Thyroid Nutrition - Orthoiodosupplementation
Health Problems of Iodine Deficiency

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Sadly Iodine has been systematically removed from our food sources such as Milk, now from about 50% of the salt sold in the US and India and even from bread where it has been replaced with Bromine another toxic substance like Fluoride. One has to wonder why....

The thyroid is the pink fleshy item in the middle with lobes The thyroid gland is one of the glands of the endocrine system which lies outside of a body cavity; it is a small gland weighing about 1 ounce (28 grams) and is located in the neck, just below the larynx; it controls reflexes and regulates the rate at which the body produces energy and transforms food into body components. All body functions depend upon the normal supply of energy, normal thyroid secretion is, therefore, vital to the body. One of the main thyroid secretions is iodine, an important body building agent. In older people, iodine deficiency causes hair loss, slowed speech, and drying and thickening of the skin. A healthy adult's iodine requirement is about 0.00003 grams (30 micrograms) per day in accordance with a balanced diet, but most of us don't have a balanced diet, although it is vital to the delicate balance between health and sickness.

Your Thyroid affects
the following processes:


Allergies
Cholesterol level
Digestion
Heart rate
Hormones
Hyperactivity
Mental Acuity
Menstruation
Metabolic rate
Mood
Muscle strength
Nervousness
Skin
Sleep
Stamina
Swelling
Vision
Weakness
Weight control
A United Nations survey on nutrition in 80 impoverished nations week of March 29, 2004 showed that iodine deficiency has lowered the intellectual capacity of almost all of the nations by as much as 10 to 15 percentage points. It causes 18 million children a year to be born mentally impaired. It also reported that iron deficiency in adults is so widespread that it lowers the productivity of work forces, cutting the gross domestic product in the worst-affected countries by 2 percent. Chris Hawley, AP, Seattle Times

Sadly Iodine has been systematically removed from our food sources such as Milk, now from about 50% of the salt sold in the US and India and even from bread where it has been replaced with Bromine another toxic substance like Fluoride. One has to wonder why.

While there are a lot of reasons why one should get tested for Iodine insufficiency before supplementing the major one is allergy. If one can eat iodized salt than allergy is generally not an issue. Based on the Japanese intake a daily dose of 12 mg (2 drops of Loguls iodine) is the least that is needed. Szent-Gyorgyi the original researcher of iodine and the inventor of Vitamin C felt that 60 mg daily intake to be safe.

Note: For better absorption iodine works best in conjunction with Vitamin C. Take separately with at least an one hour interval.

Summary of findings

    Based on a review of the literature, and recent clinical research studies 2-13, the concept of orthoiodosupplementation can be summarized as follows:

  1. The nutrient iodine is essential for every cell of the human body requiring peripheral concentrations of inorganic iodide ranging from 10-6M to 10-5M.

  2. In non-obese subjects without a defecting cellular transport system for iodine, these concentrations can be achieved with daily intake of 12.5 mg to 50 mg elemental iodine. The adult body retains approximately 1.5 gm iodine at sufficiency. At such time, the ingested iodine is quantitatively excreted in the urine as iodide.

  3. The thyroid gland is the most efficient organ of the human body, capable of concentrating iodide by 2 orders of magnitude to reach 10-6M iodide required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones when peripheral levels of inorganic iodide are in the 10-8M range.

  4. Goiter and cretinism are evidence of extremely severe iodine deficiency, because the smallest intake of iodine that would prevent these conditions, that is 0.05 mg per day, is 1000 times less than the optimal intake of 50 mg elemental iodine.

  5. The thyroid gland has a protective mechanism, limiting the uptake of peripheral iodide to a maximum of 0.6 mg per day when 50 mg or more elemental iodine are ingested. This amount therefore would serve as a preventive measure against radioactive fallout.

  6. An intake of 50 mg elemental iodine per day would achieve peripheral concentration of iodide at 10-5M, which is the concentration of iodide markedly enhancing the singlet triplet radiationless transition. Singlet oxygen causes oxidative damage to DNA and macromolecules, predisposing to the carcinogenic effects of these reactive oxygen species.5 This effect would decrease DNA damage, with an anticarcinogenic effect.

