After I had conquered my addiction to sugar and began to eat better, I still suffered from fatigue, cold hands and cold feet. This led me to continue researching to find an answer; I discovered a mineral called Iodine. You may have heard of the form used in surgical operating theatres, however it was proving to be so much more than this. I read accounts of illnesses being reduced or even eliminated, I read stories of fibrocystic breast lumps being resolved to name a few examples. Was there really any truth in this?
After reading several papers, a few books and a 400-page discussion on the benefits and risks of this mineral, I decided to see for myself. Of course I would not recommend you do this as it is always best to visit your GP as you may also need a thyroid test or have your Iodine and selenium levels checked.
Natural sources of Iodine can be found in seaweed, dulse, kelp and in the soil but most are often polluted and may not contain high enough levels. Due to this, I decided to supplement with a form called Lugols Iodine which was derived from mined crystals. Iodine was accidentally discovered by a French chemist called Barnard Courtois in 1811. The solution I obtained was 3% in strength from the UK, however if you reside in the USA or elsewhere, there may be 2% and 5% solutions. I realised there were different ratios so 3% in the UK was often weaker than 2% in the USA. I began by taking 1 drop in filtered water a day and the results were remarkable. My hands and feet were no longer cold and it had been something I had endured for over 20 years. I also noticed that scar tissue from injections since childhood had reduced in appearance, I had much more energy and my skin became more moist. I was also surprised to learn that if I failed to take it, my cold hands and feet would return.
After such results, I was motivated to do more research. I started to notice there were many fears of Iodine and a misunderstanding of its importance. As I continued researching, I came into contact with someone who had noticed improvements from using Lugols 3%. This person suffered from breathing problems at night, a stuffy nose and a lack of energy and was a heavy snorer. They had tried a nasal spray that appeared to reduce their nasal congestion and snoring temporarily. After trying the Lugols due to its anti inflammatory properties, it perhaps reduced the inflammation and swelling in the lining of the nostrils that had contributed to these issues. Again, this person reported that when they continued taking the Iodine, they did not suffer from snoring and when they stopped taking it, the problems soon returned. They had evidence from keeping an audio diary of recordings when they were sleeping over a period of weeks. However this person did experience some side effects such as bloating and some weight gain which I was interested in finding out the reasons for this.
I did find out that supplementing with Iodine, required Selenium, Vitamin C, Magnesium and in some cases B vitamins. When Iodine is converted to Iodide, it can cause stress on the thyroid. Selenium helps protect the thyroid from this. It was also discovered that vitamin C allowed Iodine to be used more efficiently. Without these minerals, the side effects were perhaps more likely to occur.
One of the most intriguing discoveries I made was about Iodine’s possible link with protecting against cancers because it had the ability to assist the body with killing abnormal cells (known as apoptosis). Without adequate levels, perhaps this could not occur.
There was so much I learnt on this journey of looking in to the potential benefits of Iodine, I cannot help but wonder, can we afford to misunderstand this mineral?
All information in this article is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
David Brownstein, M.D. (2009). Iodine Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It. 4th ed. Michigan: Medical Alternatives Press. 10-89.
Lynne Farrow (2013). The Iodine Crisis: What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life. Devon Press.
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility – Office of Science Education. (2016). The Element Iodine. Available: http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele053.html. Last accessed 03 April 2016.
Dr. Lawrence Wilson. (2016). Iodine, A critical Nutrient. Available: http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/IODINE.htm. Last accessed 03 April 2016.