Iodine is essential for many body functions 
By Walter Sorochan Emeritus Professor San Diego State University

Posted August 17, 2022.

Do you feeling tired, lack energy, feel confused at times or like you are in a fog mentally, have difficulty concentrating, and are often sick? You may be deficient in iodine! This short article about iodine is for the general public as well as medical doctors.

Iodine is an essential mineral that the human body needs in very small amounts. I have been taking Lugol’s iodine solution for years and I believe doing so has bolstered my immune system. You should become informed about iodine and consider taking the urine test iodine form as well.

But we, the general public, have a problem! Researchers find that over 90% of persons are deficient in iodine; this may help explain why we have such a high rate of chronic diseases and disorders today. The primary contributing cause are doctors who perceive that iodine is needed only to prevent goiter! The amount needed to prevent goiter is not the same as the amount needed for the rest of the body organs and tissues. Every cell in the body needs iodine. This is a most serious medical oversight!

Whole body sufficiency for iodine correlates well with overall well being. According to Dr. G. E. Abraham, "Of all the elements known so far to be essential  for health, iodine is the most misunderstood and the most feared. Yet, it is by far the safest of all the trace elements known to be essential for human  health. It is the only trace element that can be ingested safely in amounts up to 100,000 times the RDA. It is important however to emphasize that this  safety record only applies to inorganic nonradioactive iodine/iodide, not to organic iodine-containing drugs or radioiodides."

There are two major kinds of iodine that are important: "iodide" form of iodine is needed and recognized by the thyroid gland while the other form iodine is needed by mammary and other glands. We need a supplement that has both forms of iodine. Iodized salt does not have both.

When there is too little iodine in the diet for the thyroid gland to produce enough thyroxin hormone, the gland swells up trying synthesize thyroxin while at the same time trying to capture what little iodine is available. The gland becomes a goiter, a visible, noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Iodine doctor Dr. David Derry, MD, of Victoria, B.C., Canada, stated that, “Dietary iodine found in iodized salt is below the amounts needed to fill mucus defense roles. To protect themselves, people wishing to boost their defense against infections should supplement their diets with iodine.” This is kind of complicated because of missing information about how the body works.  Apparently, when there is an ample amount of iodine in the body, then mucus tissues of the nose, lungs and bronchial tree have the needed amount of iodine to attack bacteria and even viruses in a natural immune manner. The defense mechanism is triggered! This is what Dr. Derry implies when he refers to “fill mucus defense roles.”  Derry: iodine-thyroid-cancer connection

At this saturation point, the thyroid gland stops taking up iodine. This means that at a dietary intake above two to three milligrams, all of the iodine goes to all its other functions in the body, such as killing off abnormal cells.  Derry: iodine-thyroid-cancer connection

Prevention approach: Iodine works as an internal body germ fighter only if the iodine form is present in the mucous membranes. Thyroidologist Dr. Guy Abraham points out that whole body iodine sufficiency occurs when the body is saturated with sufficient iodine to supply all the tissues. [which is seldom on the Standard American Diet [SAD]].

Iodine Regulates body processes:

Your body will make you aware when some of the above body processes are not working.

On the other hand, your body also signals that there is sufficient iodine by a sense of overall well being, clear thinking and high level of immunity. Most nutrient supplements usually take from several days to months before working or activating a body function. My experience with ingesting iodine for several days was to have almost instant better concentration, sense clearer eyesight, feel no irritation or blockage on epiglottis or throat, secret much less nasal mucus and much less sensitivity to pain in my middle back.

Getting enough iodine to saturate the body tissues is a tricky process. How do you know when the body, especially the nose, nasal sinuses and respiratory cells are saturated with iodine? The medical establishment does not have a quick and inexpensive lab test for this! So we have to rely on interpreting body functions as messengers. We need to learn to interpret the body's regulatory processes as signals.

Get the proper iodine test: Most doctors use the TSH or thyroxin stimulant hormone test for the amount of iodine in the thyroid gland. This is not the best test to determine whether you are deficient in the amount of iodine in other glands and cells.

Make sure your doctor orders the test that evaluates iodine in other glands and cells. Iodine loading test, as advocated by Abraham, Brownstein and Fleishner  Abraham: Orthiodinesupplementation, is the best test to evaluate for the level of iodine in the body and also to determine the proper dose to prescribe. Iodine loading test by two labs that do iodine loading testing: FFP Labs: 877.684.3233 and Hakkala labs: 877.238.1779.

