Iodine, Iodate, iodide and the FarmaSea® Blend
The most damaging effect of iodine deficiency is on the developing brain, and to a lesser degree, any brain. Thyroid hormone is particularly important for myelination of the central nervous system, which is most active in the prenatal period and during fetal and early postnatal development. Numerous population studies have correlated an iodine-deficient diet with increased incidence of mental retardation. A meta-analysis of 18 studies concluded that iodine deficiency alone lowered mean IQ scores by 13.5 points (Bleichrodt and Born, 1994). Iodized salt is a special case. With only a few isolated exceptions, edible salt (sodium chloride) does not naturally contain iodine. Either potassium iodide or potassium iodate is laced into salt in 98% of U.S. Households (only found in 3% of English Households). 50-70 percent of the iodide Americans ingest each day, is hidden in their food supply, not the salt shaker.
These compounds are pharmaceutically manufactured by drug companies, in order to provide “stability” but with potential side effect such as HYPO and HYPER thyroidism, which has grown to now epidemic proportions since the 1930′s when they were instituted in the name of iodine by the WHO and the NIH in America. Women of all ages are seeing MD’s for “low thyroid”, and are usually placed onto powerful synthetic drugs “for the rest of their lives” as per the AMA Protocol used to treat the growing number of Americans suffering from imbalanced thyroid conditions. Once the TRUE iodine is ingested daily, the thyroid sloughs off the pharmaceutical iodide and iodate, and our metabolism can be allowed to normalize. Many informed experts believe that the rising rate of obesity in this country, can be traced back to this false iodine in the food supply.
In addition to these effects on the individual, iodine deficiency has adverse consequences for the community. A well known experts states: “a drop of IODINE each day can be the difference between an idiot and an Einstein.” Mental retardation can cover a wide range, from mild blunting of intellect to full blown cretinism (see “Zombieland”), and a large part of the population may have some intellectual impairment. The mean IQ of the deficient community is decreased by at least 13.5 IQ points, according to one review. Individuals in these communities have lower educability and lower economic productivity, and the output of the whole community suffers. Dramatic improvement typically occurs after appropriate addition of vegetable iodine, as found in the FarmaSea® Blend of sea plants (FBSP).
Other consequences of iodine deficiency are impaired reproductive outcome, increased childhood mortality, decreased educability, and economic stagnation.
NOTE by Scott Kennedy: There are 177 Mcg’s of iodine in one capsule of Super Sea Veg®. So in 3 capsules, there is 531 Mcg’s of vegetable iodine. The Government states that the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of (iodide/iodate in the salt) for adults is 1.1 mg/day (3 capsules has ½ of this), hence the 3-6 capsules/day suggested serving size.
The Japanese ingest over 7.7 mgs of organic vegetable iodine EVERY DAY! Their IQ is 15 pts higher than Americans across their population. They also enjoy the longest and healthiest life spans. They ingest 7-10 grams of whole sea plants each and every day.
They are what they eat. Can you say electronics? They concentrate and focus for long periods of time and pay attention to, and recognize, lots of parts, lots of details, lots of transistors, engine and car parts and have many new ideas. These are all signs of a high IQ.
Edward Bauman, Ph.D. is founder and director of the Institute for Educational Therapy in Cotati, California. The Institute trains nutritionists and culinary arts professionals in how to identify and correctly use foods for their healing properties. With his emphasis on the healing and health-promoting qualities of whole foods, Dr. Bauman and the Institute are offering an entirely new focus on food, and creating a new profession — Personal Therapeutic Chef — in the process. Dr. Bauman is also a nutrition member of the California Institute of Integrative Medicine in Santa Rosa, California and Associate Dean of Nutrition at the University of Natural Medicine in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Dr. Bauman’s philosophy focuses on the belief that a healthy lifestyle is a major key to both maintaining health and responding effectively to illness that occurs from the buildup of stress, toxins, trauma and malnutrition.
According to Dr. Bauman, thyroid disease is not caused by one toxin, nutritional deficiency, or pathogen. Rather, he feels that thyroid problems more likely result from a number of different factors, including environmental exposures, pesticides, chemicals, and a number of deficiencies in nutrients that result from improper diet or toxic overload.
