Iodine Deficiency — An Old Epidemic Is Back

When you sit down to dinner or plan out a diet, chances are iodine isn’t a nutrient that will come to mind in the grand scheme of vitamins, minerals, fiber, fruits or vegetables. But, according to Psychology Today, a new epidemic of iodine deficiency may give you reason to pause and think about whether you’re getting enough iodine in your diet.

One reason the deficiency is making a reappearance is because wheat — which used to be processed with iodine, thus supplying about 25 percent of the iodine in your diet — is now being processed with bromide. Plus, bromide, which is banned in Canada and the U.K., may also block the activity of iodine in your body, just like chlorine and fluoride do.

Iodine is a vitally important nutrient that is detected in every organ and tissue; along with being necessary for proper thyroid function it may also play a role in diseases ranging from fibromyalgia to cancer. Signs that you’re not getting enough iodine in your diet include dry mouth and skin, muscle pains, fibromyalgia and reduced alertness. In fact, even a small deficiency in an adult's iodine level may reduce your IQ by up to 15 points!

Dietary options to boost your iodine intake include kelp, strawberries, cranberries and organic, grass fed butter that is also naturally high in vitamins, minerals and conjugated linoleic acid. Additionally, eat organic as often as possible, avoid sodas and unfiltered water, and if you eat g rains, look for “no bromine” on the labels. While you may be tempted to simply add iodine supplements to your vitamin regimen, ingesting more than 1,100 mcg of iodine per day (the tolerable upper limit) may cause thyroid dysfunction, which is why I generally do not advise taking iodine supplements like Lugol's or Ioderol.

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