Iodine and the Thyroid Gland
Iodine is an important trace element necessary for the thyroid gland to work properly. It is an essential component of the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4). Iodine deficiency diminishes the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones regulate the body's temperature, and affect the brain, and many other organs. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid) is very common; it can cause weight gain, brain fog, hair loss, constipation, and a myriad of other problems, including goiter (basically, an enlargement of the thyroid gland).1,2
Thyroglobulin, a Biomarker of Iodine Status
Many of my patients who appear to have symptoms of hypothyroidism actually have normal looking thyroid numbers; however, they have a low precursor to thyroid hormone called thyroglobulin (an iodine-containing protein in the thyroid gland). Usually, a simple blood test will suffice to check the thyroglobulin level. Please note, however, thyroglobulin can be low or non existent in people who have had the thyroid removed or irradiated; in these patients, it is necessary to take a 24-hour urine collection to see whether or not they are deficient in iodine.3
Non-Inflammatory Food Sources of Iodine
The best non-inflammatory food sources of iodine are sea vegetables such as:
- sea moss (Irish moss)4
Whereas these foods can be common in Asian diets, they are not so in a typical American diet. And there are many people who, quite frankly, just don't like the taste or texture of sea vegetables. Also, there are always concerns about contaminants
and pollution (mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), radiation, and sewage) in the sea vegetable beds, and/or the actual location of the sea vegetable sources.5
I have found that many of my patients who complain of hypothyroid symptoms (coldness, constipation, fatigue, weight gain, memory problems or "brain fog," lethargy, hair loss, etc.) seem to not feel better (despite
their thyroid labs looking mid-range or even in the normal range) until they are given iodine supplementation in the form of kelp. Doctor Emi's pure Kelp T3
supplement releases slowly into the system. Kelp T3
is rigorously 3rd-party tested for mercury, PCBs, radiation, and free of any and all contaminants.
Too Much Iodine Is Dangerous
Kelp is the ideal way to replete iodine because it naturally releases iodine slowly from the plant and does not flood the system with iodine all at once. Too much iodine all at one time can actually suppress thyroid hormone production and, in fact, administering concentrated iodine is a way of suppressing thyroid hormone production in people who present to the hospital in thyrotoxic crisis or "thyroid storm" - an emergency condition wherein severe hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can cause cardiac arrhythmias (fast and irregular heart beats) and severe anxiety, as well as muscle spasms.
Please remember: it is important you discuss with your physician or licensed health care professional any dietary supplements you take, or wish to take. Dietary supplements can interact with prescription medications, as well as with one another.
The Doctor Emi Team
1. Iodine Deficiency. American Thyroid Association. (www.Thyroid.org)
2. Understanding Goiter -- The Basics. Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on March 20, 2017. (WebMD)
3. Iodine. Linus Pauling Institute » Micronutrient Information Center. (OSU)
4. Iodine. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Updated June 2011. (NIH)
5. Ryan Drum, Ph.D. Sea Vegetables For Food & Medicine . July/August 2013. (www.RyanDrum.com)