The healthiest people are the most iodine deficient

Here's an informal observation.

The healthiest people are the most iodine deficient.

The healthier you are, the more likely you are to:

--Avoid junk foods--30% of which have some iodine from salt
--Avoid overuse of iodized salt
--Exercise--Sweating causes large losses of iodine.

So the healthy-eating, exercising person is the one most likely to show iodine deficiency: gradually enlarged thyroid gland (in the neck), declining thyroid function. Over time, if iodine deficiency persists, excessive sensitivity to iodine develops, as well as abnormal thyroid conditions like overactive nodules.

Even subtle levels of thyroid dysfunction act as a potent coronary risk factor.

Comments (19) -

  • Makoss

    11/16/2009 2:29:19 PM |

    So should a healthy person like me, who isn't big on salt, doesn't eat junk food and exercises regularly, be concerned about a potential thyroid problem? Seems paradoxal.



  • trix

    11/16/2009 2:50:44 PM |

    I believe I am one of those 'healthy' people....Last year I started doing what Dr. Guy Abraham suggests...I built up to 50mg of iodine by taking drops of Lugol's Iodine for 3 months. Then slowly reduced the dose to a maintenance dose of 2 drops/12.5 mg. per day.  I also follow a protocol of taking magnesium, B complex, selenium, Vit C, and make sure I get enough Vit D3 mostly from sun (Florida).  In your opinion do you think that 12.5 mgs iodine is a safe dose to take indefinitely.  (I also use some other supplements: fish oil and bio-indentical Progesterone...)  I am a 56 yrs old female.

  • Anonymous

    11/16/2009 3:18:08 PM |

    ummm, the salt used in junk food in non-iodized.

  • Materialguy

    11/16/2009 3:59:22 PM |

    On May 20, 2009 you wrote "My sense is that the Recommended Daily Allowance of 150 mcg per day for adults is low and that many benefit from greater quantities, e.g., 500 mcg. What is is the ideal dose? To my knowledge, nobody has yet generated that data."

    In looking for a convenient way to confront my Iodine situation, I realized that I might have on in my backpacking equipment. I use Polar Pure iodine based water disinfectant, which produces a 4 to 5 ppm solution of iodine in water.  This is effectively 1 mg of iodine in an 8 ounce glass. So, taking a glass every day or so would put me in the ballpark of the 150mcg and 500mcg that you mentioned.

    It is free, because I already have it, and I am skilled in the use from many backpacking trips.

  • Kassidy

    11/16/2009 4:15:54 PM |

    Is there a test to see if you're iodine deficient?  Do you recommend taking an iodine supplement?

  • Anonymous

    11/16/2009 5:21:10 PM |

    im confused you say the most healthy are deficient, but then their thyriod is messed up?

    so is iodine good or bad?

  • Anonymous

    11/16/2009 7:40:02 PM |

    If that's the case, what do you recommend as the best way to test and determine if and how deficient you are, and the best way to ensure you're getting enough?  Thanks!

  • Brian

    11/16/2009 8:25:54 PM |

    I exercise, and avoid iodized salt and junk food.

    But I also eat lots of eggs (pastured).

    Problem solved.

  • Dr. William Davis

    11/17/2009 12:40:51 AM |

    There are cumbersome urinary tests to assess for iodine deficiency, but they are rarely used and are fairly unreliable, since they tend to reflect short-term intake, not overall adequacy.

    You've left with a situation much like vitamin C: You'll know you're deficient when your teeth fall out. For iodine, it will be thyroid dysfunction.

    It's NOT worth waiting to find out. Everyone should supplement iodine in some form unless, like MaterialGuy, you get it somehow already.

  • Anonymous

    11/17/2009 1:41:37 AM |
    Best iodine research without pharma influence or deceptions.
    bruce P

  • Nameless

    11/17/2009 1:45:33 AM |

    If interested in supplementing iodine, it would seem prudent to get a baseline thyroid level, supplement, and see if it changes for the better. I plan to do this next month, starting at a smallish dose (250-500mcg).

    I was a bit skeptical as to dosing iodine, until I read Dr. Davis' recent article for LEF (nice article, by the way) where he recommends 500mcg up to 1 gram, if I remember right. That seems like much more reasonable dose to me as compared to Lugols, etc.

    I was also under the false impression than an iodine urine test would be accurate, but it doesn't seem like it would be. A loading test might be a bit more accurate, but that also sounds like a pain to get.... and no insurance would probably pay for it either.

    Only other thing to consider is form. Kelp could have some impurities (especially arsenic), so potassium iodide the preferred form to take?

  • trix

    11/17/2009 2:06:12 PM |

    I've read that Lugol's drops or Idoral tablets are good forms to take because they are Potassium Iodide and Iodine. One can make their own Lugol's with ingredients from science companies or off ebay:
    5 gm iodine
    10 gm potassium iodide
    100 ml of distilled water
    yields 6.3 mg Iodine per drop

  • Anonymous

    11/17/2009 4:25:40 PM |

    I am currently reading a book called "CLEAN" by Dr. Alejandro Junger.

    In it he says many of the same things you say, and ties in many problems we suffer, like thyroid issues, etc. to the condition of our bowels and inflammation.

    I would like to read your opinion of this book if you ever get time to review it.


  • Alfredo E.

    11/18/2009 3:10:30 AM |

    Hi All: I believe I am a perfect example of the case. Since very early age, 16 y o, I was diagnosed with hypertension.
    In my early 20s I started to read about salt restriction, exercise and heart disease. By age 35 I started to act "different" though I continue to exercise 4 hours a week, low fat-low salt diet.
    I started to have "panic attacks" when in certain situations. Then in the early 90s I was diagnosed with goiter and started taking hypothyroid drugs. The "attacks" went away.
    I believe all this was a low iodine diet that affected my life for many decades. Today, I still have hypertension and hypothyroidism but all under control. I also take Iodine.

  • Anonymous

    1/25/2010 3:09:50 PM |

    The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.


  • Andrew and Amy

    10/20/2010 1:47:20 AM |

    Be careful!  People the American diet is soooo full of iodine!  I have Thyroid Cancer and am currently on a Low Iodine Diet - can't really eat much because there is so much iodine in our foods, not sure I would add iodine or take it without a Dr. recommendation, most other countries don't have it in their foods.  Check out Low Iodine Diets to get a better picture.

  • buy jeans

    11/3/2010 6:40:28 PM |

    So the healthy-eating, exercising person is the one most likely to show iodine deficiency: gradually enlarged thyroid gland (in the neck), declining thyroid function. Over time, if iodine deficiency persists, excessive sensitivity to iodine develops, as well as abnormal thyroid conditions like overactive nodules.

  • Lakodine

    3/23/2011 6:47:26 PM |

    Not all iodine is created equal.  For more information, go to