1

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Excess iodine and skin

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 07, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Dear all,

I have been taking a supplement called viviscal 'extra strength' for hair growth for about two weeks. I know some people who have seen good results with this supplement and decided to try it. A few days ago I developed a small, itchy (not extremely) rash on my jaw; I also broke out, especially around my chin.

I am pretty sure it is the viviscal, since its the only thing I changed; I also researched on the internet and found that a good few people have experienced similar symptoms (acne and even skin rashes) after using viviscal.

The ingredients are:

AminoMar C??? (Marine Protein Extract): 300mg

Acerola Cherry Extract (Vitamin C 30mg: 50% RDA*): 120mg

Horsetail Extract equivalent to: 30mg

It cannot be the vitamin C; I also doubt that its the horsetail, since I've never had allergic reactions to herbs before, and people who have reactions to horsetail are usually those sensitive to nicotine and nicotine-containing foods (such as nightshades), which I am not. I do not have a shellfish allergy (there is a warning about this on the box), have never had an allergy to any sort of seaweed or seafood, which I have always eaten a lot of.

I have read people speculating that the Marine extract's iodine content could be to blame for the rashes & breakouts. None of the other supplements I take have specifically added iodine, but I take fermented CLO, I eat shellfish a few times a week, wild oily fish almost everyday for breakfast, I use sea salt in food & cooking, I eat the occasional sea vegetable. Could I be getting too much iodine? What do you think?

And, if yes, should I simply switch to non-iodized table salt and scale down on shellfish while taking the viviscal? I don't really want to drop it (though I don't want to stop eating shellfish...they're so nutritious)

Any thoughts?

Thanks

Milla

EDIT: full ingredient list: AminoMar C??? (Marine Protein Extract), Acerola Cherry Extract (Malphigia Glabra L), Microcrystalline Cellulose (E460), Horsetail Extract (Equisetum Arvense L.), Natural Orange Flavour, Magnesium Stearate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (E464), Glycerol.

I think the Microcrystalline Cellulose is just a bulking agent (aka cardboard); E464, however, according to google, has been known to cause allergic reactions...

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on March 08, 2012
at 12:17 AM

I experienced a lot of symptoms commonly associated with bromide detox, including the acne that Phoenix describes. The zinc that PaleoGran recommends could help with that too.

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on March 07, 2012
at 10:53 PM

lol, orange juice...I don't do juice but I sure eat blood oranges! :-D and some honey. I'm definitely going to stop viviscal though, I've thought about it and decided that if it's giving me a rash, it cant be good...as for supplements, I'd be wary of megadosing individuals...I take a multi, I think I'll just continue with that...but no more plankton extract or whatever that stuff is..

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 07, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Yeah it seems like a lot of Ray Peat followers eat shell fish. I haven't read anything about it yet, but I'll definitely try it out once myself. I strongly recommend you keep doing everything with food, I swear, supplements often do more harm than good. Like you I'm trying to do Ray Peat while still staying paleo (eg. no orange juice or sugar) btw :D

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 07, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Milla, some have had good success taking minerals and extra zinc for hair growth, also Biotin at 5000mcg per day. I like PicMins minerals.

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on March 07, 2012
at 06:51 PM

Thank you, Korion! Its stopped falling out right now, at least. I think the nettle is helping (one of my gran's remedies.) I am eating a lot more fruit and gelatin, some honey too, and I actually feel better. I was way too low carb before. I eat a lot of raw pasture dairy, but I'm thinking of making DR's eggshell powder. About shellfish, I definitely remember Ray Peat or Danny Roddy recommending them. I make my shellfish curry with gelatinous fish stock anyhow so I suppose it fits in either way. Thanks so much for all your support! :-)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 07, 2012
at 06:34 PM

Read that too, Phoenix, but it doesn't make sense. Milla - I really hope you're gonna be able to solve this, hair problems as a model must be horrible. I'm personally having some issues too, and I've noticed most of the things Ray Peat recommends do help me : gelatin, calcium, retinol, less muscle meat and more bone broth and some organs, fruit instead of veggies, ... What I believe is quite important is to get out of that "the more nutrient-dense the better"-mindset. Nutrient-dense foods are not necessarily good for you.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on March 07, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Hmm, I think I read somewhere that taking iodine can cause "bromine acne", basically the iodine "detoxes" the bromine out of the skin and rashes and breakouts can occur temporarily.

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on March 07, 2012
at 05:32 PM

Thank you for your answer. I'm relieved it seems that iodine is not the issue, I was scared I'd do some sort of damage if I was getting too much. I know my horsetail justification is lousy, but after researching online I saw that those who reacted to horsetail were allergic to nightshades, and I've never had issues with them...also, as I said, a lot of people have had this reaction to viviscal - isn't it doubtful that they're all alergic to horsetail? These things tend to be rare. It might also be some secondary component of the tablets themselves, like some additive, that's causing the rash.

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on March 07, 2012
at 05:23 PM

ugh, my bad, 2 months. 6 months is a *** of a lot!

