A specific memory can be sparked in many ways, even when a person is feeling sluggish. The need for iodine had been a subject that had slipped from my consciousness over the past few months until I wrote my previous article regarding the benefits of green superfood powder.
Then, the memory triggered during a groggy morning as the words from my previous article were floating in my head. I remembered there was an Iodine tincture in my cupboard in the kitchen.
A few years ago, I had tested slightly low in Iodine, which prompted me to purchase an Iodine tincture and a Spirulina powder supplement. A year later a blood test indicated my Iodine levels had risen from below average to a couple of points within average.
So, the other morning I recalled that low Iodine can lower a person’s energy. I had been feeling tired for the past week or so. I had attributed it to poor sleeping habits. However, I recalled I had a remaining Iodine tincture from a few months ago.
Drop Iodine in Lemon Water
Early in the morning, I’ll heat water on a burner then drink it with squeezed lemon juice and a teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar.
It’s a habit I’ve developed after reading such a drink on an empty stomach helps digestion and clearing out toxins.
On this particular morning, I included about fifteen drops from the kelp iodine tincture. About an hour later my head was no longer foggy and I seemed to have an extra bit of energy compared to most mornings.
Remembering there was an iodine tincture in my cupboard provided a needed boost on a bleak morning.
So, does iodine give you energy? I believe if you’re deficient in iodine then a tincture could provide an energy boost.
Do I have Iodine Deficiency?
What are the symptoms of iodine deficiency?
Personally, I believe at various times I’ve possessed mild iodine deficiency symptoms.
1. The appearance of a Goiter, mainly by swelling around the base of the neck. Essential the thyroid gland has been enlarged because of the body producing too many cells in order to compensate for a lack of iodine needed in the production of the thyroid-stimulating hormone.
2. Slower Metabolism – which leads to weight gain. Fewer calories are burned when thyroid hormones are low.
Sluggishness and weakness – a study in 2,456 people found that fatigue and weakness were the most common symptoms among those with low or slightly low thyroid hormone levels.
Note in the above study – The common presenting features of hypothyroidism were weakness (98%), lethargy (95%), dry and coarse skin (87%), and body ache (85%)
3. Hair Loss – Thyroid hormones are important for the growth of hair follicles. One study in 700 people found that 30% of those with low thyroid hormone levels experienced hair loss.
4. Dry, Flaky Skin – In the past, I had dry, rough skin around the elbow. I’ve read that is a common symptom of iodine deficiency.
Thyroid hormones are vital in the regeneration of skin cells and the regulation of sweat. Hence, iodine deficiency can impair the efficient process of these functions, resulting in dry and flaky skin.
5. Poor Mental Functioning – Studies have shown that iodine deficiency may affect the ability to learn, remember and negatively impact the brain’s growth and development.
A study including over 1,000 adults found that those with higher thyroid hormone levels performed better on learning and memory tests, compared to those with lower thyroid hormone levels.
6. Decreased Resistance to Infection – Iodine has been used in the treatment and prevention of infection in wounds including ulcers, burns, cuts, and other minor injuries. The greatest benefit of iodine intake is its effectiveness in killing Candida and other fungi and microbes.
7. Cold Limbs – Why do I get cold hands? That was a question I wondered prior to learning my iodine level was low. My hands and feet were often abnormally cold. I recall one evening in which I placed my freezing feet underneath hot bathwater.
If you searching for solutions for cold hands and feet then perhaps and Iodine supplement may be a benefit.
Some studies have found that over 80% of people with low thyroid hormone levels may feel more sensitive to cold temperatures than usual.
As mentioned, iodine deficiency can slow the body’s metabolism. The body generates less heat with a slower metabolism. Studies have shown this could be another contributing factor in iodine’s influence on body temperature.
Advanced hypothyroidism symptoms may include hyperactive activity, manic state, and hypertension.
As noted above the effects of iodine deficiency can cause extremely deleterious effects on a person’s health and well-being.
What foods are Goitrogens?
Goitrogens are substances that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. These substances interfere with the formation and function of thyroglobulin. Thyroglobulin is a protein needed in the synthesis of the thyroid hormone.
Foods grown in iodine deficient soil can act as goitrogens. Soybeans, cabbage, cauliflower, millet, and peanuts can serve as goitrogens. Also, drugs such as thiouracil and sulfonamides can behave as a goitrogen.
Here are some foods that are non goitrogenic greens: broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, and brussels sprouts.
