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I don’t have thyroid issues, but think I could still benefit from iodine. How much I should take?

Q. Dear Terry, “One of my friends shared a book on iodine with me. I don’t have thyroid issues, but think I could still benefit from iodine. How much I should take?” — Kim L., Bellevue, NE

A. Dear Kim, Every cell in our body has a receptor site for iodine and over 50% of the population is deficient in this incredibly important mineral. While a lot of the iodine we consume is used in the production of thyroid hormones, iodine has many other benefits to offer.

Before the widespread use of synthetic drugs, iodine was recommended for everything; healing wounds and disease, destroying bacteria and viruses, and possibly even preventing cancer. These days, most of the iodine we get in our diets is from table salt. However, it’s easy to forget that iodine was added to salt to reduce incidence of goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) back in the 1920s. And that worked, for a while. But now that people have tried to cut back on table salt at home, they aren’t getting much iodine. What little they do consume may not be able to work effectively, either.

We also are exposed to more of iodine’s competitors like chlorine, fluoride, and bromide – which lower iodine levels in the body by blocking iodine receptors. These competitors come from our food, water, and environment, and can cause a lot of harm to our body when sufficient levels of iodine are not present. 

Our minimum daily requirement for iodine is still set far too low – only 150 micrograms (mcg) per day. This may be the amount we need to prevent goiter in the general population, but it is far below the amount we need for optimal health.

Many integrative practitioners, who use therapeutic levels of iodine, recommend anywhere from 6.25 – 12.5 milligrams (mg) per day. Because particular areas of our body prefer different forms of iodine, I believe that a blend of potassium iodide, sodium iodide, and molecular iodine from kelp is best.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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