Safe levels of Iodine supplementation
and Medical Misrepresentation and Iodiophobia
Iodine is well known as being essential for the healthy of the thyroid gland and hence overall metabolic rate. What is not so widely known is that Iodine is required by every cell of the body. In an Iodine deficient person Iodine supplementation first results in uptake by the thyroid gland. Once adequate levels are achieved there, the rest of the body especially the breasts, ovaries and prostrate gland. The current RDA is around 200 or 150 micrograms daily. This has been ascertained by seeing what the minimum levels or iodine are needed to eliminate the presence of Goiters and condition of gross swelling of the thyroid/neck and related to overactive thyroid. Since that time it has been clearly established clinically that much larger amounts are required to achieve whole body adequate Iodine levels.
For populations and individuals who maintain these whole body adequate levels the levels of thyroid disorders, Cancers and other health problems are considerably reduced. At these appropriate levels many infections, including chronic ones like Candida that can bring in its wake a devastating collection of life ruining auto-immune disorders, are kept at bay. orthoiodosupplementation is used to describe Iodine supplementation at levels that supply whole body needs for optimum health.
During the first half of the 20th century, almost every U.S. physician used Lugol solution for iodine supplementation in his/her practice for both hypo- and hyperthyroidism (1)
, and for many other medical conditions (2)
. In the old pharmacopeias, Lugol solution was called Liquor Iodi Compositus. The minimum dose called minim, was one drop containing 6.25 mg of elemental iodine, with 40% iodine and 60% iodide as the potassium salt. The recommended daily intake for iodine supplementation was 2 to 6 minims (drops) containing 12.5 to 37.5 mg elemental iodine. During the second half of the 20th century, iodophobic misinformation disseminated progressively and deceitfully among the medical profession resulted in a decreased use of Lugol, with iodized salt becoming the standard for iodine supplementation (1)
. The bioavailable iodide from iodized salt is only 10% and the daily amount of iodide absorbed from iodized salt is 200 to 500 times less than the amount of iodine/iodide previously recommended by U.S. physicians. After World War II, U.S. physicians were educated early in their medical career to believe that inorganic non-radioactive forms of iodine were toxic. Adverse reactions to radiographic contrast media and other iodine-containing drugs were blamed on iodine. If a patient told his/her physician that he/she could not tolerate seafood, the physician told him/her that he/she was allergic to iodine.
Several forms of iodine prescribed by U.S. physicians are listed in (T1)
. The manmade organic forms of iodine are extremely toxic, whereas the inorganic non-radioactive forms are extremely safe (1)
. However, the safe inorganic non-radioactive forms were blamed for the severe side effects of the organic iodine-containing drugs. A new syndrome, medical iodophobia, was recently reported (1) with symptoms of split personality, double standards, amnesia, confusion and altered state of consciousness. Medical iodophobia has reached pandemic proportion and it is highly contagious (iatrogenic iodophobia). A century ago, non-radioactive forms of inorganic iodine were considered a panacea for all human ills (2)
, but today, they are avoided by physicians like leprosy. Who, what, killed iodine?
The first nail in the iodine coffin was the publication by Wolff and Chaikoff from U.C. Berkley in 1948 (3)
, describing their finding in rats administered iodide in increasing amounts by intraperitoneal injection. When serum inorganic iodide levels reached 0.2 mg/L, that is 10-6M, radioiodide uptake by the thyroid gland became undetectable. The correct interpretation would be: Iodide sufficiency of the thyroid gland was achieved when serum inorganic iodide levels reach 10-6M, as we previously discussed (4)
. But Wolff and Chaikoff concluded that serum inorganic iodide levels at a concentration of 10-6M blocks the synthesis of thyroid hormones, resulting in hypothyroidism and goiter. These authors did not measure thyroid hormones in the rats studied. Hypothyroidism and goiter were not observed in those rats. This fictitious phenomenon became known as the Wolff-Chaikoff Effect (5)
. Because these law-abiding rats refused to become hypothyroid and instead followed their normal physiological response to the iodide load, they were unjustly accused of escaping from the law of the Wolff-Chaikoff Effect. Labeling these innocent rats as fugitives was a great injustice against these rodents.
