Episode 19: Iodine and the Ridiculous Daily Amount

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 that were eventually dubbed as Iodine. It 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:

Iodine functions as an:

-Anticancer agent (breast, endometrial, ovarian)

-It helps:

-convert fat tissue into energy during under-active thyroid conditions
-reverse fibrocystic breast disease
-in the development of normal intelligence
-Prevent development of ALS and MS
-Aid carbohydrate absorption
-convert Beta-Carotene to Vitamin A

It is also:

-Mucolytic (breaks up mucus)
-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.)

The RDA or Recommended Dietary Allowance, but what I’ll call the Ridiculous Daily Amount is only 150mcg (micrograms) per day.

Two authorities on Iodine are Drs. A. R. Gaby and G. E. Abraham. However, they both come in at opposite ends of the spectrum (Gaby at 1mg/day and Abraham at 13.8mg/day) as far as dosage goes. When in doubt, take the middle dosage for supplemental purposes.

That brings us to the intervention. One of the easiest forms to get is 5% Lugol’s Iodine solution, which is available at most pharmacies without a prescription. It is a combination solution of molecular iodine and potassium iodide (2 drops gives 5mg Iodine/7.5mg iodide). It’s safe dosage would be 1-2 drops in a glass of water per day. Dosages greater than this would need to be monitored by your physician as they are condition dependent.


Stay tuned next week when we’ll talk about flu prevention.

Be Well and Be Zen


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:


Dr. A R Gaby., (2011), Nutritional Medicine p.172-175. Fritz Perlberg Publishing, Concord, NH., ISBN13: 978-0-9828850-0-0

The Iodine Debate Continues (April 2006)., The Townsend Letter for Doctors.

Iodine Debate Continues (April 2006)



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