The Supplementing with iodine and the fear that accompanies it is due to poor execution and not the nutrient itself.
The preferred form of iodine is Lugol’s formula. This is because Lugol’s contains both Iodine and Potassium Iodide. Various organs and tissues in the body prefer one form over the other. The breast, prostate and stomach prefer to utilize Iodine while the thyroid, salivary gland and skin prefer to use iodide. When you supplement with one form, most often iodide, you rob the body of functioning at optimum levels. This is why products like SSKI, Nascent and other forms of iodine don’t offer the same benefits as Lugols.
Another common issue with iodine supplementing is detoxification. We live in such a toxic world that it is hard not to be toxic on some level. As it relates to iodine the key toxins are bromide, fluoride and to a smaller degree mercury. We need to support the body when supplementing to help it push what iodine releases, out of the body through the kidneys and out in the urine. This detoxification can also cause stress to the adrenal glands so supporting them is important to your success.
If you are dealing with Hashimotos it is critical to ensure that there is a sufficient level of selenium either already “on board” in your body or that you are taking it along with your iodine. Because selenium can reach toxic build up levels in the body it is important that you monitor your levels through a RBC (Red Blood Cell) Se lab test. Please work with your doctor / healthcare professional to determine your specific needs.
I’m also often asked why individuals should do the iodine protocol if they are thyroidless. I am thyroidless and I take these nutrients. Every cell of the body needs and uses iodine.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) 3,000 + mgs – This vitamin is critical for combating oxidation due to toxin release. The adrenals also thrive in a vitamin C rich environment. The adrenal glands are the largest storage site of Vitamin C in the body. The NIS symporters (where iodine is pulled into the cells) are supported and in some cases healed when higher doses of Vitamin C are provided.
Selenium 100-200 mcg – Selenium is needed by the thyroid hormone creation process by working in conjunction with glutathione peroxidase as a protective mechanism to reduce and neutralize excess hydrogen peroxide. Without this building block the risk of autoimmune thyroid condition flare ups increases due to the oxidative damage of TPO. Selenium is also a critical nutrient in the creation of glutathione in the liver where detoxification occurs. Selenium acts as an antioxidant to help protect cells against free radicals. Selenoproteins are needed for T cells (white blood cells) which help our immune system to prevent infections.
Magnesium 200-400 mgs – This nutrient is important in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. During the organification of iodine, intracellular calcium stimulates the NADPH-Oxidase System. When this becomes over active as it can with autoimmune thyroid conditions, magnesium works as a natural “balancer”. The production of ATP also requires magnesium along with other nutrients.
Unrefined Salt 1/2-1 tsp – The symporters that pull iodine into the cells are known as NIS or sodium iodine symporters. Adequate levels of sodium are needed to ensure proper function. Salt is also used by the body to pull out the bromide being released from the receptors and tissues by the iodine supplementation and carry it from the blood through to the kidneys where it is filtered out into the urine. Unrefined salt is also rich in minerals that help to support the adrenals.
B2/B3 (aka ATP CoFactors) 100 mgs B2 / 500 mgs B3 – Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) are cofactors to the NADPH oxidase pathway. They work at the mitochondrial level to provide more energy. Many with Hashimotos will comment on an increased level of energy when they add these two nutrients to their protocol. They are both also key in providing sufficient hydrogen peroxide to efficiently oxidize iodide. This is an optional supplement but can be added for the above reasons.
Other nutrients that have helped – but are not part of the core protocol …….
Boron – This nutrient has proven to be beneficial in the removal of fluoride from the body. It has also shown a positive impact on the NADPH Oxidase and ATPase processes within the cells.
Vitamin A (not beta carotene) 25,000 iU – For some individuals who supplement in iodine, their menstrual cycles or hormones may become imbalanced. Supplementing with higher doses of Vitamin A can assist in maintaining proper balance. Research has also shown that it may help to upregulate NIS gene expression to increase iodine uptake. While research has been done on radioactive forms of iodine, it may also equate to the non-radioactive forms as well since the radioactivity is not a key element in its benefits.
Over the last 9 years of supporting both the Yahoo Iodine group and the Facebook Iodine group with thousands of members, I have seen that when the full protocol is implemented amazing benefits are realized. It also helps to mitigate the issues seen by many practitioners that causes them to sound the alarm bells. When iodine is supplied in isolation it can be problematic.
Final thoughts: When supplementing with the supporting nutrients do not try to cut corners. Use high quality supplements. Do not try to obtain then from food alone. It is critical that you ensure that the right levels are available to your body. Vitamin C is often criticized because many ascorbic acid products are sourced from corn which is often GMO. In my store I offer non-GMO and tapioca based options. For selenium, brazil nuts will not supply the needed dosage of 100-200 mcg / day. The soil where they are grown is also depleted.
Take care to do it right and you too can reap the benefits that adequate iodine levels in the body can offer. For additional support with your supplementing journey please join the Iodine Facebook group.