Thursday, February 5, 2009

Iodine, Bromine, and Breast Cancer

My friend, Gino Giglio, recommended the book "Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It" by David Brownstein, MD.

I just received the book and, given all the interest in my last iodine blog posting, I am finding it a really useful reference on the 62nd most abundant element on earth (this makes iodine relatively rare, with many soils depleted of iodine).

Iodine used to be added to baked goods to condition the dough, but bromine replaced iodine in the 1980s. Unfortunately, bromine is toxic to the human body and binds to iodine receptors in the breast; in fact, bromine is a known carcinogen in the breast. Iodine, on the other hand, has anticarcinogenic properties, according to Brownstein, particularly in thyroid and breast cancers.

Iodide, the form of iodine found in iodized salt, is used by the thyroid gland, while breast and prostate tissues use iodine. This means that iodized salt, one of the primary sources of iodine, does nothing to protect breast and prostate tissues from cancer. Unequivocally, the body needs both forms of iodine. If iodine is in short supply, the thyroid and breast or prostate tissues will compete for iodine and a cascade of depletion ensues.

Dr. Brownstein's breast cancer patients have consistently tested out as low in iodine and at the same time high in bromine and flouride (remember, both bromine and flouride displace iodine in the body) in contrast with patients without breast cancer. In Japan and Iceland, where dietary intake of iodine is much higher than in the U.S., the incidence of breast cancer is much lower.

Did you know that breast cancer rates have skyrocketed in the U.S. at the same time that the food supply created excess bromine and deficiencies in iodine? Did you know that 1 in 7 women get breast cancer? Did you know that survival rates for breast cancer have not improved in 70 years, even with extensive use of mammograms, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation?

Scary stuff for any woman (I keep thinking of a recent movie I saw, Elegy, where Penelope Cruz's character was diagnosed with breast cancer at such a young age - yes, this would be called a bit of a movie spoiler).

But back to my discussion of iodine deficiencies. If you have a family history of breast cancer, fibrocystic disease, or hormonal imbalances (the ovaries have the second highest concentration of iodine after the thyroid), then you may want to get your iodine level checked.

Get supervision from a qualified healthcare practitioner to remedy any deficiencies you find, as you can definitely get too much of a good thing with iodine.


ladybugsandbees said...

If you are interested in learning more about the use of Iodine for improving health I would invite you to join my Iodine group on Yahoo groups. I have over 2,400 members. My Dr is Dr. David Brownstein and he is also a friend of mine. Iodine saved my life when struggling with thyroid cancer. You can find a link to the group on my website's IODINE page.

Mark Kroger said...

Thank you for posting the iodine-bromine swap info. I had heard that but didn't know much about it. With people like you, the Internet makes self study a whole lot easier.

Jeffrey Dach MD said...

I found both David Brownstein's and Derry's books on Iodine to be quite helpful. Current research from Mexico, India and Japan supports the use of Iodine in prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

For more: Click Here

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Anonymous said...

Thankyou for this informative article.
Marissa Lize Etienne