The second and final nail in the iodine coffin was hammered in by Wolff in 1969 (5)
. By 1969, Doctor Wolff had moved to the National Institute of Health from U.C. Berkley. Wolff arbitrarily defined 4 levels of "iodine excess". The first level of excess started with intake above 0.2 mg/day, and iodide intake of 2 mg or more was considered "excessive and potentially harmful".
"60 million mainland Japanese consume a daily average of 13.8 mg of elemental iodine and they are one of the healthiest nations, based on overall wellbeing and cancer statistics (4)
. Japanese women do not stop consuming iodine-rich foods during pregnancy, and Japanese fetuses are exposed to maternal peripheral levels of iodide at concentrations of 10-5M to 10-6M (1-4)
. Either the Japanese are mutants, capable of striving on toxic levels of iodine or we have been grossly deceived, and the human body needs at least 100 times the RDA, which was established very recently in 1980 and confirmed in 1989!! (7)
"Lugol's solution and saturated solution of potassium iodide (SSKI) were used extensively in medical practice for patients with asthma. The recommended daily amount was 1,000-2,000 mg. (One to two grams) This amount was used in patients with asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema for several years. Hypothyroidism and goiter were not common in this group of patients. Those amounts of iodine would have resulted in serum inorganic iodine levels 100 times higher than the serum inorganic iodide levels of 10-6M claimed by Wolff and Chaikoff to result in the W-C effect.3"
"The clinical experience with orthoiodosupplementation in approximately 4,000 patients at the Center for Holistic Medicine has clearly shown that orthoiodosupplementation at daily dose of 6.25 to 50mg elemental iodine has not been associated with increases in hypothyroidism, goiter and autoimmune thyroid problems. On the contrary, the use of iodine/iodide has been effective at treating the above conditions with minimal adverse effects". And: "Obesity increases the requirement for iodine (7)
and up to 100 mg elemental iodine/day may be required to achieve and maintain sufficiency. Another factor involved in the increased demand for iodine is the presence of excessive amounts of goitrogens in the diet and from lifestyle"
A word about the so called dangers of Iodism The most common adverse effects of iodine/iodide supplementation observed at the Center for Holistic Medicine has been metallic taste in the mouth and acne. Based on the experience of three clinicians at that Center, with a combined patient population of some 4,000, the prevalence of these side effects is about 1%. This is probably due to a detoxification reaction. The release of bromide may be one cause of this detoxification reaction. Clinical experience has continually shown that iodine/iodide supplementation results in a large urinary excretion of bromide (1,2)
Bromine is a toxic chemical, one source of which is bread. Unfortunately Bromine is now added to bread, (Iodine was used instead prior to Iodine phobia, based on the now discredited and some say outright fraudulent report from Wolff and Chaikoff) this has the effect of displacing iodine from the body, and contributing to Thyroid disorders and many other diseases now prevalent.
In the practice of medicine, we have seen very few natural therapies as safe and effective as orthoiodosupplementation. In the proper forms of iodine (inorganic non-radioactive forms), in daily amounts of iodine for whole body sufficiency and properly monitored, orthoiodosupplementation is not only safe, it is an effective tool for the clinician. Prior to the availability of assays for thyroid hormones and without any test for assessing whole body sufficiency for iodine, our medical predecessors recommended a range of daily iodine intake from Lugol solution (12.5 – 37.5 mg) exactly within the range required for achieving whole body sufficiency for iodine (1,2)
Relying on clinical observation of the patient’s overall wellbeing, our predecessors have given us useful information, which we have discarded in favor of preconceived opinions from self-appointed iodophobic pseudo experts. This has resulted in pandemic iodine deprivation. Iodine deficiency is misdiagnosed and treated with toxic drugs. Orthoiodosupplementation may be the simplest, safest, most effective and least expensive way to help solve the health care crisis crippling our world
The effectiveness and safety of orthoiodosupplementation in current medical practice.
Physicians who use holistic therapies are always on the search for safe and effective natural therapies that have minimal adverse effects. The experience of several physicians with iodine/iodide in daily amounts from 6.25 to 50 mg, using a solid dosage form of Lugol (Iodoral?) for over three years in several thousands of patients has shown it to be safe and effective, with minimal adverse effect (2)
The Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI (office of D. Brownstein, M.D.) has tested over 500 patients for iodine deficiency using the iodine/iodide loading test, developed by one of us (1)
. Based on the experience of the Center, the loading test provides an accurate and reproducible picture of the iodine status in the body. Retesting many of these patients has shown the changes in the test correlates with the changes in the clinical picture. In other words, as the loading test improves, the clinical picture improves.
