What is iodine?
The chemical element with the atomic number 53, a nonmetallic member of the halide family. Discovered in 1811, iodine is an essential micro-nutrient not readily available in diet. It is required in small amounts by the thyroid gland to ensure the production of hormones that control core body functions. New research shows that iodine is required by cells, tissues, and organs of the entire body, not just the thyroid gland, and the amount of iodine required to achieve whole body iodine sufficiency is much higher than what is required for the thyroid gland alone.
Why is iodine important?
The prevention of ailments is vastly more effective and far less expensive than treatment of illness after the fact and Iodine has been associated with the prevention and treatment of human ailments for thousands of years. Iodine is critically important for several reasons. As the blood circulates through the thyroid gland (about once every 17 minutes) the inter-thyroidal iodine weakens invading pathogens in our blood with each pass so they can be destroyed and eliminated by the immune system. Because of its anti-viral qualities iodine will help destroy viruses that cause colds and flu while antibiotics will not. Iodine kills germs and, because of its anti-fungal qualities, is effective in fighting fungal infestations. Iodine is essential for proper fetal brain development and iodine deficiency during the first trimester of pregnancy is directly linked to miscarriage and childhood mental disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADD and ADHD) and mental retardation. Studies in Italy and Sweden have revealed there is a direct link between maternal iodine deficiency and increased incidence of miscarriage. Iodine deficient mothers had a 60% higher risk of miscarriage than mothers who were not iodine deficient. Iodine is essential for normal thyroid function and the production of hormones that regulate homeostasis...our core body functions. Iodine has been found to raise and neutralize low body pH. Low (acid) pH causes a loss of inter-cellular free oxygen; an anaerobic condition that leads to the formation of cancer, as proven by Dr. Otto Warburg, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1931 for this discovery. There is strong evidence showing that low saliva PH is a sign of advanced iodine deficiency because, once iodine is reintroduced, the body's saliva PH is restored to its neutral balance.
Is Lugol iodine the same as other forms of iodine?
No. Lugol iodine is a formula that contains iodine and the reduced form of iodine, potassium iodide. Some parts of the body are more responsive to iodine and others to iodide. This formula of iodine is used by the thyroid gland for the production of hormones and by organs and cells throughout the body and is the safest and most effective form of the element. It is safe for human consumption when used properly and its beneficial use has been documented for over one hundred and eighty years. The term Lugol's iodine refers to the iodine formula first discovered by Dr. Jean G. A. Lugol who created the formula in 1829, consisting of 85% distilled water, 10% potassium iodide and 5% iodine. Lugol's formula iodine is available in liquid, tablet and capsule forms. Iodine alone does not dissolve well in water and, in addition to its other benefits, potassium iodide increases iodine's solubility allowing more iodine to dissolve into an aqueous solution.
How was iodine used in the past?
As found in medical records, journals, and manuals from the early 1900’s iodine was then referred to as the universal medicine. It was used as a preventative and in the treatment of a multitude of illnesses. As far back as 1899, the world’s best selling medical textbook, The Merck’s Manual, cited iodine as the most used substance for tumors. The years between 1850 and the early 1950’s have been referred to as the Golden Age of Iodine. It was used by nearly all physicians of the period for its beneficial effects in the treatment of tumors, cancers, tuberculosis and syphilis, to name a few. Iodine's natural antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant qualities are essential to a strong immune system. These attributes stimulate, strengthen, and support our immune system...our front line defense against disease, and there is no known substitute. Iodine is essential to human health.
Why are so many people today iodine deficient?
There are four main reasons. One, elemental iodine that formerly existed in our agricultural soils has been largely depleted and no longer makes its way into the food supply. Two, the addition of iodine to our commercial baked goods, which once ensured that each slice of bread consumed contained iodine in amounts equivalent to the current RDA, was halted in the early 1970's and the iodine was commonly replaced by bromine, said to be a dough conditioner. Three, bromine and bromide are goitrogens. They interfere with the thyroid gland's ability to absorb iodine and iodide. Bromine and brominated compounds are readily absorbed by the body in place of iodine/iodide. They are widely distributed through our food chain and in the environment in general. Bromine and bromide in various forms can be found in our water, flour, some soft drinks, processed foods, clothing, carpets, deodorants, and tooth paste, to name only a few. Bromine is used in place of chlorine to treat water in pools and spas and the U.S. Navy uses bromine to treat drinking water on our ships. Bromine and related compounds have been banned from foods in some 87 countries because of their negative health effects, yet we still use them widely in the U.S. Four, dietary sources of iodine are limited to iodized salt and some foods and iodine from both sources is severely limited. Research has shown that Iodine from iodized salt is ten times less absorbable in the intestines than iodine from bread and other sources because the sodium chloride interferes with iodine absorption and, while iodine from foods is more effective than iodine with salt, even the amount of iodine in iodine rich foods is too low to provide sufficient amounts.
