Last week we put our spotlight on A Critically Important Nutrient You Probably Don’t Think About. Did you tune in to find out what it was? This week we dive into one of our top ten lists, the 10 important health benefits of this critically important nutrient.
In this week's episode...
Empowering you Organically – Season 3 – Episode 22
Title: 10 Health Benefits of Iodine
Hosts: Jonathan Hunsaker & TeriAnn Trevenen
Iodine The fact is that iodine is utilized for just about every function in your body. Yet many people are unaware of their body’s need for iodine, and that iodine deficiency has reached epidemic proportions worldwide.
10 Important Health Benefits of Iodine
Here are 10 reasons why maintaining sufficient iodine levels is an absolute MUST for your health:
#10. Iodine Helps Stabilize Your Mood
- It is well known that low iodine levels can have an impact on the brain, as mentioned above. More recent research has also linked iodine deficiency to depression and anxiety. A 2004 study conducted by German researchers and published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC524961/ ] found a link between “alterations of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and mild cases of depression and anxiety.”
- TSH is produced by the pituitary gland to signal the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones. Fluctuations in TSH are often an indication that the thyroid is not getting enough iodine to do its job [ https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid/how-your-thyroid-works ].
#9. Iodine Maintains Strong Teeth and Bones
- Iodine assists in the production of strong teeth and bones by being a key player in calcium absorption. In fact, the connection between low iodine, low calcium absorption, and hypothyroidism has been known by researchers for at least the last hundred years https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/542133?redirect=true
- One of the functions of the thyroid is the production of calcitonin, a hormone which helps balance blood calcium levels. This mechanism not only leads to maintain strong bones; it also plays a role in healthy functioning of the nervous system, heart and muscles.
#8. Iodine Helps Prevents Hair Loss
- Besides protecting the skin and eyes from UV radiation, adequate levels of iodine can give your skin and hair a healthy glow. This is because iodine is involved in cellular rejuvenation [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3686082/ ]. Healthy iodine levels also prevent hair loss because of the nutrients supplied to the thyroid gland [ https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/vitamin-deficiencies-are-a-lot-more- obvious-than-you-might-think/news-story/13bdd6f148d12b29b3d3cc53f9910766 ].
- Iodine in combination with other essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc can be a powerful internal tonic for thinning hair.
#7. Iodine Ensures Reproductive Health
- Did you know that Japanese women have the lowest rates of breast cancer in the world? A 2003 report published in the journal Breast Cancer Research postulated that this could be a direct result of eating iodine- and selenium-rich seaweed, which is a staple in the Japanese diet [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314438/ ].
- Iodine is fuel for reproductive glands as well as the thyroid. Studies suggest that getting enough iodine can help prevent fibrocystic breast disease, preeclampsia, ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, vaginitis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and even breast cancer. Enough iodine in the body is also one aspect of a healthy pregnancy [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28260263 ].
#6. Iodine Is a Powerful Antioxidant
- According to some experts, iodine may be as powerful in this regard as vitamin C! [https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/93/11/4381/2627273 ]
- It can help reduce free radical damage that may lead to gene mutation and disease.
- It is a great boon for the immune system as it helps clean the blood of harmful pathogens.
- A 2013 meta-analysis [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3752513/] published by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in the journal Thyroid found that iodine is “an antioxidant as well as an antiproliferative and differentiation agent” which can help clear up free radical damage in many organs of the body.
- It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
#5. Iodine Is a Natural Antiseptic
- Maybe you remember that brownish-red solution your mom used to apply when you had a cut? For everything from cleaning wounds to purifying water, iodine is a sterilizing substance that can kill unhealthy organisms, bacteria and viruses.
- A 2015 Iranian study found that a low-concentration iodine antiseptic used after oral surgery helped instigate first-stage wound healing in the surgery area, leading to faster recovery and less chance of infection [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25249172 ].
#4. Iodine Protects You From Radiation
- It is a natural protectant from UV radiation for the eyes, according to a 2004 Austrian study [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14676959 ].
