Iodine Deficiency and Cancer
Cancer rates have increased as have iodine deficiencies. In the developed world, iodine deficiency has increased more than four times over the past 45 years. Nearly 74% of normal, “healthy” adults may no longer consume enough iodine. Iodine is found in every organ and tissue in the body and has many important roles, including absorption and use by the endocrine glands. Seemingly “healthy” adults may actually be just ticking time bombs for all sorts of illness, cancer included, if iodine is not balanced.
What is iodine and how does the body use it?
Iodine was first discovered in 1811 by French chemist Bernard Courtois. Iodine is a mineral, so therefore not made by the body and must be found in certain foods. Every cell in the body uses iodine. Your thyroid cannot even work without Iodine. The body also needs iodine for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy. In addition to these functions, Iodine is needed for absorption and use by the endocrine glands to make much needed hormones.
What are the endocrine glands and what is their function?
Endocrine glands are glands of the endocrine gland that secrete hormones directly into the blood. The glands of the endocrine system include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus and adrenal glands.
The endocrine system is responsible for regulating physical growth, energy balance and the development of primary and secondary sex organs, including the breasts. This is why iodine deficiency is also a cause for increase of breast cancer.
How can iodine deficiency create cancer?
Cysts can start to form when there is an iodine deficiency. Cystic formation may occur in the breasts (such as fibocystic breast disease), the ovaries, uterus, thyroid (goiter), prostate or even the pancreas. With time, the cyst or cysts can become they nodular and hard. If it goes on longer, they become hyper-plastic tissue, which is the precursor to cancer.
What are some other warning signs of iodine deficiency?
Besides CYSTIC FORMATION, a person may notice:
- Weight gain
- Low energy
- Cardiovascular disease
- Trouble producing saliva and properly digesting food
- Swollen salivary glands and dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Poor concentration / difficulty retaining information
How much iodine do I need?
The amount of iodine you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in micrograms (mcg).
|Life Stage||Recommended Amount|
|Birth to 6 months||110 mcg|
|Infants 7–12 months||130 mcg|
|Children 1–8 years||90 mcg|
|Children 9–13 years||120 mcg|
|Teens 14–18 years||150 mcg|
|Pregnant women||220 mcg|
|Breastfeeding women||290 mcg|
What foods contain iodine?
- Wild Caught Fish
- Navy Beans
- Organic Dairy Products
- Iodonized salt
Nowhere is iodine as highly concentrated as in seaweed. In particular, seaweeds such as kelp, nori, kombu, and wakame.
But isn’t iodonized salt unhealthy?
Commonly purchased iodized salts, available at super markets or sitting on the table of your favorite restaurant, have synthetic chemicals added to them. These chemicals may include fluoride, anti-caking agents, toxic amounts of potassium iodide and aluminium derivatives.
When possible, look towards natural food sources, not iodonized salt, for a source of iodine. If needed, supplementation is also possible, but there is no evidence that proves they are a safe option.
Can a person get too much iodine?
Though not likely through diet alone, too much iodine can more easily occur with diet and supplement form combined and can cause problems. This is especially true in individuals that already have thyroid problems, such as nodules, hyperthyroidism and autoimmune thyroid disease.
A final word
Iodine has apoptotic properties, meaning it can stop a cancer cell from continually dividing. Iodine can stop this continuum wherever it catches it and hopefully reverse it, but at least put the brakes on what’s happening.
- “Office of Dietary Supplements – Iodine.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 17 Feb. 2016. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
- “Iodine Deficiency.” American Thyroid Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
- Brownstein, David. “What Does an Iodine Deficiency Have to Do with Cancer? (video).” The Truth About Cancer. N.p., 13 Feb. 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
- Group, Edward. “7 Foods Rich in Iodine.” Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles. N.p., 25 Feb. 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
- Group, Edward. “The Health Dangers of Table Salt.” Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles. N.p., 10 Sept. 2010. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
- “Iodine.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Mar. 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.