At the same time, Dr. Bauman does not believe that any one food, supplement, or detoxification process is the easy solution to a thyroid problems. It’s a function of finding the right balance among a number of approaches, and that’s something that’s difficult to do on your own. Dr. Bauman believes that most patients will need to find and work with a practitioner – whether it’s a nutritionist, or holistic M.D., naturopath, or other insightful practitioner – who understands thyroid problems.
In looking at the issues behind thyroid problems, Dr. Bauman identifies three different stages of hypothyroidism:
- When the gland can’t make good hormone.
- When the gland makes hormone but the gland and peripheral organs don’t convert the hormone – an impaired T4 to T3 conversion ability.
- When the gland can produce the hormone, and the body can convert the hormone, but the immune system can’t handle it, and hormones can’t get to the receptor site. Dr. Bauman refers to this as a “receptor site problem.” According to Dr. Bauman, “Just like there is a situation known as insulin resistance, there’s also a similar situation, thyroid resistance.”
Nutritionally, Dr. Bauman focuses then on helping the gland make good hormone, helping the conversion from T4 to T3, and helping reduce or eliminate any receptor site resistance.
According to Dr. Bauman, “I’m a nutritionist, but I’m also a metabolic detective. I’m looking for substances that alter thyroid function by either damaging the gland, or altering enzyme conversion.” Seaweeds and sea vegetables are also a good addition. Dr. Bauman recommends bladderwrack as a soothing and normalizing supplement. But patients need to be careful, and if they see signs that a product- particularly those that contain iodine — is stimulating (tenderness in the neck, enlargement of a goiter, swelling in the thyroid area), keep in mind that you might need to cut back, and not take a product daily, but rather, even weekly.
Dr. Bauman has worked extensively with patients studying food’s effects on the endocrine system, and had some guidelines for thyroid patients on how the toxins we are exposed to, the food we eat, and the nutrients we lack can affect our thyroid conditions, general health, and ability to lose weight.
Avoid Iodized Salt
According to Dr. Bauman, use of commercial iodized salt is not recommended for thyroid patients. Iodized salt contains aluminum and sugar as stabilizing elements, and those are irritants to the thyroid and can create imbalances. Dr. Bauman believes that “the body can have difficulty dealing with metabolizing refined salt, because the salt is heated at high temperatures, and the body tends to retain the salt and it can become a stimulant.”
Dr. Bauman recommends a switch to an unrefined salt, including Celtic salt, Japanese salt, or a good quality sea salt. These salts also have additional benefit, in that they offer some trace elements. Many of these salts are available at natural and health food stores, or online.
A product that is of particular concern to Dr. Bauman is the artificial sweetener aspartame, which goes by the brand name Nutrasweet. He feels that Nutrasweet is a particular problem for thyroid health, and that it can specifically can contribute to hyperthyroidism.
In 1981, aspartame came on the U.S. market, and became the first new low-calorie sweetener approved by the Food and Drug Administration in more than 25 years. Aspartame (L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl-methyl-ester) is about 200 times sweeter than sugar, and has almost no calorie count. Aspartame breaks down in the body into several components, including: phenylalanine, which can be a neurotoxin, and may trigger seizures in some susceptible people; aspartic acid, which has the ability to cause brain damage in a developing brain; and methanol, which in the body converts into formaldehyde, a toxin.
The concerns over aspartame are definitely controversial. While the FDA and manufacturer maintain that the product is safe, there are accusations that accurate data has not been made available to the public regarding testing and side effects.
Noted alternative practitioner Andrew Weil, M.D. summed it up well when he said at his site: “Because I have seen a number of patients – mostly women – who report headaches from using it, I don’t view it as nontoxic or biologically inert. Some women also find that aspartame aggravates PMS. There are no proven long-term side effects, but there’s a lot of suspicion. “
Add Seaweeds, and Algaes to Your Diet
Rather than taking iodine in it’s straight form, Dr. Bauman suggests thyroid patients consider adding seaweeds to their diet. In particular, Dr. Bauman recommends dulse, a type of northern Atlantic seaweed, which he finds beneficial for hypothyroidism, rather than kelp. Dulse has a far better flavor than kelp, and different mineral composition that seems nutritionally better suited for thyroid patients. Some natural and health food stores have dulse.
