Submitted by David Brimm
Considering how much salt people eat, there is an assumption that people in the U.S. are getting all the iodine they need. Yet, in reality, Americans consume an average of only 240 micrograms (µg) of iodine a day—50 times less the iodine that is consumed by the Japanese, who consume more than 12 milligrams (mg) of iodine a day (12,000 µg).
The result, according to Dr. Decker A. Weiss, NMD, FASA and co-host of “It’s Your Health and It Ain’t Rocket Science” radio talk show on www.radioMD.com. is that Americans are at a higher risk for a variety of health conditions, particularly breast cancer in women
Substituting for regular co-host, Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN, was Melanie Cole, MS, RadioMD’s Director of Operations, who holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology.
“One in 7 American women (almost 15 percent) will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, as opposed to thirty years ago, when iodine consumption was twice as high as it is now (480 µg a day), and only 1 in 20 women developed breast cancer. Iodine is an under-appreciated and overlooked part of a woman’s health regimen,” suggested Cole, who is the host of Healthy Children (in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics) and Train Your Body (with the American College of Sports Medicine).
Dr. Weiss concurred, and noted that in addition to the role of iodine in women’s breast health, iodine helps women release stored up estrogen, which contributes to hot flashes.
“If women want to add more iodine to their diet through salt, avoid white table salt, which like white sugar, is not beneficial. Look to sea salt, which is usually grey or pink. You should be looking for products that contain at least 2 percent iodine,” recommends Dr. Weiss, the first Naturopathic Physician to complete a conventional internship, residency, and fellowship in a conventional medical system.
Cole noted that iodine has also shown to be beneficial for children with ADHD, and that children that have increased their iodine intake are showing marked improvement, and require lower doses of stimulants.
Dr. Weiss recommended that women who are avoiding more iodine because they are afraid of an allergic reaction should start off by diluting ¼ teaspoon of sea salt with iodine in a glass of water an applying it to the inside of their arm. Even if they see a mild reaction, they should continue and gradually build up the amount. The body will adapt to the iodine in their system once it is ingested.
To hear a recap of the show, visit the RadioMD web site.