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You are here: Home > Iodine: Essential to the Body
Lugol's Iodine is essential for normal body Function.

Iodine is an essential mineral, in that it must be found in one's diet. The body has no way to produce its own iodine. Seventy to eighty percent of iodine is found in the thyroid gland in the neck. The rest is distributed throughout the body, particularly in the ovaries, muscles, and blood. A deficiency of iodine can lead to hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels); symptoms of this condition include sluggishness, weight gain, and sensitivity to temperature changes. In infants and children, hypothyroidism can impair physical and mental development.

Dr. Guy Abraham has proposed that the optimal daily dose of iodine for a person is approximately 12.5 mg, which is 100 times the RDA of 0.125 mg. He believes that the current prevailing medical opinion that more than 2 mg a day of iodine is toxic is wrong. He traces the source of this major blunder to a scientific experiment on rats that was published in 1948 by Drs. Wolff and Chaikoff, which erroneously concluded that iodine inhibits the thyroid gland at doses of about 20 times the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iodine. This conclusion was later generalized to humans and can be found in medical textbooks, including endocrinology and nutrition textbooks.  

 

The commonly accepted medical opinion is that iodine’s only role in the body is to help make thyroid hormones. Although this is an extremely important function, Abraham demonstrates that the role of iodine in the body goes far beyond its function of making thyroid hormones. Other possible functions include: helping to regulate moods, helping to regulate blood pressure, helping to regulate blood sugar, and helping to reduce abnormal cardiac rhythms. Other research has shown that Japanese women, who have one of the lowest breast cancer rates in the world, ingest more than 13 mg of iodine daily from seaweed without suffering any adverse consequences. He further demonstrates that iodine tends to be antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antifungal and that it enhances immune function. Furthermore, he suggests that suboptimal iodine intake may contribute to various thyroid abnormalities commonly seen today, including hypothyroidism (underactive), hyperthyroidism (overactive) and autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid (Hashimoto’s Disease)

 

Dr. Abraham started his Iodine Project around 1998 when he became aware of the many benefits of treating patients with iodine using doses far beyond the 2 mg a day, which most physicians consider to be potentially toxic. He noted that starting in the 1820s, the French physician Jean Lugol used these higher doses to treat a wide variety of conditions. Dr. Lugol combined elemental iodine (5 %) and potassium iodide (10%) with 85 % water. Since iodine kills infectious agents, Dr. Lugol successfully treated many infectious conditions with this solution, which became known as Lugol’s solution, and which is still available today by prescription. Prior to World War II, many American and European physicians used Lugol’s solution to treat thyroid conditions, using doses higher than 2 mg daily without apparent significant adverse effects.


other scientific FACTS:



Goiter prevention

Iodine deficiency is one of the causes of goiter (hypertrophy of the thyroid gland as it tries to make more thyroid hormone in the absence of iodine). Physically, goiter appears as an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck. Other causes of goiter include autoimmune thyroiditis, excess iodine, other hormonal disorders, radiation exposure, infectious causes, or inborn errors of metabolism. Although goiter due to low iodine intake is rare in developed countries, it may occur in regions with endemic low iodine levels. To avoid iodine deficiency in the United States, table salt is enriched with iodine ("iodized" salt) and iodine is added to cattle feed and used as a dough conditioner. Iodine supplementation is generally not recommended in developed countries where sufficient iodine intake is common, and excess iodine can actually cause medical complications (including goiter).Iodine supplementation should be considered in cases of known iodine deficiency and should be administered with medical supervision if possible. Notably, the treatment of goiter usually involves the administration of thyroid hormone, most commonly levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid®, Levoxyl®, Levothroid®). Iodine is essential in the regulation of the thyroid and Lugol's solution is one of the best sources.


Iodine deficiency

In regions with low iodine intake or cases of known deficiency, iodine enrichment of foods or supplementation should be considered. To avoid iodine deficiency in the United States, table salt is enriched with iodine ("iodized" salt), and iodine is added to cattle feed and used as a dough conditioner (However such a practice was ceased because of the claim iodine is toxic.). While iodine deficiency is not common in developed countries, it is common in other parts of the world. When considering iodine enrichment or supplementation, supervision by medical personnel or public health officials is recommended due to the potential complications involved with iodine replacement in the setting of previous deprivation, particularly if considering supplementation in pregnant women or children. It is a proven fact that people that consume 12mg or more of iodine per day live healthier lives as pointed out by the use of iodine in the Japanese diet.


Radiation emergency (potassium iodide thyroid protection)

Potassium iodide (KI) can be taken in the setting of radiation exposure in order to reduce levels of radioactive iodine uptake by the thyroid, thus reducing the risk of later development of thyroid cancer. It is important to note that KI does not provide immediate protection from radiation damage and does not have protective effects against other complications of radiation exposure. KI can serve as a part of a general strategy in cases of radiation emergencies, in conjunction with shelter and control of foodstuffs. Many radiation emergency kits include KI.