Sodium alginate is a thickener that contains kelp. A good mercury chelating agent and source of trace minerals, it can be used to make a healthy dessert. According to Dr. Bauman, adding two tablespoons of agar/sodium alginate to 1 quart of fruit juice (Dr. Bauman recommends half coconut, half pineapple), makes a nice fruity gelatin.
In an interview with Mary Shomon, Dr. Mercola also recommended the use of seaweeds. Says Dr. Mercola: “The best source of organically bound iodine that I know of is seaweeds. The dose is about 5 grams a day or about one ounce per week. They are the absolute best forms of minerals that I am aware of.
Dr. Bauman also suggests that if you can’t or don’t want to drink cow or soy milk, you can use coconut milk. To make coconut milk, take desiccated coconut and cashews, soak ¼ cup of each with 1 quart of water, blend, then strain, for a creamy, smooth, nutritive blend.
According to noted author and alternative medicine expert, Dr. Ray Peat, “Coconut oil has several thyroid-promoting effects. It contains butyric acid which helps thyroid hormone move into the brain [liothyronine (T3 ) uptake into glial cells ]. It opposes anti-thyroid unsaturated oils. It contains short and medium chain fatty acids which help modulate blood sugar, is anti-allergic, and protects mitochondria against stress injuries.”
In her book, “The Body Ecology Diet,” Donna Gates’ also writes that coconut helps to balance out the thyroid, and recommends it as part of a healthy diet.
Eat More Fish and Flax Seeds
Dr. Bauman believes fatty acids are vital for the uptake of the thyroid. Ocean fish are one good source of fatty acids. While you’d still be better off replacing some meat in your diet with something like canned tuna, some tunas have methyl mercury, so you are better off going with ocean fish. Keep in mind that most salmon sold in the U.S. is farm raised. In order to have the needed Omega-3 fatty acids, fish need to eat algae, so farm-raised fish do not have fatty acid value.
Another good source is whole flax seeds. According to Dr. Bauman, flax seeds look like sesame seeds, and have a good taste. They offer high fiber and lignans, vitamin E and zinc, from a nutritional perspective. He recommends grinding fresh flax seeds in a coffee grinder, and sprinkling the powder on hot cereal, or over a salad, or in a soup, eating 1 – 2 tablespoons, a few times a day. (Keep in mind to add the ground flax seeds to foods after cooking.)
Detoxify mercury and Metals
Dr. Bauman feels that mercury toxicity is really quite important. According to Dr. Bauman, dental mercury is in close proximity to the thyroid, and the nerves that enervate the thyroid run along the same plexus. When mercury toxicity is present, Dr. Bauman feels that the straight remediation approach to treating thyroid disease isn’t always enough.
According to Dr. Bauman, “I’ve seen people who’ve had some sort of oral chelation therapy – nutrients and herbs – to try to clear out the toxins, and their thyroid normalized. This was after having tried thyroid medications, herbs, natural thyroid, etc.”
Holistic physician Joseph Mercola, D.O., offers one protocol for mercury detoxification at his site, focusing on proper nutrition, use of flora or probiotic supplements, use of chlorella or Pro Chitosan, and other elements.
According to a statement released by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, “Research has shown that mercury even in extremely small amounts has toxic effects, for example, low dose mercury exposure has been shown to produce neurological pathology, cytotoxicity to nerve tissue.”
Some alternative practitioners do not believe that there’s clear cut evidence that mercury fillings have any noticeable impact on health. Dr. Weil, for example, has said: “I don’t think any study has been large enough or designed well enough to determine for sure whether there is a long-term effect from mercury fillings. One problem is that any harm may be subtle and hard to detect.”