To put this in perspective, obtaining sufficient iodine from fish alone would require consuming 15-25 lbs of fish per day. For more detailed information on this question see "Why Bromine Interferes With Thyroidal Iodine Absorption and Normal Thyroid Function", click this link. http://wp.me/p56eKZ-5
What are some of the symptoms that are commonly associated with iodine deficiency?
Over time, certain symptoms have responded favorably to iodine supplementation often enough, that they have become associated with iodine deficiency. Allergies, brain fog, dry skin, fatigue, weight gain, ovarian problems, menstrual problems, breast pain/fibrocystic breast disease, gum infections, feeling cold in warm environments, eczema, psoriasis, hair thinning, fertility problems in men and women, miscarriage, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders in children (ADD and ADHD), fibromyalgia and other auto-immune disorders, depression, heart arrhythmia, constipation, vaginal infections, colds and virus, decreased labido, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, low testosterone, elevated heart rate, low saliva pH, and sleep apnea are some of them.
Don’t I get enough iodine in iodized salt?
No, you don’t. With the short shelf life of iodine in prepackaged salt and the low amount of iodine absorbed through the intestines when combined with salt and the general reduction of salt intake in modern diets, the amount of iodine actually absorbed by the body through iodized salt is very low. Research has shown that the body will absorb ten times more iodine from iodized bread than from iodized salt. The current RDA of 150 mcg was intended to meet the very minimum requirement for thyroid hormone production with no thought to whole body iodine sufficiency. Researchers are now showing the whole body need for iodine/iodide is much higher and their research indicates that the current RDA for iodine is far too low to meet the whole body requirement. This deficiency is believed by some, to be the primary cause for the general health decline in our country today. It is estimated that over 90% of our population is iodine deficient, lacking the adequate iodine/iodide levels necessary for whole body sufficiency.
If Lugol iodine use has been effective for so long, why aren't people in the medical community using it anymore?
Its use continues in certain medical stains and tests and as a topical antiseptic, but its use as an ingestible supplement for the prevention and treatment of human ailments was gradually discontinued during the 1960's and the benefits of using Lugol's iodine as a nutritional supplement were forgotten. After World War II, with the invention of penicillin and other patent drugs, the treatment of symptoms rather than prevention of human ailments became the focus and iodine's preventative benefits were disregarded. A research paper was published which theorized that iodine caused damage to the thyroid glands in rats and was therefore dangerous to humans. This became known as the Wolff-Chaikof effect. The idea that all forms of iodine were dangerous to humans stems from that paper and has been repeated in the scientific literature since the early 1950's. The belief that this claim was true was eventually accepted by the medical and scientific communities and resulted in the removal of iodine as a food additive from commercial baked goods and dairy products, which previously contributed to higher intake, and this belief has persisted to this day. Though this claim was actually debunked in 2005, see www.optimox.com/iodine-study-4, institutions long invested in the treatment of diseases and ailments who find profits in treating symptoms, find no profits in their prevention. Gradually, references to iodine's many beneficial properties and to its historical use as both a treatment and in the prevention of human ailments were removed from medical school curriculums and published literature and largely forgotten. We now have three generations of medical students who have been taught that all forms of iodine are toxic and have gone into practice knowing little about iodine beyond its basic association with hormone production and use as a topical antiseptic. This lack of awareness results in the common symptoms of iodine deficiency being misdiagnosed and mistakenly treated with manufactured drugs instead of the iodine the body needs.
Is iodine a safe supplement?
Yes, if the proper type is used. There are four types of iodine in use today. Two are extremely safe and two are extremely toxic. In published literature, iodine remains a generic term and little effort is made to differentiate between the safe or toxic forms. The safe forms of iodine are mistakenly associated with the dangerous side effects produced by the toxic forms. In many cases it is the carrier that embodies the toxic properties, not the iodine itself. For example, tincture of iodine is toxic because of the toxic properties of the alcohol used in the tincture, not due to the iodine itself. Similarly, in radioactive iodine compounds used by the medical community, it is not the iodine that causes the toxic effects, but the radioactive component. Iodine can be supplemented safely if the safe forms of iodine are used and taken within the accepted guidelines of an experienced practitioner.
Is it safe to take Lugols Iodine during pregnancy?
