Iodine Deficiency: A Silent and Growing Epidemic

Iodine Deficiency: A Silent and Growing Epidemic

Gregory Ciola on Oct 18th 2021

“When I researched iodine back in history, I realized iodine was not the ‘hot’ new thing in healing but in fact the world’s oldest traditional medicine. In my search for health, nothing new or expensive ever helped me. But the long-lost iodine changed my life. I felt I needed to share my transforming iodine journey and answer the mystery of why we haven’t heard about it. I wanted to let people know ‘Who stole iodine?’ so they could reclaim this nutrient for themselves.” – Lynne Farrow, Author of ‘The Iodine Crisis’

According to Dr. David Brownstein – a leading expert on iodine supplementation, approximately 90% of the U.S. population is iodine deficient (urinary clearance of less than 90%) and over 72% are severely iodine deficient (urinary clearance of less than 40%).

Dr. Brownstein says, “In all my years of practicing medicine, I have yet to see one item provide such miraculous effects on the body as iodine does.”

If you suffer from any of the symptoms below it could be an indication that you are iodine deficient.

* Weight Gain

* Difficulty Losing Weight

* Sluggishness, Fatigue or Exhaustion

* Brain fog, Confusion, and Lack of Mental Clarity

* Memory Loss

* Lower than normal (98.6 F) body temperature

* Intolerant to cold

* Hair Loss

* Dry Skin

* Cracked Heels

* Brittle nails

* Sparse eyebrow hair on the outer 1/3rd of the eyebrow

* Coarse, dry Hair

* Constipation

* Depression

* Frequent muscle aches or cramps

* Decreased Libido

* Infertility

* Candida

* Difficulty Managing Stress

* Poor Digestive Function

* Inadequate stomach acid production


* Fibroids

* Fibrocystic Breast Lumps

* Abnormal or heavy menstruation

* Thyroid problems

* Heavy metal toxicity

* Low Immunity -easily catching colds or Flu Viruses


In Dr. Brownstein’s book, he discusses iodine deficiencies as demonstrated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES).

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a continuous program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations. NHANES is a major program of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NCHS is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has the responsibility for producing vital and health statistics for the nation. You can read more about NHANES here:

Dr. Brownstein analyzed iodine levels in the US population from NHANES I (conducted during 1971 – 1974). Then he compared iodine levels between NHANES I and NHANES II (2000). First, the analysis of NHANES I data show iodine levels already quite low in 1974. Second, comparing NHANES I and NHANES II, Iodine levels dropped OVER 50% BETWEEN 1974 AND 2000!


There are many ways Iodine deficiencies affect our health. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

The percentage of pregnant women with low Iodine concentrations increased 690% between NHANES I and NHANES II – It is well-known low maternal iodine levels in fetal development is associated with higher levels of cretinism, mental retardation, autism, ADD, SIDS, etc. It is ironic how there seems to be a corresponding increase of these problems, especially ADD and autism since 1974.

Iodine is essential for healthy growth and development of children. As noted above, pregnant women who are Iodine deficient have children with greater risk of MENTAL DEVELOPMENT ISSUES. It is also estimated there is a 15-point reduction in IQs when pregnant women are Iodine deficient. Pregnant women who had higher Iodine levels showed a decrease in SIDS, and childhood survival rates increased.

The risk of breast, ovarian, uterine, prostate cancer dramatically increases when Iodine deficient. Two studies done in Iceland and Japan – populations with high Iodine intake – have a much lower incidence of breast cancer.

Dr. Brownstein and other practitioners feel Iodine is the most misunderstood nutrient. Their studies show it is impossible to achieve your optimal health when there is Iodine deficiency present. 


Iodine is used in all cells of the body, not just to make thyroid hormone. Iodine is necessary for proper immune function. Persistent UTIs and vaginal infections are treated very effectively with Iodine and Fulvic. Iodine is required for the production of thyroid hormone and other hormones. It is necessary for proper energy production and mental functioning. Adequate Iodine intake reduces migraines and the effects of hypothyroidism.

LUGOL’S IODINE SOLUTION combines both Iodine and Iodide – our bodies need both.

The thyroid gland uses Iodide and breast tissue uses Iodine more easily. For example, animal studies show that Iodide is ineffective at reversing precancerous lesions of breast tissue –Iodine is much more efficient. Different tissues respond differently to different types.


