The benefits of iodine and the thyroid gland are discussed by many doctors in varying degrees from 150 mcg to the more aggressive and knowledgeable “iodine doctors” who are willing to push doses up to 300 mgs in cases of cancer.  The 150 mcg camp supplements to keep the appearance of iodine starvation hidden.  This dosage was determined as a way to avoid goiter.  When the thyroid gland needs iodine it will swell.  But does avoiding goiter mean that you have enough iodine?  NOT AT ALL!  As I have discussed in my iodine courses and other blogs, the need for iodine goes way beyond the thyroid gland.  In a woman, the next highest need is in the breasts and that increases during lactation.  In a man the 2nd most demanding organ is the prostate.  With cancer so predominant in our society today, a quick connection to an iodine deficiency can be found with high levels of thyroid, breast and prostate cancer.

So how does iodine work to assist the body in maintaining cellular, glandular and organ health?  It’s a seldom discussed topic of iodinated lipids.   In the thyroid gland one of them is the δ-iodolactone (delta-iodolactone).

In the scientific study, The role of iodine and delta-iododlactone in growth and apoptosis of malignant thyroid epithelial cells and breast cancer cells, they reviewed the impact of iodide, molecular iodine and delta-iodolactones on three human thyroid cancer cells as well as one breast cancer cell.  The thyroid cancer cells were unaffected but the δ-Ιodolactone (iodocompound) seemed inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in B-CPAP cells as well as in MCF 7 breast cancer cells.

In the research study 6-Iodolactone, key mediator of antitumoral properties of iodine,


An iodinated derivative of arachidonic acid, 5-hydroxy-6-iodo-8,11,14-eicosatrienoic acid, δ-lactone (6-IL) has been implicated as a possible intermediate in the autoregulation of the thyroid gland by iodine. In addition to antiproliferative and apoptotic effects observed in thyrocytes, this iodolipid could also exert similar actions in cells derived from extrathyroidal tissues like mammary gland, prostate, colon, or the nervous system. In mammary cancer (solid tumors or tumor cell lines), 6-IL has been detected after molecular iodine (I2) supplement, and is a potent activator of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor type gamma (PPARγ). These observations led us to propose I2 supplement as a novel coadjutant therapy which, by inducing differentiation mechanisms, decreases tumor progression and prevents chemoresistance. Some kinds of tumoral cells, in contrast to normal cells, contain high concentrations of arachidonic acid, making the I2 supplement a potential “magic bullet” that enables local, specific production of 6-IL, which then exerts antineoplastic actions with minimal deleterious effects on normal tissues.

So in short when iodine is supplied to the thyroid gland the iodinated lipids have the ability to impact autoregulation of the thyroid gland as well as being antiproliferative and apoptotic (programmed cell death of abnormal cells) in the thyrocytes (thyroid cells).  It can also help with regulation, maintaining cellular integrity and inducing abnormal cell death in the breast, prostate, colon and nervous system.  How exciting!  Can you see why 150 mcg is leaving the rest of the body out of the potential benefits?

Since the identification of iodolipids we are able to determine the auto regulatory functions they offer.  In the research article Iodolactones and iodoaldehydes –mediators of iodine in thyroid autoregulation.

In Dr Guy Abraham’s paper – “The Safe and Effective Implementation of Orthoiodosupplementation in Medical Practice” he describes the following iodolipid concept “We would like to propose a mechanism for the oxidative damage caused by low levels of iodide supply to the thyroid gland, aggravated by goitrogens, activates the thyroid peroxydase (TPO) system through elevated TSH, low levels of iodinated lipids, and high cytosolic free calcium, resulting in excess production of H2O2 production is evidenced by the fact that antioxidants used in Bagchi’s experiments did not interfere with the oxidation and organification of iodide and therefore neutralized only the excess oxidant.”

The topic of iodine in modern medicine when presented to the patient is very over simplified, which leaves the them lacking in alternative options for issues of the breast, thyroid, prostate, ovaries and more.  In my research of medical documents from the 1700-1800’s, iodine was commonly prescribed for conditions that are now treated with toxic chemical drugs.  Had I known in 2000 what I do now, I never would have removed my thyroid gland “just to be sure”.  Please do your research and don’t let fear drive you.  You’ll be glad you did!


Image from Science Direct.