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Iodine - Universal Medicine How to Supplement Iodine for health benefits - Lugols Dosage Guidelines

Iodine - "The Universal Medicine"

Dosage Guidelines for Lugol's Solution or IODORAL® (tablet form of Lugol's)

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to iodine supplementation, since everyone's needs are different.


✔ Iodine increases thyroid function ▲ if you are iodine deficient

✔ Iodine decreases thyroid function ▼ if you are iodine sufficient

Attaining whole-body iodine sufficiency (an estimated body total of 1.5g)

Whole-body iodine sufficiency takes about a year to achieve with a daily intake of 12.5 mg iodine/iodide - i.e. 1 tablet Iodoral® or 2 drops Lugol's solution.

It takes about 3 months at 50mg iodine/iodide per day (4 tablets Iodoral®, 8 drops Lugols, best split into 2 morning and afternoon doses) - This is the amount shown to have positive impact on serious illnesses such as breast cancer, thyroid cancer or autoimmune thyroid disorders.

Once whole body sufficiency is attained, 1 tablet Iodoral® or 2 drops Lugols /day will maintain it - in 8 normal subjects who achieved whole body iodine sufficiency, the fasting serum inorganic iodide levels ranged from 0.85 to 1.34 mg/L 24 hrs after the last intake of iodine.

Suggested General Approach to dosages (But use your own judgement)

With a known health problem – start with 12.5 mg iodine/iodide (1 tablet Iodoral®or 2 drops Lugols) and build up slowly, maintaining dose for a few days, to a maximum 50mg iodine/iodide per day (spaced out) according to your body's comfort level, any symptoms indicating excessive intake (see table below), and especially your own intuition. After reaching whole body sufficiency, then cut back slowly on the daily dose until you are at maintenance level.

For guidelines on Lugol's dosage for specific problems:

Lugol's Dosage chart

For maintenance – ~3-12 mg iodine/iodide (¼-1 Iodoral tablet or ½- 2 drops Lugol's) / day should be sufficient for the body's glands and organs. A suggestion is to start with (½ an Iodoral tablet or 1 drop Lugol's), and make adjustments if necessary.

Adjust the dose downward - if you have any of the following symptoms:

Excess Iodine Symptoms

Excess Thyroid Hormone Symptoms


Acne, rashes*
Increased salivation / runny nose*
Metallic taste in mouth*

Racing pulse


Sweating palms

Oily skin

* An unpleasant brassy taste, runny nose, and acne-like skin lesions are caused by the bromide that iodine extracts from the tissues.



Factors affecting personal dose requirement

Being female

Women tend to need more iodine/iodide than men - The best final dosage of iodide/iodine for most men is 8-12 mg. The best final dosage of iodide/iodine for most women is higher at ~12 mg per day, because the female breast concentrates elemental iodine from available iodide (up to 6mg/day). If this iodine is not discharged into breast milk with breast feeding, it diffuses out of the breast tissues, and is lost at high rates into the urine. Thus, women need ~ 5 mg more dietary iodide per day than men, just to maintain optimal iodide levels.

About 90-95% of American adults can start at the optimum final ~8-12 mg dose with no health problems, but for those with severe hypothyroidism and/or diabetic neuropathy, an initial dose of even 1 mg may be too much – as the iodine restores metabolic function to nerves, the dying peripheral nerves start being revived, which can send increasing amounts of abnormal signals to the brain, often experienced as intense itching and/or phantom pains. As they recover, the nerves eventually start acting more normally, and the pains and itching gradually go away. Unfortunately, the more damage, the longer and more painful is the recovery. To make the recovery bearable, the iodine dose must be low to allow a gradual rebuilding of the nerves over months, or even years.

Goitrogenic load

The requirement for iodine depends on the individual's goitrogenic load - a goitrogen interferes with the uptake and utilization of iodine by target cells. The greater the goitrogenic load, the greater the need for iodine. Examples of goitrogens are bromine, chlorine, fluorine, and soy –all commonly found in today's diet and environment.

Goitrogens vs. iodine

Toxic body

Restoring iodine concentrations too quickly may overload body with toxins - Since iodine mobilizes toxic metals and goitrogenic halides from their storage sites, it may not be wise to achieve whole body sufficiency for iodine too rapidly since mobilization of these toxic substances may increase their peripheral levels high enough to cause symptoms.A complete nutritional program combined with increased fluid intake will help the body eliminate these toxic elements more safely.

For those experiencing detox side effects – such as constipation, acne or rash, often as a result of iodine detoxing bromide into the bloodstream causing bromism symptoms (other bromism symptoms include lethargy, depression, "dark" thoughts, brain fog, leg and hip pain):

–    Side-effects are usually reversible in 24-48 hours - by discontinuing the iodine and allowing a short period of washout before restarting at a lower dose;

–    Use 1/2 tsp. Celtic or Himalayan sea salt dissolved in a large glass of water – this speeds up the bromide detox through the kidneys;

Drink additional water

Nutrient deficiency

Consider your status for vitamins or minerals required for normal thyroid synthesis  - E.g. vitamin A, vitamin B6, selenium and magnesium. Defiiciencies of any of these will have had a negative impact on how your previous iodine intake was utilized. These deficiencies should be addressed.

Nutrient support for TH production


Omega-6 / Omega-3 / good animal fat Intake

Omega-6 fats suppress thyroid function - these fats are consumed to excess (some estimate 20% of caloric intake) in the typical Western diet in the form of commercial vegetable oils; studies have shown that omega-6 rich corn oil suppresses liver response to T4, compared to lard, safflower oil similarly suppresses T3 response compared to beef tallow, and omega-6 linoleic acid suppresses both liver and brown fat response to T3.(the liver responds to TH for body temperature control). In the 70's, linoleic acid was even considered as a treatment for hyperthyroidism. Those consuming a balance of omega-6 /omega-3 and eating good animal//fish fats, e.g.  grass-fed butter and wild oily fish, may need a lower iodine intake.

Omega-6 / Omega-3 Balance

Fats and Oils

Omega-6 Linoleic Acid Suppresses Thyroid Signaling, December 19, 2008. 

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