Iodine has been used by medical practitioners for 200 years and was once considered the Universal Medicine. It has only fallen by the wayside in the past 50 years. Iodine was shown to be able to treat goiter in the early 1900’s – a common problem away from the coasts where people typically have significant Iodine deficiencies. In Michigan and Ohio, studies conducted in the early 1920’s on school children showed 40% had enlargement of thyroid gland or goiter. It was discovered that treatment with just a small amount of Iodine caused goiters to go away. By 1928, there was a 75% reduction in goiter in the area. Another study in Akron they found a 600% increase in goiter for girls because Iodine is necessary for puberty – specifically for normal breast development.


Because of these early studies the United States began to iodize salt in 1924. However, the amount of Iodine in Iodized salt is not sufficient for total body needs. And many people use less salt. There is 77 ug Iodine/gram of salt. The average intake is 5 grams/day of salt which would be 385 ug (micrograms) per day of Iodine. Urine tests show lower, primarily because Iodine in Iodized salt is only 10% bioavailable. Medical school teaches Iodine in salt is adequate. Sea salt – which now many people use – contains very little Iodine.

Current RDA is 150 – 220 ug/day, which is not sufficient. This amount was set up only to prevent goiter and is inadequate to help prevent cancer. The body needs 100X the RDA to produce Iodolactone, which is required for normal apoptosis.

The thyroid alone requires 5-7 mg (MILLIGRAMS – NOT MICROGRAMS – there are 1,000 micrograms in one milligram) of Iodine/day and is first in line. Breast tissue receives it next. And so on. Just in terms of how much the thyroid gland needs alone, it requires over 31 times the RDA amount of 220 ug – micrograms of Iodine per day!


On the periodic table of elements, Iodine is in a group called the Halogens. Fluorine, chlorine, bromine are in the same halogen family. Iodine is lower on the table, which means that the elements above Iodine in this group are much more reactive, and compete with and displace Iodine. Fluorine, chlorine, and bromine are all three more reactive than Iodine. They are more electronegative than Iodine, so they will win on binding sites and even displace Iodine.

Why is this important?

Fluorine, chlorine, and bromine compete very vigorously with Iodine. Most processed grains and packaged foods today, especially breads, are now very high in bromine. Bromine competes with Iodine-binding sites on thyroid hormone. When this occurs, the thyroid hormone does not function as it does when Iodine is in place. It creates a state of thyroid deficiency called Secondary Hypothyroidism. So even though you may have adequate thyroid hormone according to test results, because it is brominated – the Iodine-binding sites have bromine instead of Iodine – and the thyroid hormone does not work like it should in your body! Chlorine and fluoride in water also compete with Iodine and do the same thing. Hypothyroidism leads to many serious health issues–and obesity, too.

Fortunately, Iodine supplementation will increase urinary secretion of fluoride, chlorine, and bromide. These elements – fluoride, chlorine, and bromide – are toxic to our bodies. Take care to drink pure water and eat non-brominated bread to significantly decrease your toxic exposure.

Highlights From an Interview Conducted With Dr. David Brownstein and Investigative Reporter Greg Ciola

Q: Why is iodine so essential for restoring and maintaining optimum health?

Greg, what I can tell you is that nearly all of what I learned about iodine in medical school was wrong.

The thyroid gland requires an adequate intake of iodine to ensure optimal functioning. All of the thyroid hormones need iodine. But, iodine is required for much more than just the thyroid gland. Every cell in the body requires and utilizes iodine. All the glandular tissue, including the ovaries, uterus, prostate, and the breasts, need adequate amounts of iodine to optimally function. Even the white blood cells utilize iodine to function normally.

My clinical experience has clearly shown that it is impossible to reach your optimal health if you are iodine deficient. I believe iodine levels need to be investigated by anyone suffering from a chronic illness.

Q: Why are iodine levels so low?

Over the last 30 years, iodine levels have fallen over 50% in the U.S. These numbers come from the U.S. government. Iodine levels have fallen due to a number of factors. The main reason the levels have declined is that people are avoiding iodized salt. The mainstream media, governmental agencies, and most conventional medical organizations have convinced us that salt is not good for us. I would agree that refined salt should be avoided by all. It is a toxic, devitalized substance. But, unrefined salt, with its full complement of minerals can enhance the diet of everyone. However, unrefined salt has little iodine in it, and you may have to supplement with iodine if you use it.

The next reason iodine levels have fallen is because people and doctors are afraid of iodine. Most believe the myths that iodine must be avoided, or you will cause a thyroid problem. However, as iodine levels have fallen over the last 30 years, what has happened to all the thyroid illnesses? Have they gone down? No. All of the thyroid diseases are increasing, including hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, and Graves’ disease, as well as thyroid cancer. As I describe in my book, these illnesses are caused, in part, from iodine deficiency, and iodine needs to be the treatment-of-choice.

Q: Why hasn’t the medical community recognized that iodine deficiency is a major problem?

