Iodine Requirement

When I began testing my patients for iodine levels, I was amazed at the prevalence of iodine deficiency. As previously stated, 94.7% of my patients have tested low for iodine. I have noticed those patients with chronic illnesses, from autoimmune disorders to cancer, often have lower iodine levels as compared to relatively healthy patients. Why would people need the larger doses of iodine? Why have iodine levels fallen 50% in the last 30 years? As I pondered these questions, I came to the conclusion that the toxicity of modern life must be impacting iodine levels. It is well known that the toxic halides, fluoride and bromide, having a similar structure as iodine, can competitively inhibit iodine absorption and binding in the body. As I started to use larger doses of iodine (12.5-50mg/day), I began to see positive results in my patients. Goiters and nodules of the thyroid shrank. Cysts on the ovaries became smaller and began to disappear. Patients reported increased energy. Metabolism was increased as evidenced by my patients having new success in losing weight. Libido improved in men and women. People suffering with brain fog reported a clearing of their foggy feelings. Patients reported having vivid dreams and better sleep. Most importantly, those with chronic illnesses that were having a difficult time improving began to notice many of their symptoms resolving. Iodine/iodide supplementation has markedly improved the course of illness in fibrocystic breasts in almost all of my patients with fibrocystic breast disease. In addition those with breast cancer also improve. Nodules and fibrous changes of the breasts significantly improve in a short time period. I believe that the epidemic of breast disease we are seeing in this country is due, in no small part, to iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency is wide-spread. The National Health and Nutrition Survey undertaken by the CDC showed iodine levels falling over 50% in the last 30 years. All patients with chronic illness need to be assessed for iodine status.


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Iodine Requirement

Lab Values - Nutrients  

(Very) fast iodine patch disappearance

Counter Indicators
Lab Values - Nutrients  

Normal iodine patch disappearance

Symptoms - Metabolic  

Low body temperature

In one study using 1,500 mcg/day of iodine in those with fatigue and low temperature, the temperature did not come up, but the patients felt much better on it and had improved energy. Dr Jacob Teitelbaum MD

Conditions that suggest Iodine Requirement



The Immune System  


Tumors, Benign  

Tumors, Malignant  


Ovarian Cancer

Geographic differences in the rates of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer appear to be linked to iodine intake, suggesting that low intake may produce increased gonadotrophin stimulation leading to a hyperestrogenic state characterized by a relatively low estriol : (estrone + estradiol) ratio which may increase the risk of these cancers. [Lancet, pp.890-1, 1976]


Risk factors for Iodine Requirement

Supplements and Medications  

Iodine supplementation or consuming kelp

Symptoms - Food - Intake  

Eating a high glycemic diet

Bromides in flour was banned in the U.K. in 1990, and in Canada in 1994, as being toxic, but the FDA still allows its use in the U.S, as of 2008. As iodine and bromine (and fluorides) are all related chemically (called halides), they can act as competitive inhibitors to each other.

Iodine Requirement can lead to


Recommendations for Iodine Requirement



Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
Highly recommended



A essential mineral that is an integral part of the thyroid hormones, thyroxin and triiodothyronine which have important metabolic roles and govern basal metabolism. The best known iodine deficiency symptom is goiter. Other iodine deficiency problems are reduced vitality, hypothyroidism, inability to think clearly, low resistance to infection, loss of control of the muscles of the mouth resulting in mouth contortion and drooling, defective teeth, tendency to obesity and cretinism which is a congenital abnormal condition marked by physical stunting and mental deficiency.


Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Autoimmune Disease

One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.


Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.


(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.


Thyroid Gland: An organ with many veins. It is at the front of the neck. It is essential to normal body growth in infancy and childhood. It releases thyroid hormones - iodine-containing compounds that increase the rate of metabolism, affect body temperature, regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate catabolism in all cells. They keep up growth hormone release, skeletal maturation, and heart rate, force, and output. They promote central nervous system growth, stimulate the making of many enzymes, and are necessary for muscle tone and vigor.


A closed pocket or pouch of tissue; a cyst may form within any tissue in the body and can be filled with air, fluid, pus, or other material. Cysts within the lung generally are air filled, while cysts involving the lymph system or kidneys are fluid filled. Cysts under the skin are benign, extremely common, movable lumps. These may develop as a result of infection, clogging of sebaceous glands, developmental abnormalities or around foreign bodies.


The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.


Describes a disease occurring in extensive outbreaks, or with an unusually high incidence at certain times and places.


(mcg): 1/1,000 of a milligram in weight.


The (American) Food and Drug Administration. It is the official government agency that is responsible for ensuring that what we put into our bodies - particularly food and drugs - is safe and effective.

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