- Iodine supplementation can also be used to help individuals suffering from long- term radiation exposure. The effects of too much radiation can happen because of accidents, medical devices, and the radiation emitted by TSA scanners at airports.
- A 2008 study [ https://www.rrjournal.org/doi/abs/10.1667/RR0944.1 ] published in Radiation Research discovered that “terahertz radiation” like that found in airport x-ray scanners is linked to genetic mutation. Adequate amounts of iodine in the body is a must for anyone who travels a lot.
#3. Iodine Protects the Body From Toxins
- Fluoride, chlorine, and bromine are dangerous chemicals found in everything from new car interiors to tap water.
- They can also severely hinder thyroid function.
- Maintaining healthy iodine levels can block these “halide” chemicals from accumulating [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8909694 ].
- Iodine can also protect against xenoestrogens – “chemical mimics” – that can lead to reproductive conditions like ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5051569/].
- Some experts, such as author and natural health advocate Dr. Mark Sircus [https://drsircus.com/detox/iodine-and-detoxification/#_edn1 ], point to the possibility that iodine may also help with mercury detoxification.
#2. Iodine Helps Your Brain Stay Sharp
- Iodine deficiency has been linked to cognitive decline in countless studies and is one of the “world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, cause[s] of brain damage,” according to the World Health Organization [https://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/idd/en/ ].
- Iodine deficiency during pregnancy has been linked to autism in a recent University of Arizona study [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16845157 ].
- Furthermore, a 2013 Australian investigation published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience found that iodine supplementation improved the perceptual reasoning of slightly deficient children considerably [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3607807/ ].
#1. Iodine Is Necessary for Metabolism and Thyroid Function
- Metabolism is the act of converting food into substances your body can use.
- It helps the body break down food into nutrients via the thyroid gland and other mechanisms.
- Iodine is the literal “fuel” for the thyroid. Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are the main hormones that the thyroid produces.
- For these hormones to be created, they need iodine. Good thyroid health also helps your body keep a steady heart rate, regulate temperature, improve digestion, and maintain a healthy weight. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK28/
Nascent Iodine – is also known as atomic iodine, monatomic iodine, Atomidine, or colloidal iodine. The term “nascent” refers to iodine that has an incomplete number of electrons. This gives it an electrical charge, according to a report conducted by the non-profit Weston Price Foundation and others.
- Many forms of dietary iodine break down into iodide in the digestive tract. In this state, iodine-dependent organs like the thyroid and reproductive organs cannot use it. The charge of nascent iodine helps it stay intact and absorb quickly and thoroughly into the organs that need it most.
Deeper Dive Resources
History of U.S. Iodine Fortification and Supplementation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509517/
NIH Fact Sheet for Professionals https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/
Iodine Deficiency – American Thyroid Association https://www.thyroid.org/iodine-deficiency/
The Great Iodine Debate – Weston Price Foundation https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/modern-diseases/the-great-iodine-debate/
Iodine Articles in Organixx’s INSPIRED Health Library https://organixx.com/?s=Iodine&selector=art
Organixx Iodine https://shop.organixx.com/products/iodine
Empowering You Organically – Season 3 – Episode 22
Jonathan: Welcome, all of you healthy organic and beautiful people, to another episode of Empowering You Organically, joined by my co-host, TeriAnn Trevenen.
TeriAnn: Hey, everyone.
Jonathan: Today, we are talking about 10 iodine health benefits. You know we love our top 10 lists over here, right? And the feedback from you is that you guys love our top 10 lists as well. So, we did a podcast last week talking about recognizing iodine deficiency and different symptoms and things like that, so we wanted to follow up with a top 10 list. I feel like David Letterman at times.
TeriAnn: Right? Sometimes we do top 27 lists.
Jonathan: We do.
TeriAnn: And those are our most pop—that was our most popular podcast for a while.
Jonathan: It was, it was. That was for surviving the holidays.
