The incidence of breast cancer has increased to 1 in 8 women, with 4,000 new cases weekly. You might ask, could there be a preventive measure which is safe, cheap and widely available that has been overlooked? The answer is YES , and it’s the essential mineral, Iodine, which was added to table salt in 1924 as part of a national program to prevent Goiter.
Our Diet is Iodine Deficient
Many of us have been told by our doctors to avoid salt, mainly because they say it causes high blood pressure. Because of this advice, dietary intake of iodized salt has decreased to low levels, and we have a generalized iodine deficiency in the population. Of course, salt intake from processed foods is quite high in the American diet, yet none of this added salt contains iodine.
Currently 15% of the US adult female population is classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as iodine deficient. (9) We consume a large quantity of salt in processed food, however, the salt in processed foods is not iodized salt. Unfortunately iodized table salt is not a reliable way to supplement with Iodine, It makes sense to use an Iodine supplement.
The RDA for Iodine is too Low for Optimal Health
According to Guy Abraham MD, our dietary intake of Iodine is too low, set at 150 mcg by the government RDA. Dr. Guy Abraham tells us that a healthier level of Iodine intake would be 100 times greater at 12.5 mg, which is the average Iodine intake for Japan, and this higher Iodine intake could explain why the Japanese have the lowest rates for cancer of the breast, prostate and thyroid.
How Safe is Iodine Supplementation?
Very Safe. Iodine is the only trace element that can be ingested safely in amounts up to 100,000 times the RDA. For example, potassium iodide has been prescribed safely to large numbers pulmonary (COPD) patients in amounts of up to 6 grams per day for several years. This potassium iodide is a well known treatment for COPD which helps mobilize lung secretions. (18)
The FDA has officially stated that Iodine supplementation is safe and actually recommends 165 mg of Iodine for adults in case of Radiation Emergency to protect the population from thyroid cancer. (17) “Iodine allergy” is a misnomer since this name applies to allergy to iodinated radiographic contrast agents, and not to elemental iodine which is quite different. (10) Elemental Iodine is an essential mineral and required for health. Deficiency of Iodine in the developing embryo causes cretinism, and deficiency in the developing child causes goiter.
Iodine Deficiency and Cancer
Iodine, a well known topical antiseptic and antimicrobial agent, also directly kills cancer cells and serves as the key player in our body’s surveillance system for removing abnormal pre-cancer cells. There is considerable medical research to support this statement.
Dr. B.A. Eskin published 80 papers over 30 years researching iodine and breast cancer, and he reports that iodine deficiency causes breast cancer and thyroid cancer in humans and animals. Iodine deficiency is also known to cause a pre-cancerous condition called fibrocystic breast disease. Ghent published a paper in 1993 which showed iodine supplementation works quite well to reverse and resolve fibrocystic changes of the breast, and this is again the subject of a current clinical study.
Despite its obvious potential, not much has been done with Iodine treatment over the past 40 years in the United States. Since iodine isn’t patentable and is therefore unlikely to be profitable to market, there is no money to fund studies for “FDA approval”. However, FDA approval is not required since Iodine is already an additive to table salt at the supermarket.
Iodine Deficiency Diseases
As an interventional radiologist working in the hospital for 25 years, a large part of my job was evaluating thyroid abnormalities, nodules, and cysts with ultrasound, radionuclide scans, and needle biopsy. Although it was obvious these common thyroid abnormalities were due to iodine deficiency, I often wondered why none of the patients ever received iodine supplementation. The obvious answer is they should have been and that this is a blind spot in mainstream medicine.
Part of my day was also spent reading mammograms and breast ultrasound studies. Fibrocystic breast disease was quite common, and these women would return for needle aspiration procedure of the many breast cysts, and needle biopsy of the benign solid nodules. Many of these ladies returned multiple times for the procedures because the medical system had no useful treatment to offer them. Well, as we have just discussed, we now know there is a very useful medical treatment, namely, Iodine supplementation which not only resolves breast cysts and fibrocystic breast disease, it also resolves ovarian cysts and thyroid cysts. Actually Iodine supplementation has always been available, but again this is a blind spot in mainstream medicine, and hospital based physicians are unaware of it.
Goiter is Caused by Iodine Deficiency
Iodine deficiency is the direct cause of Goiter, as well as enlargement of the thyroid gland with thyroid nodules and cysts. In severe cases, the enlargement can be massive. The thyroid nodule epidemic is also caused by Iodine Deficiency.
There are many Iodine supplements. Lugol’s Solution has been used for many years. A new one is the 12.5 mg Iodoral tablet from Optimox (16) and is the iodine supplement tablet made by Dr. Guy Abraham, a former professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA who started “The Iodine Project” in 1997, and engaged two family practice physicians, Jorge Flechas and David Brownstein to carry out clinical studies of the hypothesis that the body needs 12.5 mg of iodine a day.
More than 4,000 patients in this project consumed Iodine supplements from 12 to 50 mg per day, and in those with diabetes, up to 100 mg a day. They reported their findings that Iodine does indeed reverse fibrocystic disease; diabetic patients require less insulin; hypothyroid patients require less thyroid medication; symptoms of fibromyalgia resolve, and patients with migraine headaches stop having them.
The Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Szent Györgi (1893–1986), the physician who discovered vitamin C, used Iodine freely in his medical practice. The standard dose of potassium iodide given in those days was 1 gram, which contains 770 mg of iodine.
Dr. Albert Szent Györgi writes: “When I was a medical student, iodine in the form of KI (Potassium Iodide) was the universal medicine. Nobody knew what it did, but it did something and did something good. We students used to sum up the situation in this little rhyme: If ye don’t know where, what, and why Prescribe ye then K and I”
Iodoral Tablets: In view of all the above, I take one Iodoral tablet (12.5 mg Iodine) daily as do all of my family members. Iodoral is available without a prescription as a nutritional supplement from VRP (Vitamin Research Products. A bottle of 90 tablets is about 25 dollars plus shipping. Visit the hypothyroidism page on my web site for more thyroid related information.)
Iodoral is an important part of our breast cancer prevention program. See the article: The Safety Of Bio-Identical Hormones
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