Before 1950, doctors prescribed Lugol’s Solution (potassium iodide and iodine crystals in water
solution) for many health problems, including thyroid disease, fatigue, obesity, chronic infections, and
cancers. Dosages of 20 to 180 mg daily were safely given. In fact, iodine was considered to be a
virtual panacea by American and European doctors. It was observed that a daily dose of 20 to 40
milligrams of iodine promoted health and well-being.
Unfortunately, in 1948, misinformation about iodine was published, causing 60 years of medical
iodophobia (fear of iodine). Iodine medicines were frowned upon and mistakenly blamed for allergic
reactions. This resulted in the recommended daily allowance of iodine in our foods being limited to
only 150 micrograms. Consequently, chronic iodine deficiency in millions of Americans has caused
widespread and unnecessary illness.
Over 10% of Americans are afflicted with some form of thyroid problem, and hypothyroidism is
common in women from 20 to 40 years old. Studies of these women show a direct connection with
below-normal total body iodine. Thyroid signs of iodine deficiency (goiter, fatigue, hair loss, etc.) are
late stages of severe iodine deficiency. Replacement therapy with thyroid hormones alone will increase
total body iodine deficiency, making matters worse. In the “goiter belts” of the South and Midwest
U.S., there is an increased amount of fibrocystic breast disorder and breast cancer. These findings link
with severe iodine deficiency.
Iodine is an essential micronutrient required not only by the thyroid gland but by every cell in the
entire body, including muscle, fat, brain and nerves, the immune system and endocrine hormone
glands, etc. Iodine is most highly concentrated in the thyroid gland and breasts.
Bromide and fluoride, both toxic minerals, interfere with iodine absorption and promote goiters. Over
the past 20 years, widespread contamination with bromide and fluoride has been associated with an
increased occurrence of thyroid and breast cancers in American women. It may also be connected to
increasing prostate cancer in men and stomach cancer in both sexes.
Iodized table salt (sodium chloride) is not effective as a dietary source of iodine because the much
greater amount of chloride in food grade salt competes with the iodine for intestinal absorption.
Adequate oral intake of iodine is required to overcome the competition by toxic bromide and fluoride.
The National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES Study), undertaken by the U.S. Center for Disease
Control from 1971 to 2000, showed that iodine levels in the general population have fallen over 50%
in the last 30 years. What this means is that everyone with chronic illnesses needs to be checked for
their total body iodine levels.
Iodine has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-parasite, anti-cancer and mucus clearing properties.
It also has anti-oxidative activity by decreasing free radical formation, protecting nucleic acids (DNA
and RNA), proteins (enzymes) and other life-sustaining molecules in your body from oxidative
damage. Iodine restores the ability of cells to respond normally to hormones, improves energy
production, promotes elimination of toxic heavy metals, including aluminum, cadmium, lead and
mercury, and of toxic halide ions, including bromine and fluorine.
Dietary iodine has been demonstrated to be useful for:
• thyroid disorders, including goiter, nodules and cysts
• diabetes mellitus and other hormone imbalances
• heavy metal and halide detoxification
• enhancing mental function, e.g., ADD
• chronic fatigue syndrome
• fibrocystic breasts
• ovarian cysts
• immune system disorders
• acute and chronic infections
• all forms of abnormal scarring
• cancer, esp. of the breast, uterus, ovary, prostate, thyroid and stomach
• improving heart function, e.g., irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure
• obesity, esp. that resistant to diet, exercise and other treatment
• protection from nuclear radiation fallout and industrial pollution
• reduction of oxidative stress, etc.
Since Lugol’s Solution (potassium iodide and iodine crystals in water) may vary in concentration,
tastes unpleasant, stains clothing and can be inconvenient for people to use, a new, dry tablet form of
standardized, inorganic, non-radioactive, potassium iodide/iodine has been developed called Iodoral®,
delivering 12.5 mg of elemental iodine per tablet.
The iodine loading challenge test is a simple, 24-hour urine collection performed after a loading dose
of Iodoral®. It provides an accurate estimation of total body iodide/iodine status and helps to guide
therapy. The iodine loading challenge test may be obtained from VRP at (800) 877-2447, using
#235277 to place your order for the test kit. The medical advisory staff of VRP will provide free
interpretation of your test results.
Many people have reported increased energy, a better sense of well-being, long sought after weight
loss, improved bowel movements, increased tolerance to the cold, etc., within the first three weeks of
iodine supplementation. Benefits will further accrue with time. The best results will be achieved when
appropriate iodine supplementation is combined with a complete nutritional program that emphasizes
a diet richer in magnesium than in calcium foods.
by Mitchell A. Fleisher, MD
Dr. Mitch Fleisher, M.D., D.Ht., D.A.B.F.M., Dc.A.B.C.T., is a board-certified family physician
specializing in nutritional and botanical medicine, classical homeopathy, chelation and bio-oxidative
therapy. With over twenty years’ experience in integrative medicine, Dr. Fleisher practices in
Nellysford, VA (www.alternativemedcare.com).