10-21-09 From Candace, who sent a link to a recent article by Dr. Mercola:
Q: What do you think about this article on thyroid? Dr. Mercola says taking Lugol’s / Iodoral is dangerous. I am confused. — Candice
A: Dr. Mercola is an intelligent and educated health advocate, and many people take his word as law in the Universe. However, I think some of the opinions in this article do a grave disservice to thousands of iodine-deficient persons. I was floored, for example, that he would suggest a prescription for potassium iodide over easily obtainable safe Lugol’s and Iodoral, which is Lugol’s in tablet form.
Lugol’s Solution has been used successfully for over a hundred years. It is my understanding that Dr. Lugol formulated his iodine solution based on what the body tissues prefer and can utilize. Some tissues and organs prefer the iodine, and some prefer the iodide form. Also, how does he think people are going to get prescriptions for iodine from their doctors, most of whom are iodine-phobic or plain ignorant?
Furthermore, not mentioned in the Mercola article is that every cell in the body needs iodine. Iodine is an essential nutrient, and there is no such thing as an allergy to iodine. You must have iodine to live. Also not covered is the fact that there are two types of iodine, organic and inorganic. The organic form is very dangerous and can harm or destroy the thyroid as in Radioactive Iodine. The non-radioactive, inorganic iodine, as in Lugol’s / Iodoral, is very safe and does NOT build up in the body as any excess is excreted by the kidneys within 24 hrs. This is why the urine iodine test is so accurate as an indicator of whole-body iodine levels.
I hunch that Dr. Mercola got a flood of objections to his mention of Iodoral in the article, because it has now been revised and the word iodine has now replaced the word Iodoral in the sentence that begins, “Please avoid…” and the sentence actually no longer makes sense. In his comment about why he doesn’t approve of Iodoral, he gives no basis for his opinion, other than someone else’s say so. I find that unhelpful. I would ask him for published research on it.
There are 20 published research articles on the safety and efficacy of Iodoral. You can read them at the Optimox site here: www.optimox.com and click on Iodine Research. If you would like a hard copy of this, Optimox will be happy to send you one. They also have a free DVD which is basically a slide show with Dr. Abraham reading the slides. In it he explains a lot of things which are not mentioned in the Mercola article. There are many, many articles in the medical literature about Lugol’s Solution.
To my knowledge there is NO published research on any other form of iodine supplement currently available, except possibly SSKI. When shopping for an iodine supplement, I recommend asking the seller about published research.
I have been and plan to continue taking 50 mg of Iodoral per day, as the body needs a continuous supply of iodine and it does not occur in diet. Dr. Mercola’s estimate of iodine needs is incorrect, in my opinion. My opinion is based on published research by Brownstein, Flechas, and Abraham, my own experience, and that of hundreds of people that I’ve talked to and heard from for the past five years.
I don’t want anyone taking MY word as law in the Universe, either. Everyone is different. We are taught to distrust our own experience and rely on the doctor, and sometimes, or maybe often, the doctor is wrong.
I have actually received letters from people whose docs had told them NEVER to take iodine in any form and to avoid dietary sources!!! That is what Dr. Abraham calls “medical iodophobia”. I think we need to trust our own experience and listen to our inner leading. If you are doing well with Iodoral, that is sufficient and you don’t need to be confused. Be sure to take vitamin C, B vitamins and selenium to aid absorption. I hope this answers your question.
Q: I found your site in my quest for better health. I am 45 years old and have severe hormone problems, including autoimmune hashimoto’s with hypothyroidism and a prolactinoma on my pituitary. I am currently on medication for both and after my research am thinking I may very well have an iodine deficiency. Do you know if it is safe to take Iodoral while taking thyroid hormone, Synthroid, and a medication to help keep my prolactinoma from increasing, Dostinex. I doubt my doctors will listen to any kind of therapy other than drug therapy, wish that wasn’t the case. I really would like to try this to see if it helps me. — Penny
A: You would do well to keep educating yourself and look for a more open minded doctor. I’ve been told by several people that Synthroid made them worse.
I would suggest both the Iodine book and the Thyroid book at www.drbrownstein.com, and a book by Dr. Mark Starr, MD, called Hypothyroidism Type 2.
You almost certainly have an iodine deficiency, but if you try Iodoral, be sure to start slowly, because you are probably carrying a load of bromines in your system, and iodine helps to kick them out, which can be uncomfortable for a while.
I am currently taking 50 mg Iodoral a day, have been on Iodoral 4 1/2 years. I also take 1 1/2 grains of natural desiccated thyroid a day.
