IQ scores are dependent on having enough of this mineral. All New
In 2008 researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Arlington, were so concerned about a prevailing national iodine deficiency, that a study was conducted of nearly 90 samples of iodized table salt. The results of that study confirmed a troubling trend: Only less than half of those tested samples contained amounts of iodine sufficient for optimal health. As if that weren't alarming enough, more and more people are using less salt, which in many cases, is their chief source of iodine. The result of this? About 75% of all healthy adults are most likely not taking in enough of this micro nutrient.
Now here's the bad news: Because iodine deficiency has increased some fourfold within the past 40 years, iodine deficiency is fast approaching epidemic levels in this country.
And that, in a word, is worrisome.
The Importance of Iodine
Why is iodine so important? For starters, iodine plays a critical role in our overall health, including thyroid function,weight gain, cognitive impairment, heart disease, psychiatric disorders, and several forms of cancer. Perhaps that's why today – 300 years after its discovery – health concious doctors look for a deficiency of this essential nutrient first.
Iodine is the essential component of thyroid hormones that regulates normal growth and development.
Across the world, iodized salt and seafood are generally the major dietary sources of this nutrient. In the U.S. where the addition of iodine to salt is not mandatory, most people get their iodine from dairy products and grains.
Located in the front of your neck, your thyroid gland secretes a hormone called thyroxine, of which iodine is an important element. Lack of iodine stunts growth and causes the thyroid gland to become irregular - this disorder is called goiter.
Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid) results in an excessively high metabolic rate, very fast heartbeats, excessive sweating, or feeling nervous or moody.
Not enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) produces an abnormally slow heart rate, a chronic feeling of being cold, constipation,brain fog unexplained weight gain, dry skin, hair loss or coarse dry hair, weakness, muscle aches, depression, and fatigue. In extreme cases, reports the European Journal of Endocrinology (Dec. 2009 ), people with low thyroid function experience cognitive decline, and babies born to mothers with inadequate iodine levels are at high risk for a unique form of mental retardation known as cretinism. Cognitive impairment caused by low thyroid function can be reversed with iodine or thyroid hormone supplementation.
In addition to thyroid hormone, iodine is also required for production of other hormones and supports a healthy immune system. It is not produced by the body and must be derived from dietary sources or supplements.
As reported in The Lancet (12 July 2008), "In 2007, the World Health Organization stated that nearly two billion individuals had insufficient iodine intake, a third being of school age . . . thus iodine deficiency, as the single greatest preventable cause of mental retardation, is an important public-health problem."
IQ and Health Issues
Iodine deficiency is the most preventable cause of mental retardation in the world. Iodine deficiency can also cause hypothyroidism, goiter, cretinism, and other growth and developmental abnormalities.
Most dietary iodine absorbed by the body eventually appears in the urine, so the most commonly
recommended approach to determine a person’s iodine status is to measure urine iodine excretion.
The same report concluded that “women 20-39 years of age have the lowest urine iodine levels compared to all other age groups with iodine levels in bordering on insufficiency.” Iodine intake in young, pregnant women is especially important as it ensures the best possible brain development of a fetus.
In the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) – a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of U.S adults and children – showed that between 1970 and 1990, iodine levels in the U.S. population dropped by more than 50% due to dietary recommendations which limited egg and salt consumption and the reduced use of iodized salt in some packaged foods.
Iodine and Intelligence
It is well known that micronutrient deficiencies change the development of intelligence and iodine is no exception. Lacking in iodine during human development causes an average fall of 12 IQ points, according to the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005).
And consider this: The National Bureau of Economic Research Bulletin on Aging and Health (July 2013) reported that the introduction of iodized salt in America in 1924 had “an effect so profound that it raised the country's IQ.” Let that sink in for a moment. Here's how that occurred.
Before iodized salt, people were deficient based almost entirely on geography, whether the water and soil in their area had enough of the micronutrient. Diseases resulting from the deficiency (typically goiter or swelling of the thyroid) were extremely common. After iodized salt was introduced, researchers James Feyrer, Dimitra Politi, and David N. Weil found that the population in iodine-deficient areas saw IQs rise by 15 points. Since one quarter of the population lived in those areas, that corresponds to a 3.5 point increase, nationwide.
Babies born to mothers with insufficient iodine levels are at risk for a unique form of mental retardation known as cretinism. In fact, iodine is so crucial for development of the human brain that a daily dose of just one ten-thousandth of a gram can make the difference between a 'normal' child and a cretin.
