Health Benefits

Benefits of Iodine for Health

Inflammatory Breast Disease

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Janna (Boston, MA) on 04/01/2008

re: lugols and inflammatory breast disease. My breast was leaking a bloody discharge, and after reading articles on Lugols, specifically Dr. Miller's article (Seattle) and work done in Canada, I procured lugols and started to paint it onto my breast using a paintbrush. After a couple months the discharge stopped, the pain stopped, and I have had no further problems.

Iodine Book Recommendations

Posted by Robert (Martinez, Ca, Usa) on 06/19/2010

I will refer readers to Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., who has spent 25 years researching Iodine/Iodide & using this dual supplement in a very inexpensive formulation called Iodoral. He states that both iodine & iodide are necessary as they are needed by different bodily systems. Dr. Brownstein's books are also inexpensive on Amazon, about $10 or less. The amount of iodine/iodide in one tablet is 5 mg & 7.5 respectively for a total of 12.5 mg. The average Japanese diet contains about 13.8 mg which is 100 times the RDA. Fluoride is a poison & if you do research, please note that Adolph Hitler used fluoride to passivate the German people. Fluoride will disrupt the functioning of both the thyroid & brain. Note also that most of the antidepressants on the market contain fluorine. It is important to have a healthcare professional test iodine levels by load testing & checking urine for iodine levels excreted. Saliva/serum levels of iodine can be used to detect a transport deficiency which may be remedied by the use of Vitamin C & unrefined sea salt. Dr. Brownstein states that "iodine deficiency is a huge public health problem. The exposure to goitrogens,(substances that promote goiter), including bromide, fluoride, & chlorine derivatives, has exacerbated the iodine deficiency problem. It is one of the main underlying causes of many varied illnesses including thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cancer (including breast & prostate), & other health issues". Some people are highly sensitive to meds & supplements & they may need to take microdoses of iodine in the form of Atomidine which is Edgar Cayce's formulation & also used by Brownstein in his clinical practice .Lugol's solution was developed by Jean Lugol a French physician who found in 1829 that iodine was not very soluble in water & used potassium iodide. The final soluton was a mixture of 5% iodine & 10% pot. iodide in distilled water. Two drops were taken which contained 5mg iodine & 7.5mg iodide. Iodide is the reduced form of iodine which contains an extra electron.It was thought that the intestinal tract could easily convert iodine to iodide but research has shown this is not true. Different tissues of the body respond to the different forms of iodine. The thyroid gland primarily uses iodide.To decrease the incidence of goiter, pot. iodide was added to table salt. The problem with the commercial salts is they are chemically processed & toxic. Real salt which is minimally processed & only air/sun dried is the best salt to use which also contains trace minerals. Dr. Brownstein also has a book on salt.As the thyroid primarily uses iodide, the breasts utilize iodine. Iodine will decrease lipoperoxidation of breast tissue & body in general. Lipoperoxidation can lead to many serious illnesses such as cancer & autoimmune disorders. Different tissues concentrate different forms of iodine & using a supplement that contains both iodine & iodide is preferable to using one that contains only one form. The downside to Lugol's solution is the dosing which can be inconsistent, as one drop may not be the same size each time it is measured. Iodoral is in tablet form & can be titrated to the needed dose. Again it is important to get tested for your individual needs.

Iodine Deficiency

Posted by Bill (San Fernando, Philippines) on 03/08/2012

There are many who are still either extremely skeptical or who are fearful of supplementing Lugol's Iodine for health. But, just recently, I have found a series of 5 videos by Dr Brownstein, who fully describes in detail why iodine -- in the form of lugol's iodine -- is so necessary for the body. He lists and talks about all the diseases and illneses which are actually caused by iodine deficiency -- and the number is profuse. He also presents all the statististics, history of use and current research evidence which may surprise you. This series of videos is based on his well known book -- Iodine:Why you Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It.

Here is the first video in the series(you can easily find the other 4 videos in the series on youtube):

Replied by Kami
(Texas, US)

Hello, I see that you're from the Philippines and I have a friend who would like to try Lugol's or Iodoral, but she hasn't found a good source and said that the stores don't carry it in her area. Could you steer me in the right direction. Is there a company that will ship to her and that won't cost an arm and a leg in shipping charges? Thank you so much!!