  7. Preliminary data so far suggest that orthoiodosupplementation results in detoxification of the body from the toxic metals aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury.

  8. Orthoiodosupplementation increases urinary excretion of fluoride and bromide, decreasing the iodine-inhibiting effects of these halides.

  9. Most patients on a daily intake ranging from 12.5 mg to 50 mg elemental iodine reported higher energy levels and greater mental clarity with 50 mg (4 tablets Iodoral), daily. The amount of iodine used in patients with Fibrocystic Disease of the Breast by Ghent et al20 is 0.1 mg/Kg BW per day, 10 times below the optimal daily intake of 50 mg. In our experience, patients with this clinical condition responded faster and more completely when ingesting 50 mg iodine/iodide per day.

  10. For best results, orthoiodosupplementation should be part of a complete nutritional program, emphasizing magnesium instead of calcium.

  11. A beneficial effect of orthoiodosupplementation was observed in the clinical conditions listed in Table I.5,7,12,13

  12. The iodine/iodide loading test and serum inorganic iodide levels are reliable means of assessing whole body sufficiency for elemental iodine for quantifying the bioavailability of the forms of iodine ingested and for assessing cellular uptake and utilization of iodine by target cells.

  13. Orthoiodosupplementation may be the safest, simplest, most effective and least expensive way to solve the healthcare crisis crippling our nation.

Iodine Insufficiency FAQ

Does everyone need iodine supplementation?

Iodine supplementations should be prescribed only if indicated by the results of iodine testing. Iodine testing kits may be ordered from my office (1-877-900-5556) by individuals with a physician's order or by health care professionals. If ordered by an individual, test results will be returned to the ordering physician; if ordered by a health care provider, test results will be returned to the health care provider. A cost of $80 per kit covers the cost of the testing kit, testing services, and return postage (charges for additional postage will apply if mailed to location outside the U.S.). A urine iodine spot test was developed by the World Health Organization and looks for iodine sufficiency to prevent goiter. This test is now offered through our office for an additional ($30) thirty dollars making the total $110.

Why is iodine deficiency common in the United States?

We first need to note that the body produces no iodine, and there is no organ other than the thyroid that can store large quantities of iodine. In some areas of the US, including mountain regions, the Mississippi River Valley, the Ohio River Valley, and the Great Lakes regions, the soil has always had a very low iodine content.

But even in other areas of once iodine-rich soil, over farming has frequently depleted this iodine content. Hence, we no longer get adequate iodine via the plants we consume. To compensate for this, iodine was added to salt, bread, and milk.

Today iodine is no longer added to bread or to milk, and the amount of iodine added to salt has steadily declined over the years. All of these factors contribute to the current prevalence of iodine deficiency in the United States.

How does iodine deficiency manifest itself?

Research work has shown that iodine deficiency in the thyroid presents as a thyroid goiter (enlargement of the thyroid). In those areas of the world where iodine deficiency is very high, such as in Switzerland and in certain areas of Asia and Africa, there are also higher incidents of thyroid cancer.

Iodine is also concentrated by breast tissue, and a lack of iodine in the breasts manifests as fibrocystic breast disease (painful breasts with nodules and cysts and often more symptomatic prior to menstrual periods). 93% of American women have fibrocystic breast disease and the longer this disease exists, the higher the potential risk for development of breast cancer.

20% of all iodine in the human body is stored in the skin, specifically in the sweat glands. Lack of iodine in the sweat glands manifests as dry skin with a decreased ability to sweat.

Iodine can also be concentrated in the stomach tissue, and the lack of iodine in the stomach manifests as achlorhydria (lack of digestive acid production). Iodine is used by the stomach cells, also known as parietal cells, to concentrate chloride which is necessary to produce hydrochloric acid (digestive acid). With the prolonged presence of achlorhydria, there is a much higher incidence of stomach cancer.

Iodine is concentrated in the lacrymal glands of the eye, and a lack of iodine can cause dry eyes.

Iodine can also be concentrated in the parotid and submandibular glands of the mouth, and iodine deficiency here can result in dry mouth.

Iodine can be concentrated in the ovaries, and Russian studies done some years ago showed a relationship between iodine deficiency and the presence of cysts in the ovaries. The greater the iodine deficiency, the more ovarian cysts a woman produces. In its extreme form, this condition is known as polycystic ovarian disease.

