Feeling tired, having low energy or depression, gaining weight, memory problems, having dry skin, dry mouth or immune system issues? There is a good chance your body needs iodine. Why iodine? Because this essential to human health mineral has been singled out as dangerous, for several obscure reasons, and it has been gradually eliminated from our diet. Even worse, it has been replaced by its antagonist, bromine. It is a cause of widely occurring hypothyroidism in many developed countries.
Iodine plays critical role in human metabolism.
Elemental iodine (I2) is antibacterial and antifungal, so iodine or iodine/iodide solutions are commonly used topically to sterilize wounds, or internally to fight infections, such as vaginitis and sore throat, and also to sanitize drinking water. Because iodine is antibacterial, drinking it may cause friendly bacterial flora to suffer and result in diarrhea and stomach cramps (the same applies to Lugol's solution, but to a lesser extent as it contains iodides as well).
Iodine deficiency is associated with:
- Fibrocystic breast disease leading to breast cancer, stomach cancer, and various other cancers
- Goiter (enlarged thyroid)
- Mental issues from reduced alertness, and lowered IQ. Lack of iodine for the fetus leads to cretinism, and in milder cases to autism and ADHD
- Slow metabolism, leading to tiredness, sluggishness, fatigue, apathy, depression and insomnia
- Inability to produce saliva, dry skin and lack of sweating
- Lack of optimal detoxification, especially of bromides, fluorides and heavy metals
- Sensitivity to temperature changes, cold hands and feet
- Muscle pain, fibrosis, fibromyalgia
- Erectile dysfunction, infertility and miscarriages, low sex drive
- High blood pressure, increased incidence of heart attacks and strokes
Lugol's iodine: 5% iodine and 10% iodide
Orally: take 1 to 2 drops of Lugol's iodine in a full glass of water, gargle with it and then swallow to reap the maximum benefit of its antimicrobial activity. Best to take twice daily.
Wound healing: dilute 2 drops Lugol's iodine in 30 ml water and clean the wound with this solution. Iodine has antibacterial activity.
Caution: Overdosing iodine supplements can lead to swollen salivary glands, metallic aftertaste and skin rash and itching (that are usually due to rapid process of detoxification from heavy metals fluorides and bromides), faster heartbeat or palpitations and diarrhea. When supplementation is stopped, these symptoms will usually disappear quickly, often within one day. Iodine stabilizes thyroid hormone production, so it is an adaptogen, but in rare cases, such as acquired allergy to iodine (Hashimoto's disease), it may actually misbalance it. It will be good to regularly check iodine levels, and status of other essential minerals, and thyroid function while supplementing.