Iodine 3: So, What’s the Bottom Line. Is it good or bad for me?

March 04, 2009

Iodine 3:  So, What’s the Bottom Line.  Is it good or bad for me? 

 Competency # 16 Minerals             Reference: Altern Med Rev 2008; 12 (2): 116-127 

 Cutting edges usually have two sides, both of them sharp.  Our standard teaching in American medicine today is that 1 mg of Iodine a day may be toxic for you and that all you need is some 200-300 micrograms.   That’s the textbook.   Certainly, people with thyroid diseases may become quite “hyperthyroid” and ill if they start taking iodine.  

An “alternative” explanation for that may be that their thyroid has been so deficient in iodine that it has ramped up all its cellular activities to squeeze the very utmost of capacity out of the tiny bit of iodine we get.  When an adequate supply shows up, that thyroid gland just takes off like crazy.   And then slows down over time. But is it really toxic?  

I have two stories to share.  The man who discovered Vitamin C and got the Nobel Prize for it, Albert Szent-Györygi, ended his career working as a research scientist at Woods Hole Marine Biology lab until he was 93.  He took a gram a day of iodine.   1,000 milligrams.  Not one.  Swore by it.  

One story does not final truth make!   But there is the report of a man who drank 600 mls of SSKI solution (old fashioned treatment for COPD) and got 15 grams of iodine all at once.  All his secretory glands became swollen.  His eyes puffed shut.  His cheeks got fat from his salivary glands.  And in a week he got better from his iodine toxicity. 

 This is my take.  Iodine is another forgotten nutrient.  The Japanese provide us with a unique best practice population example with a dramatic demonstration of reduced risk for our worst cancer, breast cancer and one of our most troublesome women’s conditions, fibrocystic breast disease. Finally, every holistic conference I go to talks about fatigued men and women in their 50s and 60s benefiting massively from a tiny bit of thyroid hormone…. 

What!  Don’t take thyroid hormone…take adequate iodine for your own thyroid to be able to do its own magic within the balance of your own body.  Trust your biology.  Just give it what it needs. How can you get iodine?  It’s by prescription only.  Lugol’s solution is a cleaning solution that’s been around for 150 years.  Two drops a day, 13 mg, costs about $ 10 a year.  Tastes awful and needs to be mixed in food.  

There is a supplement pill called Iodoral that has 12.4 mg in it that costs somewhere around $ .50 cent a pill.  Tastes fine.  SSKI solution has about 38 mg to a drop.  Not all pharmacies carry these products.  Compounding pharmacies do.  You can Google one in your neighborhood.  Aurora pharmacies also have it, as we have made the commitment to be early on the innovation curve.  But you should do it under the supervision of a doctor who feels comfortable with it and who checks your thyroid hormone here and there. 

WWW:  What will work for me?  I have consumed many grams of iodine in my youth.  Every time I travel overseas I get iodine tablets to purify water and have drunk many grams of iodine.  Makes the water taste funny.  But I never get sick.  Now I started taking 2 drops a day of Lugol’s mixed in food.  Tastes terrible if it’s not diluted enough.  Haven’t noticed a thing.   

This column written by Dr. John E Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI (262-784-5300)