I hope that everyone, male, female, pregnant, non-pregnant, parents, non-parents, can find some value in this post.
I am not a medical professional; nothing in this post should be construed as medical or health advice, but rather should be regarded as information presented for your consideration to look further into.
The importance of iodine sufficiency is something we rarely see information on or hear talked about, but is something that can greatly impact our own health as well as the health of our future children.
Iodine is an essential element not only for the production of thyroid horomone; it plays an important role in the health of all of the endocrine glands. The endocrine system is very vital to the proper functioning of our body, and includes the ovaries, mammary (breast) glands, uterus, testes, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, pineal gland. Important stuff, right?
Iodine sufficiency is also vital in the health of the male prostate, an exocrine gland, which contains large numbers of thyroid hormone receptors. Women and men alike can benefit their reproductive system by ensuring iodine sufficiency before conception and in general. A pregnant woman's iodine sufficiency status can also impact the brain development of her fetus.
Some assert that the recommended daily value of iodine in the USA is enough to prevent goiter, but not enough to prevent a state of iodine deficiency. It is not prudent to assume that consuming iodized table salt can eliminate the risk of iodine deficiency.
There is a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information that suggests that iodine sufficiency of pregnant women impacts the IQ of their children, and that there was a greater increase in the child’s IQ when the mother began iodine supplementation 3.5 years before birth.
Compared with that of children whose mothers were persistently exposed to ID [iodine deficiency], the total effect size of the 21 entries was an increase of 0.58 SIQP (8.7 IQ points) in the group receiving iodine supplementation during pregnancy. Furthermore, there was an increase on 1.15 SIQP of Binet or 0.8 SIQP on Raven Scale (17.25 or 12 IQ points) for children born more than 3.5 years after iodine supplementation program was introduced. The level of iodine nutrition plays a crucial role in the intellectual development of children. The intelligence damage of children exposed to severe ID was profound, demonstrated by 12.45 IQ points loss and they recovered 8.7 IQ points with iodine supplementation or IS before and during pregnancy. Iodine supplementation before and during pregnancy to women living in severe ID areas could prevent their children from intelligence deficit. This effect becomes evident in children born 3.5 years after the iodine supplementation program was introduced.
- IQ chart visuals for context: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=iq+chart&t=h_&iax=1&ia=images
A couple articles for consideration that include references:
Iodine Deficiency: A Public Health Crisis - https://www.integrativepractitioner.com/topics/digestive-health/iodine-deficiency-a-public-health-crisis/
The Silent Epidemic of Iodine Deficiency - http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2011/10/the-silent-epidemic-of-iodine-deficiency/Page-01
Here, I would like to issue a strong word of caution:
If you have had any level of chronic iodine deficiency, it is highly possible that your body has developed some state of halide toxicity. If you research iodine supplements, you will see that many people are using Lugol’s Iodine and Iodoral in very large dosages – THIS IS NOT A SAFE WAY FOR A NEAR-PREGNANT OR PREGNANT WOMEN TO TAKE IODINE SUPPLEMENTATION. THIS MAY ALSO NOT BE A SAFE WAY FOR PEOPLE WITH HEALTH PROBLEMS TO SUPPLEMENT WITH IODINE.
A state of halide (fluoride/ine, bromide/ine, chloride/ine) toxicity can manifest in the body even from chronic low levels of exposure when a state of iodine deficiency exists, as those elements are in the same atomic family and can attach to the iodine receptors in the body. The above way of supplementing could start unseating these halides and create a bad situation – possibly severely bad depending on your situation - I would not suggest even considering a halide detox unless you are over a year away from pregnancy. It can be a very long and awful process. If you decide to embark on a halide detox and are experiencing any side effects at all, you should stop at LEAST six months before your pregnancy.
If you are not pregnant/near-pregnant and are interested in researching how to go about doing higher doses of iodine supplementation or a halide detox, please considering adding the following to your search queries: boron, iodine companion nutrients, iodine salt loading, detox baths, sauna detox, glutathione.
To limit your exposure to unwanted halides you could consider adding a water filter to your shower, filtering your drinking water (including fluoride), consuming organic produce whenever possible, and eliminating consumption of all bromated flour baked goods (these days likely requires baking from scratch with ‘vetted’ flour).
For women who are not yet pregnant or anyone looking for a gentler way to supplement with iodine, I would suggest researching ‘topical iodine supplementation’ and consulting with your doctor.
For women who are already pregnant, please consult with a medical professional about the safest way to supplement with iodine.
Next up in this series will be a post exploring why supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids is not enough, and why pregnant women should consider cutting out all trans fats from their diet.
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