This goes back to all of our training in medical schools. If you repeat a falsehood over and over, eventually most people believe it must be true. When I started looking at the medical research about iodine, I realized nearly all of the negative things written about iodine just weren’t true. When I started checking my patients for iodine deficiency I was stunned; over 95 % have tested low (with many significantly low). Doctors say iodine deficiency is a thing of the past. I say, how many people have they tested for iodine deficiency? It can’t be many. I have spoken all over the country and outside of the country about this and heard other holistic doctors finding similar results as I have.

Q: Tell us about the different forms of iodine available and which version we need?

There are two major kinds of iodine; iodine and iodide. Different tissue in the body utilizes various types of iodine. The thyroid gland uses iodide, and the breasts prefer iodine. My clinical experience has clearly shown that if you want the best whole body response to iodine, you should use a product that is a combination of iodine and iodide.

Q: What’s the relationship between breast cancer and hypothyroidism?

The relationship between breast cancer and hypothyroidism has been written about for over 100 years. There are many studies that point out that hypothyroidism predisposes one to develop breast cancer. However, there are other studies that show that the treatment of hypothyroidism increases the risk of breast cancer. How can that be? My research has clearly demonstrated that it is iodine deficiency that relates the two observations. In an iodine deficient state, the thyroid gland will not have enough iodine to produce thyroid hormone, which can cause hypothyroidism. However, the treatment of hypothyroidism with thyroid hormone, without correcting an underlying iodine deficiency problem, can increase the body’s metabolic needs for iodine. This can make an iodine deficient problem worse. In other words, the underlying cause of many cases of hypothyroidism is iodine deficiency.

Q: What do you think about the iodine that is added to salt and is this sufficient enough to meet the body’s iodine needs?

There is only one form of iodine added to salt; iodide. There is not the second form (iodine) that I mentioned previously. Research has shown that only 10% of iodine added to salt is bioavailable. Iodized salt is a lousy source of iodine and salt for the body. I say use a product that contains both forms of iodine, iodine and iodide, and use unrefined salt.

Q: What is the best way to get iodine back in the body?

Iodine is not found in many food sources. It is found in sea vegetables such as seaweed and fish. Little Iodine is found in other food products. Therefore, if you don’t ingest a large amount of sea vegetables or ocean fish, it is best to supplement with iodine. I recommend using either Lugol’s iodine or Iodoral (which is the tableted form of iodine). Both of these substances contain iodine and iodide. Lugol’s iodine has been used for nearly 200 years in our country.

Q: Are there side effects with iodine supplementation?

There can be side effects with anything, iodine included. If you have a hyper functioning thyroid nodule, there is a chance that iodine can cause hyperthyroid symptoms. I have seen this rarely occur. Iodine can also cause a detox reaction as I previously stated. Therefore, people can get detox symptoms that can include headaches and acne. Those symptoms are rare if iodine is used appropriately and used as part of a holistic treatment regimen.

Q: What types of successes have you seen with your patients who follow your advice on iodine supplementation?

I have yet to see another nutritional supplement perform as well as iodine. It is the most important nutritional item that we use in our practice.

Anyone with thyroid, ovarian, prostate, uterine, or breast problems should have their iodine levels checked. Iodine deficiency in these tissues can first occur as an enlargement or swelling. Next, you can get cysts and nodules. Then comes fibrosis. Finally, cancer can develop. All of these changes can be related to iodine deficiency.

Q: Is the supplemental iodine something people should take every day for the rest of their life?

In our toxic world, the answer is unequivocally yes. If you stop ingesting iodine, your body will become iodine deficient. We need a daily amount of iodine coming in to prevent that.

7 Lights Introduces LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS With Fulvic Acid

As many of our readers know, the situation in Japan has increased everyone’s need for iodine. Given the fact that 95% of the patients Dr. Brownstein tests are iodine deficient, and given the fact that we are all being exposed to increased levels of radiation, which increases our body’s demand for iodine, then it’s safe to say that you and everyone in your family, and all your friends and loved ones need to start taking an iodine supplement daily. However, not all iodine is created equally. LUGOL’s IODINE formula has been used for over 200 years in our country. Our formula contains the LUGOL’s IODINE and is enhanced with other iodine supportive nutrients that few other iodine supplements combine.

7 Lights LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS is not your ordinary Lugol’s iodine supplement. LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS incorporates the power of Fulvic to deliver Iodine to the cells where it needs to go in a more, ionic, cell-ready form. LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS also includes the essential nutrients that assist our bodies to metabolize and use Iodine more efficiently. These include Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium, B Vitamins and others. Without these other nutrients, Iodine metabolism is impaired.

