Iodine and Apoptosis - Implications For Immunity, Autoimmunity, Leaky Gut, Methylation, Cancer, etc.

Discussion in 'Supplements, Dr. Protocols & Natural Healing' started by Waynesrhythm, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member


    I've been doing a good deal of research the past few months on iodine, and feel I've learned much--as well as experiencing various health improvements from iodine supplementation. Though I feel I'm still in the beginning stages of my "iodine experimentation", (and at times feeling a bit overwhelmed by what a broad topic it is), I thought I'd share a few notes that I feel are particularly relevant to people with ME/CFS.

    Iodine and Apoptosis: Iodine is needed by every cell in the body, but tends to concentrate in areas where there is frequent cell regeneration (apoptosis). This includes nasal passages and mucus cells of the stomach lining, where cell regeneration takes place very 2-3 days. If there is insufficient iodine in the body to perform this critical function, dysfunction occurs. -- Sounds to me like this could have some pretty significant implications for digestion and gut health, and affect some of the dynamics associated with leaky gut syndrome.

    Iodine and Autoimmunity: Here's a couple of quotes from the book, "Breast Cancer and Iodine", by David M. Derry, MD, PhD. -- "Iodine can coat incoming allergic proteins to make them non-allergic...". "Iodine binds softly to the double and triple bond of lipids to protect these bonds while they are being transported to synaptic sites in the brain and blood vessels of the body". -- The author believes this is why iodine deficiency likely has major implications for all sorts of auto-immune conditions.

    Iodine and Immunity: The above references to high concentrations of iodine in the nasal passages and stomach can have some pretty significant implications for our overall immunity. I read one testimonial online of a man who experienced exasperating, ongoing sinus infections for years, being unable to shake them. When he finally discovered iodine supplementation, his sinus infections cleared up within days. Reminded me of the many references I've seen of pw/ME/CFS struggling with sinus infections.

    Also, as inferred by the title of the book I referenced "Breast Cancer and Iodine", the scientific evidence of the connection between iodine deficiency and cancer is by most accounts, extensive and irrefutable, even though it's doubtful most oncologists ever give it a second thought.

    Iodine and Thyroid Health: The thyroid gland captures dietary iodine, and synthesizes thyroid hormones from it (T3 and T4), storing it in the body until needed. -- Interestingly, taking thyroid extract can correspondingly increase the amount of iodine needed by the thyroid gland. Even though the thyroid gland will function better, apparently this can happen at the expense of iodine concentrations in other parts of the body. -- A distinction is made between "Tissue Level" and "Blood Circulating Levels" of iodine.

    A couple more points: Hal Huggins (holistic dentist for many decades) has extensive experience and knowledge of mercury toxicity and its many detrimental effects. He believes just one of these effects is mercury's ability to bind with T3 and T4, essentially rendering them unusable by the body. This could possibly explain why a good number of people often get thyroid tests that come back normal, but can improve their thyroid function and health significantly by supplementing with iodine.

    Also, different parts of the body need different kinds of iodine. The thyroid gland apparently can only use the "iodide" form (potassium iodide being the most common). Breast tissue however can only use elemental iodine. This is why Lugols solution and other iodine supplements like Iodoral usually come in a ratio of 2 parts potassium iodine to 1 part elemental iodine. Note: There are other kinds of iodine out there, like "nascent iodine", atomidine, and I believe a couple of others. I've not learned enough about them as of yet to make any knowledgeable comments about them.

    Iodine and Brain Function: "Lack of iodine during pregnancy is the leading cause of intellectual impairment in the world." -- A severe iodine deficiency that causes profound neurological damage and mental retardation is called cretinism. I've seen several references to a child's IQ being compromised by as much as 10-15 IQ points just from relatively mild iodine insufficiency during pregnancy.

    The fetus,--and especially the fetal brain--undergo rapid (and critical) phases of apoptosis during pregnancy. The iodine levels in the fetus during this time can actually be as much as 5x greater than that of the mother during this time. Also, iodine is highly concentrated in breast milk, as high levels of iodine are also required for the fast growing infant.

