Traits of Individuals with Iodine Deficiency and Some Possible Causes


Traits of Individuals with Iodine Deficiency and Some Possible Causes

Iodine deficiency is a broadly rampant issue and one that can impact every aspect of endocrine, cognitive, mood, and immune functions.

It is easily the most underrecognized and widely impacting trace mineral deficiency problem today, an issue recently brought to light by two independent medical doctors.

Although iodine deficiency isn’t one of the first things that comes to mind for most people in cases of learning disabilities or mood and cognitive dysfunction,

This mineral is so widely deficient (and so widely misunderstood) in the American population that it likely impacts most known health problems today and cannot be ignored as a timely and critical issue.

The thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are made up of the amino acid L-tyrosine combined with either three or four molecules of iodine, respectively.

Thyroid problems are growing widely and can lead to all manner of brain dysregulation and learning, memory, and mood disorders.

Care must be taken, however, to rule out autoimmune thyroid issues (e.g., Hashimoto’s disease) before iodine supplementation.

Cases of Hashimoto’s disease need to be identified and addressed more cautiously.

Iodine is a major cofactor in the production of thyroid peroxidase; this is the very substance that a person with autoimmune thyroid problems is producing antibodies against (thyroid peroxidase antibodies),

And its production will subsequently serve to accelerate the destruction of the thyroid.

There is currently some controversy and mixed information over this, but unfortunately, the literature is quite clear concerning the problematic nature of iodine supplementation for individuals having Hashimoto’s disease.

The risk of significantly accelerating the onset of a thyroid immune attack and often also inducing thyroid hyperactivity symptoms is very real.

Even when iodine deficiency is suspected in autoimmune thyroid disorders, the problems and risks associated with iodine supplementation likely outweigh any potential benefits.

Unfortunately, in these populations, adding supplemental iodine is simply not a good idea.

Small amounts of naturally occurring iodine in seafood are likely okay.

Iodine requires cofactors such as B-complex and C-complex vitamins, magnesium, E-complex vitamins, selenium, broad-spectrum trace elements (using something like Celtic sea salt), and essential fatty acids to be properly absorbed into the tissues and properly used.

Tissue levels of these nutrient cofactors must be healthy before iodine supplementation in individuals with nonautoimmune (non-Hashimoto’s) thyroid disease.

Failure to ensure this may result in uncomfortable reactions.

Although iodine is commonly recognized as needed for healthy thyroid functioning, many people are not aware that iodine is greatly needed for the normal functioning of every cell as well as the normal manufacturing of all hormones and the functioning of the entire endocrine system (also for improving the sensitivity of hormone receptors), broadly impacting many aspects of health.

Every organ and all tissues contain and must have iodine.

The brain is no exception.

Causes of Iodine Deficiencies

Apart from iodine-poor soils and reduced iodine in the food supply, one major reason for rampant iodine deficiencies involves toxic levels of other halogens in our environment and our water and food supplies.

First on the list of offenders are;

  • bromine/bromide, included in all baked goods (as an anticaking agent),
  • soft drinks,
  • sports drinks,
  • highly processed vegetable oils;
  • in many pools and spas as a disinfectant;
  • in most household items (including flame retardants in everything from carpets and furniture and car upholstery to electronics);
  • pesticides

Bromide/bromine toxicity is everywhere and affects nearly everyone.

Fluoride in municipal water supplies is also a major problem, as is chlorination.

All these substances serve to displace iodine in the body and all its tissues, are markedly toxic, and often require large doses of iodine to reverse the problem.


  • Taking excessive amounts of iodine (or too much too quickly) can lead to uncomfortable detox symptoms (sometimes referred to as Herxheimer reactions) as these halogens are displaced.
  • Therefore, it is important to approach iodine supplementation carefully, knowledgeably, and systematically, preferably under the guidance of a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner.
  • Iodine’s cofactors are essential to successful iodine supplementation.

Getting it Right;

  • Good dietary sources of iodine include all seafood, kelp, and other seaweeds.
  • Iodized salt supplies only iodide and is not sufficient to supply all tissues with needed complete iodine.
  • Only about 10 percent of this form of iodine in iodized salt is
  • Unrefined, full-spectrum sea salt that is not iodized is a fairly poor source of iodine, incidentally, though it is very helpful with the body’s use of iodine.
  • Among the best supplemental sources of higher-potency iodine are Iodoral (which combines elemental iodine and iodide, the two forms needed by the body) and Lugol’s solution (mostly available by prescription and tastes awful).
  • Kelp supplements can provide smaller amounts of naturally occurring complete iodine that are well tolerated and easily absorbed, though may be inadequate to reverse severe deficiency states or bromide/bromine or fluoride/fluorine and chlorine toxicity.
  • Detoxification of undesirable halogens (along with other compounds and heavy metals) for those with autoimmune thyroid issues may be more safely accomplished with the use of sodium alginate or modified citrus pectin as gentle oral chelating agents.

It can take three to six months of diligent iodine supplementation to reach full iodine sufficiency throughout the body (longer in some people who have more- severe health challenges)

According to Brownstein, maintenance levels of iodine supplementation may be required long-term for many people.


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