There is no one-size-fits-all approach to iodine supplementation, since everyone's needs are different.
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. 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.
However, use caution with sever hyperthyroidism or diabetic neuropathy. Almost all adults can start at the 12.5 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.
Serious issues may need a stepped-up dose - some taking about 3 months at 50mg iodine/iodide per day (4 tablets Iodoral®, 8 drops Lugol's, 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.
- Start with 12.5 mg iodine/iodide (1 tablet Iodoral® or 2 drops Lugol's solution) and build up slowly. Maintain dose for a few days, until you reach a maximum 50mg iodine/iodide per day (spaced out) according to your body's comfort level.
For guidelines on Lugol's dosage for specific problems:
Trust your own instinct /judgement and adjust the dose downward if you have any of the following symptoms indicating excessive iodine intake:
Excess Iodine Symptoms
Excess Thyroid Hormone Symptoms#
* An unpleasant brassy taste, runny nose, and acne-like skin lesions are caused by the bromide that iodine extracts from the tissues.
• Iodine increases thyroid function ▲ if you are iodine deficient
• Iodine decreases thyroid function ▼ if you are iodine sufficient
After reaching whole body sufficiency. Cut back slowly on the daily dose until you are at maintenance level (see below).
General guideline for iodine maintenance dose
Once whole-body sufficiency is attained, as a general guideline, ~3 mg iodine/ iodide (Â¼ Iodoral tablet or 1 small drop Lugol's) / day should be a generally sufficient dose for optimal function of the body's glands and organs. This dose is equivalent to the average daily intake of a person in Japan. However, a daily 3mg maintenance dose is just a guideline and will need to be adjusted for personal factors affecting your personal need for iodine:
Women tend to need more iodine/iodide than men. The female breasts concentrate elemental iodine from available iodide.
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.
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. E.g. constipation, acne or rash, often as a result of 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
Consider your status for vitamins or minerals required for normal thyroid synthesis. E.g. vitamin A, vitamin B6, selenium and magnesium. Deficiencies of any of these will have had a negative impact on how your previous iodine intake was utilized. These deficiencies should be addressed.
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 Linoleic Acid Suppresses Thyroid Signaling, 2008)
Omega-6 Linoleic Acid Suppresses Thyroid Signaling, December 19, 2008. Link
Chronic low-level inflammation (CLII) involved in almost all health problems
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