First we must start with what is iodine and why do we need it?
Iodine is an element that is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. The body does not make iodine, so it is an essential part of your diet. Iodine is found in various foods. If you do not have enough iodine in your body, you cannot make enough thyroid hormone. Thus, iodine deficiency can lead to enlargement of the thyroid, hypothyroidism, and to mental retardation in infants and children whose mothers were iodine deficient during pregnancy.
Before the 1920s, iodine deficiency was common in the Great Lakes, Appalachian, and Northwestern U.S. regions and in most of Canada. Treatment of iodine deficiency by the introduction of iodized salt has virtually eliminated the “goiter belt” in these areas. However, many other parts of the world do not have enough iodine available through their diet and iodine deficiency continues to be an important public health problem globally. Approximately 40% of the world’s population remains at risk for iodine deficiency.
Iodine is currently being represented in alternative health sphere as being the new ‘wonder mineral’ with improved thyroid function and faster fat loss being touted as major iodine benefits. Now, here is the problem most American's have. Too much iodine is just as bad as too little iodine. It is commonly believed that, whilst iodine is one of the basic building blocks of thyroid hormone, both too much and too little iodine causes hypothyroidism. Catch 22!
So what are good sources of iodine?
It is important to understand that a good diet must cover a lot of areas to fulfill all aspects of nutrition. The chart on the right shows good sources of iodine. One large source, as stated above, was the addition of iodine to table salt. While most doctors and health care practitioners tell us to cut salt from our diet for heart health along with many other health reasons, we must look somewhere else. The obvious answer is ice cream. It says right there on the chart. Unfortunately, many of those healthy iodine rich items may not be in our regular diet. Now many enthusiasts writing on the internet claim that almost everyone is iodine deficient and that mega dosing iodine for a sustained period, at least a year for most people, will help to eliminate many common ailments and will ensure good health! This has largely come about as a result of Dr. Abraham’s iodine project. Of course each individual is different and should speak with their physician before jumping on any mega dosing attempt. Dr. Abraham has looked at the fact that the average intake of iodine in one part of Japan, where the inhabitants typically have good health measures, is 12.5 mg and proposed, therefore, that 12.5 mg should be the recommended daily allowance for iodine, rather than the current much lower figure of 150 mcg.
On the iodine project, it’s recommended that patients take as much as 100mg of iodine a day, to displace toxic halogens (primarily fluoride and bromide) so that they can reach ‘iodine sufficiency’ and can fully experience alleged iodine benefits such as a raging libido and a great mood. The iodine project is one example of iodine being used to greatly improve health. However, each instance out there should be taken with a grain of salt.
What is a sensible solution?
The first thing to remember is moderation. Dr. Abraham's iodine project may well work wonders, but not everyone is the same. We often tackle issues with a feast or famine mentality. We hear carbs are bad, no more carbs EVER! We hear protein is good, nothing but protein ALL day! Having a diverse and well maintained diet is the best foundation. If you don't want to eat seaweed, and we covered that ice ream can't solve all our problems, try a sensible supplement. Monitor how you feel and decide does something like this makes a noticeable difference. Start your use of the supplement and see what changes you notice in 7,14,21, and 28 days. Everyone is going to have some ailment and something out there will seem like the quick easy fix. Rely on yourself and fill the voids you body has when needed. Supplements are a great way to get back on track and remind you that eating healthy make you feel better. Iodine will work well with companion nutrients such as vitamin C too. So if you make fruit smoothies or morning shakes, the addition of iodine to these may prove to be very beneficial. Remember small consistent improvements will always yield sustainable results.