Iodine was first discovered in 1811 by Bernard Courtois (a saltpeter manufacturer in France), by adding sulfuric acid to charred seaweed. The purple gas that was liberated condensed into crystals and was dubbed “iode” from the Greek word “iodes”, meaning violet. Iodine is one of the essential chemical elements that humans must ingest in order for us to have normal immune, musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory and skin systems, as well as metabolism and intelligence. That’s quite an impressive list for one little element.
Here is another impressive list:

Health benefits of iodine:
-Antibacterial
-Antifungal
-Anticancer (breast, endometrial, ovarian)
-Helps convert adipose (fat) tissue into energy during under-active thyroid conditions
-Reverses fibrocystic breast disease
-Aids in the development of normal intelligence
-Prevents development of ALS and MS
-Mucolytic (breaks up mucus)
-Aids carbohydrate absorption
-Aids conversion of Beta-Carotene to Vitamin A
-Counteracts radiation poisoning
-Detoxifies the body of arsenic, mercury, lead, fluoride and bromide
-Prevents and reverses goiter
-Prevents cretinism

Here is a less than impressive list of where we get our iodine from in our diet:

-Dried kelp and other seaweeds
(which are the richest sources and also the ones most westerners eat the least)
-Iodized salt

(which your doctor probably told you to eat less of due to high blood pressure. In addition, most of the iodine in the salt has already evaporated while it was on the supermarket shelf.)

Other sources of iodine could potentially come from soil sources and enter into both vegetables and animal products (such as milk and eggs) provided that there was no over-farming and also that the animals in question were allowed to graze (wishful thinking). An additional source might be saltwater fish (provided that they were not also contaminated by mercury).
Yet you need not fear, as the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) requires only 150mcg (micrograms) per day. That little number made me feel safe until I went to live in Japan and found out that most Japanese consume between 1500mcg and 12000mcg daily (FYI: 1000mcg=1mg) and they also weren’t obese, had very low breast cancer, fibrocystic breast disease occurrence and didn’t seem to be mutants. This made me realize that RDA really must stand for “ridiculous daily amount”. Perhaps 150mcg could be sufficient if we had no exposure to arsenic, mercury, fluoride, bromide, chlorine and radiation which all come from fossil fuel consumption, modern dentistry, chemical and food industries and modern medicine. However, instead of giving up all of those boons to human existence as we know it today, perhaps I’ll just eat seaweed a whole lot more.

An endearing little quote from Dr. Guy E. Abraham MD says it all:

“Although the factors involved in medical iodophobia are still unknown, decreased cognition seems involved. Since low iodine intake is associated with intellectual impairment, deficiency of this essential element cannot be ruled out, and if present, would create a self-perpetuating phenomenon. Medical iodophobia is contagious and can be transmitted to patients and other physicians (iatrogenic iodophobia) and will remain a syndrome until the causes are discovered and effective therapy implemented. It is very likely however, that medical iodophobia will eventually be classified as an iodine-deficiency disease.”

Further reading:
Dr. Guy E. Abraham papers: www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/opt_Research_I.shtml
The Great Iodine Debate, Nourishing Traditions, Weston A. Price Nutritional Foundation:
westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/metabolic-disorders/1662-the-great-iodine-debate.html

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