Yes. Sufficient iodine levels in the mother are critical during pregnancy and nursing and must be supplemented. The developing fetus produces no iodine of its own and obtains all of its iodine from the mother. An iodine deficiency in the mother can cause miscarriage during pregnancy and abnormal brain development in the child that can result in mental retardation, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADD and ADHD). The need for supplementation is greatest during the first trimester. Supplementation is the only reliable source for the iodine your baby needs. Commercial baby formulas like Similac and others that you rely on to provide your baby complete nutrition contain no iodine at all.
Can I get my iodine from seaweed products?
Yes and no. Marine sources of iodine do not contain the potassium iodide that parts of the body require and marine sources have become contaminated by arsenic, heavy metals, radiation and other toxic substances and are not recommended. The Lugol's formula iodine in our kits is made from mined crystals, and also contains the potassium iodide the body requires. The Lugol's formula does not require refrigeration and does not expire like marine sources do. This formula is available in liquid, capsule, and tablet form.
Do vegetarians need to supplement iodine?
Yes, even more so. Vegetarians need the proper amount of iodine like everyone else. However, because their diet is restricted and most soils are iodine deficient, vegetables grown in iodine deficient soil contain little or no iodine and the risk of iodine deficiency in vegetarian diets is even greater than that of the general population.
I am allergic to iodine contrast dyes used in medical scans. How will nutritional iodine affect me?
The radioactive iodine used for scans is one of the toxic forms of iodine because of its radioactive component and is entirely different than the iodine used for nutritional supplementation. Experienced practitioners have found that only if you are allergic to iodized salt, would you have a negative reaction to Lugol's iodine/potassium iodide formula.
I am allergic to shellfish. Can I take iodine supplements safely?
Yes. People who are allergic to shellfish can safely benefit from iodine supplementation. Shellfish contain a protein which is the common allergen and it is this protein that is responsible for allergic reactions, not the iodine itself.
Can body iodine levels be tested?
Yes, there are four ways to test body iodine levels. One, is the iodine skin test, sometimes referred to as the iodine patch test, a simple test based on the length of time it takes for a match book sized smear of iodine to disappear as it is absorbed through the skin. This test is based on the premise that the faster the iodine is absorbed the greater your iodine deficiency. This is only a rough indicator but it is something you can do on your own. Two, a blood test measures the amount of iodine in your blood, and Three, the one time spot urine test, which measures the amount of iodine in a given urine sample. Four, the test that many believe is the most reliable, is the iodine loading test. The iodine loading test is based on the premise that the body contains a safety mechanism which causes the body to store iodine until sufficient levels are reach and the body becomes saturated, then the body stops retaining iodine and excretes any excess in the urine. With the iodine loading test, a known amount of iodine is ingested and all of the urine is collected during a 24 hour period. Then iodine levels in the urine collection sample are measured to determine how much of the iodine ingested was excreted in the urine. The body is believed to be iodine sufficient when 90% of the iodine ingested is excreted in the urine collected during a 24 hour period. More information on each of these tests is included in our kits. We have partnered with Hakala Research, pioneers of iodine testing and the original developers of the iodine loading test to provide you discount coupons offering 10% off Hakala's regular prices in each of our kits.
What will Lugols Iodine really do for me?
First, it is important to understand is that Lugols is not a brand of iodine... it is a specific formula for iodine in a water base. The term Lugols indicates a specific blend of the natural element iodine, with iodide, which is iodine in its reduced form, and water. Iodine and iodide each have different functions in the body. The iodine is used by the entire body while iodide is more readily absorbed by the thyroid gland specifically. Iodide also increases the solubility of iodine in water increasing bioavailability.
Consider how your body functions when you don't have enough iodine. Imagine driving your car with the gas and the brakes on at the same time. Your body is continuously working against resistance on every level, like climbing a hill or walking with a ten pound weight on your back. Without the necessary iodine this is what your body systems have been doing for so long that you have become accustomed to it. This reduced level of functionality has become your normal and you are not aware of the difference. Lugols Iodine is your body's brake release. Now imagine the resistance gone and the weight lifted at every level with every system in your body working better, more effectively. Your muscle to body fat ratio begins to re-balance, the puffiness around your eyes and face and neck begins to dissipate, your body begins to expel stored toxins, you have more energy, your moods are better, your attitude improves, you are thinking more clearly and you feel stronger, more motivated. To think of this another way, Lugols Iodine works like a reset button for your body. It works to reset body systems that have gotten out of whack and synchronizes those systems to work together again like nature intended. What this means for you depends on what is going wrong with you, specifically. You have to experience this for yourself.
