As I wrote about in my first part of this series on hypothyroidism with regards to obesity and metabolic syndrome X with insulin resistance, this is often due to an increase in rT-3 (reverse T-3) relative to T-3 (active form of the thyroid hormone). In this section, I would like to give you my thoughts on iodine deficiency. Part 3 will be how the rT-3 and T-3 and how it affects the body.
Most people know that the thyroid uses lots of iodine to make thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland gets to use iodine before the other parts of the body. However, most people don't know that every gland in the body that secretes something needs large amounts of iodine. Iodine is the "truck" that carries the secretion from inside the cell to outside the cell. Thus most cysts in the body are due to iodine deficiency as the secretions are accumulated inside the cells to form cysts. I remember before I went through menopause, I had numerous ovarian cysts (one even burst while I was grocery shopping which made me double over like I was in labor! It was very painful and, before I knew anything about this phenomena, it made me feel fear and I went to the emergency room). Now, I laugh about that fear because I know so much more about the endocrine system. That is why I write to you so that you can be well-informed and to fear less about what your body does chemically.
A partial list of cells that secrete is given below:
Thyroid: has the highest concentration
Cerebrospinal fluid and brain
Intestinal mucosa (esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine)
Vagina and uterus
Ciliary body of the eye
Nose, sinuses, mouth
Substantia nigra of the brain
Conjunctiva of the eye
Digestive enzymes in pancreas
Liver and gall bladder
Please note that this list is the same organs that typically get cancer!
The Japanese consume a lot of seaweed and thus a lot of iodine. They have the least amount of cancer of anyone on the planet. The only kind of cancer they have in excess is stomach cancer. Iodine is inactivated by nitrates (found in processed meats like bologna and hot dogs), and when they eat processed meats, this deactivates the iodine in their stomachs, allowing them to get stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. It is apparent that iodine is protective against cancer.
Iodine kills all single-celled organisms like viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. For example, Jean Lugol, a Paris physician, in 1829 discovered that iodine is more soluble in water that contains potassium iodide. Lugol's solution implies that it is water based. "Tincture of iodine" means it is in an alcohol base whereas Lugol's solution is water based. Iodine is bactericidal even at dilutions of 1:170,000! Microorganisms do not develop resistance to iodine.
Iodine is so important in brain development that iodine deficiency is the leading cause of intellectual impairment in the world. (ADD/ADHD?)
Hypothyroidism is one of the leading causes of violent behavior in the world.
For instance, it was suggested by Campbell in the "China Study" that the reduction in cancer and heart disease in Asia was due to a vegetarian diet, but the difference may well be in the amount of iodine consumed and not in the amount of meat eaten. The China Study was an epidemiological survey and not a study in which one group gets one substance and the other group gets a placebo.
The parts of the body exposed to the outside world have iodine levels thirty times the blood level. Iodine is the immune system's "bug killer." That is, it is the bug killer for bugs trying to enter the body. For example, if you breathe in a flu virus and you have enough iodine in the lining of your nose, it will kill the virus before it has a chance to enter the system. Once a microorganism is in the body, it is attacked by white blood cells. Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, contain hydrogen peroxide to kill the bacteria. Vitamin C creates hydrogen peroxide in the body, increasing the efficiency of the immune system.
Drinking Lugol's solution or taking dehydrated Lugol's in capsule form is the best treatment for food poisoning as it kills the bacteria. (It is so sad that we recently lost a coworker due to food poisoning while traveling on a trip).
Lugol's solution will inactivate snake venoms.
Nitrates (hot dogs, bologna, processed meats) inactivate iodine and allow Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) to grow in the stomach and cause stomach ulcers/cancer.
If large foreign proteins are ingested, they are inactivated by iodine preventing them from becoming allergens. As I mentioned in part I of my series about low stomach acid in relation to obesity and metabolic syndrome X with insulin resistance, iodine is necessary to make stomach acid. Humans should never absorb proteins. We must only absorb amino acids to make our own proteins. When we don't have stomach acid because we are deficient in iodine, zinc, and vitamin B1, we absorb whole proteins. (I figured out that when I went Paleo and gluten free at the beginning of my autoimmune disorder of plaque psoriasis, I did not know much about the nutrition factors of the right combinations of foods and supplementing with the right vitamins and minerals. Once I did, my psoriasis has diminished and I have not had the flu and maybe just a sniffle or two in the past five years since changing how I administer my supplements). The immune system recognizes that the body didn't make these proteins and assumes they are invaders. It makes antibodies to attack them. Having enough iodine to make stomach acid thus helps prevent food allergies.
The energy in fats is contained in their double bonds. These double bonds are protected by iodine.
Fetal iodine is five times the level in the mother. Low maternal iodine can lead to miscarriage, birth defects, failure to thrive, mental retardation, etc.
There are only micrograms of iodine in table salt and some of the companies are using bromine instead of iodine because it is cheaper (and toxic). Sea salt contains almost no iodine (unless you use Celtic or Himalayan Course salt). Adults need 12-15 milligrams of iodine per day. Because of our farming practices, there is very little iodine in our soils. About the only people in the United States with normal levels of iodine are those who eat seaweed frequently. You see we do not store iodine in our bodies, so it is very important to get daily dosages of it!
Every person should be taking iodine to prevent infections and cancer. One can take it orally since it doesn't go into the large intestine to kill the good bacteria. It isn't well absorbed through the skin.
Remember that you need iodine to protect you against infections and cancer whether your thyroid is functioning normally or not. You also need it to make every organ that secretes something work.
Up to ninety percent of the American population has undiagnosed hypothyroidism. This epidemic is causing havoc with our mental and physical health. It is easily and inexpensively treated. The primary cause is fluoride in our water and dental products and lack of iodine. Soy also shuts down the entire endocrine system including the thyroid.
This last paragraph is very important and it will be Part 3 of my series on how fluoride is a toxic hallide that overwhelms the iodine because it fills in for the lack of iodine in our bodies. If you look at the element chart from chemistry class, you'll see that is it similar in the carbon factor and your body mistakes it as iodine. When you don't store the iodine, but you keep on adding fluoride to your body from water or chemically from other sources, it will not help you to ward off those nasty little critters that surround us everyday.