Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Iodine deficiency despite iodized salt

MAN FERTILITY and I were just on Block Island, a pristine (as these things go--almost half the island is conservation land) island with lots of free food just lying around: seaweed! During our romantic walks, I also went a little nuts grabbing all the fresh irish moss and kelp that had just washed up on the beach. People often joke that it's Koreans' consumption of seaweed that gives us our nice hair. However, it's not tat far fetched: you need sufficient iodine for thyroid health, and if deficient, guess what, your hair falls out. In Korea it isn't unusual so see these very elderly men with huge, bushy heads of hair. From Natural News:

(NaturalNews) ...It is highly accepted that iodized salt is sufficient to meet the body's requirements. Although this assertion has been taught in medical schools for several decades, many studies counter that claim. Furthermore, researchers have found that the iodine in salt has poor bioavailability, meaning that the body does not fully absorb the dosage.

...Iodized salt hasn't eliminated iodine deficiency disorders in the U.S. Recent studies by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicate low levels in more than 50% of the population (accounting for all demographic categories including ethnicity, region, economic status, race, and population density).

Adequate iodine levels are crucial for all aspects of health and well-being; in fact, in generations past, physicians routinely used iodine in medical practice. The typical dose was 1 gram of potassium iodide (KI), containing 770 mg of iodine, which far exceeds the current U.S. RDA of 150 mcg.

Iodine's Role in the Body

Principally known for its job in proper metabolism and thyroid function, iodine is also necessary for a healthy immune system and has many therapeutic benefits including antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral and anticancer properties.

The thyroid is the body's main storage site for iodine. The mineral is also concentrated in the glandular system, including the body's sweat glands. The ovaries, breasts, prostate and the brain contain high concentrations of iodine, and virtually every cell in the body is dependant on this important element. When a deficiency exists, the thyroid competes with other storage sites and all become depleted. An unmet deficit puts one at risk for a variety of conditions and illnesses, including cancer.

Iodine is also essential for children's growth and development, and a deficiency in pregnant women is the primary cause of preventable mental retardation and brain damage, as disclosed by the World Health Organization.

read more here.
A GreenFertility tip: regular table salt is bleached and has also sort of excipients (i.e., crap!) to make it flow better, etc. I found this out when we put our son on a gluten-free and special low-carb diet, and we were warned to watch out for dextrose, aluminum anti caking agents, etc., in table salt. We've always since then used sea salt and get our iodine the natural way, via seaweed.

To do your own at-home experiment to see what icky things may lurk on your Morton's:
click here.


natural colon cleanse said...

Thanks for the quite information on Iodine. 'Goitre' happens of iodine deficiency I believe.

Robert Morgen said...

Thanks for the ideas about seaweed. I get back to Boston a couple of times a year so may experiment with that.

My concern is about the pollution levels there and the possibility that you may pick up some toxins from the seaweed.

Have you done any research on that and what are your opinions?

Green Fertility Marie said...

Hi Robert,

Thanks for commenting. Block Is. is in the middle of the Atlantic, which is less polluted than the Pacific because of the plume from China. I think middle of the ocean on a island with no industry or agriculture (e.g., pesticide runoff) is an ok bet. I also talked with a naturopath who also believes BI is very pristine--he exclusively drinks water from one if its springs.

I think what MORE harmful is getting commercial seaweed that's grown in who knows what and is sprayed. I also buy seaweed from Maine Coast and they test theirs for heavy metals and PCBs but haven't found any...

Good luck!

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