Iodine deficiency is the single greatest cause of preventable intellectual impairment in the world today and China, despite its booming economy, is the biggest sufferer, reports The Independent, (Dec. 15, 2013). An estimated 425 million Chinese people are at risk from Iodine Deficiency Diseases (IDD), accounting for some 40 percent of all those at risk in the world. These people live in areas where the natural iodine has been leeched out of the farming ground but where none of the simple and cheap alternatives, such as the artificial iodization of table salt, have been taken to prevent IDD.
Closer to home, the association between school age children born to mothers with iodine deficiency and poor school performance is also pretty well established, reports the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (89(8):3851–3857). The evidence lies in the across-the-board lowered learning abilities of those children (compared to their 'healthy' classmates of similar age). On average, the iodine deficient children exhibited an eight percent decline in spelling ability, grammar usage and English literacy.
And speaking of iodine deficient mothers, there could actually there be a link between iodine and ADHD. A 10-year study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism (Dec. 2004) found that mothers who were iodine deficient were more likely to give birth to children with ADHD.
Researchers examined the rates of ADHD in children living in 2 different regions, a relatively iodine-rich region (where iodine deficiencies were more commonplace) and and iodine-poor region. Researchers found that the rates of ADHD born to mothers at risk for facing an iodine deficiency was significantly higher than the rates of those born to mothers in a more iodine-sufficient environment. Also,. IQ scores were reportedly lower in the low-iodine group.
The Iodine-Breast Cancer Connection
Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women . Just under 30% of cancers in women are breast cancers (source: www.breastcancer.org; 2013).
With iodine intake among U.S. women steadily declining (50 percent between 1971 and 2000) and breast cancer rates rising – the obvious question is: Could there be a link between iodine deficiency and breast cancer? The evidence that confirms this is so overwhelming, that the question practically answers itself. Consider this:
1. Iodine is so vital to breast health, especially in older women, that numerous studies correlate its deficiency to increased risks for breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease. (A note about fibrocystic breast disease: while often benign, the New England Journal of Medicine (July 2005) reported that it is a risk factor for breast cancer).
2. Iodine acts as a powerful vitamin C-like antioxidant against the chemicals and enzyme typically present in womens' breast tissue, according to studies published in Alternative Medicine Review (June 2008) and Biofactors (2003).
3. Studies cited in Alternative Medicine Review (June 2008), Biofactors (2003), Advanced Clinical Pathology (2000), Lancet (April 24, 1976) and Progress in Thyroid Research (1991), all confirm that iodine-deficient breast tissue exhibits chemical markers of elevated lipid peroxidation, one of the earliest factors in cancer development.
4. Bromine – a chemical which neither belongs in our bodies nor serves any benefit – is an ingredient used to condition dough in bread and other baked goods, also used in soft drinks, medications, plastics, pesticides and more. When ingested or absorbed into a woman's system, it actually replaces about a third of iodine in the thyroid, says a study reported in the journal Biological Trace Element Research (Sept. 1996). And that's only the beginning of the problem. Our bodies need iodine, they don't need bromine. Bromine then mimics the behavior of iodine and the resulting iodine deficiency leads to an increased risk for breast cancer, as well as cancer of the thyroid gland, ovary and prostate.
The Immune System and Iodine
It's no secret that your immune system depends on iodine to function properly. A strong immune system means protection against your body breaking down into disease, harmful bacteria and viruses, parasitic worms and UV exposure. A weakened immune system can result in autoimmune diseases (like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus) inflammatory diseases and cancer.
Lymph nodes (part of the immune system) contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system while acting as a detoxification system for the immune system. They are packed tightly with the white blood cells called lymphocytes andmacrophages.
As the toxins through our lymphatic system – and ultimately out of our body – bacteria, viruses and damaged cells are collected & destroyed by iodide stored in the lymph node. Iodide combines with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to form elemental iodine, which has broad spectrum anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic & anti-cancer functionality in the lymph nodes. Without this needed iodine, the body falls victim to lymphedemas, inflammation, colds and flu's and longer recovery times,.
Goiter, or enlargement of the thyroid gland, is usually the earliest visible symptom of iodine deficiency. (Goiter can occur for many other reasons as well, but iodine deficiency is among the most common causes worldwide.) The enlargement of the thyroid results from overstimulation of the thyroid gland by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), as the body attempts to produce increased amounts of thyroid hormone.
Knowing if You Are Iodine-Deficient
A few of the symptoms for iodine deficiency include:
* Listlessness or low energy
* Depression or irregular
* Irregular metabolism.
