Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thyroid and the Iodine Bully

Thyroid disorders are at an all-time high – and iodine deficiency is the TOP reason. Contrary to what you may believe, iodine, an essential mineral, is not prevalent in our foods – unless you are eating a lot of raw sea weed and algae.

The iodine you do consume is likely being blocked by iodine inhibitors present in your processed food and even your hygiene. Per the Women’s Health Institute of Texas, Iodine is fairly easily displaced from your body by toxins called toxic halides… fluoride, bromine and chloride.
Fluoride is by far the worst culprit. Found in toothpaste and in your water supply, every time you take a shower, brush your teeth or drink from the tap, your body gets a little exposure to fluoride, leeching out good iodine. And contrary to popular belief, fluoridated water is actually rather poor at preventing tooth decay.
Why is it in our water supply? Poor science combined with corporate greed and political ignorance paved the way. Basically a toxic by-product of aluminum production, fluoridation was sold as a way to prevent cavities because some areas with natural fluoride in the water also had lower instances of tooth decay. Based upon that spurious observation, fluoridation began. 29 30 
Then there’s bromine, an endocrine disruptor that competes for the same receptors that capture iodine. Essentially, bromine crowds out iodine.
How prevalent is bromine? Consider this, every time you bite into a piece of store bought bread, you’re probably ingesting some bromine. It’s used to make bread dough more elastic and thus easier to handle, but not by very much.”
The article goes on to site products containing bromine…in addition to store bought bread, your citrus flavored drinks (including Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Sun Drop, Squirt, Fresca), hair dyes, medicines (such as Atrovent Inhaler, Atrovent Nasal Spray, Pro-Banthine for ulcers, and anesthesia agents), pesticides, pastas (for the same reason it is used in bread dough I suppose) toothpaste, mouthwash, fire retardant fabrics, swimming pools, hot tubs, and even your car.  (crazy, huh?) Be aware that bromine may be used in the very same spa you go to to detox – now is that counterproductive, or what?! In addition, plastics – such as those used to make computers, contain bromine…ha, guess what I am typing on?!
Bromine is a natural element…which again, reiterates that just because something is natural does not mean it is good for you…mineral oil and glutamate are tops on my mental list.
Dr. Joe Mercola states in an article on the same topic: “methyl bromide is used as a pesticide predominantly on California strawberries; Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is used in citrus drinks to help suspend the flavoring, and potassium bromate is used as a dough conditioner in bakery goods and pastas.”
Mercola goes on to describe - Bromine as The Bully of the Halide Group. “When you ingest or absorb bromine, it displaces iodine, and this iodine deficiency leads to an increased risk for cancer of the breast, thyroid gland, ovary and prostate -- cancers that we see at alarmingly high rates today. This phenomenon is significant enough to have been given its own name -- the Bromide Dominance Theory. Aside from its effects on your endocrine glands, bromine is toxic in and of itself. Bromide   builds up in your central nervous system and results in many problems. It is a central nervous system depressant and can trigger a number of psychological symptoms such as acute paranoia and other psychotic symptoms.”
Our body is full of receptors – this is something I have learned over the past two years. Just as an abundance of estrogen creates a hormone imbalance, taking over progesterone receptors, essential minerals do the same thing. Bromine and iodine compete for receptors, and it seems that bromine wins – preventing iodine from being absorbed and used by your very important thyroid gland.
If this is not reason enough to read labels and take heed – bromine and iodine deficiency is also linked to breast cancer and other cancers.
Chlorine is also on the halide list, an endocrine disruptor. As we gear up for summer and swimming pool season – my family will utilize the knowledgeable staff at Patio Pleasures, in Madison for their “green” pool option to chlorinated chemicals.
If you are struggling with weight gain, especially mid-section, in all likelihood there is a hormone imbalance – thyroid is a hormone just as is estrogen and progesterone – and all work together. Progesterone is, in fact, a precursor to the thyroid hormone. If you are deficient on both progesterone and thyroid – yikes, problems may be forthcoming!
Bromine not only decreases iodine receptors, it also INCREASES ESTROGEN reception and DECREASES PROGESTERONE receptors. Goodness, in my mind this makes it all the more dangerous as an ingredient and ranks right up there with petro-chemicals!
I hope today’s post helps you become more aware of environmental factors affecting your health. How to counter the underactive thyroid epidemic? Try to greatly reduce the foods and products mentioned above. My family claimed victory to find a bread that is not made with high fructose corn syrup – and now, it looks like we will have to look for the B ingredient on the label. Personally, I am happy to have written bread primarily out of my life!
 If your hormones are out of balance (you can find plenty of articles in this blog that discuss this in further detail – search for “hormone”), find a doctor, or  health practitioner experienced in BIO-IDENTICAL hormone therapy.
Of course, consume iodine (but remember, avoid the bromine or your body won’t utilize the iodine as needed) – use a Celtic or Himalayan sea salt containing iodine and known for its healing properties (I have found to offer these salts reasonably), and look for dietary supplementation containing iodine. Our family, both adults and kids, utilize a daily power pack of vitamins containing iodine with a high rate of bio-availability (10,000 ORAC), and as well – our vegan, pea based protein powder also contains iodine.
Readers of my blog…what do you think after reading this? I don’t know if you find this helpful information, or if it makes you think one can’t enjoy food and life for fear of ingredients.  Let me make it clear – we don’t lose sleep over this. We simply took action – we have found brands that are pure and safe, we have our grocery shopping list fine-tuned with the research behind . We enjoy eating as much as the next family  – and feel great because of our choices.  It may take a bit to get started, but as my husband said this evening after his first bike ride of the season, “it feels great to climb a hill with ease that would have “killed me” a year ago”.  This man has probably not had a "workout" since the last biking season - and he did not lose breath or run out of energy! Purely living is a lifestyle, and it makes life great to live!

To your health,
Rita S.

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