Did you get your iodine today?

There are lots of good reasons to think about iodine. According to health expert Cheryl Myers, R.N. many women may not be getting enough of it. Cheryl is an integrative health nurse, author, and expert on natural medicine. Her articles have been published in such diverse journals as Aesthetic Surgery Journal and Nutrition in Complementary Care, and her research on botanicals has been presented at the AmericanCollege of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the North American Menopause Society.  Cheryl is the head of Scientific Affairs and Education for EuroPharma, Inc. Cheryl shares her thoughts on the importance of iodine here:

Before the introduction of synthetic drugs, iodine was one of the universal medicines all physicians used. Iodine was effective for wound healing, various diseases, and even cancer prevention. This critical mineral is considered especially important for women, as they have more health challenges with breast tissue and the thyroid gland than do men. Once iodine was one of the most commonly-used medicines in the world, but was “forgotten” in favor of new pharmaceutical drugs.
In the 1920s, goiter or iodine deficiency was very common, so iodine was added to salt. While this helped reduce goiter, today many people are not using iodized salt in their diets.
Additionally, chlorine, fluoride, and bromide, which lower iodine levels in the body by blocking iodine receptors, are increasingly consumed in foods or ingested through environmental exposure. For example, chlorine is now used to purify water in place of iodine. Fluoride use is widespread in toothpaste and drinking water. Bromines replaced iodides in commercial baked goods in the 1980s. Not only are these elements toxic for the thyroid, they are dangerous for the rest of your body as well. Dr. David Brownstein, an expert on iodine supplementation, writes that he found that his patients with breast cancer had higher than normal levels of fluoride, but lower than normal levels of iodine in their bodies.  
People in the U.S. consume an average 240 mcg of iodine per day, which is slightly above the amount needed (150 mcg) to prevent goiter. However, that is not the optimal healthy amount.
The highest source of dietary iodine occurs in sea vegetables, or seaweed. People in coastal Japan consume an average of 12 mg of iodine (12,000 mcg) per day, which is 50 times more than the average American.  Life expectancy in Japan is the highest of all industrialized countries. Finally, the number of deaths from breast cancer is almost three times higher in the U.S. than in Japan. Yet, when Japanese women immigrate to the U.S. and adopt an American diet, their mortality and breast cancer rates increase to that of other Americans.
Today, one in sevenAmerican women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Thirty years ago, when iodine consumption was much higher than it is now, one in 20 women developed breast cancer. While there are several reasons for this dramatic increase, we should not overlook the role that lack of iodine has played.
Iodine’s anti-cancer function may well prove to be iodine’s most important benefit. Laboratory studies using estrogen sensitive breast cancer cells exposed to iodine have shown that iodine makes them less likely to respond to the negative influence of estrogen, such as abnormal growth and spread.
Fibrocystic breast disease a very common concern for women, and can be quite uncomfortable. Supplemental iodine has been found to improve symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. In fact, in one study, 98 percent of women receiving iodine treatment were pain-free by the study’s end, and 72 percent had improvements in breast tissue. (Ghent WR, et al. Iodine replacement in fibrocystic disease of the breast. Can J Surg 1993;36:453-460.)
The thyroid gland is entirely dependent upon iodine to function. One of the jobs of the thyroid gland is to determine how quickly we burn calories. Women with healthy thyroid function struggle less with weight issues, have good energy, mental clarity, and better-looking skin and thicker hair. The thyroid gland uses iodine, along with an amino acid present in many protein foods called L-tyrosine, to make thyroid hormones. Not enough iodine can result in lower production of thyroid hormones, which can lead to weight gain, fatigue, thinning hair, rough skin and lack of mental focus and forgetfulness.
What kinds of supplements work best? Different tissues in the body prefer iodine in different forms. Thyroid tissue prefers potassium iodide. Breast tissue takes up iodine when it is in the form of molecular iodine. Sodium iodide is the most soluble form of iodine, and can increase the absorption of both molecular iodine and potassium iodide. Therefore, for optimal total body support, iodine supplements should contain more than one type of iodine.
When focusing only on thyroid function, supplemental potassium iodide partnered with L-Tyrosine provides the raw materials the thyroid gland needs.
Most women supplementing with a quality iodine product notice a difference within the first few weeks of use. Since iodine intake is so low in the United States, and since there are toxic minerals we are exposed to daily that steal our iodine away, women should seriously consider increasing their iodine intake.
NB: DolceDolce recommends that you check with your doctor before implementing any medical advice. Be sure to ask if your medical advisor has a sound nutritional background. If not ask to be referred to someone who does.

My score was zero

You're in, you're out --this test was a snap!Recently, I got scanned. Actually what I got was a Coronary CT or Computer Tomography heart scan. My doctor recommended it, and it was a breeze. The test takes about seven minutes, and the only advance preparation is forgoing caffeine for four hours before the test. What it does is impressive. It evaluates your risk for heart disease.