    Iodine and Improved Energy: The thyroid gland is critical for normal metabolism and energy production in the body. It's also critical for mitochondrial health, and as I recall, quite a few other areas of physiology having to do with energy production. A sense of increased energy and vitality is one of the most commonly noted aspects I've seen in the many online testimonials I've read. It's been one area that I've definitely noticed for myself. Though my overall functionality has improved only modestly so far, I do feel a much greater sense of "resiliency" in my system, and feel optimistic I'm building a foundation for myself as I go forward.

    Iodine and Detoxification (incl. Methylation): Iodine supplementation will almost always result in significant halide detoxification (flourines, chloriness, bromine, etc,). These ubiquitous toxins displace iodine in cell receptor sites, and when they in turn are displaced by adequate iodine intake, it can lead to detoxification symptoms. This why it's recommended that iodine supplementation be approached with a degree of caution, especially for people with detoxification problems. Supplemental Vitamin C, salt, and transdermal magnesium chloride are often recommended to greatly support detoxification of these halides.

    This comment I found online describes just some of the aspects of detoxification that occur (or can occur) when beginning iodine supplementation:

    "Would we like another good reason to have normal iodine levels? How about for proper methylation! In simple terms methylation is a process in which certain chemicals called 'methyl groups' are added to various constituents of proteins, DNA and other molecules. These are needed to keep them in good working condition. And if 'methyl' sounds familiar, it's part of methylcobalamin which is the active form of B12.

    So long story short, not enough iodine = underactive thyroid = not enough T4 which is needed to convert vitamin B2 (riboflavin) to its active co-enzyme form "FAD" which is needed for proper methylation. So it doesn't matter how much B2 you have, or how good your B12 level is, without sufficient T4 from a proper functioning thyroid, you won't have normal methylation (even if your MTHFR gene is normal). This will not be on the test."​
  2. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    My initial post was apparently too long, so had to break it up into two parts. This is the second part...

    Iodine Literate Medical Doctors (ILMDs): There appears to be somewhat of an "iodine revolution" going on these past few years, largely due to the proliferation of knowledge being available and discussed online. This knowledge is stemming from examination of much of the scientific research that's been done, but often misunderstood or downright rejected by mainstream conventional medicine (sound familiar?).

    One of the pioneers in this field is Lynne Farrow, who developed breast cancer, researched extensively, and after 8 long years, finally discovered the connection between iodine deficiency and breast cancer. Here's a link to her website: "Breast Cancer Choices". She credits iodine supplementation as being indispensable to her recovery.

    She wrote about her experiences in the book, "The Iodine Crisis: What You Don't Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life". I think it's an excellent book, with a comprehensive history on how iodine was tragically shoved out of mainstream medicine, and how things are at long last starting to change with long-standing scientific evidence being correctly interpreted by some intrepid health care practitioners. -- Dr. Brownstein and Dr. Sircus are a couple of other pioneers, and have also written extensively on iodine supplementation.

    I'll finish by mentioning that what I've written is only a short, broad outline of the whole topic of iodine, its history, and its many critical functions in the body. I tried to focus in on those areas that I feel are most relevant to pw/ME/CFS, but there are even more than I've listed. I thought I'd wait on posting about what I've learned until I could be more comprehensive. But what I'm learning just seems to be never-ending, so decided it's better to get started than to be too obsessive about being comprehensive. :)

    From all the research I've done so far, I've learned that most (if not all) ILMDs believe over 90% of the population is iodine deficient, many of them severely so. Given that iodine is critical for areas of health that so many people with ME/CFS struggle with, I've come to believe that any progress we may be able to make by incorporating various health measures will most likely always be limited unless we address any iodine deficiencies we may be dealing with.

    All the Best, Wayne
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  3. jkennedy

    jkennedy Member

    Thanks for posting this, Wayne. I take iodine mostly for breast health.

    A long time ago I did the home iodine loading test in which you take a large dose of iodine--in my case, 4 Iodoral--and collect your urine for 24 hours to see how much you retain. I retained only 30%, so my P.A. recommended daily Iodoral for me.

    What I found interesting is that the large dose of Iodoral gave me a really good night's sleep at a time when my sleep was horrible. I don't know why it had that effect.