TeriAnn: The holidays.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Hopefully, most of you have survived it and are getting healthier every day this year.
TeriAnn: Yeah. And by the way, I loved the top 10 lists on David Letterman, just a random plug, but I really used to love to watch those. So, we love that you love our lists, and we love them too. Today, we’re talking about iodine. And iodine, just to talk a little bit on what we spoke about last week, is absolutely essential for every function in your body, including immune function, cardiovascular health and metabolism, of course, it’s most instrumental for the thyroid, since iodine is the foundation for the thyroid hormone production.
Last time, we talked about that the American Thyroid Association said that close to half of the US— half—let me repeat that. Close to half of the US population suffers from lack of energy, temperature dysregulation, cognitive impairment, metabolic irregularity, and other conditions consistent with insufficient iodine intake.
So, it’s a big problem, and we talked last time about some of the symptoms of an iodine deficiency. We talked about the history of iodine. Iodine used to be in every medical bag. Doctors used it all the time. We talked about it being used for—as an antibiotic, topically and orally. And so, it’s been around for a long time, since 1811. And we talked about how there’s just deficiency there, overall now.
Jonathan: And for those of you that didn’t tune in last time and aren’t very familiar with iodine, we are
not talking about the iodine that you may have had when you were growing up, when you cut your knee or got a scrape or something like that, and your mom put iodine on you. This is different. We’re talking about an iodine that you would take orally, and we talked about the different kinds to take orally and all of that. So, without us spending too much time on what we covered in the last podcast, just go listen to the last podcast if you missed it. And today, let’s jump just straight into the 10 important iodine benefits.
TeriAnn: Number 10. Iodine helps stabilize your mood. It is well-known that low iodine levels can have an impact on the brain, as mentioned above. More recent research has also linked iodine deficiency to depression and anxiety. So, it’s a really big deal. I mean stabilizing your mood, having a positive, happy mood, not being in those depressive moods, can boil down to iodine and having enough iodine in your body.
Jonathan: Absolutely. And it’s likely never just one thing, it’s probably an accumulation of different things.
Jonathan: Lack of exercise, different things like that that can change your mood. But one thing that we really do know is how many people are iodine-deficient. And so, if you find yourself in gloomy moods more often than not, diet can help with that, and iodine especially, can help with that.
TeriAnn: Over half the population has iodine deficiency. So, think about that in relation to depression and anxiety, right?
Jonathan: Absolutely. Number 9. Iodine maintains strong teeth and bones. Iodine assists in the production of strong teeth and bones by being a key player in calcium absorption. In fact, the connection between low iodine, low calcium absorption, and hypothyroidism has been known by researchers for at least the last 100 years.
It’s very, very interesting about that, because I remember, I don’t know if it was a previous podcast or I was just talking to somebody else and we were talking about different ways to take iodine, but I was sharing on the last podcast that when I do take iodine, and I put a dropperful in my mouth and a little bit of water, and then I swish it around, because it is so good for your teeth.
TeriAnn: Yeah, and it’s a great way to get it in that way. Number 8. Iodine helps prevent hair loss.
So, we talked about one of the things to show that you have iodine deficiency is hair loss. So, supplementing with it helps to prevent that from happening.
Besides protecting the skin and eyes from UV radiation, adequate levels of iodine can give your skin and hair a healthy glow. This is because iodine is involved in cellular rejuvenation. Healthy iodine levels also
prevent hair loss because of the nutrients supplied to the thyroid gland. So, think about all that goes on in the thyroid gland, which we’ve touched on some of those things. It helps to keep those levels in check.
Jonathan: Yeah, and I mean iodine in combination with other essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc, can be a powerful internal tonic for thinning hair.
Jonathan: It’s just it amazes me, and we talked about this on the last podcast, how many things iodine can help with. And yet, it’s never talked about.
Jonathan: I was never taught about iodine by my mom. I was never taught about it in school or any health things. Most things you read about online don’t even talk about iodine.