“This is the only test that can tell you for sure if you have a buildup of plaque in your arteries,” says Dr. Szilard Voros, the Chief Scientific Officer and Medical Director of CV MRCT and Prevention and Wellness at
PiedmontHospital in Atlanta. “All the other tests only tell you maybe. This is exact.”
It detects a build up of plaque by looking for calcified plaque. This is an indicator of early artery calcification before symptoms arise. If there is any calcium, the computer program will calculate a total score based the number of deposits found. Then if necessary your doctor can order more tests and plan treatment.
My score was zero. As heart disease runs in my family, I was relieved. Many women are still unaware that that more women die of heart disease than breast cancer. Women are actually five times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer. There are many factors that go into preventing heat disease: diet, exercise, stress –and not smoking. But knowing your risk is important too. Dr. Voros also emphasized that the test has very low radiation exposure. It is equal to less than two mammograms and it costs the same as my hair appointment. (In the U.S. the initial test is not covered by my insurance. In many places you can call and book it yourself without a doctor’s orders. I did. I paid $125 at The Fuqua Cardiovascular Imaging Center at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. I highly recommend it. They return the score in 48 hours too – great for us nervous type A personalities. If your score is zero, there is no need to repeat the test annually.
Be sure to check the cost of your test as it varies. More importantly, ask about the type of equipment that will be used. Allison Drew, my technician told me the machine used on me was a Toshiba Aquilion One 320 Slice. This is a new device that can diagnoses accurately with the lowest radiation possible. It is as important to be sure you are being tested with a new low-radiation machine as it is to get the test itself.
Darlings, be smart, protect your heart. Discuss getting a CT Coronary scan with your doctor soon and know your heart health score. Don’t let ignorance send you to the ER with a “broken” heart. And remember, for any test involving imaging, always ask about the radiation and equipment. You deserve the best and safest. Life is too sweet to cut short.
Until next week, please sign-up if you haven’t already or email your info to domore@dolcedolce.com and I’ll do it for you! DolceDolceis free. And please forward us to all your friends. And please give us your comments by emailing us at the same address. We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!
Gracey Hitchcock
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Peachy –Beach Reads

Dune Road by Jane Green, the best selling New York Times author,is a saucy cocktail of gossip, empathy, and social commentary. It is the perfect mind candy for a summer weekend. Green captures the cadence of Connecticut’s Gold Coast and the personal and domestic chaos caused by current economic meltdown. She juxtaposes it against the pathos of the “modern woman’s angst surrounding the issues of wanting it all and trying it to be all. It makes of for a juicy, if at times predictable, read. I have also enjoyed Green’s other books: Swapping Lives, Second Chance and The Beach House. Her characters are believable and likable with all their laugh lines, foibles, and caprices.

Food & Wine Cocktails 09 is one of the handiest little bar guides I have read in years. It is a combination of city guide, bartender’s recipe book, and party planner with recipes. Usually this is a bad idea, as most subjects get short shrift, but this little tome pulls it off. I love the cocktails recipes. This is first place I have ever seen the correct recipe for the classic scotch cocktail called Blood & Sand— kudos to the editors. The cocktail recipes are correct and original.
I am a fiend about this as I love well-made cocktails. I was lucky enough spend my youth in some of the classiest cocktail bars on the East Coast before they were shuttered forever. I know a classy cocktail. The Blood & Sand was my husband’s, then fiancé’s, drink at the iconic Kon Tiki at the Mont Royal Hotel in Montréal.
If you want to entertain elegantly at home, this book can definitely give you some good recipes and tips from the pros.
In their guide to America’s best watering holes, they hit on a few of my favourites. I adore Trois in Atlanta, Napoleon’s in New Orleans is an iconic favourite, and Rosemary’s is one of the very few places in Vegas that I actually like – so there you go. I may have changed or added a few on their list but, chacun a son gout!
This is a handy little book to pick up if you are looking to up your game as a hostess or a savvy gal about town.
Lopsided: How Having Breast Cancer Can be Really Distracting by Meredith Norton is not a typical memoir about having breast cancer. I avoided reading it. I am burned-out on the topic. I have friends and family who have cancer, as do we all. It is a fact of life. There is little new left for me to read about it; especially as I have covered the subject professionally. But, from the first pages of Lopsided I was hooked. Norton is a new mother struggling with the French culture and language of her husband’s homeland. She returns to San Francisco for a vacation. There Norton discovers that she has an aggressive form of breast cancer and begins a two-year course of arduous and painful treatment. She relates the often painful and horrifying details with amazing humour and humanity. It is funny, how dismissive some people are of disease and pain until they are afflicted themselves. This may not be mind-candy, but I call it a must-read.