Posted by Bill (San Fernando, Philippines) on 11/29/2011 | 1161 Posts
Dr Brownstein has written an interesting review of his own clinical experiences using lugol's iodine. His work illustrates the necessity of taking both iodide and iodine in lugol's form -- which contains both iodide and elemental iodine. Here are some extracts:
One and a half years ago, I began testing my patients for the [iodine] loading test. Although I expected lowered body iodine levels, I was not ready for the magnitude of the results. After testing over 500 patients, I found that 94. 7% of my patients are deficient in inorganic iodine. Many of these patients were already being treated by me for thyroid and other endocrine imbalances, including SSKI. When physiologic doses of iodine/iodide were added to their regimen, many of these patients showed dramatic improvement in their condition, especially patients who were non-responders, even though some were taking SSKI.
Iodine deficiency is often thought of as synonymous with thyroid malfunction, particularly with the development of goiter. The research is clear that iodine deficiency can lead to cysts and nodules of the thyroid gland. David Marine reported the benefits of treating school-aged children with iodine/iodide (Lugol's solution) nearly 70 years ago. Marine looked at two groups: a control group and a treatment group, which received 9mg/day of iodine/iodide. The iodine/iodide treatment group had a 0. 2% incidence of goiter while the control group had a 22% goiter 110x difference. This was the first U.S. Iodine study showing the decline of goiter formation with the use of iodine. Shortly after this study, iodized salt was initiated which was a great success in eliminating goiter in the U.S.
In medical school, little was taught about iodine. Specifically, we were taught that the iodization of salt was implemented to prevent goiter and therefore no further iodine was necessary in the diet. After studying the literature on iodine, I realized what I was taught in medical school was incorrect. The iodization of salt was adequate to lessen the prevalence of goiter, but it did not address the rest of the body's need for iodine.
I was initially hesitant to use higher (>1mg) doses of iodine due to my concern about causing adverse effects. In reviewing much of the literature there was concern about larger doses of iodine causing hyperthyroid symptoms. However, a further, more exhaustive review of the literature failed to prove that iodine, in milligram doses ever was shown to cause hyperthyroid symptoms. In fact, as iodine levels have fallen over 50% in the last 30 years in the United States, autoimmune disorders and hyperthyroid symptoms have been increasing at near epidemic proportions.
After testing individuals and finding low iodine levels, I began to use smaller milligram amounts of iodine/iodide (6.25mg/day). Upon retesting these individuals 1-2 months later, little progress was made. I therefore began using higher milligram doses (6. 25-50mg) to increase the serum levels of iodine. It was only with these higher doses that I began to see clinical improvement as well as positive changes in the laboratory tests.
Why would people need the larger doses of iodine? Why have iodine levels fallen 50% in the last 30 years? As I pondered these questions, I came to the conclusion that the toxicity of modern life must be impacting iodine levels. It is well known that the toxic halides, fluoride and bromide, having a similar structure as iodine, can competitively inhibit iodine absorption and binding in the body.
Source: Clinical Experience with Inorganic Non-radioactive Iodine/Iodides
Clearly, from the above research, not all forms of iodine will have the same beneficial effect and smaller dosages seem to be insufficient for whole body iodine/iodide sufficiency. SSKI contains only Potassium Iodide(I-) but lugol's contains KI(I-) as well as elemental iodine(I2), so they are not the same thing -- the former is the antioxidant ionic form and the latter is the pro-oxidant molecular form. Furthermore, although SSKI is extremely beneficial, lugols has a more widespread beneficial effect on the body because of the added elemental iodine(I2).
Here is some research by Eskin and Ghent et al (1995):
Biol Trace Elem Res. 1995. Jul;49(1):9-19
Different tissue responses for iodine and iodide in rat thyroid and mammary glandsby Eskin BA, Grotkowski CE, Connolly CP, Ghent WR. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19129, USA. This research describes the effects of short-term elemental iodine (I2) and iodide (I-) replacement on thyroid glands and mammary glands of iodine-deficient (ID) Sprague-Dawley female rats. Iodine deficiency causes atypical tissue and physiologic changes in both glands. Tissue histopathology and the endocrine metabolic parameters, such as serum TT4, tissue and body weights, and vaginal smears, are compared. A moderate reduction in thyroid size from the ID control (IDC) was noted with both I- and I2, whereas serum total thyroxine approached the normal control with both I- and I2, but was lower in IDC. Thyroid gland IDC hyperplasia was reduced modestly with I2, but eliminated with I-. Lobular hyperplasia of the mammary glands decreased with I2 and increased with I- when compared with the IDC; extraductal secretions remained the same as IDC with I2, but increased with I-; and periductal fibrosis was markedly reduced with I2, but remained severe with I-. Thus, orally administered I2 or I- in trace doses with similar iodine availability caused different histopathological and endocrine patterns in thyroid and mammary glands of ID rats. The significance of this is that replacement therapy with various forms of iodine are tissue-specific.
Editor's Note: As cited above, for iodine-deficient rats, iodine was more beneficial than iodide for the mammary gland. Similarly, for humans with fibrocystics breasts, the patients incurred more benefits from supplementing with iodine rather than iodide. The benefits included a reduction in breast size and remission of disease symptoms.
Therefore what becomes plainly apparent form all the above research are the following points:
* Iodide and elemental iodine do not have the same beneficial effects on the body because certain areas and organs of the body may specifically uptake only the iodide or only uptake the elemental iodine or even perhaps an intermediate form -- Triiodide(I3-) -- arising from a combination reaction between the Iodide and Iodine forms to resolve problems. So both forms are therefore needed for proper whole body sufficiency.
* Larger doses of both iodide and iodine are needed to resolve major problems in the body. Microgram amounts will only ever satisfy the thyroid, whereas larger milligram amounts are unquestionably needed for whole body iodine/iodide sufficiency.
* A paradigm shift in the thinking needs to occur regarding the human body's requirement for iodine/iodine. The body needs 100 times more iodide/iodine than the thyroid -- which only requires the iodide form. Therefore medical thought should more correctly consider this iodine/iodide need as a whole body deficiency rather than just as a singular thyroid deficiency.
As to why Lugol's Iodine causes probems with some people can perhaps be put down to the elemental iodine content in the lugols which can be harsh on the stomach. Both Lugol's Iodine and Nascent Iodine both contain the Triiodide form -- the most biovailable and friendly form for the body which is also not harsh on the stomach. However, Nascent Iodine, because of its electromagnetic formation, contains far more triiodide than lugols. Because of this and whereas one drop of Lugols Iodine contains 6.25 mgs iodide/iodine, Nascent Iodine only contains about 0.6 mgs iodine per drop -- but because most of it is in the triiodide form, this form is absorbed into the body ten times more efficiently than the lugol's form. Triiodide can also easily be absobed sub-lingually or in the stomach and has a much faster action on the body than Lugol's Iodine. The one drawback here is that Nascent Iodine is much more expensive than lugol's iodine because it involves a more complex electromagnetic process.