Leptin Resistance seemed to be interrelated with obesity, and iodine deficiency. Leptin resistance and obesity are two health epidemics facing western culture.
Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate body weight and metabolism. Moreover, Leptin stimulates the thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) to increase production.
Hypothyroidism and diabetes are commonly associated with Leptin Resistance.
Leptin resistance is a diminished response to leptin, even if there is enough circulating throughout the body. This resistance is based on a false message that the body is starving and, thus, multiple hormonal mechanisms are activated to increase fat stores, as the body tries to reverse the perceived state of starvation.
The Leptitox supplement is designed to curb sugar cravings and hence reduce Leptin Resistance. In a previous article, I provided a Leptitox supplement review.
Iodine Deficiency and Cancer
I own a book titled Iodine Why You Need It Why You Can’t Live Without it by David Brownstein, MD. In Chapter 4, Dr. Bronstein provides a study concerning Iodine’s relationship with fibrocystic breast disease. The book can be found on Amazon.
First, normal cells have a life cycle; in other words, they eventually die and a new cell will replace it. The process of timed cellular death is known as apoptosis. However, cancer cells do not experience apoptosis. They continue dividing in an endless cycle.
Dr. Brownstein claimed that Iodine induces apoptosis in cancer cells via its effect on the lipids inside the cell. Iodine stabilizes the cell, allowing it to adopt a normal life cycle.
Furthermore, Iodine can help maintain the body’s proper estrogen balance. An imbalance of estrogen can contribute to fibrocystic breast cancer and weight gain. On the other hand, iodine deficiency disrupts the estrogen balance. In short, the breasts will develop a sensitivity to estrogen, hence increase the odds of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer and Hypothyroidism
Dr. Brownstein noted for over 100 years there have been reports of breast cancer and hypothyroidism. In 1896 the connection was reported resulting in the therapeutic use of iodine as a means of cancer treatment.
Moreover, countries with lower iodine intake such as the United States have higher rates of breast cancer and goiter. Interestingly, the body will compensate by causing the thyroid gland the breasts to enlarge. A precancerous lesion (hyperplasia) will develop.
Note – American Thyroid Association’s recommends that all North American pregnant and breast-feeding women receive a prenatal vitamin containing 150 mcg of iodine daily.
An Epidemic of Low Iodine
There are several factors influencing iodine deficiency in certain populations around the world. These factors are related to the environment and industrial practices.
1) A high outbreak of goiter development during the early 1900s around the Great Lake states. By the 1930s, approximately 40% of people in Michigan had a goiter. Deficient soil had developed as glacier melting had washed away the iodine.
Then, in 1924 iodized salt was introduced and by 1951 less than 0.5% of the childhood population had a goiter. Another study in Ohio demonstrated positive results from iodized salt.
2) Poor farming techniques and deforestation can contribute to soil erosion and ultimately iodine-deficient soil. Many people have claimed the soil in the United States has deteriorated over the past century. Factors such as pesticides, GMO foods, and general poor care of the soil are often cited.
Naturally, crops grown in iodine-deficient soil will spout produce wanting in the mineral.
3) In more recent times, iodized salt has proven to be an insufficient source. The key issue is that iodine is added to refined salt. Unfortunately, refined salt has been stripped of all its minerals and has been exposed to toxic chemicals in order to attain its white color.
Essentially, refined salt is a dead product of no nutritional value. The consumption of refined salt contributes to a myriad batch of health issues. As a result, unrefined salt (real food of nutritional value) has garnered a stigma as well.
For an overall understanding of nutrition’s importance view this article.
4) During the 1980s an industrial practice has contributed to the epidemic of iodine deficiency. Bromine replaced iodine in the production of baking products.
Bromine and Iodine are both materials known as a halide. Bromine is considered the bully of the Halide Group. Bromine displaces iodine when its ingested or absorbed; and then contributes to the issues associated with iodine deficiency.
Furthermore, Bromine is a toxic substance providing no therapeutic value to the human body. Bromine binds iodine receptors in the breast and acts as a carcinogen.
Diets with low iodine
Reconsider the following diets with low iodine:
- Those without ocean fish or sea vegetables.
- Inadequate use of iodized salt including low sodium diets.
- High consumption of bakery products containing bromide. For example, breads and pasta would have high levels of bromide.
- Vegan and vegetarian diets.
New research from the Menzies School of Health suggests severe iodine deficiencies could be linked to poor health among the Northern Territory’s Indigenous population.
