Iodine Supplements Before, During, and After Pregnancy

Dr. Greger
September 8, 2016

DESCRIPTION: What is the evidence that all pregnant women should follow the American Thyroid Association’s recommendation to take a daily iodine supplement?

Iodine-Rich Foods Fight Breast Cancer

This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2016

Iodine-Rich Foods Fight Breast Cancer
Margie King, Health Coach
June 27, 2016

Women with iodine deficiencies are more likely to develop breast cancer. Eat more of these iodine-rich foods to reduce your risk.

The myth persists that a mammogram is the number one way to avoid breast cancer.

But the truth is that mammogram radiation can cause cancer… mammograms don’t prolong lives… and breast cancer screenings result in over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

Real breast cancer prevention starts with attention to diet, exercise, stress reduction, and environmental toxins.

And when it comes to diet, one of the best nutrients to help ward off breast cancer is iodine.

If you think about it at all, you probably associate iodine with your thyroid.  Too little of this element can lead to a painful swelling of the thyroid known as a goiter.

But iodine also plays a crucial role in women’s breast health.  In fact, a woman stores more iodine in her breasts than in her thyroid.[i]

It’s nature’s way of protecting babies. Iodine is critical for brain development in infants.  Storing iodine in the breasts insures a good supply of this essential brain mineral in breast milk.

But when a woman’s supply of iodine is low, it’s not just a nursing baby who’s at risk.  Women with iodine deficiencies are more likely to develop breast cancer.

What’s the link between low iodine and breast cancer?

When iodine levels are low, the ovaries produce more estrogen.[ii]  Higher circulating levels of estrogen raise the risk of reproductive cancers like prostate, endometrial, ovarian, and breast cancers.

In addition, low iodine increases the sensitivity of estrogen receptors in breast tissue.[iii]  The breast starts taking up even more estrogen.  That spikes breast cancer risk even more.[iv]

Dr. Bernard Eskin was a pioneer in iodine research.  He discovered that iodine-deficient breast tissue is more likely to have pre-cancerous changes and that iodine could reverse those changes.

In lab studies he showed that iodine up-regulated 29 genes and down-regulated 14 genes in breast cancer cells, leading to cellular death[v] and suppression of tumor growth.[vi]  Other animal studies show iodine can reduce breast tumor rates by 2.5 times.[vii]

And while iodine speeds the death of cancer cells, it leaves normal cells alone.

Epidemiological studies support the importance of iodine in breast health.

In Japan breast cancer rates are about 66% lower than in the U.S.[viii] At the same time, Japanese women consume between 3 and 13 milligrams per day of iodine.[ix]

But the U.S. Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for iodine is only 150 micrograms per day (or 290 mcg if you’re pregnant or nursing).

By some estimates, Japanese women are getting about 25 times more iodine than the average American woman.[x]

But when Japanese women move to the U.S. and start eating a Western iodine-deficient diet, their breast cancer rates spike to American levels.[xi]

Since the 1920s Americans have gotten most of their iodine from iodized salt.  That’s thanks to a government push to add iodine to salt to prevent goiter.

But in recent decades anti-salt propaganda has led to women cutting salt – and therefore iodine – from their diets.  Since the 1970s rates of iodine deficiency have quadrupled.[xii]

Environmental toxins have also led to lower iodine levels. A group of chemicals known as halides binds to receptors inside your cells that are meant for iodine. They block the body’s ability to absorb and use the iodine.[xiii]

These halides include perchlorate, a chemical used for rocket fuel. Perchlorate now contaminates our groundwater, soil, and food supply.

Chlorine and fluoride in drinking water also block iodine.  So does bromine in flour, bread and baked goods.

If you’re deficient you can still boost your levels and ward off many health dangers – including breast cancer.

But your body can’t make iodine.  You have to get it from food or supplements.

Good food sources of iodine are:

  • Seafood (salmon, scallops, lobster, tuna, cod, and shrimp)
  • Yogurt
  • Cranberries
  • Potato (unpeeled)
  • Navy beans
  • Eggs

But hands down the richest source of iodine comes from seaweed.  It has 10 times or more iodine than other foods.

And it’s powerful against breast cancer. A Japanese study found seaweed more potent than the chemo drug fluorouracil for breast cancer.[xiv]

Look for wakame, nori, arame, dulse, kombu, or kelp in Asian food markets and health food stores.

Add dried seaweed to the pot when cooking soups, grains, or beans.

And Maine Coast makes organic kelp granules that you can add to your (un-iodized) salt shaker or just sprinkle on your food before serving.

For more information visit Green Med Info’s Health Guide on Breast Cancer.


[i]Patrick L, “Iodine: deficiency and therapeutic considerations.” Altern Med Rev. 2008;13(2):116-27.

[ii] David Brownstein, MD “Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It” 2nd Edition,  Medical Alternatives Press, Michigan, 2006.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Stadel BV “Dietary iodine and risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer.” Lancet. 1976; 1(7965): 890-91.

[v] Frederick R. Stoddard II, Ari D. Brooks, Bernard A. Eskin, Gregg J. Johannes “Iodine Alters Gene Expression in the MCF7 Breast Cancer Cell Line: Evidence for an Anti-Estrogen Effect of Iodine.” Int J Med Sci 2008; 5:189-196.