Iodine in food: The iodine content of most foods depends on the iodine content of the soil and water. Garlic, lima beans, sesame seeds, soybeans, spinach, Swiss chard, summer squash, and turnip greens are good sources of this mineral. Seafood is rich in iodine because marine animals can concentrate the iodine from seawater. Certain types of seaweed (e.g., wakame) are also very rich in iodine.  However, eating fish won't give you iodine in mg amounts. To get 13.8 mg of iodine, you would have to eat 10-20 pounds of fish per day. Article by Miller: iodine metabolism is no longer active.

Dosage: The normal daily requirement of the body for iodine has never been determined. In this absence, the optimal daily requirement for iodine has been estimated at 6 mg of iodide for the thyroid gland and 5 mg of iodine for the mammary glands.  Abraham: Orthiodinesupplementation  The medical perception of body requirement for iodine is based on the amount of iodine needed to prevent goiter. As pointed out elsewhere, this amount will not provide sufficient iodine to the rest of the body; hence this perception is an outdated one!

Iodine supplement is of two types:

This recommendation assumes that:
1. your calcium intake is low, Excess calcium supplementation [ 2000-3000 mg/day ] has been the most common cause of poor iodine absorption and function. So if you want iodine to be absorbed and help your body, you need to minimize your calcium intake.

2. there are no iodine destroyers or inhibitors like goitrogens [chlorine. fluoride in drinking water, or bromide in medications and bread].

3. you are eating a nutrient dense diet that provides a balance of other supporting helper minerals, vitamins, photochemicals and proteins.

All types of iodine should be taken on an empty stomach, an hour before or after meals. SMALL DOSES MORE OFTEN ARE BETTER THAN A SINGLE LARGE DOSE. A CYCLIC USE WITH DAYS OF REST FROM USE IS RECOMMENDED. For example, ingest iodine supplement for four or five days, then skip a day.

Two tests: blood test evaluates Thyroid function or TSH; the other is a urine test that measures the amount of iodine in body. Two Lab tests for urine iodine: FFP Labs: 877.684.3233 and Hakkala labs: 877.238.1779.

For more information click on: Iodine information


Abraham Guy E. MD, "Iodine," Health Salon.  Article by Abraham: Iodoral therapy & wellbeing is no longer active.

Abraham Guy. E. M.D., Jorge D. Flechas M.D. and John C. Hakala R.Ph., "Orthoiodosupplementation: Iodine Sufficiency Of The Whole Human Body,"  Abraham: Orthiodinesupplementation

Derry David, "Iodine: the Forgotten Weapon Against Influenza Viruses," Thyroid Science 4(8):R1-5, 2009.  Article by Derry: Iodine forgotten weapon is no longer active.   Article by Derry: Weapon against flu & viruses is no longer active.

Hakala Research Reference Laboratory Hakala Labe: iodine loading test

Iodoral: The supplement Iodoral contains both the iodide (reduced) and iodine (oxidized) forms of iodine because the body needs both forms. The US RDA for iodine is 150 mcg. Iodoral contains 100 times (12.5 mgs) the RDA's requirement of iodine/iodide. It seems the conventional medical establishment again has grossly underestimated the amount of a nutrient needed for good health. According to Dr. G. E. Abraham, "Of all the elements known so far to be essential for health, iodine is the most misunderstood and the most feared. Yet, it is by far the safest of all the trace elements known to be essential for human health. It is the only trace element that can be ingested safely in amounts up to 100,000 times the RDA. For example, potassium iodide has been prescribed safely to pulmonary patients in daily amounts of up to 6.0 gm/day, in large groups of such patients for several years. It is important however to emphasize that this safety record only applies to inorganic nonradioactive iodine/iodide, not to organic iodine-containing drugs and to radioiodides."  Robert Sarver, "Iodine Deficiency," 2005. from Dr. David Brownstein.

J. Crow's Marketplace, "Lugol's solution of iodine 2% : Material data safety sheet," January 2011.   Crow: Factsheet    Online order form:   Crow: Lugol's order form

Miller Donald W., "Iodine for Health," March 16, 2006.  Miller: iodine for health

Miller Donald, "Iodine Metabolism," The Iodine Group,, February 21, 2007.  Article by Miller: iodine metabolism is no longer active.