The report noted that iodine deficiency is the most common preventable cause of brain damage and low IQ, particularly during pregnancy.
Iodine Rich Food List
Any iodine rich food list begins and ends with life from ocean waters.
Fish such as cod, sea bass, haddock, and perch are examples of iodine rich food consumed by human beings. Sea vegetables such as seaweed (such as dulse), kelp, and algae (spirulina, chlorella) are other ample sources.
Kelp is rich in other minerals while being low in sodium, thus it is a good seasoning substitute for salt. Personally, I have used Kelp and sea salt seasoning.
Here is a non-seafood iodine rich food list:
asparagus, garlic, lima beans, mushrooms, and sea salt, sesame seeds, soybeans, and spinach, summer squash, swiss chard, and turnip greens.
Furthermore, most fruits and vegetables grown near the coasts contain more iodine than those grown inland.
One warning about Kelp:
In the book How Not to Die, Michael Greger M.D. issues a caution with using too much kelp. He claims merely one-half teaspoon could exceed the upper daily limit. Too much iodine can cause excessive thyroid gland activity. I read this while writing this article. I’m glad I discovered this commentary. Perhaps, I’ve been overdoing my iodine tincture over the past couple of days.
Dr. Greger recommends sprinkling dulse onto food in order to achieve the required daily intake of 150 mcg iodine per day.
1) Iodine Tinctures – Amazon offers many different brands of natural iodine supplements. Currently, I’m using a tincture of Kelp purchased at a local health food store.
If you chose this option remember not to take any more than 150 mcg per day, especially if you’re using a kelp iodine supplements
Furthermore, see a doctor if you possess severe iodine deficiency symptoms.
If you’re looking to buy nascent iodine then check out Go Nutrients’ product. The price is $27.95 with a serving size of 6 drops and 100 applications. The item nearly has 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 1,248. I perused the reviews and they appear to be glowing.
2) Leptiox – A non-iodine supplement that could assist thyroid function is Leptitox. As noted earlier in the article, the Leptitox supplement helps eliminate Leptin resistance by reducing sweet cravings. In turn, this will benefit the thyroid gland.
3) A Green Superfoods Powder –
One of the goals of my blog is to offer the best green superfood powder reviews. I have reviewed several green powder supplements.
Essentially, green powder supplements contain a blend of dozens of superfoods in the form of vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, enzymes, probiotics, etc. I have a list of my 10 favorite green powder supplements.
I’ll make a morning smoothie containing a teaspoon of a green powder. Typically, I’ll add foods such as beets, carrots, apples, flaxseeds, etc. Then, I blend all the items into a Vitamix for a healthy morning breakfast smoothie.
Anyway, these powders by offering a variety of different foods provide a balanced alternative to any diet. All the required vitamins and minerals can be found.
Regarding iodine, Vitamineral Green and Pure Synergy contain dulse, spirulina, chlorella, and kelp. Instead of buying multiple items, a green superfood powder addresses many different needs including iodine.
Moreover, all of these foods provide multiple health benefits, besides thyroid support. For example, Dulse provides these additional benefits:
- Bone support due to calcium, magnesium, and iron
- Lowers Blood Pressure due to potassium
- Vitamin A for eye support
- Strengthens Nervous System due to omega-3 fatty acids
- Improves Blood Circulation
- Antioxidant Properties
Balance is the Key
Whether you’re using supplementation or food consumption remember to stay within the framework of 150 mcg per day. Even the healthiest foods will have a deleterious effect if you eat in an overabundance.
Consult a physician if you’re having any severe iodine deficiency symptoms. A blood test could reveal whether or not you have a proper level of iodine.
I prefer a more holistic approach in which it is considered how the effects of an action or consumption of a food or supplement are applied to the entire body. That is why I prefer a green powder supplement.
When I began using them, I noticed a positive effect to all the systems in my body, including alleviation of dry skin which had plagued me my entire life.
The modern western diet does not promote healthy living. The first step towards maintaining proper iodine levels and any other nutrient would be adopting a diet based on viewing food as medicine instead of something to gorge upon.
I wrote an article on Nutrition with more detailed information on the value of vitamins and nutrition and the various foods that provide these nutrients. There’s another article concerning 19 different superfoods that can be included in a Vitamix smoothie. Many of these superfoods possess strong iodine content.
The food we consume can either be a boon to our health or a pathway to a debilitating disease.