, which has some unique genetic or dietary factors. I&#39;ll see if I can find a paper about it.


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    Nick- Sweet, thanks! Maybe I wont have to worry about my nori and wakame consumption after all. I am ADDICTED to it!

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    Alright, so, the children in Hokkaido, when studied in 1962-1965 by Suzuki, had what they called "endemic coastal goiter". The children were consuming 10-25mg of seaweed a day (more than Japanese adults), resulting in 3-9% of the children having a visible goiter. They were treatable with thyroid hormone or iodine restriction, but that treatment was for reducing the goiter. There was no observed hypo or hyperthyroidism accompanying the goiter in Hokkaido. ( http://books.google.com/books?id=XLS...goiter&f=false )


    Further, Konno reported in 1994 that the goiter had disappeared, presumably without a much reduction in iodine intake. He still reported that excess iodine intake increased hypothyroidism, but all in reference to urinary iodide, not intake, with his proposed normal level set to 75mmol/L.


    There&#39;s also this paper: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/105072503322238827


    I don&#39;t know; it seems like a balancing act. There may be other complicating factors in the folks who had hypothyroidism (certainly some people think Hashimoto&#39;s is caused by gluten, and the iodine may be synergistic), and I haven&#39;t been able to find out what kind of prevalence hypothyroidism has in Japan (i.e. even if the hypothyroid patients in Japan are cured by less iodine, it doesn&#39;t necessarily mean your chances of becoming hypothyroid go up with a large iodine consumption). Then there&#39;s this paper:

    http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/92/8/3122

    Even a very slight supplementation of the water supply with iodine in Denmark, in line with our RDA, led to a 27% increase in hypothyroidism.


    So given that not having iodine will severely screw you up, it may be an acceptable tradeoff, since even tiny levels increase your risk. And of course I also found this to further muddy the issue: http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/articl...99A0183589.php


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