Submitted by Don Doman
In the 1950s when I was growing up, if you had a cut or a scrape your mother would get out the little bottle of iodine or Mercurochrome to paint the hurt away. This was to be avoided by children at all costs. It stung! Mercurochrome contained iodine. It’s off the shelves now due to FDA regulations. These topical liquids did nothing healthful except clean out the wound. Our bodies do need iodine and iodized salt is a major source that most people depend on for our good health. If we don’t get iodine, our bodies suffer.
In the on line article “The Iodine Deficiency Epidemic — How to Reverse It for Your Health” the Dr. Axe website points out that “There are at least 30 million suffering from this preventable condition.” The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia explains main sources of iodine in diet: “Seafood is naturally rich in iodine. Cod, sea bass, haddock, and perch are good sources. Kelp is the most common vegetable-seafood that is a rich source of iodine.”
In a May 2016 study release for PMC* entitled “Food Group Intakes as Determinants of Iodine Status among US Adult Population” they point out in their conclusion that “To our best knowledge, this study is the first attempt to investigate the important food group contributions to iodine status using a nationally-representative sample of US adults . . . Public health interventions may need to aim at achieving iodine adequacy through understanding the importance of consuming iodine-rich food in addition to the use of iodized salt.”
*PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).
According to the World Health Organization website, “Iodine deficiency is the world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, cause of brain damage. Today we are on the verge of eliminating it – an achievement that will be hailed as a major public health triumph that ranks with getting rid of smallpox and poliomyelitis.”
Tacoma based nutritionist and author Dana Luchini says, “Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of preventable mental retardation . . . and yes, a deficient Mom can pass the deficiency on to the fetus. Iodine also detoxifies the body by removing mercury, fluorides, chlorides and bromides. So what can we do besides using a good sea salt and eating seafood and kelp? We are now offering a FREE easy iodine patch test which will give us your deficiency results within 24 hours.”
Luchini also reports that “Iodine levels in US soil have fallen 50 % over the last 50 years which leaves the soil in the US deficient of iodine. In the 1960’s, one slice of bread in the USA contained the full RDA of 0.15mg iodine which was established in 1980 as the amount needed to prevent goiter, extreme stupidity and hypothyroidism; and the risk of breast cancer was then 1 in 20. Over the last 2 decades, iodine was replaced by bromine in the bread making process. Bromine blocks thyroid function and may interfere with the anticancer effect of iodine on the breast. Now the risk for breast cancer is 1 in 8 and increasing 1% per year. Plus fluoride and chlorine in our water supplies compete with iodine in our bodies and because of hypertension we have been told that salt is our enemy.”
Like many others trying to be healthy, we too are striving for a low-salt diet. Luckily, my wife and I love seafood and sushi with the Nori (kelp based) wrapped rice goodies, but you just never know what iodine benefits we receive at the dinner table. All I know is that I still cringe when I cut my finger and open the medicine cabinet looking for a bandage . . . and relief.