We have study results and a wealth of other data that clearly illustrate what iodine supplementation has done for others. There is much of that here, on my website, and much more for you in my kits. I can also share what Lugols Iodine has done for me - my own, first hand, observations and personal experiences...because these are unique to me. Understanding what iodine has done for others was the road map that gave me the confidence to begin my own iodine supplementation and the expectation that I would realize my own results. You can appreciate what iodine will do for you through the experiences of others but you have to do this yourself to actually experience it. I will help you do that.
What is the proper Lugols iodine dosage for me?
Iodine supplementation is a process that begins where you are and ends when your body is iodine sufficient. Iodine sufficiency occurs once your body has absorbed all the iodine it is designed to hold and your thyroid gland and the various receptor sites in other areas of your body become saturated. The process can take several months to as long as two years depending on your body’s existing iodine levels and your body’s ability to absorb the iodine it needs. Various toxins and certain competing halogens that have accumulated in your body interfere with the absorption process and need to be gotten rid of. Your appropriate dosage for Lugols iodine is based on several factors depending on how those factors apply to you and to what degree. You will not find one answer that applies to everyone nor should you assume that any generic dosage recommendation you happen to run across is appropriate for you. Once you have a complete understanding of the process you can confidently and effectively determine the dosage that is most appropriate for you. All of the information and everything you need to do this correctly is in my kits. Simply decide whether you want to take your Lugols iodine solution in liquid, tablets, or capsules.
Why do I need to buy a kit to do this?
A wise person discerns when to take short cuts...and when not to. Without a road map you won’t know what to look for along the way. You will not have the experiences of others to guide you and you won’t recognize the milestones that give you the confidence to stay with your routine. Rebuilding your body’s iodine to the healthy level of sufficiency required takes time. The process could take a minimum of six months to as long as two years depending on the degree of your deficiency and the ability of your body to re-absorb iodine. Your body will not re-absorb iodine effectively unless you detoxify first. This is a process and there is a procedure involved. If you have a good doctor you are comfortable with who is experienced with implementing iodine supplementation in their practice and can guide you through this process, visit them to get started. If you don't, and you try this on your own without the guidelines I will send you and without the other information included in my kit, you will start your supplementation but it is unlikely that you will carry through. You may take short cuts on the detoxification process, if you do it at all. Your dosage may not be appropriate and your efforts may be sporadic, and your results mixed, or worse, you will just give up and never experience the benefits.
Think of it this way. Would you attempt to prepare a wonderful and memorable meal without a recipe in mind and all the necessary ingredients on hand? Would you try and repair something as important as your car’s brakes without the parts, repair manual and tools necessary to do the job?
Iodine supplementation is essential. It is your foundation for a long and enjoyable life. There are many things in life that we cannot control but this is one you can. Don't allow your iodine deficiency to rob you of your health and deprive you of enjoying everything you've worked for. What is the point of planning for an active and fulfilling retirement if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it?
I want you to know about this information. But more than that, I want you to apply this information successfully! The thought and effort that has gone into creating my kits was expended for only one reason and that is to give you the tools to start and carry through with your supplementation in the manner most likely to yield long term results so that you can experience the same benefits that I, and millions of others, already have.
Why do you produce several different kits?
Our Iodine For Life Starter Kits Starter contain Lugol Iodine in either liquid, tablet or capsule forms for individual preference and convenience. Our Iodoral and I-Thyroid kits contain the 12.5 mg tablets or capsules while the Lugol 2% liquid kits provide a variable dose of approximately 2.50 mg per vertical drop. The Lugols Premium kit includes liquid Lugols and the DVD described below. The other products, information and literature that accompany the Lugol iodine/iodide formula in each kit are exactly the same.
Want more clinical information and research data? Our DVD presentation, The History, Science and Research in Support of Lugol's Iodine Supplementation, described fully on our Products and Descriptions page and is available separately, or as a component of our Lugols Premium Kit, through our Amazon store.
How do I get started?
Order one of our Lugol iodine starter kits...Lugol iodine in liquid, tablets, or capsules. Helping you get started safely and correctly is what our kits are designed to do. You'll receive the products and information you need for basic and effective Lugol iodine supplementation and will see the Lugol iodine benefits for yourself. Read the book, review the literature, verify the the resources we provide, and satisfy yourself of the quality of the manufacturers who supply our products. You will re-discover the information that has been quietly obscured since the 1950's. Contact us with any questions you have. Place your order for U.S. or international delivery. The cost for international delivery is only about $10.00 U.S. All of our products come with Amazon's no questions, money back guaranty.