Our experience at the Center for Holistic Medicine has shown that patients with the lowest urinary iodide levels on the loading tests are often the most ill. Many of these patients with very low urine iodide levels following the loading test have severe illnesses such as breast cancer, thyroid cancer or autoimmune thyroid disorders. All of these conditions have been shown in the literature to be associated with iodine deficiency (1)
. Positive clinical results were seen in most of these patients after supplementation of orthoiodosupplementation within the range of 6.25-50mg of iodine/iodide (1/2 to 4 tablets of Lugol in tablet form).
One of the most satisfying effects of orthoiodosupplementation has been in the treatment of fibrocystic breasts and thyroid nodules. The treatment of fibrocystic breasts with iodine has been reported for over 100 years. Iodine/iodide supplementation has resulted in significant improvement in fibrocystic breast illness for nearly every patient treated. Thyroid nodules also respond positively to iodine/iodide supplementation. Serial ultrasounds usually show decrease in the size of the thyroid cysts and nodules and eventual resolution of the lesions. When orthoiodosupplementation is combined with a complete nutritional program, it is rare not to see improvement in the palpation and radiological examination of thyroid nodules and cysts following iodine/iodide therapy as described here.
The effectiveness of orthoiodosupplementation has not been limited to the very ill. In fact, most patients treated with orthoiodosupplementation have quickly experienced positive results although optimal responses are observed when whole body iodine sufficiency is achieved based on the iodine/iodide loading test. Our experience has shown that a wide range of disorders have responded to orthoiodosupplementation including thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, headaches, fibromyalgia and those with infections. Additionally, our clinical experience has shown that iodine/iodide supplementation has resulted in lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The blood pressure-lowering effect is seen when sufficiency of iodine is achieved.
Occasionally, individuals on thyroid medication will develop signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism on orthoiodosupplementation. This situation has been easily rectified by lowering or discontinuing the thyroid medication. Of those individuals taking thyroid medication, approximately 1/3 of them will need to discontinue or lower their thyroid medication upon taking iodine/iodide due to increased thyroid function and improved receptor responsiveness (2)
. The remaining 2/3 of the thyroid treated patients will maintain their thyroid dosages while taking iodine/iodide without side effects.
Medical misrepresentation and Iodiophobia
In the following article, the author discusses the Wolff-Chaikoff Effect and presents evidence that the data reported in the rats by Wolff and Chaikoff (3)
did not justify the interpretation of these data as applied to rats. Even worse, extrapolation of these findings to human subjects by Wolff (5)
was inappropriate, and unscientific. By the 1970’s, physicians concluded that one must avoid inorganic non-radioactive iodine like leprosy, unless it was incorporated into the toxic organic iodine containing drugs. Then iodine could be tolerated because iodine could be blamed for the toxicity of these drugs.
Against this background, a 1993 publication by Ghent et al (6)
reported the beneficial effects of 5 mg iodine ingested daily for approximately one year in 1,368 patients with Fibrocystic Disease of the Breast (FDB). This author became aware of Ghent’s publication in 1997. Ghent’s study did not confirm Wolff’s prediction that daily iodine intake of 2000 ug (2 mg) was "excessive and potentially harmful". Based on academic credentials and reputation, the opinion of thyroidologist Wolff from the National Institute of Health, would prevail over the findings of Ghent et al. However, being interested in facts only, not in preconceived opinions of famous thyroidologists, an extensive search of the literature on iodine in medicine was initiated 7 years ago by the author, combined with some original clinical research.
...... With the advent of radioiodide and goitrogens as alternatives to Lugol solution in patients with hyperthyroidism, thyroidologists became very destructive, causing hypothyroidism in 90% of these unfortunate patients (1)
. It is of interest to mention that both radioiodide and goitrogens were introduced by the same group of investigators as a replacement to Lugol in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, at about the same time iodophobic misinformation started appearing in the medical literature again authored by the same investigator.