Q: I have a question about Iodoral. I began taking 50 mg daily to treat my uterine fibroids. Perhaps it is coincidence but I am experiencing hot flashes. I am in my mid 4os, but my mom didn’t experience this until she was in her 60s. I was wondering if I am taking too much Iodoral?
Please let me know if you have read of this type of response to Iodoral? I was thinking that it may be a reaction to hasten the shrinkage of the fibroids. I’ll halt my Iodoral tomorrow and see what happens. — Angie.
A: Iodoral is designed to correct iodine deficiency, not to treat any disease or condition. Since fibroids can be a result of iodine deficiency, correcting the deficiency can often result in their disappearing.
If you started out with 50 mg a day, that may have been too much, but iodine will not cause hot flashes. If the hot flashes are not a detox sign indicating the release of toxic bromines from your system, they are probably unrelated. To determine if a lot of bromines are being thrown out, I recommend the urine test with Dr Flechas, mentioned elsewhere on my site.
Q: I’m suffering from a goiter on the left side of my neck and getting little to no help from the doctors I was happy to find your website. I’m reading Dr. Brownstein’s book: Iodine, Why you need it, why you can’t live without it.
I realize I’m Iodine deficient. My temperature is also low. I’m taking “Sea Vegg” Capsules, but they have not helped reduce the goiter. I would like to try Iodoral. Can I take them without getting a doctors okay? Like I said my doctor insists that I have surgery and has pretty well ‘fired’ me, since I’m not listening to his advice.
You’re mentioning Vitalzym. I have a bottle on the shelf in my kitchen and I’m taking it too. Not daily, when I think of it. Does it contain Iodine? Can I get too much Iodine if I take it and Sea Vegg and Iodoral??? What should I cut out? — S
A. Vitalzym does not contain Iodine. You can take it and SeaVegg and Iodoral together and it’s perfectly safe.
Your iodine-ignorant, knife-happy doctor fired you? Oh, happy day!! You have a chance to get well. You made the same decision I would have made in your shoes. Cutting out the thyroid does not remove the cause of goiter, it just removes the organ in which iodine deficiency shows up most visibly!! It also makes you a slave to the doctor (for life!!) for thyroid hormone, and you’ll STILL have an iodine deficiency!! (eyeroll)
I just called Sea-Vegg and asked how much iodine it contains. I got answers like this: ”It isn’t specified,” “Each batch is different,” “It’s a proprietary blend,” “There’s no way to tell.” The first three are evasive, and the last one is plain preposterous. I asked if it is tested for iodine content, and he said no. Apparently there isn’t enough iodine in it to make any difference to your goiter. So it may be a wonderful supplement, and I don’t know, never having tried it, but it doesn’t seem to be any kind of reliable as an iodine supplement.
Any iodine over and above what the body needs will pass out in the urine within 24 hours.
FYI, I am currently taking 67.5 mg Iodoral a day, and my hubby who is fighting cancer is taking 100 mg. I suggest starting out slow with one tab a day and work up gradually to what feels like optimum to you, since everyone is different. I also take about 10 Vitalzym a day.
Yes, you can take Iodoral without asking permission since it is a supplement and not a drug.As far as what to cut out? I would cut out what isn’t working.
Q. Hi, I found your website Googling ‘Iodoral’ to learn more about it. I am considering taking it but I do have some concerns. Almost everyone you talk to will tell you that you can get all the iodine you need from salt and that more than the recommended amount is dangerous. Here is my situation…
A doctor discovered that I had a goiter about 6 months ago. I had no idea but just thought I had a fat neck, after all, everything else was! I was put on .125mg of Levothroid. Over the next several months and currently, I developed digestive problems, a strange burning sensation in my neck, lots of sleeplessness, and weight loss beyond what was intentional. The doctor said I was getting too much hormone and reduced my dosage to .112mg. The symptoms still continue.
I want more than anything to get off of thyroid hormone if at all possible, and from the websites I have read, it would appear that I have an iodine deficiency. Can I take Iodoral with thyroid hormone and will the combination cause problems? Is it ever possible to go completely off the meds and take only Iodoral without the goiter growing back? My doctor does not put much stock in natural things but seems to think that all I need is Levothroid so he would not give me much positive input on this. Could you address my questions? I appreciate your time. Thank you. — CC
A: Dear “CC”, Thanks for your interesting letter!! I enjoyed reading it. It is so excellent that I may post it on my website on the questions page, without your name of course. I will answer as best I can.
First of all, let me say that it is absolutely NOT true that you can get all the iodine you need from salt. Even if it were remotely true, what about people put on salt free diets???
Next, the RDA was established as the MINIMUM that a person needed to prevent goiter. Since you have a goiter and you probably use iodized salt, that apparently isn’t enough for you.