    I'm glad I did the home test although I really disliked it. You have to collect urine in a gallon jug and refrigerate it. It was pretty gross collecting it and putting it in the fridge. My husband really didn't like seeing it on what he considers the wine shelf.
    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  4. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi @jkennedy,

    My understanding is that a 30% retention is quite low, as optimal is 90% or greater, which iodine supplementation regimens aspire to. I recently read an article on iodine, which gave a pretty good succinct reference to restoring iodine sufficiency...

    "Dr. Michael B. Schachter says, “The treatment dose when a person is iodine insufficient is generally between 12.5 mg and 50 mg daily. Preliminary research indicates that if a person is iodine insufficient, it takes about 3 months to become iodine sufficient while ingesting a dosage of 50 mg of iodine and a year to become iodine sufficient while ingesting a dosage of 12.5 mg of iodine daily. However, the patient needs to be monitored closely with awareness of possible side effects and detoxification reactions.”"​

    I'm happy to hear about your improved sleep. This is a common experience for those doing of iodine supplementation. My own sleep has been noticeably better since I started supplementing late last year.

    BTW, the forum wouldn't let me post my entire initial post in one place. Be sure to read my second post, which summarizes some of my thoughts.

    Best, Wayne
  5. hangininthere

    hangininthere Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you reminded me to take my kelp and l-glutathione. Haven't taken them in years.

    I've been having such severe brain fog, such as at my dentist appointment today, that I seemed like I had dementia.

    I dug out my old expired bottles of kelp and L- glutathione an hour ago, and now have already sharpened up enough to post. Most supplements work instantly on me, believe it or not. I just now ordered some fresh bottles online.

    I've been having terrible trouble with my nose running constantly, and nothing helps. Looking forward to the iodine possibly helping.

    Also, iodine reminds me of this interesting article I read a few years back.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  6. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Patti,

    Happy to hear how well you responded to the iodine and glutathione. You might want to check out this thread (snippet below) by a woman who discovered a nasal spray glutathione helped immensely for her brain fog. Thanks for the link to the Akron study. Very interesting--plus, I'm really into history.
    "I feel like I only come here when I'm really struggling so I wanted to come here to share some positive news.

    For the first time in 20+ years, I can actually say that I'm feeling pretty good. I have sustained energy that lasts me from waking until bedtime. I'm able to stay on my feet for long periods of time. I've started light exercise. I have better mental clarity (but still struggle with memory loss and brain fog. it's just significantly improved). No muscle aches, migraines. Still have nocturia and incontinence issues. -- Anyway, here is what has helped me:

    Pindolol - I feel like doctors overlooked my heart issues my whole life or didn't treat them as seriously as they were. Dr Vera put me on this beta blocker and I was reluctant to take it because i had bad associations with them. But it changed everything. I could stand without feeling dizzy or exhausted. My energy felt stable. I didn't get the afternoon crashes. I'm able to lightly exercise without feeling my heart rate skyrocket.

    Glutathione nasal spray - I've had a wonderful response to this. This has had the greatest impact on brain fog, mental clarity and energy.

    Niacin, 500mg - this gives me wonderful, lasting energy. I feel so great on it. I worry it's not sustainable but for now, I take it once a day religiously. I've had nothing but positive reactions to it. I can't say enough great things about niacin. I love the way I feel on it.

    Rhodiola Rosea, 500mg - this was my previous standby for giving me energy and helping me feel more able to get through the day. It lost some of it's effect but combined with the niacin and ubiquinol, seems to really help.

    Ubiquinol - 100mg per day - when I don't take this, I notice I get more body aches and feel more tired.

    A couple of other points: pindolol. I've tried beta blockers in the past and they made me more dizzy, more tired and I hated them. Pindolol has been the polar opposite. My heart is totally stable and I just feel like I can be on my feet all day and without this constant anxiety of needing to find a place to sit. Whenever my husband gets home from work, I would typically say "hi. i need to lie down" and he'd watch the kids while I went and lay down. He pointed out to me that I haven't said that in weeks now. That I've been active, helping with dinner, playing with the kids, upright without complaint. That is huge for me."​
    hangininthere likes this.
  7. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    hi wayne. good reading , thanks for sharing. here is my question. can you supplement iodine products, when you are already being treated, and taking synthroid drug? im afraid to mix them. so far my thyroid blood work comes back good for yrs now. and have been on the same dose of synthroid for yrs. so i dont want to rock the boad. but i am always bone tired from the cfs.

    thanks, joanie
  8. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    forgot to mention, that i am hypo, not hyperthyroid. joanie
  9. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    "can you supplement iodine products, when you are already being treated, and taking synthroid drug? im afraid to mix them. so far my thyroid blood work comes back good for yrs now. and have been on the same dose of synthroid for yrs. so i dont want to rock the boad. but i am always bone tired from the cfs.

