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.
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