I am currently taking 100 mg of Iodoral per day. I do not take drugs at all. I don’t recommend that you start with that much. As you no doubt read on my site, iodine helps the body throw out bromines and other halides that have taken the place of iodine in the thyroid and elsewhere. Starting with too much will cause the body to shout “Hurrah!!” and start throwing out the junk at a rate that can become uncomfortable. Then people may think it isn’t working, when that is actually the proof that it IS working. We are conditioned to think that symptoms equal illness. Actually, symptoms are our signal from the body that something is out of whack. If we shove the symptom down with drugs, the body tries to send the message again, but with a bigger symptom, somewhere else.
It often happens that the thyroid medicine doesn’t help low energy problems at all. That is because if the problem is iodine deficiency and you take the hormone instead, the thyroid still can’t do its job of making the hormone on its own like it’s supposed to, and can’t without iodine.
Next, even if the thyroid has enough iodine to prevent goiter, what about the rest of the iodine needs of the thyroid, to help combat stress and regulate the temperature?
Next, even if the thyroid has enough iodine for its own needs, what about the breast tissue which needs ten times as much iodine as the thyroid? Did you know that there are iodine receptors on every cell in the body? The Designer of the body wouldn’t have put them there if they had no function, do you think?
There would be no conflict between your meds and the Iodoral EXCEPT that the iodine supplementation MAY reduce your need for the meds. If your thyroid has been destroyed by the doctor already with surgery or radioactive iodine, you will probably have to keep taking some meds, though.
Drugs, as you are experiencing, have side effects. I would personally choose, indeed have chosen since my 20′s, to address and remove the cause of the distress rather than bludgeon my body with chemicals. I would fire any doctor who told me all I need is some drugs. You may like to read my paper, Questions To Ask Your Doctor. It is on my website here: www.quackcenter.com/questiondoc.html
Iodoral is not a “quick fix”. Getting well takes work. Taking Iodoral will over time correct your iodine deficiency, but every cell that needs it can’t just be filled up overnight.
I received a phone call from a woman whose daughter got Lyme Disease at 15 and is now 24, and very, very sick. Her very enlightened physician wanted her to try Iodoral, 4 tablets a day. I have not heard from her if it is helping, but Dr. Brownstein communicated to me via email that he has used it with Lyme patients.
Q: Would Iodoral help with the weight problem we women have when we reach our 50′s?”
A: As we get older, metabolism slows down. A contributing factor may be possible adrenal and thyroid exhaustion?? Also, we lose enzymes which have been keeping the fibrin at bay (see discussion of enzymes). Aside from endocrine balancing with iodine to get the weight falling off, I feel so much more energy that I WANT to move, so both my husband and I are walking more and enjoying it. That by itself should help some since exercise raises metabolism. I SHOULD weigh myself to get a baseline and keep track of it, but I don’t wanna.
By the way, this particular effect is pretty new. I had been from the start, feeling that I COULD do more, had energy to do my chores and work and stuff and not be so sleepy all the time, but this wanting to go and walk has just started since I’ve gone to a consistent 3 Iodoral a day, about 4 days now.
Q: Can Iodoral be taken along with 90 mg of Armour Thyroid a day? What effects?
I have been told I have low to inactive thyroid gland after taking 3 gr (90 mg?) Armour Thyroid a day for 35 years. — M
A: Thanks for writing! Yes, Iodoral can be taken with thyroid medication. My understanding is that if you have a low thyroid due to iodine deficiency and take thyroid medication instead of iodine, it won’t work that well. At least that was my experience. I had stopped taking the Armour product after 2 years because it didn’t work for me, but I was considering trying it again last winter here in Coos Bay during which I simply couldn’t get warm no matter what I did. That is approximately when I found Iodoral and now I wouldn’t dream of taking thyroid medication again.
The problem with replacement thyroid hormone is that it may tend to make the thyroid lazy. On the other hand, maybe the thyroid is just tired of trying to do its job with no iodine, without which it can NOT make thyroxine.
This is a long somewhat roundabout way to get to the direct answer to your question, which is that I would watch the response by the body. It may be that you don’t need the Armour thyroid, or don’t need as much of it, when using Iodoral to increase iodine in the body. Remember, it is not just the thyroid that needs iodine, but every cell in the body, especially the breast tissue, even in a man. Try taking ONE Iodoral tablet per day to start and see how you feel, and please let me know how you do. You should also let your doctor know that you are trying Iodoral. Perhaps you may like to have a 24-hr urine iodine test done. This is available on Dr. Flechas’s site.