Is there enough Iodine in our salt?

When people go shopping for salt they will notice there is iodized salt verses regular salt. This is also true for sea salt that is plain sea salt verses sea salt with iodine. There is more iodine in iodized table salt than there is in plain sea salt, which contains very little iodine to start with.

Quite frequently we see articles in the local press showing that there is a high amount of iodine in salt and we need to reduce the total amount of salt because of the potential damage from iodine. However, during the last National Nutritional Survey called the NHANES III from 1988 - 1994, the study revealed that 15% of the U.S. adult female population suffered from iodine insufficiency where this was defined as a urine iodine level 60 mg per liter.

Another misconception that is out on the market is that high consumption of iodized salt helps prevent iodine deficiency. The fact is that iodized salt contains 74 milligrams of iodine per gram of salt. The purpose of iodization of salt was to prevent goiter and cretinism and was never meant for optimal iodine requirements by the human body. An example of this would be the ingestion of iodine in order to control fibrocystic breast disease that is a level of five milligrams of iodine per day.

In this particular case one would need to consume 68 grams of salt. In Japan, the Japanese population has an intake of around 13.8 milligrams of iodine per day. Among the population of the Earth, the Japanese have the lowest prevalence and incidence of female reproductive organ cancer in their tissues.

Can I use seaweed purchased from the grocery store to supplement my body with iodine?

Seaweed sold in the United States has a tremendous variation in the amount of iodine content. In Japan, the average Japanese eats around 13.8 mg of iodine per day with the vast majority of that iodine coming from seaweed that has been specifically grown and cultured to maximize iodine trapping in the seaweed. To my knowledge, this particular type of seaweed is not being sold in the United States at the present time.

What about iodine and aging?

As most of us know, hypertension (high blood pressure) often becomes an issue as we age. Because of this, many are being told that they need to decrease the total amount of salt in their diet. However, we must realize that most people over age 60 are becoming depleted of iodine due to the lack of iodine in the diet and that this particular group of individuals is also the group with the highest occurrence of thyroid nodules and goiters. Also of interest is that 25% of the people in this age category will become senile as a result of low thyroid (hypothyroidism). Iodine supplementation may alleviate these iodine-related maladies, but iodine testing and thyroid studies such as a thyroid ultrasound and thyroid lab tests should be conducted prior to beginning iodine supplementation therapy.

Can Iodine be used while a woman is pregnant?

In Japan, the average Japanese woman is eating 13.8 mg of iodine per day while the average American woman consumes 100 times less iodine per day (approximately 0.138 mg per day). For iodine supplementation, I have been prescribing Iodoral, a product made by the Optimox Corporation. Iodoral contains a 12.5 mg combination of iodine/iodide per tablet. Iodine is very crucial in the first three years of life from the development of the fetus inside the womb until two years after birth. In the development of a child's IQ, I feel that it would be very advantageous for the mother to supplement her diet during pregnancy and, if she is nursing the child, for the first two years after pregnancy.

What happens to thyroid hormone production in the presence of iodine supplementation?

Iodine supplementations should be prescribed only when iodine testing indicates iodine deficiency. Iodine testing kits can be ordered from my office (828 684 3233) by individuals or by medical practitioners. Traditional medical literature indicates that patients who have thyroid nodules or thyroid goiter may have the potential to develop hyperthyroidism when supplementing with iodine.

Hence, before commencing iodine supplementation, it would be advantageous for a person to have their primary care doctor order a thyroid ultrasound to rule out the possibility of pre-existing goiter or thyroid nodules. The primary care doctor should also order thyroid lab work (to be used as a baseline) before prescribing iodine therapy and this lab work should be repeated and followed at regular intervals during the patient's iodine therapy.

For iodine therapy patients not also on thyroid hormone replacement therapy, adjustments to the iodine therapy should be made if signs of hyperthyroidism should occur. Should signs of hyperthyroidism occur in patients who are taking thyroid hormone replacement therapy as well as taking iodine supplementation, the physician should first recommend an adjustment in the thyroid hormone therapy rather than in the iodine supplementation. This adjustment in therapy is recommended because iodine is required not only by the thyroid but is required for the proper functioning of many other tissues.

