Iodine from kelpWhen Boomers were kids, iodine was a staple ingredient in many foods we ate every day, including bread and salt. Iodine is known to be a weapon against cancer. Unfortunately, iodine is no longer found in daily staples which means we need to supplement our diets to maintain our arsenal against cancer. Worse yet, iodine was replaced in bread making and other commonly used products with a known cancer causing agent. The following article talks about what happened to these sources of iodine and what we can do about it.

What You Should Know About Iodine and the Beneficial Role of Iodine Supplements in Cancer Prevention
By Graham Player

Previously we would never have thought of taking iodine supplements, as we all had adequate iodine in our normal daily diet. Iodine was in our salt and also in our bread. At that time a single slice of bread provided us with the recommended daily allowance of iodine of 150mcg.

However around 30 years ago the baking industry replaced iodine in bread with bromine in the form of potassium bromate. It is claimed that the reason for this is that bromated flour produces dough that is more elastic and also produces a better result. It is worth noting that subsequent to that the UK in 1990 banned the use of bromated flour, and Canada followed suit in 1994. In the USA it is believed that the FDA has known for a number of years that bromine is a cause of cancer based on studies with animals. Yet they list potassium bromate as a safe additive.

In addition to bread, bromine is commonly used in the following products and materials:

  • Toothpaste and mouthwash as an antiseptic and astringent.
  • Hair products and hair dyes.
  • Various household products as a flame retardant.
  • Nuts and oils as a preservative.
  • A fumigate for termites.
  • Hot tubs and pools as an antibacterial agent.
  • Many carbonated drinks.

Research indicates many cases of schizophrenia and depression have been attributed to increased levels of bromine. Within the body bromine can act as a neurotoxin affecting memory and learning, altering mood, and has been linked to behavioral changes. It is also known to disrupt the endocrine system enhancing estrogen reception, decreasing progesterone reception, and lowering sex-drive.

You may be wondering why I am focusing on bromine in a discussion about iodine. The answer lies in understanding some basic physiology. There is a group of elements known as halogens, which include iodine, fluorine, bromine and chlorine. At the cellular level the halogen family of elements each bind to the same receptor sites, and therefore compete with space against each other at those specific sites. If we consider for a moment our contemporary lifestyle and environment we can see very clearly that we are all exposed to fluorine, bromine and chlorine on a daily basis, and we have very little exposure to iodine. The result is that our cellular receptor sites for all the halogens are filled with fluorine, bromine and chlorine. Our levels of iodine have significantly diminished.

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Let’s have a quick look at the other halogens in our daily life. Chlorine is used in our water supply, in swimming pools, and as a whitener and disinfectant in many products. Fluorine is present in our water supply and toothpastes. Now you can begin to understand the exposure we all have to fluorine, bromine and chlorine in our environment.

But where does our iodine come from? Iodine is not manufactured in our body. It is consumed as part of our daily diet. It is a natural micro-nutrient found in the soil and the sea. So to consume iodine it must already exist in our food supply. It is present in seafood and sea vegetables, especially kelp, and also in foods grown in iodine-rich soil as well as animal products where those animals consumed iodine. As the sea and our soils have gradually become polluted and deficient in iodine there is little likelihood that our typical western diet today has sufficient iodine to support our needs and maintain our health.

From 1970 to 1990 a survey in the USA concluded that the level of iodine in the population declined by more than 50%. In the UK and Australia recent surveys found that the general population was indeed iodine deficient. In the early 1900’s iodine was added to salt, milk and bread to reduce the incidence of thyroid problems. However today this practice of adding iodine to milk and bread has ceased in most countries. Some countries still add iodine to salt, however most people today have dramatically reduced their use of salt fearing other health problems such as hypertension and elevated blood pressure. The end result is that we have an insufficiency of iodine in our diet and throughout our body.

Jorge D. Flechas, MD is a renowned expert on the subject of iodine. He made it clear in a paper he delivered at a conference in Las Vegas that the absence of iodine in the human body is a promoter of cancer. Iodine is present in many tissues throughout the body. The absence of iodine in breast tissue leads to fibrocystic breast disease (present today in more than 60% of women) which in turn can lead to breast cancer. In the ovaries the absence of iodine leads to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a health problem affecting hormone levels, periods, and ovulation in women. Women with PCOS have a higher incidence of ovarian cancer. Insufficient iodine present in the endometrium can lead to endometriosis which can eventually become cancerous.

Women would seem to be affected by lack of iodine more than men. The simple reason is that women have more estrogen. Estrogen is known to inhibit the body’s ability to absorb iodine. Today many people in our society are believed to be estrogen-dominant primarily as a result of the estrogens fed to animals and the xeno-estrogens now present in our environment. Therefore estrogen-dominance coupled with a severe lack of iodine in the diet has a compounding detrimental effect on our overall health. In men this combination is considered by some doctors to be the cause of the increased incidence of prostate cancer.

It is important for your own health that you consider discussing this with your own health-professional after you have done some basic research yourself. Unless they are well-informed of some of the latest research (not only by the pharmaceutical companies) most doctors today may not have a clear understanding of the significance and role of iodine in the body. Their views on the topic may only be based on research done in the first half of the 1900’s.

You may want to consider what this means to you and the health of your family. I personally have been taking iodine supplements for a long time as part of my regular daily health maintenance program.

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Graham Player Ph.D. is a Bachelor of Science graduate with Doctoral Degree in Health Sciences. He is an internationally recognized author of several books. To read more on the topic of iodine supplements and general information on iodine and its critical role in your health visit his site Article Source:
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