* Muscular and skeletal aches and pains/Fibromyalgia
* Brain fog
* Dry eye and dry mouth
* A variety of allergies, intolerances, fungal and other infections
* Weakened digestion
* Prostate disease.
* Polycystic ovaries
* Increased Breast Cancer Risk
* Uterine fibroids
Cardiovascular diseases may also indicate iodine deficiency. Lipoprotein is a sticky substance as that produces arterial plaques from blood platelets, calcium and fibrin. Sufficient iodine may reverse this lipoprotein build-up.
If you think your child is showing signs of ADHD, and notice those symptoms accompanied with an unexplained, extreme wight gain (typically regarded as an indication of iodine deficiency) , it might be a good idea to check and see if your child has an iodine deficiency and thyroid dysfunction.
Testing for Iodine Deficiency
Iodine patch test
This is a fast and inexpensive general test to help determine if someone is deficient in iodine.
Draw a 2 x 2- inch square on your forearm using a 2% tincture of iodine. For someone who isn’t iodine deficient, the patch shouldn’t begin to fade until after 24 hours. Someone who is deficient in iodine will see the patch disappear in a shorter amount of time. Those with a severe iodine deficiency will see the patch begin to fade or disappear completely in 12 hours or less.
Reversing Low Iodine
Unrefined Salt vs. Refined Salt
For too long, allopathic doctors have crammed their anti salt message down our throats. Perhaps you've heard it yourself: “High salt intake leads to high blood pressure which leads to heart attacks or strokes. Stop using salt. Take this prescription.”
We now know what they've been hawking isn't worth the paper it's written on. After several well-documented studies, researchers and health care professionals are challenging that long held anti-salt mantra (just like the one about how saturated fats are bad for you!) and are embracing the new thinking about salt. And the new thinking is this: Not only is the link between salt and high blood pressure nonexistent, but the right salt in our diets can actually lead to better health.
Avoid Regular refined bleached toxic Salt
Regular salt is refined which means bleached, largely comprised of sodium and chloride – with a dose of toxic additives (aluminum and ferrocyanide) thrown in to make it free-flowing and anti-caking and has an indefinite shelf life. That makes it ideal for the salt manufacturers and horrible for us. Unrefined salt – with iodine and two percent trace minerals – provides our bodies with the many minerals we need and also produces many positive effects we want.
Top Benefits of Unrefined mined Salt
1. Its magnesium and sodium content help stabilize and regulate heartbeats
2. Is essential for proper muscular function.
3. Helps minimize the effects of stress by maintaining proper melatonin, serotonin, and tryptamine levels in the brain.
4. Aids the body in holding water sufficiently for proper cell hydration.
5. Acts as an alkalizer, removing cellular acidity, especially in the brain and kidneys. er.
6. Boosts your immune system.
7. Since salt is taken into bone matter as part of strengthening bones, it helps prevent osteoporosis.
8. Provides a buffer for blood sugar levels to help prevent diabetes or to help those who are diabetic use less insulin.
9. Provides iodine in a natural setting, making it easier for your thyroid to absorb it and to regulate the endocrine system.
The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iodine is 150-290 mcg for adults.
I feel this is exetrmemely low, hence the deficiency in this country
Daily doses of 3-6 mg have been used without side effects in studies of people with other iodine deficiency-related health conditions such as polycystic breast disease.
Japanese dietary habits are shedding new light on the importance of iodine, not only for thyroid health, but in maintaining breast health. According to the journal Archives of Surgery (1980 Sept.), while breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, in Japan (where 5.2 to 13.8 mg of edible,vb iodine-rich seaweed is consumed daily), breast cancer ranks third behind gastric and uterine cancers.
Fast Iodine Deficiency Facts
* The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 50 million people suffer some kind of mental impairment related to iodine deficiency.
* The cognitive development of a fetus is irreversibly impeded if a mother is iodine deficient while pregnant.
* According to the journal Environmental Science and Technology (2008 Feb) Using less iodized table salt (a main source of iodine in the U.S.) means we're not getting enough iodine in our diets.
* Recent scientific analysis reveals that many commercial table salt brands now contain inadequate amounts of iodine.
* Salt used in cooking loses up to 62.4% of its iodine content
* Kosher and sea salt contain little or no iodine.
* Vegetables have lower iodine content than foods of animal origins.
* Iodine is lost through sweating during regular exercise.
At Healthmasters.com we always strive to bring you the latest scientific research. This article is an example of that commitment.
Remember iodine is in the halogen family. Iodine helps to prevent the absorption of fluoride and chlorine also halogens into the thyroid. Plus it is critical for your immune system and the prevention of cancer. I take our iodine supplement daily. tb