Some of the most important minerals are the hardest to add to your diet. Iodine is one of these difficult to acquire nutrients. Like magnesium, iodine is an element on the periodic table of elements. It’s a halogen element that is responsible for the removal of toxins from the body.
Since it’s so important, yet hard to add to your diet, it makes Bulletproof’s list of 10 Supplements Everyone Needs. The list recommends taking almost 10x the amount recommended by Health Canada:
Health Canada’s Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA): 150 μg/day for adults
Bulletproof Recommended Supplement Dose: 1mg / day
Below we’ll look at why there is such a large discrepancy in these recommended dosages. We will also look at what iodine does, as well as the effects of iodine deficiency.
To start off, here is a look at what Bulletproof has to say about this mineral:
Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function and metabolism. It also enhances immune function and prevents brain damage. Iodine deficiency is widespread, so supplementation is wise. You can get some iodine from seafood, but the risk of deficiency is still high. Iodized salt won’t get you optimal levels. The toxic limit for iodine is also extremely high, meaning you can take a lot. A good starting point is 1mg / day from kelp powder or as potassium iodide.
Dose: 1mg / day
Forms: Kelp powder or potassium iodide capsules
Time Taken: Doesn’t matter.
Recommended Brand: Pure Encapsulations potassium iodide
Here is an informative lecture, given by Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM. Dr. Group founded the Global Healing Center and is an expert on the use of iodine. We’ve highlighted his main points in a summary below:
0:50 Endocrine glands, like that of the Thyroid, need iodine. Most people are deficient in this important mineral. We need it in our system to deal with all of the negative chemicals we ingest.
2:18 Iodine is an element on the periodic table and is found with the other halogen elements. These include fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br), iodine (I), and astatine (At). Iodine flushes these other chemicals from the body because they can be harmful to the body.
2:40 People often associate iodine with the thyroid because that’s one area of the body that uses this nutrient in high doses, but it’s needed for every cell in the body.
2:55 Iodine was discovered by the French chemist, Bernard Courtois who was experimenting with seaweed. Then in 1829, Dr. Lugol created Lugol Solution (potassium iodine). He figured out how to stabilize this gas element, and created this safe liquid form of iodine, which treated thyrotoxicosis.
Then around 1860 doctors discovered that iodine could be used to cure goiters. It wasn’t until 1924 that iodized salt became available in the U.S. to treat goiters. Unfortunately, because of the toxins, scientists thought salt was the main cause of heart disease. This resulted in far fewer salts being iodized and led to a rise in iodine deficiency. Now most salts no longer contain this cleansing mineral.
In 1997 Dr. Ghent saw benefits of iodine with fibrocystic breast disease. This is no surprise as any iodine deficiency is going to cause a cystic disease somewhere. Normally these cystic diseases attack the reproductive organs.
7:10 Another benefit of this mineral is that white blood cells need iodine to fight diseases.
7:48 As we’ve already mentioned, the thyroid is where iodine is most active and important. The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces metabolic hormones. The thyroid is controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland produces TSH, which tells the thyroid to produce thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3).
11:25 Iodine is great when taken with a variety of minerals. They work together to optimize your health. Selenium is one of those minerals to take with your iodine.
11:56 Low IQ levels are a sign of low levels of iodine. Pregnant women need 2-3x the amount of iodine because it is a crucial part of proper brain development.
12:40 As we’ve already said, iodine removes dangerous chemicals from the body. It also detoxifies metals in the body. 12.5-50mg will increase the urinary excretion of lead and mercury from the body. Dr. Group recommends drinking plenty of water when you take iodine because you’ll become dehydrated in the flushing process.
Dr. Group also warns that if you are deficient when you start taking an iodine supplement, you may experience a “healing crisis” for up to two weeks. You could feel lousy and have a headache during this time. This is a result of the body eliminating toxins.
13:40 Iodine is also a cofactor for insulin. It isn’t a cure for diabetes, but type 2 diabetics should increase their intake to boost insulin function.
15:10 It is good for anti-aging and skin rejuvenation. Glycerin with iodine rubbed on the skin has been shown to repair skin, making it look and act younger.
16:30 Iodine also helps raise the pH in the body, stabilizing dangerous acidity levels.
17:55 Ovaries have the second highest level of iodine in women’s body. When women are deficient they run the risk of many diseases. Some signs of iodine deficiency are tenderness in the breasts, cold hands and feet, puffy eyes, tongue feeling swollen or puffy, brain fog, or low energy levels.
19:00 Breast tissue is a sponge for iodine in the body.
19:40 The recommended dietary allowance created by the government is far too low. The 150 μg/day for adults came by looking at the minimum level of iodine in the body before you start to form goiters.
20:25 Dr. Group shared that he personally takes 40mg of iodine a couple of times a week.
22:25 Medical records show that iodine levels dropped 50% from 1971-2000.
Dr. Group says that pretty much the whole world is deficient in iodine unless you live next to the ocean and eat seafood all the time. We have lost the iodine in our soil. He guesses at least 70% of the world is deficient, and studies show that up to 75% of people in the U.S. are iodine deficient.
23:17 Dr. Group provides a list of studies that show a correlation between iodine and breast health.
25:00 Iodine deficiency is related to miscarriages, stillbirths, preterm delivery, and cognitive problems.
28:30 Your Endocrine glands are exposed to pesticides from food, which effect iodine levels. Anything to do with hormones like birth control, or anti-depressants, are likely blocking your iodine uptake.
The endocrine glands have receptors, so if another hormone or chemical like bromine jump onto those receptors, iodine gets blocked. It then has to slowly remove the bad chemicals so it can get to the receptors, and go to work.
43:30 Iodine is extremely safe according to Dr. Group. He says that if you become saturated, your body will naturally flush out the excess.
43:50 There are many types of iodine supplements. Dr. Group recommends iodine in a glycerin base. Glycerin hydrates to promote iodine absorption. Also, alcohol based iodine is harsh to take. Dr. Group recommends not taking this supplement at night because it boosts energy.
Good Whole Food Packed With Iodine
One of the best natural sources of iodine is from the Atlantic Ocean. While seafood will contain low levels of this mineral, the best source is going to come from seaweed plants like kelp. The other trouble is the amount of iodine in kelp varies greatly. 1g of kelp can contain anywhere from 16 – 2,984 μg. Therefore kelp is a rather unreliable source of this important mineral. If you are eating kelp on a regular basis you could be okay but without regularly checking your levels you won’t know for sure.
In truth, it is hard to get iodine from your food. A supplement is another way to make sure you are getting enough of this important mineral.
The Bulletproof supplement list recommends Pure Encapsulations – Potassium Iodide. Each tablet contains 225μg of potassium iodine. While this might be a good supplement, you’d have to take at least 4 tablets a day to get the dosage recommended by Bulletproof.
Dr. Group recommends Detoxadine, which is a nascent iodine he created. This is a liquid supplement and 3 drops contain 1,950μg (that is 1.05mg). Nascent iodine is rapidly absorbed into the body, which is a bonus. It’s also easy to get your required dose of iodine.
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. Please consult with a doctor before adding/changing your dosage of any supplement in your diet. Take any supplements at your own risk.