Does my body store iodine? Would it be alright to take one drop of 2% Lugols every other day? I don't want to overdue iodine, but since I use only Celtic sea salt, I want to take a little iodine.
asked byKay_12 (5)
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on June 15, 2013
at 09:36 PM
With the caveat that I have not verified any of the following info (and would therefore appreciate if others could chime in if they know, or know better):
The thyroid gland is the main iodine-concentrating gland of the body. It is widely stated that the body contains between 15 and 20 mg of iodine and that two-thirds of this iodine is found in the thyroid gland (1). Under microgram intakes this is true, but under high intakes of iodine much of the rest of the body also contains iodine, up to 1,500 mg or so (2). This is one area of ignorance. Where does all of this iodine go? Other organs are also able to take up iodine, too, by the same transport protein as the thyroid. Research has shown that the receptor for iodine uptake is in the thyroid gland, salivary gland, parotid gland, submandibular gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, testis, mammary gland, gastric mucosa, prostate, ovary, adrenal gland, heart, thymus, lung, (3) bladder, kidney, endometrium,(4) and also breast, ovary and colon (5) and the lacrimal gland (6). The ovaries hold the second highest concentration of iodine, after the thyroid. The breasts also have a high concentration of iodine. Most secretions in the body, whether gastric, nasal, tears, sweat, etc., have iodine in them if sufficient iodine is present in the body. The skin also contains quite a bit of iodine, though its exact role isn???t clear. Dr. Flechas tells that clinically the ability to sweat is related to iodine and extremely low 2 body iodine stores prevent sweating, opening the body to the spread of cancer (7). Many of the functions of iodine are separate from its role as part of thyroid hormones. Iodine has a major impact on the thyroid, but it will also have a direct impact on all of the other tissues of the body that utilize iodine.
If my math is correct, your thyroid has ~ 10-15 mg of iodine, and the rest of your body can have up to 1,500. This means that if your thyroid is, as with most people, the source of 2/3 of your total iodine, the rest of your body must be pretty much depleted.
From the same source:
As a nation, Japan consumes more iodine than any other nation. The Japanese women have very low rates of breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease and are one of the healthiest nations in the world. There are many factors that contribute to this record, but it is quite possible that their tradition of using seaweed is one of them. Also, national surveys of food intake in Japan, show that seaweed intake has been around 4.5 gram dry weight from 1950 to 1963, with a intake of 14 grams in 2001 (59). Exact intake of iodine from this source isn???t known. But, with a reported average concentration of 0.3% iodine, these seaweed intakes imply that Japanese iodine intakes are between 6 and 20 mg, and higher for some people. Balance surveys such as these are not known for giving accurate measurements of individual intakes of nutrients. Direct measurements of iodine excretion are more reliable. Various studies have shown average urinary iodine excretion to range from 740 ??g ??? 3,290 ??g/day, with a very wide range of total excretion, from 90 ??g/day to 19 mg/day (60). A recent study of thyroid volume and iodine excretion in Japanese children aged 6-12 years showed they had the smallest thyroid volumes in the world compared to other iodine-sufficient areas (58). In this study the mean urinary excretion was 282 ??g/l, with 16% of the children excreting more than 1,000 ??g/l. This ???high??? level of intake did not have a negative effect on thyroid volume. These iodine excretion studies show that while some Japanese are consuming lots of seaweed many others are not, with a very wide range of variation. Usual intake of the population is in the milligram range, but the average is not likely to be above 10 mg/day, or perhaps not even above 5 mg/day. Some seaweeds, like Nori and Wakame, contain very little iodine, while others like kelp and Kombu, have very high levels of iodine. So, iodine intake depends on the exact mix of seaweeds consumed from day to day.
The RDA for iodine in 150 mcg (i.e. .15 mg), so the RDA is very low, enough to prevent goiter, little more. I do not know how much one drop of Lugol's contains, but you can probably calculate it pretty quick and see how it compares to numbers such as those above.
From another source:
They were first established as sufficient only to prevent goiter. Daily doses for optimal health of 3,000-6,000 mcg have been used without side effects in studies of people with other iodine deficiency-related health conditions such as polycystic breast disease.18
By way of comparison, the average daily Japanese consumption of iodine ranges from 5,280 to 13,800 mcg of iodine, with no harmful effects and a host of benefits.18,25,26 The Japanese experience is shedding new light on the importance of iodine, not only for thyroid health, but on other body functions as well. In particular, compelling evidence is emerging about the role of iodine in maintaining breast health, a major concern for millions of American women.
As for the maximum you can absorb/tolerate, there's this:
The maximum amount is simple to calculate based on Dr. Abraham???s extensive research. This shows that with an iodine-loading test of 50 mg in 24 hours, healthy iodine-sufficient subjects excrete 90% and retain 10%. 10% of 50 mg = 5 mg; this is the maximum amount the body can use each day for saturation of iodine receptors. However, in clinical practice, once iodine stores are re-pleated the body needs less, about half this amount (1-3 mg/day as a maintenance dose). Women need more than men. Other recommendations of 12.5 mg/day are based on French and Japanese traditions, but only demonstrate dose tolerance.
Which leads me to wonder ... if my thyroid is 2/3 of my total iodine, then I have only some 20 mg in my entire body out of a potential 1500 or so, which if true implies a lot of room for more before I reach "saturation," no?
Nonetheless, it is possible to eventually have too much of a good thing and while a drop of Lugol's every other day doesn't sound like much, I would do a little more research on your own before going beyond that. Please don't just take my word for it as I have NOT, as stated above, verified any of these numbers other than to web-search a few xref sources, which helps, but sometimes ideas, good or bad, take on a life of their own and get repeated.
Lastly, a good overall discussion on iodine, including the risks of too much (at whatever level that may be, probably much higher than the RDA) can be found here:
Hope this helps.
on June 16, 2013
at 08:35 PM
Chest pains may have been detox symptoms and mercury removal from heart
on June 16, 2013
at 01:30 AM
i tried lugol's one drop a day for a week. it was giving me a lot of chest pains though. I got worried so I stopped taking it. chest pains are gone but maybe it was a sign that I don't need it.
on June 15, 2013
at 09:08 PM
This may help :)