Life Extension article on iodine

Here's a link to my recent article in Life Extension Magazine on iodine:

Halt on Salt Sparks Iodine Deficiency

Iodized salt, a concept introduced into the U.S. by the FDA in 1924, slowly eliminated goiter (enlarged thyroid glands), along with an enormous amount of thyroid disease, heart attack, mental impairment, and death. The simple addition of iodine to salt ensured that salt-using Americans obtained enough iodine sufficient to not have a goiter.

Now that the FDA, goiters long forgotten from their memories, urges Americans to reduce salt, what has happened to our iodine?

I talk at length about this issue in the Life Extension article.

Comments (25) -

  • Michael

    11/17/2009 1:08:06 PM |

    The link provided is based on the Life Extension search tool and seems broken.  This link works Halt on Salt, Oct 2009.

  • Terry H

    11/17/2009 1:20:13 PM |

    Dr D,

    The link does not work for me. Sends me to a www page that appears unrelated to your post and certainly not the the article you recommend.

  • Jim Purdy

    11/17/2009 1:22:21 PM |

    I don't think that link goes to the magazine article. It seems to go to a product advertisement instead. Did I do something wrong?

  • Daniel

    11/17/2009 3:28:09 PM |

    LE must have changed the link - it sends me to a page where I can purchase pure IGF, which, by the way, I'm surprised people want to take.

  • Anonymous

    11/17/2009 3:29:06 PM |

    I think you want this link

  • ciphen

    11/17/2009 4:06:49 PM |

    The link you posted doesn't go to your article. Might want to update that.

    Question: what is the best way to test for Iodine levels? I've been taking 400mg kelp iodine for a while, and want to make sure I'm not overdoing it (I'm 28).

  • Sara

    11/17/2009 4:15:05 PM |

    Dr. Davis,

    Clicking the link in the article takes me to the page to buy iodine supplements, not the article itself; I had to search to find the actual article. I think it's because you're linking to search results, and when someone else puts in the same URL without having given it the same inputs, it hiccups. This link should be to the actual article:

  • Anonymous

    11/17/2009 4:31:03 PM |

  • Anonymous

    11/17/2009 4:49:33 PM |

    The article appears to be at this link:


  • Catherine

    11/17/2009 5:59:27 PM |

    Dr. Davis,
    Great article on Iodine (had to use LEF search to get it--link doesn't work).
    I am the perfect example of the healthy-diet person who developed thyroid disease and fibrocystic breasts due to salt and dairy food avoidance.
    I also have that abnormal reaction to iodine now. Iodine causes a hashi flare-up, and as you've stated I have become hyper-sensitive to it now.  But you also stated that in your experience it is a "temporary" reaction which makes me want to try it again--maybe more slowly, very low doses at first?
    Any tips from your experience with this hyper-sensitivity?
    Thanks for addressing this iodine problem with thyroid---many thyroid books and articles say if you have Hashimoto's to just avoid iodine completely so as not to create a flare-up, but that is not healthy for the rest of the body either.
    Warm regards,  

  • jack

    11/17/2009 6:03:53 PM |

    Hi -

    The link to the LEF article pulls up an
    ad for one of their Human Growth Factor

    Punching Iodine into their search engine
    did'nt find it - Perhaps I missed it...

  • Jack

    11/17/2009 6:08:15 PM |

    Here it is...

  • Anonymous

    11/17/2009 6:40:31 PM |

    It is rather interesting for me to read that post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more soon.

  • Anonymous

    11/17/2009 7:01:46 PM |

    Good point. I'll make sure to eat spoonfuls of salt Wink But seriously, very important point and people should take their supplements.

    Off-topic: Can you share your thoughts on the virtually zero-fat diet described in the book by Dr. Esselstyn. Thanks.

  • Kevin

    11/17/2009 10:54:45 PM |

    My blood pressure is lower than the average so I ingest a lot of iodized salt.  Also I run a lot of marathons during the summer.  When I need more salt during races I can pour it in my mouth.  If I'm low on sodium it tastes great.  If I'm not in need of salt it just about makes vomit.  


  • Dr. William Davis

    11/17/2009 11:14:48 PM |

    Thanks, all, for noting the broken link. I'm not sure what happened.

    It should be corrected.

  • Electronic Medical Records

    11/18/2009 2:58:10 AM |

    I completely agree to the post.Sea salt or rock salt is very good for health but definitely in measures.

  • Future Primitive

    11/18/2009 6:15:12 AM |

    I'm trying to understand what an appropriate dose is.  It seems like iodine dosage in relation to TSH follows a "U" shaped response, where too little iodine results in high TSH and too much iodine can likewise result in high TSH.  There's evidently a sweet spot, BUT it also seems to depend very much on whatever the thyroid is adapted to in terms of the ambient, dietary iodine intake prior to the beginning of supplementation.  That is, a mid-Westerner with a chronically low iodine intake is going to respond quite differently to a 1000 mcg iodine dose than, say, a person who grew up on the Northern coast of Japan... On an immediately related topic, I'm curious to know more about the apparent adaptive down-regulation of T3 in response to caloric restriction and likewise (similarly, it would seem), carbohydrate restriction.  Any thoughts?

  • Runner2009

    11/18/2009 5:42:23 PM |

    Dr Davis:

    My question is on a bit of a tangent to this topic, but on the related issue of what seems to be a situation where maintaining what was considered a "healthy" level now is possibly dangerous:

    "Low triglycerides are risk factor for hemorrhagic stroke"

    Do you have any insight into this study ? I have been diligently keeping my lipid levels in check .I lowered my triglycerides from a fairly low level of 75mg/dL down to 50 mg/dL. Now I am concerned. (My LDL is 95 mg/dL and HDL is 64 mg/dL). I don't take any drugs , just lots of exercise and diet (Krill oil, almonds, Beta Glucan fiber)



  • Runner2009

    11/18/2009 5:44:22 PM |

    Sorry, forgot the link:

  • Dr. William Davis

    11/18/2009 10:55:25 PM |

    Hi, Future--

    That is the frustration with iodine: insufficient data on what represents an ideal level of intake. And it may vary from region to region, individual to individual.

    The T3 issue is indeed fascinating, a topic that will be explored more fully in the blog and in the Track Your Plaque website.

  • Dr. William Davis

    11/18/2009 11:18:27 PM |

    Hi, Runner--

    I'm skeptical that this is an important effect that warrants action.

    Primitive cultures typically have triglycerides in very low ranges, since they avoid processed foods. I'd be shocked if achieving physiologic normal levels is the sole explanation behind increased stroke.

  • Anonymous

    12/12/2009 1:29:24 AM |

    mm... good  post