Medically we have known the myriad problems that ensue with iodine deficiency creating Thyroid imbalance: overweight, sluggish metabolism, sadness, tiredness, fatigue, menstrual irregularities, hormonal imbalances, cretinism (mental retardation) in the unborn, the list goes on. Studies over the last century clearly place this misunderstood mineral, arguably at the top of our list nutritionally, as the most important deficiency to correct alongside folic acid for expectant mothers. But the new research goes way beyond just this list. Clinical Nutrition evidence clearly points to iodine sub-clinical deficiency as a major component of immune dysfunction and an open doorway for tumour growth in iodine sensitive tissues that include the thyroid, breast, ovaries, uterus, prostate and testes.
Putting my quantum / holistic hat on there are clearly emotional / mental correlations clinically with low Thyroid / Iodine levels; much of this relates to blockages in the throat area and chest, not expressing oneself, lack of nurturing or the ability to nurture one self and others, blocked self-expression through the arts & creativity. Much of this can be boiled down to trauma related to poor early parenting, loss of either or both parents when young, loss of siblings, spouse or close friends, and emotional shock or pain of many kinds shutting down the throat and heart centres. These can be re-opened with many Mind-Body techniques that we are lucky enough to use at Global Health Clinics where I work with several other highly trained holistic Mind-Body therapists.
It has been known for several decades now that conventional medical teaching about iodine, similar to Vitamin D, is limited to a time warped Newtonian restricted list mentioned above. But like its cousin Vitamin D, we are learning that sub-clinical deficiency plays a HUGE role in immunity and prevention of one of the 21st Centuries biggest killers and diseases of affluence, cancer. New electronic technology developed by Dr Darryl Turner, a kiwi doctor living in the US called a ‘Thyroflex’ reveals a newer, more accurate way to measure Thyroid function that helps capture, in my estimation, based on nearly 30 years of full time clinical practice, the 70% of females and 35% of males that have an undiagnosed thyroid problem in NZ & Australia, contributing to the obesity epidemic so common in Western countries. Brownstein identifies 96% of the US population as being deficient in Iodine, and we have no reason to believe it is much lower in Australia, NZ, UK and the Western EU. If you study the statistics, in the US the average person is exposed to between 1-3mg of iodine in the diet daily, whereas in Japan, where the incidence of reproductive cancers is one of the developed world’s lowest, despite high pollution, very dense cities and high incidence of risk factors like smoking, the average daily exposure to iodine from the diet is around 28mg. The Japanese also have a very high protective diet full of fish, iodine rich sea vegetables like kelp & seaweeds and high soy consumption (N.B. NOT soy milk as this is counter-productive to thyroid health in my opinion as opposed to Tofu and other nigari treated soy products which don’t appear to affect the thyroid negatively).
The reality is most of the Western world is living in a haze of nutrient deficiencies, largely unrecognised by modern medicine, that is one of the leading causes of modern diseases world-wide. The scientific reality is with minimal cost effective supplementation of some basic nutrients, many world authorities like Jonathan Wright, MD, Andrew Weil, MD and Dr’s Turner and Brownstein, et al, believe many of our modern diseases would simply disappear over time. This would free up huge medical resources to do battle with more pressing issues like solving specific ‘incurables’ e.g. ALS motor neuron disease, Parkinson’s and MS, and others that still perplex modern medicine.
When you take into account the swathe of over 4.7 billion modern xenobiotics (foreign, toxic, mainly synthetic chemicals) that bathe our bodies in most modern city (& country environments) you don’t have to look far to find triggers for most cancers and many neurological diseases. But if we optimised our immune function with a good clean plant based nutrient dense diet in substances like Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin D & C AND we dealt with our toxic xenobiotic load, (that’s a whole other article) then medical practices around the world would look VERY different indeed!
Using Dr Turner’s Thyroflex™, a state of the art simple device (www.nitekmedical.com) developed this century by Darryl’s US team, alongside conventional medical blood and extended into hi tech urine / salvia testing, (way more thorough than simple TSH, T3, T4 conservative Thyroid blood testing), a more complete picture of Thyroid and Iodine status can be made and the patient safely and scientifically supplemented to bring their Thyroid function and Iodine status into the ‘optimal’ category. The results of this are nothing more than miraculous as clinical evidence is proving. Medical sceptics will have problems with this one because the mounting evidence is so convincing that I believe within the next 20-30 years we have the potential to eliminate, or at least significantly reduce to a large extent, the common incidence and progression of a wide range of disorders including thyroid, breast, ovarian, uterine, prostate and testicular cancers. I am NOT saying Thyroid / Iodine Optimisation is a cure for cancer at all. But it is a large piece of the puzzle. This is a bold statement, but time will prove its accuracy.