Q: Does this product work with the hyperthyroid? My doctor wants me to try this because another patient of his did and it worked. Also, how much does one take? — B
A: It is my understanding that the thyroid must have iodine in order to function correctly. I’m not an expert on the thyroid, but what I’ve been told is that a HYPER thyroid will also respond to iodine, because the iodine normalizes its function. It is an interesting question and I am going to write to Dr. Abraham about it so I can give you a more informed answer. He is the doc who developed Iodoral, and he IS an expert!
How much to take: When I’m working with clients, I always suggest starting slowly with any new supplement, since every body is different and responses vary. Some people get results with a very low dose, such as one client who taks half a tablet of Iodoral daily, and others, such as my husband and one of my clients, are taking 4 Iodoral per day, 2 in the am and 2 in the pm. I suggest starting with a half tablet per day to see how your body responds. Remember, iodine is needed by every cell in the body as well as just the thyroid, only the thyroid is the one that grabs it first and most easily. I would add another half tablet about every 2nd or 3rd day, though I confess I don’t do it that way myself. I add more the next day if I felt ok with the previous day’s amount.
Note: An experience with Iodoral and hyperthyroid can be found on the Results Page, in the letter from Glenn.
Q: All my thyroid blood tests come back in the normal range, including the saliva tests that I recently took. My health practitioner recommends that I start Iodoral because the iodine liquid that I put on my leg disappeared within a 24 hour timeframe. more like a 12 hour timeframe. My symptoms have been fatigue, depression from time to time, dry skin, and he also suspects adrenal fatigue which he recommends a product called Isocort. He is checking out my hormone levels too. I do take plant enzymes. And yes, I do have stress. What is your opinion abput taking Iodoral? I am skeptical because I don’t want to damage my thyroid gland if I really don’t need a supplement. Thanks for your reply. — S
A: Taking iodine will not damage your thyroid. The thing that may make the thyroid lazy is taking the actual thyroid hormone, thyroxine. Studies have shown that you can take far more iodine than the recommended “RDA” (which is too low anyway, given what we know about iodine being needed by EVERY cell…) without any harm. Your thyroid, no matter how healthy it may be, cannot make thyroxine without iodine!
My blood tests came back normal too, but I was still cold and tired. Morton Walker wrote a book about this called I think the Invisible Disease or Invisible Illness or something like that. (Mental note to self: get the correct info and post it here with a link!) He recommends a temperature test in which upon awakening in the morning, BEFORE getting up or moving around, you reach over for your mercury or gallium thermometer which is already shaken ALL THE WAY DOWN, and stick it under your arm up into the armpit, and then lie still for TEN FULL MINUTES. If your thyroid is low like mine was it will register sometimes as low as 94 degrees! It should be up around 97.6 to 98. There are a bunch of complicated reasons why this is important, one of them being, as I understand it, that in order to fight off pathogens easily the body needs to be at a certain temperature.
The paint-iodine-on-your-skin test came out of the Pottenger Foundation in 1999. I learned about it then and started looking at how long it took to disappear. The first time it was 6 hours. Dr. Douglass, then editor of Second Opinion, said that to get more Iodine, simply keep painting it on until it lasts 24 hours. I did that, and it did help. However, Dr. Rowen, current editor of Second Opinion, points out that the thyroid finds it easy to pick up iodine from the skin or bloodstream, but the other organs and cells which need it are not so good at finding it and it must be in good supply to be usable by everybody.
Since I’ve been on Iodoral, I’m just not affected by the cold here in the Northwest. We have a kind of clammy cold here that I find very unpleasant, but is isn’t affecting me, or my new husband, that way as much any more. I give him 2-4 Iodoral a day and I generally take two.
I recommend that if you wish to try the Iodoral, perhaps you would start with half a tablet per day, then half twice a day, and work up, adding another half each time until you feel something happening. Apparently there is a saturation point. One of my clients here tells me that he was taking 2 tablets a day for several weeks, and then got TOO warm, and started to cut back, and he now is back to half tablet per day. His fatigue and coldness remain gone on this amount. And he is a very VERY slender man, though.
It sounds like you have a very enlightened practitioner. He obviously knows that when the thyroid is low and doesn’t respond well to treatment, we then suspect the adrenals as well. Perhaps he may like to consider the Standard Process Labs protomorphogen products, Drenatrophin and Thytrophin, for you as well. I take them myself and have a few clients on them. It does help, but without the Iodoral in the mix, it was minimal, at least for me. (Protomorphogens are exclusive to SP, and are like little building blocks for the organ to rebuild itself.) Both Standard Process and Optimox (makers of Iodoral) sell only to professionals.
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