    Hi @joanierav,

    I don't consider myself an expert on thyroid issues, but can only make certain assumptions from what I've read and learned. Here's my best understanding...

    When you take anything that helps support thyroid function (which it appears you now currently doing), it actually requires "MORE" iodine to function properly. What the body will usually do in this kind of situation is to "redirect" iodine from other parts of the body (usually scarce to begin with), and give it to the thyroid gland.

    This can make the rest of the body even more deficient than it was. Every cell in the body needs iodine for metabolic needs (and energy production). Our endocrine system needs a great deal of that just to make hormones (all of which contain iodine). So it makes sense, to me anyway, to make sure the body has adequate amounts of iodine, whether or not you're supplementing with some kind of thyroid support.

    You may find this information by an Iodine Literate Medical Doctor helpful...

    One simple pill stops breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers

    Are you taking iodine? You do if you are my patient. I recommend iodine to all of my patients because I believe it will prevent breast and prostate cancers. Even though there's no direct proof of this, there's a substantial amount of indirect evidence. But one thing is for sure. Taking iodine will prevent the most serious form of the most common cancer there is. I'm talking about thyroid cancer.

    Iodine is critical for the formation of thyroid hormones. And thyroid hormones are essential for life. They are the hormones that specifically tell the cells to do what they are supposed to do. So when you're iodine deficient, your cells stop working and things start falling apart. The brain then registers this and sends stimulating signals to the thyroid to produce the hormones the body needs so badly. This causes the thyroid to overwork, and eventually the over stimulation of the thyroid gland can result in the formation of an aggressive thyroid cancer.

    The best form of iodine is called Lugol's solution. It was developed way back in 1829 by, you guessed it, Dr. Lugol. It is a mixture of potassium iodide and elemental iodine. You can buy it at in either a liquid or a tablet. The tablet form is the best way to take it. The dose I recommend for all adults is one 12.5 mg tablet per day. But what about testing, you say?

    About 15 years ago, a challenge test for optimum iodine levels was developed. I started doing the test on all of my patients. But guess what? Every single one of the hundreds of tests I did indicated that no one had adequate levels of iodine. Absolutely no one. So I called the director of one of the labs and asked him about it. And he confirmed that he had never seen a normal test on someone who was not already taking an iodine supplement.

    So naturally I asked him, "Then why should I do the test if everyone is going to end up being low anyway?" His answer was, "It just seems like a reasonable thing to do." So instead of doing an initial test, I simply started giving everyone 12.5 mg of Lugol's every day. Then I did the test after they were on it for a few months. And sure enough, that was all that was needed to establish a normal result.

    By the way, 12.5 mg is the average amount of iodine that Japanese men and women get in their diets. And the Japanese have lower risks for both prostate and breast cancer. But here's an interesting statistic. When Japanese men and women move to the U.S. and adopt an American diet, which contains only a fraction of the iodine the traditional Japanese diet has, they have the same cancer risks as Americans have.

    Yours for better health,

    Frank Shallenberger, MD​
  10. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi again @joanierav,

    I forgot to mention... When a person who's taking a thyroid supplement starts iodine supplementation, they will will generally need LESS of their thyroid supplementation. If this isn't monitored closely, it's possible (and it happens), a person could end up with hyperthyroid symptoms.​
  11. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    hi wayne. thanks so much for your reply. now im afraid to try iodine with the synthroid. because i wouldnt know how much to take. i would not want to topple into hyperthyroid. ive heard that can happen with other things causing it. and it is no fun. i will think about what to do. joanie
  12. joanierav

    joanierav Member

    wayne, i forgot to mention. i would never mention this to my endo, because you know she would never approve of iodine supplementation. so dont know what to do. joanie