A French chemist discovered one of the rarest naturally occurring trace elements in the 1800’s – iodine. This element was found to be highly effective in treatment of thyroid gland issue goiter, and in 1924 its use as an additive to common table salt began in the United States. This was due to the high reported rate of iodine deficiency among the US population. Due to this decision, once a common condition, goiter was practically eliminated in the United States.
The fact that iodine, and its use in salt, is an essential piece to the puzzle that is our overall health has been taught in medical schools for decades. However, new research shows that iodine added to salt is difficult for our body to absorb efficiently.
The recommended daily intake of iodine is 150 mcg (micrograms) for adults, while for pregnant and lactating women recommended doses are 220 mcg and 290 mcg, respectively. The doses suggested are the ones that work in prevention of goiter, but they are not nearly enough for our organism’s other issues, such as thyroid optimization, increasing immune function, or cancer prevention.
Iodine against cancer
Cells’ natural life has three stages: growth, division, and ultimate death. The process of our cells dying off is called apoptosis. The cells that die off are being replaced by new ones constantly, and apoptosis keeps the cellular division in check, making sure they have a normal life-cycle. However, cancerous cells do not go through the process of apoptosis, which means their growth and life-cycle is unsupervised, which leads to them causing damage to our body.
David Brownstein, M.D. conducted a research and clinical trial on the impact of iodine in cancerous cell’s development. Dr. Brownstein and his team came to a conclusion that when taken in higher doses, iodine promotes apoptosis, and that chronic deficiencies and our body’s inability to utilize iodine efficiently set the stage for cancer development, especially in hormone-sensitive tissue and glands, such as prostate, uterus, ovaries, and breasts.
Sources of Iodine
Our organism does not produce iodine naturally, and obtaining sufficient iodine doses from food is a difficult task. However, the main source of iodine won’t run out of it any time soon. The ocean is our main source of this mineral, and apart from using sea salt, sea vegetables (such as sea weed) are proving to be a great source of concentrated iodine. Sea fish could also be a good source of iodine, but the mercury content can be an issue for regular consumption.
Other sources of iodine include the soil around oceans, which makes animals that graze in the coastal area a great iodine source. Organic crops grown in the soil that’s rich in iodine is another great source, as well as animals that are fed iodine as a supplement.
The last resort for iodine inefficiency are iodine supplements, which help toxic bodies regain the ability to absorb and utilize iodine, and eventually resolve issues with thyroid gland, and even cancer.
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