Today’s blog will address the issues we are facing with bromide toxicity.  If you haven’t read the previous blogs on Iodine please go back and read through them so that you have a clear understanding of the big picture.

Bromide is a toxic halide that competes with the absorption of iodine in the body.  When the body is in an iodine deficient state it attempts to substitute other halides such as bromide and fluoride to fit its needs.  This doesn’t work out well.  If you think of a lock and key mechanism, you can put the key in but you cannot turn it.  The same happens for the Sodium Iodine Symporter (NIS) trying to take in a replacement halide.  It just doesn’t work well and often becomes stuck on the receptor which blocks any iodine that may try to come in.  It takes high levels of iodine flooding the body to displace the toxic halides with the good one.

Historically bromide has been used in products that were sedatives and anti-convulsants.  They were sold under names like Bromo-Seltzer and Dr Miles’ Nervine.  Nervine is the name of a plant that had a positive impact on the nervous system, however the main ingredient in this product was bromide.  This product as well as Bromo-seltzer (removed from the market in 1975) were touted as safe and effective ways to calm nerves and handle headaches.  The issue with both products is that over consumption could lead to bromism which creates abnormal conditions with psychiatric, neurological, gastrointestinal, and dermatological symptoms.


Today, bromide is found in many common items.  It is in electronics, furniture, mattresses, automobiles from PBDEs which is a flame retardant.  You can find it on thermal paper, plastics, bakery products, pesticides, sports drinks, sodas, hair dye, inhalers & other rx medication as well as in hot tubs as a sanitizer, to name a few.  It seems to be everywhere.  We are bombarded in our deficient state.  Do you see how it all comes together to form the perfect symphony for disease?

One of the things that happens when individuals begin to take iodine is bromide detox.  The iodine introduced into the body will begin to push it out.  This is the point where most stop taking iodine because they don’t understand what is happening  and mistake it for iodine toxicity.  The key is knowing how to deal with it.  Here is a list of some common bromide detox symptoms.

Headaches Constipation / Diarrhea Aching Joints
Acne Cloudy Urine Aching Muscles
Fatigue Sleepiness Rash
Tremors Impaired Memory/Concentration Color perception disturbance
Irritability Abnormal skin pigmentation Slurred speech
Emotional instability Hair loss Vision changes
Cherry Angiomas Depression Runny Nose
Reflex changes Schizophrenic like actions Metallic Taste
Hallucinations Eyelid twitching Dream Changes
Increased salivation Anxiety Kidney pain
Dry mouth Body Odor Increased Sweating

*This list is quoted from “Gulflink Military document – Chapter on Bromism”

If you take a close look at this list you will notice that the majority of the detox symptoms also mimic the list of iodine toxicity.  The curious thing about this is that when the detox pathways are supported and salt water is consumed (the antidote to bromide toxicity), the symptoms on this list tend disappear signifying that it was not iodine toxicity.  Many a person has reported that their doctors tried to scare them into stopping when complaining about these symptoms.

This is why the supporting nutrients outlined in the guide are important.  They help the body to adequately deal with detox issues.  If your body is really toxic then you may need to put further protocols into place.  There are some strategies outlined in the guide to supplementing.  You can download a free copy here.

** UPDATE**  I have received some concerned posts over other blogs stating that chocolate is high in bromine.  These individuals are misinformed.  Chocolate contains THEOBROMINE which is an alkaloid of the cacao plant.  It is not a halide.  Go ahead and eat your chocolate.