8

votes

Why does eating meat increase iodine requirements?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 09, 2013 at 12:53 AM

Ive heard that The more meat you eat the more iodine you are required to have to convert T4 to T3 and that this is a big reason for plateaus.

Why do I have to eat more iodine when consuming lots of meat and why would I reach a plateau if I didn't consume adequate iodine?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 12:37 PM

+1, interesting

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 09, 2013
at 01:34 PM

You can not build a human brain without the brain specific nutrients and DHA and iodine are the starring roles. There are others that I laid out in detail in brain gut 4 and BG 5 on my site. The Cites are very detailed as well. You simply can not be human from transitional chimp eating meat........that is a paleo fallacy not support one bit in the literature.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 09, 2013
at 01:32 PM

Not exactly.....It does increase our requirements because when our guts shortened it required us to have a higher fat and protein content to support our mitochondria and RQ. If we did not have th eincreased iodine to support thyroid hormones we would have lost large amaounts of efficiency. In BG 12 I wrote that the massive amount of DHA in our brain increase metabolic performance by 60% compared to other primates. To get this done it also requires massive amounts of iodine for the thyroid (T3 is needed by all neurons) and to protect the neural synsapses. Iodine is all a brain story.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 09, 2013
at 03:42 AM

So it sounds like you're saying eating meat doesn't increase iodine requirements if you're adapted to metabolizing it. If the only problem is that meat is too low in iodine then it doesn't actually change your total iodine requirement.

4a3611b0503cbc5ee14d8d1d566c7f44

(124)

on January 09, 2013
at 01:57 AM

Me too. I hope someone with insight will tackle this question.

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3 Answers

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8
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:00 AM

The reason is simple......animal products have very little iodine period. If you study USDA tables it becomes obvious that eating paleo alone will leave you with a lack of iodine and DHA. You need shellfish and seafood and that is part of doing the Epi-paleo Rx.

Here is an excerpt from one of my blogs on this topic:

  1. Minerals Selenium, Iodine, and Iron: This threesome are critical for thyroid function. The most important mineral for a human with a large brain is Iodine. I cover this later in the blog in the massively important Brain Gut series. The most common clinical scenario I see is thyroid disfunction. This is unusual to me now because back in my pathology book from the 1980???s it said thyroid disorders were quite rare. Now they have become ridiculously common. The reason is simple. Our epigenetics have been altered dramatically because most food is now man made and processed, our light is artificial light, and environmental toxins of all sorts have gone through the roof over the last 100 years. When we eat man made foods we get illnesses like neolithic diseases. This is critical because if the thyroid is not working well free T3 levels will be low and likely not going to be available to convert LDL cholesterol to the hormones the brain uses to control our 20 trillion cells in our body. Remember that T3 and Vitamin A is co factors in the conversion of LDL cholesterol to the steroid cascade. We covered this in the Hormone 101 blog. Thyroid dysfunction is epidemic in the world where a western diet is entrenched. One in ten adult American women have been diagnosed with thyroid disorders and some endocrinologists suggest that as many as 25% of adult American women are afflicted with clinically detectable thyroid dysfunction. I think this number is conservative and gets worse with every subsequent generation to the effect of epigenetics. Severe iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism. But many physicians believe iodine deficiency is rare in the United States and other developed countries since the addition of iodine to salt. I am not so sure about this. Again, just because its in salt does not mean we absorb it. The WHO estimate between 1.5 to billion humans are iodine deficient. The more red meat one eats the more iodine deficient you can expect to become. Iodine is bountiful in seafood in its primordial evolutionary package. It is also found in sea vegetables and seaweeds. Considering the work or Drs, Remko Kuipers, Cunnane, and Crawford about the importance of seawater in human evolution it would make sense this is where our best supplies come from. (Kuipers is due to speak at AHS 2012 @ Harvard)

I have found women are most at risk for poor absorption of iodine. After the thyroid gland needs, the distal portions of the human mammary glands are the heaviest metabolic concentrators of iodine in the body. Iodine is readily incorporated into the tissues surrounding the mammary nipples and is essential for the maintenance of healthy functioning breast tissue. This plays a huge role in fibrocystic disease and the the development of breast cancers in my opinion.

