I have been involved in the iodine project for seven years. During this time, iodine has consistently provided the most satisfying clinical results as compared to any other nutrient. To date, my partners and I have tested nearly 5,000 patients for iodine levels. Our results show that more than 96 percent of patients tested have low iodine levels with the vast majority being severely iodine deficient. I believe iodine deficiency is occurring at an epidemic rate across the United States. The consequences of iodine deficiency are severe: mental retardation, lowered IQ, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), infertility, thyroid problems, and cancer of the breast, prostate, ovaries, thyroid and uterus.
Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation exists about iodine.
People are afraid to use iodine because of unsubstantiated rumors about this nutrient. This article, excerpted in part from my book, Iodine Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, is written to provide the reader with the correct information about iodine so that the reader can make an educated decision about whether to supplement with this important nutrient.
For more than 100 years, iodine has been known as the element that is necessary for thyroid hormone production. However, it is rare to see any further mention of iodine’s other effects. Iodine is found in each of the trillions of cells in the body. Without adequate iodine levels, life itself is not possible.
Iodine is not only necessary for the production of thyroid hormone, it is also responsible for the production of all of the other hormones of the body. Adequate iodine levels are necessary for proper immune system function. Iodine contains potent antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral, and anticancer properties. Iodine is also effective for treating fibrocystic breasts and ovarian cysts. Table 1 lists some of the many benefits of iodine and some of the conditions that would benefit from adequate iodine supplementation.
Every cell in the body contains and utilizes iodine, but iodine is concentrated in the glandular system of the body. The thyroid gland contains a higher concentration of iodine than any other organ. Large amounts of iodine are also stored in many other areas including the salivary glands, cerebrospinal fluid and the brain,3 gastric mucosa, choroid plexus, breasts, ovaries, and the ciliary body of the eye. In the brain, iodine concentrates in the substantia nigra, an area of the brain that has been associated with Parkinson’s disease. Iodine is essential for the normal growth and development of children. Severe iodine deficiency can result in severe mental deficiency and deafness (i.e., cretinism). In addition, spontaneous abortion, as well as delayed physical and intellectual development is associated with iodine deficiency. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is also related to iodine deficiency (see chapter 10 of my book).
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Iodine Deficiency - An Under-Recognized Epidemic