[vi] Shrivastava A, Tiwari M, Sinha RA, et al. “Molecular iodine induces caspase-independent apoptosis in human breast carcinoma cells involving the mitochondria-mediated pathway.” J Biol Chem. 2006;281(28):19762-71.

[vii] Garcia-Solis P, Alfaro Y, Anguiano B, et al. “Inhibition of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced mammary carcinogenesis by molecular iodine (I2) but not by iodide (I-) treatment Evidence that I2 prevents cancer promotion.” Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2005;236(1-2):49-57.

[viii] Deapen D et al. “Rapidly rising breast cancer incidence rates among Asian-American women.” Int J Cancer. 2002:10;99(5):747-50.

[ix] Yamagata N, Yamagata T. “Iodine content of thyroid glands of normal Japanese.” J Radiat Res (Tokyo). 1972;13(2):81-90

[x] Aceves C, Anguiano B, Delgado G. “Is iodine a gatekeeper of the integrity of the mammary gland?” J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2005;10(2):189-96.

[xi] Ziegler RG, Hoover RN, Pike MC, et al. “Migration patterns and breast cancer risk in Asian-American women.” J Natl Cancer Inst. 1993;85(22):1819-27.

[xii]Hollowell JG et al. “Iodine nutrition in the United States. Trends and public health implications: iodine excretion data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys I and III (1971-1974 and 1988-1994)” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998;83(10):3401-8.

[xiii] Greer MA, Goodman G, Pleus RC, Greer SE. “Health effects assessment for environmental perchlorate contamination: the dose response for inhibition of thyroidal radioiodine uptake in humans.” Environ Health Perspect. 2002;110(9):927-37.

[xiv]Hiroomi Funahashi et al. “Seaweed Prevents Breast Cancer?” Jpn. J. Cancer Res. 92, 483–487, May 2001

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© June 27, 2016 | GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here
Margie King is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. A Wharton M.B.A. and corporate attorney for 20 years, she left the world of business to pursue her passion for all things nutritious. Margie is the author of Nourishing Menopause: The Whole Food Guide to Balancing Your Hormones Naturally. She is also a professional copywriter and natural health, beauty and nutrition writer. To contact Margie, visit

Inflammation & Pain Management With Magnesium

Inflammation plays a vital role in all stages of atherosclerosis, which is the progressive narrowing and hardening of the arteries over time. 

Inflammation plays a pivotal role in all stages of atherosclerosis, which is the progressive narrowing and hardening of the arteries over time.

Dr. Sircus
December 8, 2009

Inflammation is the activation of the immune system in response to infection, irritation, or injury. Characterized by an influx of white blood cells, redness, heat, swelling, pain, and dysfunction of the organs involved, inflammation has different names when it appears in different parts of the body. Most allergy and asthma sufferers are familiar with rhinitis (inflammation of the nose), sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), and asthma (inflammation of the airways), but inflammation is also behind arthritis (inflammation of the joints), dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), and so on.

The inflammatory response can be acute or chronic. Acute inflammation typically lasts only a few days. This response usually promotes healing but, if uncontrolled, may become harmful.

The primary objective of acute inflammation is to localize and eradicate the irritant and repair the surrounding tissue but this completely changes in chronic low-grade inflammatory states. Chronic low-grade inflammation is one of the characteristics of the metabolic syndrome and interferes with insulin physiology. Ignorance has prevailed over the interrelationship between muscular lipid accumulation, chronic inflammation and insulin resistance because the central mediating factor is magnesium. It is magnesium that modulates cellular events involved in inflammation.

There are many factors that trigger inflammation. They are found in both our internal and external environments and include excessive levels of the hormone insulin (insulin resistance), emotional stress, environmental toxins (heavy metals), free-radical damage, viral, bacterial, fungal other pathogenic infections, obesity, overconsumption of hydrogenated oils, periodontal disease, radiation exposure, smoking, spirochetes such as the Borrelia that causes Lyme disease, and certain pharmacological drugs. Problems with insulin metabolism are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. It results in the inability to properly store magnesium, causing blood vessels to constrict, elevated blood pressure, and coronary arterial spasm, all of which can result in a heart attack.

Excess insulin causes retention of sodium, fluid retention, elevated blood pressure and congestive heart failure.[1]– Dr. Ron Rosedale

Inflammatory reactions in the body are a valuable predictor of impending heart attack. Dr. Robert Genko, editor of the American Academy of Periodontal Journal, claims that persons with gingival disease (which is an inflammatory disorder) are 27 times more likely to suffer a heart attack than are persons with healthy gums. An American Heart Association paper disclosed that 85% of heart attack victims had gum disease compared to 29% of healthy similar patients.

When magnesium levels fall researchers note a profound increase of inflammatory cytokines present, along with increased levels of histamine.[2]

Magnesium deficiency causes and underpins chronic inflammatory build ups. This concept is intriguing because it suggests a fundamentally simpler way of warding off disease. Instead of different treatments for heart disease, Alzheimer’s and colon cancer, we apply a single, inflammation-reducing remedy that would prevent or treat these and other deadly diseases. The key words here are ‘prevent’ or ‘treat’ but please notice the word is not cure. Though magnesium is a cure for many of our ailments full treatment protocols are recommended with magnesium chloride as the top protocol item. It is a protocol of basic items like magnesium, iodine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, sodium bicarbonate, sodium thiosulfate, whole food vitamin C, natural vitamin D from the sun, spirulina and some other important items like purified water that will make a difference in a host of chronic diseases.

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