One clinical finding I always ask about is the presence of fibrocystic breast disease.When it is present I immediately think the woman is likely suffering from an undiagnosed iodine deficiency. I distinctly remember in medical school seeing a woman???s fibrocystic disease cured in less than an hour by an ancient physician who taught us how to examine a women???s breasts. She had volunteered to be a guinea pig for us during our medical education, and on this day we could not examine her without making her scream and cry because her breasts were so tender to palpation. Our MD proctor was about 80 years old and he too was a volunteer helping us learn our craft. He stopped me from examining her breasts and asked her a few questions and then he asked us to leave the room. He applied Lugol???s solution to her vulva and her nipples and we were able to examine her without any pain a half hour later. It made a huge impression on me. He asked her if she was on any thyroid meds and if she had bad energy or weight gain. A lack of iodine was the source of her painful breasts! Her labs did not reveal any major issues when we saw her either because we are taught to just screen for a TSH and not a free T3 or free T4 level. I never forgot this lesson on the thyroid.

When one begins eating a paleo diet your overall nutrient density and food substrate improve from a SAD or a vegan template, so your iodine needs go up as your mitochondria are being asked to do more. People eating more protein have a higher respiratory quotient so they are moving more electrons across their inner mitochondrial membrane to make ATP. When you make the fuel change mitochondrial efficiency suffers and many call this low carb flu when it really is due to poor bio energic substrates being delivered to the mitochondria to burn protein and fat over the higher carbs they were used to eating. So with a paleo diet you get a relative iodine deficiency for the first 3-6 months of the adaptation of the diet. I always as my patients to eat shrimp twice a week for the first 6 months or to supplement with a kelp pill every third day. That seems to do the trick for most people. Iodine 200-300 mcgs every other day if you eat seafood once a week. If you eat it more frequently you likely don???t need any supplementation.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 09, 2013
at 01:34 PM

You can not build a human brain without the brain specific nutrients and DHA and iodine are the starring roles. There are others that I laid out in detail in brain gut 4 and BG 5 on my site. The Cites are very detailed as well. You simply can not be human from transitional chimp eating meat........that is a paleo fallacy not support one bit in the literature.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 09, 2013
at 01:32 PM

Not exactly.....It does increase our requirements because when our guts shortened it required us to have a higher fat and protein content to support our mitochondria and RQ. If we did not have th eincreased iodine to support thyroid hormones we would have lost large amaounts of efficiency. In BG 12 I wrote that the massive amount of DHA in our brain increase metabolic performance by 60% compared to other primates. To get this done it also requires massive amounts of iodine for the thyroid (T3 is needed by all neurons) and to protect the neural synsapses. Iodine is all a brain story.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 09, 2013
at 03:42 AM

So it sounds like you're saying eating meat doesn't increase iodine requirements if you're adapted to metabolizing it. If the only problem is that meat is too low in iodine then it doesn't actually change your total iodine requirement.

3
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:22 AM

If eating meat increases iodine requirements and a deficient intake of iodine brings about changes to thyroid hormones, like lowered T3, shouldn't increasing meat intake in studies lead to lower T3 levels and/or some other hypothyroid-esque hormonal changes?

If so, why do studies show a higher protein intake from meat and dairy not bring about such hormonal changes:

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/2/411.full

http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/88/8/3577.full

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/6/1454.full

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=860632

I personally have not seen any evidence to believe eating meat increases iodine requirements.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 12:37 PM

+1, interesting

0
B05c28bf9d1a4cdde88da8c1484e34b5

on January 09, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I will be interested in this answer as I am hypothyroid and having trouble converting t4 to t3 prior to Paleo

4a3611b0503cbc5ee14d8d1d566c7f44

(124)

on January 09, 2013
at 01:57 AM

Me too. I hope someone with insight will tackle this question.

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