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on March 07, 2012
at 05:21 PM

You have to take it for 6 months; its helped a lot of people I know; some even take viviscal simply to boost their hair occasionally. I do eat a fair amount of gelatin - i drink bone broth and always chew through all the tendons and bones, as well as eating a lot of organs.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 07, 2012
at 04:56 PM

If you eat a lot of seafood and the occasional seaweed, I very much doubt that it's the iodine. I actually doubt it's the iodine that causes problems for people, I think it's more likely that there are contaminants. I've never broken out from any fish, yet I immediately break out a bit when eating seaweed. But hey, if you have hashimoto's it could be possible, then you need adequate selenium intake. Does the supplement really help? I mean, I'd just focus on the thyroid if I were you, by gradually reducing muscle meat and increasing gelatin for example.

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5 Answers

4
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on March 07, 2012
at 04:50 PM

Milla, I take iodine, using Iosol drops. I sometimes take quite a lot, and have never had a rash develop from taking it.

I have had reactions to other supplements, though.

Hope you can resolve the rash. :)

1
11161b060f7c891b8c32074314d6cbf4

on June 15, 2012
at 02:11 AM

Hi I was diagnosed with hashimotos many years ago, have been on thyroid hormone preparations sporadically, and decided to try iosol, because I do wonder whether iodine is an issue, and important to deal with before adding the hormone. I broke out with whiteheads very quickly after the first couple doses.

I disagree that breaking out is necessarily an automatic reason to stop supplementing. We know too little about what's happening in the body, plus we risk veering off in too many directions before we understand the many variables we're trying to juggle.

Although whiteheads are certainly unsightly, I would suggest that oily skin is more robust than overly dry (ie hypothyroid), or sensitive skin. It might just mean that you have to adjust your face washing regimen to your new biology. That's the idea I'm going on as I wash my face more often.

I do know that taking the Iosol in the last couple days (one drop in a couple ounces water a couple times per day) made me more able to complete running around the block. (I'm a 51 year old post menopausal woman that stopped taking her thyroid hormone awhile back. I'm in maybe slightly above average shape for my age.)

Side effects, like break outs and heart palpitations right after supplementing, might need to be tolerated a little bit in order to see what will happen long term.

Search Jim Howenstein to learn more about iodine supplementation. I thought what he has to say is very interesting.

I'm thinking that one of the reasons the Japanese have lower breast cancer, heart disease etc. has something to do with iodine. (also vitamin K).

Just some thoughts. Not the end of the story.

1
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 07, 2012
at 05:06 PM

Aside from the fact that common sense would dictate you not take something that you know makes you break out, I would doubt it's the iodine unless it has a ridiculous dose. Do you have an idea how many mg it actually contains? I take 12.5 daily without issue, and I've read about people going over 50mg without issue as well. I don't think your diet otherwise actually contains all that much iodine so it's not all that bioavailable anymore afaik. Unless your sea salt has added iodine (regular sea salt doesn't contain iodine) and you use a heroic amount of it, I wouldn't switch the salt you use, and I certainly wouldn't switch to any kind of table salt. Also if it were the iodine I would strongly suspect that you would have had a reaction to it sooner than 10ish days after starting. Lastly, just because it's not all that likely to be the horsetail doesn't mean it's not. Just because people who usually react to that usually react to something else that you don't react is not a good basis on which to draw that conclusion.

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on March 07, 2012
at 05:32 PM

Thank you for your answer. I'm relieved it seems that iodine is not the issue, I was scared I'd do some sort of damage if I was getting too much. I know my horsetail justification is lousy, but after researching online I saw that those who reacted to horsetail were allergic to nightshades, and I've never had issues with them...also, as I said, a lot of people have had this reaction to viviscal - isn't it doubtful that they're all alergic to horsetail? These things tend to be rare. It might also be some secondary component of the tablets themselves, like some additive, that's causing the rash.

0
E3131916a156f30ea16f71433c35bcd3

on September 06, 2012
at 12:29 PM

First impressions are that any marine product based on shellfish might have residual sulfates or sulfites used as preservatives. Second would be Iodine even at small doses chasing a fungus out of the lymph system through the skin. Third would be the B-vitamin deficiency that comes from chronic ingestion of horsetail. Fourth would be any ingredient that has a name you can't pronounce, and fifth would be that glycerine topically can cause skin inflammation and sensitization.

0
A39237551dac75eb36335098b0f5fa61

(525)

on June 15, 2012
at 05:00 AM

I was looking at the acne-iodine connection a few days back. Unfortunately there's only sparse medical research on it. Apparently the connection was established in the 1960s (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051207181144.htm), but I'm not so sure about it. I managed to track down one study done in 1961 (http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?volume=84&page=898).

The study noted the lack of evidence for acne-iodine connection in the introduction. In the study they tried to track dietary iodine consumption and see if it correlates with acne. No such correlationb was found in this study.

At this point it's really hard to say if iodine has any effect on acne. At least I couldn't track down any studies that would justify a strong belief on this.

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