By Dr. Robert Thompson
From What Doctors Fail to Tell Your About Iodine and Your Thyroid
Now is a great time to take a deeper look at the dangerous dance of halogens in our bodies.
Iodine is a halogen, like the other chemical elements, bromine, fluorine and chlorine and their derivatives bromide, fluoride and chloride.
Iodine is the only one that has health benefits for humans. It’s the good guy wearing the white hat, while its destructive brothers are the bad guys in the black hats, hell-bent on blocking your body’s ability to absorb and utilize the iodine that is essential to life:
- Chlorine is now almost universally used to purify municipal water supplies instead of iodine. Even if you don’t drink municipal water, if you shower or bathe in it, you are exposed to its toxic effects. Perchlorate, a highly toxic chlorine derivative used for rocket fuel among other things, has become pervasive in the water supply.
- Fluoride is now found in almost all toothpastes and municipal drinking water supplies. Some unenlightened dentists still insist on fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay, despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence that the application of this toxic waste product has any positive effects. Fluoride has been confirmed to interfere with thyroid function and has been associated with some types of cancer.
- Bromine or bromide, also known to cause cancer, replaced iodine in commercial baked goods and almost all flours more than three decades ago. You’ll also find potassium bromide in soft drinks, plastics, cans and jars, many personal-care products, sprayed on fruits and vegetables to inhibit mold, especially berries, in electronics and it has also been added to some vaccinations and asthma inhaler medications to replace mercury as a preservative. There are few or no labeling requirements. It’s impossible to avoid breathing bromine fumes in any house, car, school or office building, so we are all continuously exposed to this cancer-causing chemical.
Other iodine robbers
Recently, we’ve also learned that soy-containing foods in some circumstances may block your body’s ability to use iodine, and, with the increasing epidemic of gluten sensitivity, there are signs that gluten may also block iodine absorption.
This all adds up to a conspiracy on the part of the Black Hat halogens and their partners in crime, soy and gluten, to rob your body of its ability to use iodine to complete millions of vital metabolic functions every day.
The Black Hat halogens compete with White Hat iodine for access to your cellular function. Each cell has receptors, which function just like locks. All halogens have the keys to these locks—and the Black Hats do everything they can to prevent White Hat iodine from opening the locks.
How to avoid Black Hat halogens
Here are a few ways to avoid bringing any more Black Hat halogens into your home and your body:
- Avoid all products made with brominated flours. Even products made with organic flours contain bromine, since it is considered a natural substance. I know of only one brand, King Arthur Flour, which is not contaminated with bromine. Look for the words “non brominated” on the label to be sure. Bromine is also found in many soft drinks, wine and beer.
- If you have a municipal water system, invest in a whole house water-filtration system to prevent absorption of halogens through your skin when you shower.
- Don’t use fluoridated toothpaste.
- Avoid soy and gluten as much as possible.
- Don’t eat or drink food that is stored in plastic containers.
- Avoid soft drinks.
- Look for chemical-free personal-care products.
- Ventilate your home and your workspace well. Open windows whenever weather permits.
We owe a great deal to Dr. Guy Abraham, the UCLA professor who pioneered iodine research through the Iodine Project for this information about toxic halogens and much more.
Nearly everyone needs some level of iodine supplementation and most of us need a lot of it to get to optimal iodine levels (90% excretion on a 24-hour loading test).
The good news is that iodine, the White Hat halogen, can fight back and overcome the Black Hat chlorine, fluorine and bromine molecules, crowd them off the cell receptors and be back in the game with access to your cells, if you get enough. It takes a lot of iodine to counteract and reverse the effects of bromine.
As you’ve seen from this chapter, it is virtually impossible to get enough iodine from food and table salt.
The answer is to find the best possible supplement, one that offers iodine in three important forms, each with its own benefits:
- Potassium iodide for thyroid health
- Sodium iodide for thyroid, prostate, pancreatic, brain and immune system health
- Molecular iodine from kelp for breast, ovarian, prostate and reproductive system health
Note: Some people are “allergic” to iodine. This almost always means they are allergic to the organic form of iodine, such as the Betadine that is used in hospitals. It is nearly impossible for a human to get too much iodine. Excess iodine is just excreted through the urine when it is not needed. There is no known toxicity for iodine except untreated cases of hyperthyroidism. For those who experience symptoms of intolerance (such as diarrhea or stomach upset), start with small doses and gradually build up to the optimal dose.