Jonathan: And it’s such an essential mineral to have in your body.
TeriAnn: Yeah, and I mean we’ve said it before, we said it in the last podcast, but instead of running to your doctor and taking a drug to fix something that you’re experiencing with your thyroid, you may very well want to check your levels as far as iodine goes and making sure you’re getting that in your diet.
Jonathan: Number 7. Iodine ensures reproductive health. Did you know that Japanese women have the lowest rates of breast cancer in the world? A 2003 report published in the Journal of Breast Cancer Research postulated that this could be a direct result of eating iodine and selenium-rich seaweed, which is a staple in the Japanese diet. Iodine is fuel for reproductive glands, as well as the thyroid. Studies suggest that getting enough iodine can help prevent fibrocystic breast disease, pre-eclampsia, ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, vaginitis, and even breast cancer. Enough iodine in the body is also one aspect of a healthy pregnancy.
TeriAnn: Yep. And we talked about, too, just on that note, pregnant women being iodine deficient and how that can impact the growth of the baby, and brain development and things like that, which I don’t think we talk about that ever, when I think about—I think back to being pregnant with my children before I really knew about natural health and supplementation, I never went to the doctor and had a conversation “Are you deficient in iodine?” Because it really helps with the production, as you’re growing a baby and as you’re—as the baby’s developing. Never had that conversation, and I don’t know that many do.
Jonathan: I am going to throw a disclaimer in here really quickly that neither TeriAnn or I are doctors. We’re not diagnosing anything, we’re not telling you that iodine will treat anything or cure anything, or
anything like that. And I say that because it’s especially sensitive on the topic of pregnancy and pregnant women.
We’re talking about a lot of things from our own research and from our own experience. And by the way, we—if you go to EmpoweringYouOrganically.com, you can take a look at the show notes, and you’ll see a list of all of our resources, if you want to go read more about it. All of the different websites that we’re sourcing.
Jonathan: All of the research that we did about this. But I just want to clarify that everything we’re telling you right now is for educational purposes. And if you are pregnant or if your daughter’s pregnant or somebody you know is pregnant, encourage them to talk to a naturopath about it, encourage them to find out more about it and see if iodine is a smart solution for them.
TeriAnn: Yeah, absolutely. Number six. Iodine is a powerful antioxidant. According to some experts, iodine may be as powerful in this regard as vitamin C, which that’s a pretty strong statement. It can help reduce free radical damage that may lead to gene mutation and disease. It is a great boon for the immune system as it helps clean the blood of harmful pathogens. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory, which is very, very important.
Jonathan: You start to see why every doctor had iodine in their bag, right?
Jonathan: It’s like “Oh, you have this? Well here, take some iodine.”
Jonathan: “You have that? Take some iodine.”
TeriAnn: “It’ll fix everything.” Yep.
Jonathan: Iodine is a natural antiseptic, maybe you remember that brownish-red solution your mom used to apply when you had a cut, for everything from cleaning wounds to purifying water, iodine is a sterilizing substance that can kill unhealthy organisms, bacteria, and viruses. A 2015 Iranian study found that a low concentration iodine antiseptic used after oral surgery helped instigate first-stage wound healing in the surgery area, leading to faster recovery and less chance of infection.
I mean we all—it’s a no-brainer, right? We all know that iodine works for your cuts and externally. I do want to say that there is a difference when we’re talking about, and I said this earlier, about the oral iodine that you would take, or taking iodine orally versus what you’re putting on your skin externally.
TeriAnn: Yep. Number 4. Iodine protects you from radiation. It is a natural protectant from UV radiation for the eyes, according to a 2004 Austrian study. Iodine supplementation can also be used to help individuals suffering from long-term radiation exposure. The effects of too much radiation can happen because of accidents, medical devices, and the radiation emitted by TSA scanners at airports.
There’s a lot of radiation going on in the world now, in different forms. If you’ve been exposed to long- term effects of radiation, this may be something that can help you. That’s definitely one that I would consult with someone on and see how you need to treat that and how you need to work through that, because that’s a really big deal. But it could potentially help with that.