Why is Fulvic Acid so important for Iodine metabolism?

The way things are supposed to work is that the material is broken down into its component parts by fungi and bacteria. For example, when dead leaves fall from trees in the forest, they are transformed from their cells to the component parts. This collection of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other components, is called Humic acid.

A small component of Humic acid is called Fulvic acid. Fulvic acid is necessary to open the cell membranes of the plant so that Fulvic acid can enter with all THE nutrients it naturally carries. We then eat the plant which contains Fulvic and all the nutrients it carries. Fulvic opens our cell membranes and allows nutrients to enter too.

Fulvic – nature’s nutrient activation and delivery system to the cell – transports all 74+ Ionic Minerals, Vitamins, Amino Acids and Phytonutrients directly to the cell. Paired up with iodine it takes iodine supplementation to a whole new level. Biochemical processes that support health and life primarily occur inside the cell. Nutrients are used in these biochemical processes. If nutrients don’t make it to the cell, these processes become impaired. Without Fulvic, only a small portion of supplements people take make it to the cell. Fulvic also charges up the cell’s membrane so nutrients can get inside easier and waste products produced in standard processes are eliminated and don’t build-up inside the cell.

Fulvic can also help remove some heavy metals and mineral metals even in the deepest tissue, according to some studies. Fulvic recharges and balances pH and cell membrane electrical potential to help restore optimal cellular function, energy, and vitality. Iodoral is an iodine supplement that has been on the market for years. However, all you get is iodine and potassium iodide at 12.5 mg per tablet. 7 Lights LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS comes in a capsule that breaks down faster and easier by the body. With the Fulvic acid mixed with it, this product is in a league of its own. It is superior to nascent iodine and any other iodine supplement on the market. This is emergency medicine at its best.

How do you take LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS?

Do not take iodine if you are hyperthyroid or have Hashimoto’s or any other thyroid condition without working with a knowledgeable health care practitioner that can help guide you. Start with one capsule a day. Higher doses may be indicated, but should not be taken unless recommended by an iodine specialist. Stop taking this product if you ever had or start having symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as anxiety, high blood pressure, fast pulse, etc.

The suggested maintenance amount for the LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS is one capsule daily (12.5 mg of iodine as iodine and potassium iodide). It is recommended to start LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS slowly. Many practitioners advise patients to begin taking one capsule per day for a week to gauge response. If it is well-tolerated, patients can begin increasing the dose. Many practitioners advise LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS to be taken with a meal.

Many professionals who allow patients to take supplements with prescription medications advise patients to take LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS at least one hour before or one hour after taking prescription drugs. Iodine and Fulvic can influence the effective dose of a prescription drug. For example, because it facilitates the delivery of substances to the cell, it can it can amplify the effects of the medication by improving the transportation of medication to the cell. Conversely, because Fulvic also facilitates detoxification by chelating, or holding onto, foreign substances – prescription drugs are foreign substances – Fulvic can reduce the effects of the drug.

Is it okay to take LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS if I am taking Thyroid Hormone Medications?

Please check with your Healthcare Provider. Our body’s need for iodine increases when we take thyroid hormone medications. Iodine is used by every cell of the body – not just the thyroid gland to make our thyroid hormone. Taking thyroid medications increases the body’s metabolic rate and functions. These functions often require iodine and the other trace minerals provided in LUGOL’S IODINE PLUS to take place. One notable example is the conversion of carcinogenic estrogen and progesterone metabolites. Iodine and Selenium are required for the body to complete this transition. This change is critical to reduce the risk of certain estrogenic cancers such as breast, ovarian, cervical and brain cancers.

Is this supplement beneficial for helping with radiation-induced thyroid cancer?

Nuclear accidents can release radioactive iodine into the environment, increasing the risk of thyroid cancer in exposed individuals, especially children. Thyroidal uptake of radioactive iodine is higher in people with iodine deficiency than in people with iodine sufficiency. For this reason, iodine-deficient individuals have an unusually high risk of developing radiation-induced thyroid cancer when exposed to radioactive iodine.

The FDA has approved potassium iodide as a thyroid-blocking agent to reduce the risk of thyroid cancer in radiation emergencies involving the release of radioactive iodine. The FDA recommends that exposed people take a daily pharmacological dose (16–130 mg potassium iodide, depending on age) until the risk of significant radiation exposure ends. Potassium iodide was widely used in Poland following the 1986 Chernobyl accident, and childhood thyroid cancer rates did not increase substantially in subsequent years. In areas where iodide prophylaxis was not used, such as Belarus and Ukraine, where many children were mildly iodine-deficient, the incidence of thyroid cancer sharply increased among children and adolescents. [i]



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