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Iodine - Universal Medicine Iodine health - Functions in body

Iodine - "The Universal Medicine"

Functions - Iodine at work in the body

Iodine is used by almost every cell in the body, but some cells have higher needs than others to enable their normal healthy function

Thyroid Hormone production

The thyroid combines iodine with the amino acid tyrosine to make  thyroid hormones T3 and T4 - this well-known need for iodine is critical for cellular metabolism rate, and protein synthesis and growth, however, iodine has many other functions in the body . . .

Hormone Balancing

The receptors for almost every major hormone and neurotransmitter need iodine in order to function efficiently.

E.g. thyroid hormones, Testosterone, CORTISOL, INSULIN

Iodine increases the sensitivity of a receptor to the hormone for which it is designed - For example:

  INSULIN receptors - helps with diabetes;

✔  Neurotransmitters (e.g., DOPAMINE, GABA) in the brain - helps reverse depression;

✔  Testosterone, estrogen, FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), LH (Luteinizing Hormone) – in the reproductive organs.

Iodine balances estrogen levels - Iodine/iodide is especially necessary for optimal function of the breasts, ovaries, endometrium, and prostate;


Elemental iodine taken into body organs and tissues has an oxidant effect against microbes - where it is taken into body organs and tissues; in an aqueous environment, iodine converts to hypoiodous acid, with double the oxidizing potential of iodine


Iodine prevents cancer by a process that induces apoptosis (programmed cell death).

Iodine against Cancer

Iodine pumps concentrate iodine into body's cells

Cells which require a higher iodine concentration express (produce) more iodine "pumps" in their cell membranes - to transport iodine into the cell.

Iodine concentration is highest in the thyroid, ovaries and breast tissues - but only when ingested in milligram amounts (as opposed to the RDA micrograms);

–   The thyroid gland - accomplishes the major feat of concentrating iodide to 20–40 times higher than blood levels (determined by Baumann back in 1896) - the mechanism used for concentrating iodine in cells is the iodine pump, which is highly expressed in thyroid epithelial cells. The thyroid's iodine concentration is influenced by Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) under negative feedback control.

–   Ovaries - only the thyoid gland contains a larger concentration of iodine than the ovaries.

Slebodzinski AB. "Ovarion iodide uptake and triiodothyronine generation in follicular fluid. The enigma of the thyroid ovary interaction." Domest Anim Edocrinol, 2005; 29(1):97-103]

–   Mammary glands – contain iodine pumps, which during lactation, enable iodide transfer to breast milk for the nursing newborn's thyroid function; Evidence is presented that iodine is essential for breast normality and protection against FDB and breast cancer. Interestingly, Eskins et al found that the mammary glands prefer iodine and the thyroid prefers iodide.

Eskin B et al, Different Tissue Responses for Iodine and Iodide in Rat Thyroid and Mammary Glands. Biological Trace Element Research, 1995

Salivary glands, stomach cells (gastric mucosa) and colon have the ability to concentrate iodide almost as much as the thyroid

Iodide uptake in non-thyroidal tissues does not appear to be influenced by TSH - but a number of other hormones are known to maintain a dynamic iodide balance in tissues.

Cann SA, Iodide Accumulation in Extrathyroidal Tissues, 1999

Tissues that use iodine pumps to concentrate iodine include:

✔ Thyroid gland

✔ Mammarygland

✔  Stomach cells (gastric mucosa)

✔  Fat

✔  Muscles

✔  Mucosa of small and large intestine

✔  Ovaries

✔  Uterus

✔  Placenta

✔  Prostate

✔  White blood cells

✔  Liver

✔  Lung

✔  Heart

✔  Adrenal cortex

✔  Renal cortex

✔  Thymus (master of adaptive immune system)

✔  Pituitary gland

✔  Pineal gland

✔  Skin

✔  Joints

✔  Arteries

✔  Bones

✔  Nasopharynx

✔  Ciliary body of eye deals w/aqueous fluid and intraocular pressure

✔  Choroid plexus in brain, makes cerebrospinal fluid

✔  Specific brain cells (related to Parkinson's)

Distribution of Body's Iodine

A typical body can retain ~1500mg of iodine - Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Abraham's studies indicate that given a sufficient amount the body will retain 1,500 mg of iodine (30 times more than the presumed 50 mg), with only 3% of that 1.5 g amount residing in the thyroid gland, and the rest of the body's iodine concentrated in extra-thyroidal tissues (70% in muscle/fat cells, 7% in skin) where its roles are only now being understood.

Abraham GE. "The concept of orthoiodosupplementation and its clinical implications." The Original Internist, 2004;http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-07/IOD_07.htm#8

Spitzweg et al, Analysis of human sodium iodide symporter gene expression in extrathyroidal tissues, JClin Endocrinol, 1998;

Cann et al, Iodide Accumulation in Extrathyroidal Tissues, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 1999;

Abraham GE. "The historical background of the Iodine Project." The Original Internist, 2005;

Siebodzinski AB. "Ovarian iodide uptake and triiodothyronine generation in follicular fluid. The enigma of the thyroid ovary interaction." Domest Anim Endocrinol, 2005;

Carrasco N. "Iodide transport in the thyroid gland." Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1993; Brown-Grant K. "Extrathyroidal iodide concentrating mechanisms." Physiol Rev, 1961;

Spitzweg C et al. "Analysis of human sodium iodide symporter immunoreactivity in human exocrine glands." J Clin Endocrinol & Metab, 1999.

Abraham GE. The safe and effective implementation of orthoiodosupplementation in medical practice. The Original Internist 2004;11:17-36. Available at: www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-05/IOD_05.html

Goitrogens vs. Iodine

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