Jonathan: Absolutely. I mean if you’re somebody that travels a lot, you’re exposed to a certain amount of radiation just going up in the plane, right? I remember a TSA agent saying “Well, you’re going to get radiation once you go up in a plane. It’s fine to go through this scanner.” And I’m like “Well, why do I want to double it?”
Jonathan: It’s like “Alright, I get it. I’m getting some when I go on the plane, but why am I going to take some more from you for free?” So, I say all that to say, adding some iodine if you travel a lot can be a great defense against all that radiation that you’re getting. For those of you that are survivalists, or that have bugout bags, some call them “Doomsdayers,” whatever it is, preppers, I think it’s essential to have a bottle of iodine with you.
I mean if you’re preparing for the worst, having iodine, iodine tablets, having multiple of it, can really help protect you. I know during the nuclear meltdown in Fukishima that the iodine supply went really low. There was a lot of people that were on it. And in a crisis time is when you’re not going to find it. So, just consider that if you have a concern around radiation, or this is something that you and your family practice, get some iodine ahead of time, already have what you need and add it to your bags and for your plans.
TeriAnn: Number 3. Iodine protects the body from toxins. Fluoride, chlorine, and bromine are dangerous chemicals found in everything from new car interiors to tap water. They can also severely hinder thyroid function. Maintaining healthy iodine levels can block these halide chemicals from accumulating. Iodine can also protect against xenoestrogens, chemical mimics that can lead to reproductive conditions like ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. Some experts, such as author and natural health advocate, Dr. Mark Sircus, point to the possibility that iodine may also help with mercury detoxification.
So, there’s a lot of chemicals and toxins going on there, and just like radiation, iodine can help protect the body from those toxins and flush it out of the system as well.
Jonathan: What I know from previous interviews, by simply keeping your iodine levels high, then it fills the cell so that it doesn’t absorb the fluoride, the chlorine, the bromamide. So, when you’re deficient in that, well then, it’s going to fill up with the fluorides and the chlorines naturally, but if you have enough iodine in your system, then you’re not going to absorb the other harmful chemicals.
Jonathan: Number 2. Iodine helps your brain stay sharp. I need to take more of that, then. Iodine deficiency has been linked to cognitive decline in countless studies, and is one of the world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, causes of brain damage, according to the World Health Organization. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy has been linked to autism in a recent University of Arizona study.
It’s very interesting, just how much we’re learning about all kinds of things. And I think we think we know a lot about the brain, but I think we’re just getting started. And some of these studies, I mean the iodine deficiency, which I’d never heard about, especially during pregnancy or with pregnant women, until we were researching a lot more about this, it’s just not common knowledge, right?
Jonathan: And it’s such a big factor in the baby’s brain developing. It’s such a big factor as you get older, right? And so, it’s been linked to cognitive decline if you’re iodine deficient. Most of our audience listening is 40+, right? So, if you’re concerned about your mental health as you get older, consider that— consider if you’re getting enough iodine or not in your diet.
TeriAnn: Yeah. Well, and when you talk about just learning things, especially in relation to the brain, we just had John Easterling here. We were talking about some research that just came out a month ago, where they’re showing that candida can go across your bloodstream and into your brain, and what that’s doing to your brain.
And when you say—you mentioned there’s so much we don’t know about our health, and we’re still learning, and I think the brain is definitely one of those areas where we’re advancing quickly. When we look at the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia and how drastically that’s increasing for our population, it would just be interesting to look at iodine and how it helps with your brain and how it helps your brain to develop over time. I can’t say much on that, I’m not an expert, but I just think with all the developments in the brain, and what we were talking about previously around that, it’d be very interesting to see the connection of development of the brain over time and how iodine helps your brain to stay—
Jonathan: Well, and we’re talking about, yeah, development, right? So, from pregnancy to as you’re a young child and your brain’s developing, up until I think you’re 25, how much it can help there, but then how much does it help prevent it from declining as well?