The issue of mercury toxicity is a controversial one, because conventional dentists maintain that it’s entirely safe. Dental amalgam containing mercury are used extensively in tooth fillings and according to the American Dental Association, in a 1995 survey, up to 76 percent of dentists say they use it as their primary restoration material. According to a statement from the American Dental Association’s Gary C. Armitage, chairperson of ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs., “The World Health Organization, FDI World Dental Federation and the American Dental Association (ADA) all support the continued use of dental amalgam as a safe, durable and cost-effective material to restore teeth.”
Stabilizing the adrenal function is really helpful for the thyroid. In particular, according to Dr. Bauman, for people dealing with allergies and stress, the adrenals can be forced into overdrive. And, when there are hormonal changes such as puberty, perimenopause, and menopause, the adrenals and fat tissue are forced to pick up where the ovaries leave off. If adrenals aren’t up to the task, there can be various hypothyroid and hyperthyroid reactions.
Some practitioners, such as the United Kingdom’s Dr Barry J Durrant-Peatfield, believe that adrenal insufficiencies must be addressed and balanced before thyroid problems can truly be resolved. In some cases, Dr. Durrant-Peatfield used low-dose cortisone with patients.
Adrenal crisis may explain in part the theory behind the highly controversial “Wilson’s Syndrome,” which theorizes that stress causes the body to fail at converting T4 to T3, and instead convert to an inactive form of T3 known as Reverse T3. Wilson’s proponents advocate treatment with the controversial use of all-T3 therapy, which is not an accepted treatment by most practitioners, conventional or alternative.
When T4 to T3 conversion is suspected to be impaired, Dr. Bauman feels that nutritional supplements can help, and selenium, zinc, vitamin E and B6 supplementation may be needed in order to help enhance the conversion process.
Use Hormone-Free Meats
Hormones that come in via the food chain, can be used by the thyroid for its own constituent tissue. Certain steroids and hormones are fed to animals in the U.S. for example, and when this meat is eaten, according to Dr. Bauman, the body will absorb these “xeno-hormonal” materials. Exposure to those hormones can offset the body’s own natural production of hormones.
Organic meats can usually be found at chains such as Fresh Fields or Whole Foods, or local co-operative markets. The most widely distributed brands include Laura’s Lean Beef, Peterson’s Pork, or Buddy’s Chicken
Consider Food’s Effects on Antibody Levels
In the case of auto immune diseases like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Dr. Bauman believes that foods themselves may be creating problems. According to Dr. Bauman, “food sensitivities, such as to dairy, gluten/wheat, and hormones added to meats, for example, can disrupt the overall endocrine system.”
When you have elevated antibodies, such as found in Hashimoto’s disease or Graves’ disease, your body has found something antigenic — something it perceives to be a “foreign body” – and the body feels it needs to be vigilant. According to Dr. Bauman, the things that can cause a high antigen load, and thus elevate antibody levels, include:
- Food antigens
- Environmental antigens
- Body tissue that has been impacted with a foreign substance
Some patients and practitioners report that thyroid symptoms increase when the diet is higher in processed sugars, or when they are exposed to seasonal allergens, or when they’ve had a virus. Dr. Bauman explains that exposure to antigens or allergens are the reason behind this activity. He believes that a malfunctioning thyroid may already be exhibiting evidence that it’s infected with a virus, yeast, or toxic metals, which as already weakened the “terrain” – the gland itself. Then, when the immune system sees a foreign material, the thyroid being weak is likely to be susceptible to that “invader,” and the immune system, in an effort to clear out the foreign substance, essentially says, ‘let’s clear out the thyroid.’”
So, for example, if you have bacteria or yeast that has compromised your thyroid, when you eat refined sugars, you feed the bacteria or yeast, which can aggravate the inflammatory and antigenic response, and antibody levels will go up.
In the case of autoimmunity, Dr. Bauman feels that detoxification can be particularly helpful, including antioxidants and some form of chelation.
Consider Thyroid and Lympathic Massage
Dr. Bauman indicated that the thyroid has problems with deposition, so very gentle, massage of the thyroid and lymphatic system may be of benefit to help eliminate what he refers to as the “bottleneck around the gland. ” You can find out more about Lymph Drainage Massage in an article by Sean Riehl, author of Lymphatic Drainage, and founder of Real Bodywork.