My own personal case of thyroid mal-function is a case in point. Suffering for many years with sub-clinical low thyroid, being told by my GP that the blood tests were ‘normal’ even though my TSH, T3 and T4 levels were high or low end of medical normal. Once I researched and discovered that I needed to aim for ‘optimal’ levels my clinical picture changed within 10 days, but then I am well nourished, exercise regularly and am proactive with my health as every diligent health practitioner should be. For many patients the journey to get such results is a lot longer unfortunately. Good education in diet and lifestyle medicine makes all the difference!
We know from Brownstein et al that not only is the Thyroid the largest storage organ for Iodine in the body, but the breasts are a much larger storage area where the function of Iodine is to protect the ducts and glandular tissue from infection (bacteria, fungi, viruses) but also to prevent lumps from forming.
In my own case I had a very lumpy prominent left Airola which has all but disappeared within 1 month of Iodine optimisation. This is a common observation. Consider this, within 17 minutes your entire blood supply passes through the thyroid gland, injecting powerful hormones & nutrient secretions into your system that disinfect, cleanse and sanitise your blood protecting you against infection and cancers from forming or spreading specifically in the iodine sensitive tissues mentioned above. This is a very powerful immune protective force that even modern medicine has trouble completing with, if and only if, you have optimal iodine levels. I believe every woman should be optimally iodine sufficient as a mainline preventive for breast and other reproductive cancers. And don’t forget the men with prostate cancers too. It is now well known that iodine optimisation will clear fibrocystic breasts relatively quickly in line with the above lifestyle implementations above (identifying and detoxing xenobiotic load, good nutrient dense diet & relevant exercise).
So I urge all proactive health consumers especially those with any of the symptoms above, or with a family or personal history of reproductive cancers, overweight, sluggishness, undiagnosed tiredness & fatigue to get your thyroid and iodine levels professionally checked by a health practitioner of your choice who has up skilled and done the nutritional studies AND knows how to test and what to look for. And the sooner the better! May your life never be the same again – like mine!
Iodine: Why you need it, why you can’t live without it, by Dr David Brownstein, MD
An Ode to Iodine, by Bruno Loos, BSc, Director, NZ Longevity Foundation
Thyroflex Operators Manual, Dr Darryl Turner, PhD
Nutri-Search Practitioner Training, Thyroid disorders & the teachings of Dr James Wilson, ND, MD, PhD
David Holden is a science graduate, specialising in Naturopathic Medicine and Nutritional BioChemistry, having been in full time clinical practise since 1986. He actively researches and applies his knowledge to improving his patient’s health outcomes by using nutritional based naturopathic medicine coupled with state of the art scientific testing to ensure that his valued patients get results. He can be contacted for public talks and private consultations at Global Health Clinics, Takapuna Auckland, +64 9 488 0208. He does on line consults via Skype and email for patients that live outside of Auckland, New Zealand. He can also be reached on email@example.com and DVD clips of the Thyroflex machine and further information on the functional and scientific testing he does can be viewed on www.globalhealthclinics.co.nz and www.davidholden.co.nz . He welcomes approaches and referrals by doctors, naturopaths and other health professionals that wish to avail themselves of his services if they don’t use the testing equipment that he utilises themselves. He regularly gives public talks and lectures, writes articles like this one and films DVD clips on topics of interest loaded on the above websites in the emerging quantum & nutritional medicine fields. If its evidence based he is interested in it!
Global Health Thyroid / Iodine Optimisation Package:
Total Cost: $500NZ - out of Auckland patients $400NZ as no Thyroflex™ testing can be done unless arranged locally. This service is available from us for anyone world wide as the bulk of the testing is done via Skype / Email / Post for the $400NZ option without Thyroflex™ testing. Thyroflex™ testing is available in NZ, Australia and the USA & Canada.
* 2 x Thyroflex™ tests, 1 B4 and after Thyrodine testing and relevant supplementation
* 1 x Thyrodine Urine / Salvia Test
* 1 x Bottle Lugols Iodine, 1 x Liquid Selenium, 1 x Liquid Zinc
* Total 1 hour consult in 3 x 30min blocks over 4 weeks with David Holden to optimise your iodine and Thyroid function.
Copies of Brownstein’s book are also available:
To purchase and book this contact Global Health Clinics, Auckland +64 9 488 0208 or firstname.lastname@example.org