Skin disinfectant/sterilization

Iodine is commonly used in topical disinfectant preparations for cleaning wounds, sterilizing skin before surgical/invasive procedures, or sterilizing catheter entry sites. Betadine solution, for example, contains povidone-iodine. Other topical disinfectants include alcohol and antibiotics and iodine is sometimes used in combination with these. Commercially prepared iodine products are recommended in order to assure appropriate concentrations. Lugol's iodine has also been used successfully as a disinfectant and sterilizer.


Water purification

Iodine can be used as an antimicrobial agent for the emergency purification of water. Tablets and solutions are commercially available. Effects generally occur within 15 minutes. Lugol's iodine can also be used as a water purifier add 2-3 drops of 5% iodine per liter of water (add a vitamin C tablet to improve taste).


Bacterial conjunctivitis

Povidone-iodine solutions have been used in the management of childhood bacterial conjunctivitis and may be as effective as other anti-bacterial solutions such as neomycin-polymyxin B-gramicidin. This is not an effective treatment for viral conjunctivitis. Medical supervision is recommended. Lugol's iodine is another great source to use on bacterial conjunctivitis.


Graves disease (adjunct iodine/iodides)

Graves disease is an immune-mediated disorder that causes hyperthyroidism. Thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins bind to the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor, mimic the action of thyroid TSH, and stimulate thyroid growth and thyroid hormone overproduction. Standard treatments for Graves disease target the thyroid gland (rather than the source of the disorder) and include antithyroid drugs such as propylthiouracil or methimazole, radioactive iodine to ablate (destroy) thyroid cells, or surgery to remove thyroid tissue. Beta-blocker drugs may be used to control symptoms. Iodide preparations can be used to suppress thyroid hormone release from the thyroid, such as strong iodine solution (Lugol solution), potassium iodide (SSKI), and iodinated radiographic contrast agents (sodium ipodate). Patients undergoing thyroid surgery are commonly treated preoperatively with antithyroid drugs to achieve a euthyroid state, then SSKI. Lugol's has shown excellent promise for use by people with Graves disease. 

Hearing loss (iodine deficiency)

Auditory disturbances may be present in iodine deficient children, and continuous iodine supplementation may improve the auditory thresholds. It is best not to use iodine that is made from shellfish for children.  Lugol's iodine that is made from mined crystals or from kelp is the best sources.


Ocular surgery infection prevention / cataract surgery antisepsis

Topical iodine solutions, such as povidone-iodine, are used preoperatively to sterilize prior to ophthalmologic procedures. For example, povidone-iodine solution has been studied and used preoperatively for cataract surgery antisepsis.


Ophthalmia neonatorum prevention

"Ophthalmia neonatorum" is defined as conjunctivitis with eye discharge that occurs during the first month of life. Various bacteria can cause this condition, including gonococcus and  Chlamydia trachomatis . Several agents have been used as drops in the eyes to prevent this condition in infants, including erythromycin, silver nitrate, gentamicin, and povidone-iodine. Tetracycline and penicillin drops have also been used. Although this condition is now uncommon in industrialized nations, it remains a problem in the developing world with an incidence as high as 20-30% and cases of blindness reported in Africa each year. Povidone-iodine ophthalmic solution appears to have broad-spectrum activity against bacteria and is less expensive than many antibiotics. It therefore may be a cost-effective option in some populations.


Oral mucositis There is limited research to suggest that iodine mouth rinses may decrease the severity of mucositis in the mouth related to cancer chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The management of mucositis should be discussed with the cancer care team


Thyrotoxicosis / thyroid storm (adjunct iodides)

Hyperthyroid crisis (thyroid storm) is a medical emergency caused by excessive release of thyroid hormones into the circulation. Initial management of this condition involves inhibition of thyroid function with thioamide drugs such as propylthiouracil or methimazole. Iodides (such as potassium iodide) can then be administered to block the release of thyroid hormone, but should only be given an hour after thioamides to assure that the iodide is not used by the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone and worsen symptoms. Caution is warranted because iodide preparations carry a risk of causing serum sickness. Iodides should not be used for long-term treatment of thyrotoxicosis.  However, Lugol's iodine solution that is made from mined iodine crystals can be used for long durations without any adverse side effects.

In Conclusion

Lugol's iodine is one of the best all around nutritional supplements. We usually get out iodine from food. However, with the mineral depletion in soil, getting the amount of iodine requieded by the body is impossible. Therefore, it is imperative that everyone take an iodine supplement.

Soy was a good source of iodine, however with it being so genetically modified, it does the opposite and depletes the iodine levels in the body.

Chlorine in the water supply also depletes iodine levels in the body. If you drink water from municiple water supplies and take baths or showers you are depleting iodine levels in the body. Adding fluoride to the water supply depletes iodine levels even more.

Then there is the issue of Fukasima and the radiation that was released. As a result of the disaster radiation levels are higher than they have ever been. Radiation levels in food have also increased as a result of the disaster.

It is recommended that you should take 10-14mg of iodine per day. You can take it internally in water or apply it externally to the body.

Keep checking back to this article. More research is currently being done regarding the benefits of iodine and how essential it is to the normal functions of the body.