Jonathan: So, as you get older now and you start building up the plaque in your brain and all the other things that help add to the cognitive decrease, right?
Jonathan: That having enough iodine. So, I mean it’s just—if you’ve been listening to this top 9 so far on our list, and you’re not taking an iodine supplement, it’s becoming a no-brainer.
Jonathan: No pun intended.
TeriAnn: No pun intended. Number 1. Iodine is necessary for metabolism and thyroid function. Metabolism is the act of converting food into substances your body can use. It helps the body break down food into nutrients via the thyroid gland and other mechanisms. Iodine is the literal fuel for the thyroid, so it’s super, super important. For these hormones to be created, they need iodine. Good thyroid health also helps your body keep a steady heart rate, regulate temperature, improve digestion, and maintain a healthy weight.
Jonathan: This number one, I think is what most people think about when they think about iodine, and that’s just your thyroid function. And yes, that’s why it’s number one on our list. It is probably the most well-known and one of the biggest factors there. But the other nine are the supporting ones, right? So, if your thyroid is healthy, consider about all of these other ones.
TeriAnn: Yep, absolutely. And I want to just touch really quickly on one last thing, and we talked about this in our previous podcast on iodine, but there are ways to get iodine into your system just through diet. Seaweed, seafood, fish, eggs, spinach, dairy, strawberries, cranberries, and beyond. But food alone is obviously not alone—not enough alone to help with your iodine levels in your body.
So, looking at a really healthy iodine, and I’m just going to quickly say if you’re looking for an iodine supplement, you should be looking for nascent iodine. If you want to learn more about that, you can listen to our last podcast and what nascent iodine does as far as your body being able to absorb the iodine and actually use it.
Make sure that it comes from a vegan and organic source, sourced directly from the earth, and that it’s especially formulated to be gentle on the body but still absorb and help your body. So, just looking for those things. So, there are ways to get more iodine in your body if you think you’re iodine-deficient. You can definitely go to a naturopath, you can get bloodwork done, you can check out where your levels are.
And I think it’s really important to do that. Again, we talked about in the beginning, how important iodine is for every function in your body, and it’s just not something we talk about. We don’t talk about how it helps with immune function, cardiovascular health, teeth, eyes, hair, metabolism, all of these things that your body does on a daily basis. So, definitely, if you’re looking for something to improve with your iodine in your body and not be deficient, be looking for a good product to supplement with.
Jonathan: Absolutely. And I will shamelessly plug Organixx’s USDA-certified organic Iodine. It’s interesting, Organixx, our supplement company, we are not of the belief to create 500 different products and 500 different vitamins and things like that, but just creating the essentials. And we could not follow that belief system without having an iodine supplement because it is so essential in your health.
And as with everything we do, I mean we’re sourcing the cleanest ones out there. It is one of the very few USDA-certified organic nascent iodines on the market, and I highly encourage you to go to Organixx.com, check it out. Go to Amazon.com and search for us there. But yeah, just a shameless plug there, that if you’re looking to add iodine to your daily regimen, consider checking ours out. And if ours isn’t the right one for you, no worries. At least find one that’s a high quality USDA-certified nascent iodine that you’re going to add into your daily regimen.
TeriAnn: Yep. So, if you want more information on iodine, you can check out our podcast from last week, and hopefully today, this is giving you a lot of good information around iodine that you didn’t know before.
Jonathan: As always, if you love what we’re doing here, please rate us on iTunes. Give us a four or five star rating if you feel like we’ve earned it. Leave us a written review. The more that you do that, the more that we are exposed to other people, or more—I should say they get exposed to us and can listen, and hopefully, we can help change their world and their life, and help them become healthier through the information that we broadcast through our podcasts. So, thank you for tuning in. TeriAnn, thank you for joining us once again.
TeriAnn: Thank you.
Jonathan: And I hope you have a fabulous week. We will see you next time.