Thursday, January 22, 2009

Iodine Deficiency More Common Than Most Think

My regular readers know that I did a 3-week health retreat at the Hippocrates Health Institute to deal with a host of odd conditions, including desperately dry eyes. While my health was much improved, my bone density is on the mend, and my energy is back to normal, my eyes were still dry.

A friend of mine, one of those rarest of breeds, an integrative pharmacist, Mike Ciell told me that I was probably iodine deficient. I should have listened to Mike because when it comes to biochemistry, Mike knows the biochemistry of nutrition as well as anyone I know. He explained that because iodine is displaced by chlorine, sitting in chlorinated pools and whirlpools and drinking chlorinated water cause iodine deficiencies that are far more widespread and under-recognized than most people will ever realize.

Turns out I wasn't even eating iodized salt at home, so a deficiency made all sorts of sense.

Mike promised that my dry eyes would improve if I took a formula called "Lugol's" and he added that I would also enjoy an added benefit: softer skin. Mike explained that the iodine would allow cholesterol to move into my skin to make it more supple. Hmm. That's enough to make most women want to know if they need supplemental iodine.

And, within a week of taking a couple of drops of Lugol's formula, indeed my dry eyes cleared up and, lo and behold, my skin felt softer. Whoo hoo!

A nutrient-based (instead of an antibiotic or steroid) intervention. No eye drops to fuss with all day long (or worse, all night long). And inexpensive to boot!

I'm incredibly grateful for the amazing people who surround me with their wise advice and counsel. Thank you Mike! You're the best!

Meanwhile, post a comment here or let me know your experience with iodine and/or the famous Lugol's solution. You never know, maybe I could get the "kat" to order some for the Co-op at our usual great prices.


Elllot said...


What most don't know about iodine is that it not only is concentrated in the thyroid gland but it's concentrated in breast tissue and prostate as well. A few practitioners (non-MDs) are using iodine supplementation (Lugols soln/tabs) to treat/prevent cancer and prostate problems with decent results.

Frank said...

Caution: We have received numerous reports of people taking 25 mg – 50 mg of potassium iodide-containing supplements each day, typically in the form of Lugols. I do not support the use of this protocol as the form of iodine used is inferior and the chance of congesting the thyroid with insoluble potassium iodide is elevated – a needless risk to take for any person trying to improve their health. I have never had any trouble helping people balance thyroid function on far less iodine intake, especially when Iosol Iodine is used.

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

Others use Lugol's when traveling as an antibacterial/antifungal agent for water purification, etc.

Check out these links:

elvelyn said...

Lugol's iodine is GREAT!! I've been using 2-3 drops daily for several years, but just recently was unable to order more except in very small quanities designed for use in fish tanks. This is due to FDA regulations. If you can get it for us to order from you, PLEASE do so!!! Thanks in advance.

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

Here are some comments that came to me directly, all very enthusiastic about Lugol's:

"Thank you for the article on Iodine. It is wonderful for many things, bladder infections for one. It would be nice if you could get in for us to purchase at a reasonable price. I am having a hard time affording it now. Love all of your products."


"I vote for you finding a way to offer Lugol's at coop convenience and price. There are a lot of iodine deficient people out there."

--Peace & hugs, Brenda
Holistic Health, Practitioner / Naturopath

"By all means, see if you can twist the kat's tail and get him to order some Lugol's. I've had borderline low thyroid readings for years, my endocrinologist won't prescribe a pill for me because it's still within the "normal" range. I've been dragging around and putting on weight, doctor says it's because I'm 64 years old. My opinion is that some people need more thyroid hormone than others. It's like saying that a jet plane can run on the same fuel that keeps a Volkswagen purring along. Up until the past 10 to 12 years, I had a "jet plane" metabolism. Now I've slowed down to "dune buggy" speed.

I'm going to get some Lugol's, it certainly can't hurt!!!"

--Bonnie S.

Anonymous said...

Cindy, A simple way to check if you might be iodine deficient is to paint a circle of liquid iodine about the size of a quarter on your abdomen right before bed,and let it dry. If the circle is gone when you awake, it has absorbed, so you need some. This is from one of my old ole medicine books.

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

Here's what one biochemist friend said:

"Too much iodine can result in either hypothyroidism decreasing the generation of thyroid hormones or hyperthyroidism (if you have an underlying thyroid problem) since it accumulates in the thyroid gland and leads to the over product of thyroxin. For healthy individuals it is actually very difficult to induce either of these unless your talking large quantities of iodine for a prolonged period."

marge0707 said...

I was told by a Naturalpath student that people with O blood type have a deficency in I took the test and the iodine dried up within an hour...I had to begin with 1 pill for 2 days and increase it to 2 pills and so on..but the pills were $40.00 a bottle of it was too expensive for me to continue to do this

Anonymous said...

I am a neuromuscular massage therapist and have now found a great way to get a significantly large amount of Lugols into me throughout my day. When I do foot and leg massage on each client, I squirt about 6 or so drops of iodine into my hand along with the dollop of thick foot cream i have, mix it together and then rub it into my client's legs/feet. And of course, I get lots of it into my hands, which are back to normal color within minutes (a sure sign I still need it). I have had people so deficient that literally one long rub up to the knee and back down and it's all absorbed! And I have found noone yet whose legs/feet remain dark for more than a minute or two when i do this. The improvement for me has been wonderful by having this much iodine, with one of the most notable changes being the decrease in my large bust size. Very fascinating. I do lots of supplements and started several new things at once when I started Lugols, but I would not even think of discontinuing taking iodine supplementation and now also am experimenting with Iodoral orally as well. BTW, fluoride AND chlorine compete with iodine, and iodine loses, so transdermal application probably the very best way to take Lugols in. If you take Lugols orally in regular fluoridated water, betw. the chlorine and the fluoride, you will likely get very little benefit compared to rubbing it into your skin with a wonderful nutritious lotion or oil, preferrably organic. Sesame or olive excellent.

Anonymous said...

Or you can buy rosted sea weed that is used for making sushi and blend into a smoothie. With seaweed you will get a lot of other nutrients too. Because of the seaweed is eaten a lot in Japan they get daily about 125 (mg or something)of idoine when in the west we get less than 30 units. Some experts say that this could explain some of the reasons why Japanees live longer etc. than we do.

Nicole said...

Taking synthetic iodine transdermally is safer and more effective than internally.

Anonymous said...

I was recently prescribed to rub 3-4 drops 2x day on two cyst areas (kidney & ovary) with the Lugols iodine. I was concerned this was too much iodine but I cannot find any information out there in regards the dosage for rubbing it on. I did this for about a month and have not noticed and serious side effects but I was just curious because the directions on the bottle are so much less than what I am rubbing in. Does anyone have any experience with this? Also, how long does the iodine stay in your system?