I have great appreciation for the good information you bring to the public as well as for your stances in favor of labeling GMO foods in California and against vaccinations. However, recently you made a statement that the highest amount of daily iodine intake should be no more than 400 micrograms, and that surprised me. For the sake of higher public good, I would like to suggest a variety of scientific and holistic reasons for why a significantly higher amount of iodine should be used. What you recommend is only slightly higher than the FDA recommendation, which is 150 to 290 micrograms daily, dependent upon age,
gender and life cycle. This is dramatically less than some of the leading iodine medical experts suggest, which is closer to, at least, 12 to 18 milligrams daily, which is approximately 45 times higher. Drs. Abraham and Brownstein, also
experts, suggest 12-50 milligrams daily and up to 100 milligrams per day for diabetics. Why is there this discrepancy, and how is it that you, Dr. Mercola, in my opinion, have missed the mark exponentially on this issue, when you are
often so correct in your understandings?
There is some marginally relevant data supporting your concerns about excess iodine; namely, that there may be a transient (26-40 hours) hypothyroidism as described by Dr. Brownstein in his book Iodine: Why You Need It. Why You Can't
Live Without It. However, a one to two-day transient decrease in thyroid function is physiologically irrelevant and not a sign of hypothyroidism in the bigger holistic picture. There is also an increase in TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) with increased iodine, which may last up to six months. This, again, is not a sign of hypothyroidism. This is related to the fact that the whole body is deficient in iodine and TSH stimulates the production of sodium-iodide-symporter (NIS). Without adequate NIS, iodine could not enter the cells and be utilized. NIS is a carrier system into all the cells, and when this system becomes deficient then the whole body becomes deficient. The key is that people who increase their iodine intake do not have signs of hypothyroidism (such as fatigue, hair loss, headaches, weight gain, weakness, and dry skin) and they maintain normal T3 and T4 levels.
In 1911, 900 milligrams daily (900,000 micrograms/day!) were considered usual and safe doses.nNo one has ever died from iodine overdose or allergic reactions. It is safe to suggest that at least the guidelines given by Drs. Abraham and Brownstein for the use of 12-50 milligrams of iodine daily, for overall sufficiency and wellbeing, and up to 100 milligrams/day for diabetics is reasonable in doing much more for our health than to prevent cretinism, mental retardation, and goiter. Moreover, iodine is a universal health mineral having 22 major health and well-being benefits (see below) for humans, many of which are largely unknown to this day. My prudent suggestion is that as we follow these ideas, it is important to move forward carefully as we treat this pandemic level of 72% iodine deficiency in the world and a shocking 96% deficiency in Americans, affecting the minds of billions of people. I strongly recommend that people reevaluate the amounts of iodine people consume. I recommend that children under 6 years of age take half the adult dose, children 0-2 years take ¼ the adult dose, pregnant women take 47% more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio), and lactating women take 93% more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio), as iodine is very important for brain development, from a holistic perspective. In the larger humanitarian context the risk to benefit ratio of these recommended doses is extremely safe for healing
the planetary population and ourselves. By looking at the overall holistic iodine story, we can create a fuller, more
accurate understanding of this discussion. Iodine is found in every single one of our body's hundred trillion cells. Without adequate iodine levels life is impossible. Iodine is the universal health nutrient that brings health on many
Iodine is found in every single one of our body's hundred trillion cells. Without adequate iodine levels life is impossible. Iodine is the universal health nutrient that brings health on many levels.
It is interesting to note, when addressing the question of safe dosage, that higher iodine levels have been used in studies since the early 1900's. For example, in 1917 through 1922, Dr. David Marine proved that iodine reversed goiter in a study in which 2,000 schoolgirls were given an equivalent of 18.6 milligrams daily (18,600 micrograms/day) for 2 ½ years with a dramatic success rate.
In 2003 Dr. Zhang showed that potassium iodide reversed lung cancer tumors in mice.
In 1993, Dr. Ghent administered to 1,368 patients 5 milligrams (5,000 micrograms) daily with no evidence of the Wolf-Chaikoff theoretical problem of hypothyroidism. This is almost 12 times more than your recommendation. This was
done by Dr. Ghent, who, at this dosage, reversed fibro-cystic breast disease with great rates of healing. Iodine deficiency is not only associated with fibrocystic breast disease, but also higher rates of breast cancer.
In a most significant study called the Iodine Project, done from 1997 through 2005, Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. David Brownstein, and Dr. Jorge Flechas followed 4,000 patients and administered 12.5 to 100 milligrams daily, with 100 milligrams administered to diabetics primarily, because low thyroid function is also associated with Type 2 diabetes. They had positive results with only three adverse reactions out of 4,000 people (possibly allergic reactions to the binding agents, excipients, fillers, preservatives and/or synthetics commonly found in tablets, capsules and even liquids as opposed to the bioavailable form of iodine itself). This research group theorized that because in Japan the average intake was 13.8 milligrams, and Japan had significantly less breast and prostate cancer and better health and longevity than in the US, that higher
doses of iodine could be safely used. In this 7-year study, they observed reversed fibrocystic breast disease, decreased insulin requirements in diabetics, significantly less need for medication for hypothyroidism, resolution for fibromyalgia, and also resolution of migraine headaches. In the study by Dr. Abraham, et al, the iodine ranges were somewhere between 12.5 and 100 milligrams daily (up to 100,000 micrograms/day) and were considered safe dosages. This is exponentially greater than your recommendation.
From a worldwide perspective, the current level of iodine deficiency is pandemic. According to the more recent Dr. Abraham, et al, study cited, 96% of the US population is iodine deficient. Iodine deficiency is among the top two causes of mental retardation. Associated with this increased iodine deficiency is a 690% increase in cretinism, mental retardation, and ADHD in the last several decades.
From a larger physiological perspective, it is important to realize that the thyroid is only one gland of many glands and tissues that needs iodine.High iodine uptake are the breasts, ovaries, cervix, blood, lymph, bones, gastric mucosal, salivary, adrenal, prostate, colon, thymus, lungs, bladder, kidney, and skin. The thyroid holds 50 milligrams of iodine, the breasts hold 200 milligrams, the skin holds 400 milligrams of iodine, and the whole body holds 2,000 milligrams, and possibly much more. Iodine is found and used in every hormonal receptor in the body.
There are more than twenty-two functions of iodine. These important functions
See the PDF File for the list of 22 vital functions
In summary, in 1911, 900 milligrams (900,000 micrograms/day!) were considered usual and safe dosage. It is safe to suggest that at least the guidelines given by Drs. Abraham and Brownstein for the use of 12-50 milligrams of iodine daily, for overall iodine sufficiency and wellbeing, and up to 100 milligrams/day for diabetics is reasonable
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