The presence of pre-existing thyroid nodules or goiter does not preclude the patient from iodine supplementation therapy. In fact, in the extensive research with iodine therapy done in my office, I have seen many case of pre-existing thyroid nodules and goiter shrink in the presence of iodine therapy.

The outright questionable, benefits to teeth are a primary effect from fluoride's germicidal effects - anything that fluoride can do can be done far more safely by iodine this has already been done in some areas of the world (unlike fluoride, iodine is an essential trace nutrient. Uptake of which impaired by fluoride). This of course is continually over looked for the reasons so effectively outlined Bryson's excellent work... (continues at More Fluoride Madness)

Iodine Research References:

Effect of daily ingestion of a tablet containing 5mg Iodine and 7.5mg Iodide as the potassium salt, for a period of 3 months, on the results of thyroid function tests and thyroid volume by ultrasonometry in ten euthyroid Caucasian Women. Guy. E. Abraham M.D., Jorge D. Flechas M.D., and John C. Hakala R.Ph., The Original Internist 9: 6-20, 2002

Iodine sufficiency of the whole human body: Guy. E. Abraham M.D., Jorge D. Flechas M.D. and John C. Hakala R.Ph., The Original Internist 9: 30-41, 2002.

Effect of daily ingestion of Iodoral: Guy. E. Abraham M.D., Jorge D. Flechas M.D. and John C. Hakala R.Ph.

The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect: Crying Wolf? Guy E. Abraham, M.D.

The safe and effective implementation of orthoiodosupplementation in medical practice. Guy E. Abraham, M.D., The Original Internist, Vol. 11, No. 1, March 2004. Pages 17-36.

Origin of the word, CRETIN: Guy E. Abraham, M.D., Jorge D. Flechas, M.D.

The Safe and Effective Implementation of Orthoiodosupplementation in Medical Practice: Guy E. Abraham, M.D.

The Concept of Orthoiodosupplementation and its Clinical Implications: Guy E. Abraham, M.D.

Serum Inorganic Iodide Levels Following Ingestion of a Tablet Form of Lugol Solution: "Evidence for an Enterohepatic Circulation of Iodine." Guy E. Abraham, M.D.

A Rebuttal of Dr. Gaby's Editorial on Iodine Guy E. Abraham, M.D., David Brownstein, M.D.

Evidence that the administration of Vitamin C improves a defective cellular transport mechanism for iodine: A Case Report Guy E. Abraham, M.D., David Brownstein, M.D.

Validation of the Orthoiodosupplementation Program: A Rebuttal of Dr. Gaby's Editorial on Iodine. Guy E. Abraham, M.D., David Brownstein, M.D.

The saliva/serum iodide ratio as an index of sodium/iodide symporter efficiency. Guy E. Abraham, M.D., D. Brownstein, M.D., and J.D. Flechas, M.D.

Do not overdose with isolated nutrients: The Importance of Balanced Nutrition...

Several minerals and trace elements are essential for normal thyroid hormone metabolism, e.g., iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc. Coexisting deficiencies of these elements can impair thyroid function. Iron deficiency impairs thyroid hormone synthesis by reducing activity of heme-dependent thyroid peroxidase.

Iron-deficiency anemia blunts and iron supplementation improves the efficacy of iodine supplementation. Combined selenium and iodine deficiency leads to myxedematous cretinism. The normal thyroid gland retains high selenium concentrations even under conditions of inadequate selenium supply and expresses many of the known selenocysteine-containing proteins. Among these selenoproteins are the glutathione peroxidase, deiodinase, and thioredoxine reductase families of enzymes.

Adequate selenium nutrition supports efficient thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism and protects the thyroid gland from damage by excessive iodide exposure. In regions of combined severe iodine and selenium deficiency, normalization of iodine supply is mandatory before initiation of selenium supplementation in order to prevent hypothyroidism.

Selenium deficiency and disturbed thyroid hormone economy may develop under conditions of special dietary regimens such as long-term total parenteral nutrition, phenylketonuria diet, cystic fibrosis, or may be the result of imbalanced nutrition in children, elderly people, or sick patients.

National Institutes of Health

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