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando)

Hi Kami...You can buy 500 mls of Lugol's Iodine in Manila for delivery within the Philippines from this website:

Lugol's Iodine -- Manila

The above 500 mls or half liter of lab grade lugols iodine will only cost you 380 pesos($8.52) and is astonishingly cheap(and will last you for years) when you compare it's price against J Crow's LI(made in America) which costs a ridiculous $25 for just 30 mls of LI for equine use.

Other vendors of LI in Manila are shown below:

Light Infinity Wellness Center,
West Avenue, near Baler ST,
Quezon City
Tel: 414 10298

Generics King Pharmacy
San Francisco
930-G Del Monte Ave,
SFDM, 1104 Quezon City,
Tel: 632-4116692

Iodine Deficiency
Posted by Sara (Sacramento, Ca, Usa) on 12/21/2011

Hello Everyone!

Does Iodine deficiency cause cracked feet? How do I know if I am iodine deficient? I have been suffering from cracked feet my whole life. I tried from A to Z nothing had been working. I will highly appreciate if someone will share thier thought here. Thanks

Replied by Jen
(Bozeman, Mt, Us)

It's possible that you have a hypothyroid. One of the symptoms of a hypothyroid is severe cracked feet. Iodine might help if this is the case. You should check out the symptoms of hypothyroid and maybe get tested for it just to be sure. Some of the other symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
  • Coarse, dry hair
  • Dry, rough pale skin
  • Hair loss
  • Cold intolerance (you can't tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
  • Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles (usually heavy and/or long)
  • Decreased libido (due to hormone imbalances and depression)

You can have your thyroid hormone levels checked by your regular doctor or do some simple tests at home to get an idea. Just be very careful if you are diagnosed with hypothyroid problems as regular doctors like to fix this by prescribing synthetic hormones which usually don't work.

One way to check your thyroid at home is to take your temperature a few times throughout the day. If it is below 98. 6 around 3 pm then it is very possible you have low thyroid function and possibly hypothyroid disease. You can go to these sites for help with temperature and thyroid info.

Iodine Deficiency
Posted by Susan (USA)

The classic sign of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland. Some people with hypothyroidism develop an extremely large thyroid, known as goiter. Today, iodine deficiencies in the United States and other developed countries are rare because table salt is supplemented with iodine and crops in developed countries are generally grown in iodine-rich soil. In developing countries, however, where soil is often low in iodine, more than one billion people are estimated to be at risk for disorders caused by iodine deficiencies.

Iodine offers a variety of potential therapeutic uses, primarily in the prevention of hypothyroidism. A health care provider may also recommend iodine supplements for the following conditions:

Fibrocystic Breast Changes

There is some evidence to suggest that hypothyroidism and/or iodine deficiencies may contribute to the development of fibrocystic breast tissue. People with fibrocystic breasts experience tenderness, particularly just before menstruation. Certain foods may worsen breast tenderness such as caffeine (including from chocolate) and high fat foods. During a physical exam, the doctor can feel cysts and fibrous (hardened) tissue. A review of clinical studies found that iodine replacement therapy (particularly for those with low levels of iodine) may improve the tenderness associated with fibrocystic breast tissue. The women taking iodine experienced very few side effects.

Iodine deficiency has also been associated with ovarian cysts, breast cancer, thyroid goiter and hypothyroidism. Recent work in the field of iodine deficiency has shown that replacement therapy decreases the risk of breast cancer and promotes the reversal of fibrocystic breast disease.


Many women with chronic vaginal symptoms use over-the-counter preparations such as iodine to relieve symptoms. Iodine, used as a douche, may reduce vaginal inflammation as well as the itching and discharge that go along with this health condition. Povidone-iodine has the advantage of iodine without the disadvantages of stinging and staining.

Douch for vaginitis: generally two tablespoons of an iodine solution to one quart of warm water once per day. Douching should not be done without first consulting your healthcare provider.


Iodine is commonly used as a topical treatment for wounds. Ointments containing iodine are frequently used on burns to lower the risk of infection.

Dietary Sources

Iodized salt is the primary dietary source of iodine. Plant and animal sea life, such as shellfish, white deep-water fish, and brown seaweed kelp, absorb iodine from the water and are great sources of iodine. Garlic, lima beans, sesame seeds, soybeans, spinach, Swiss chard, summer squash, and turnip greens are also good sources of this mineral. Bakeries may also add iodine to dough as a stabilizing agent, making bread another source of iodine.


Foods that prevent the body from using iodine are: turnip, cabbage, mustard greens, cassava root, soybeans, peanuts, pinenuts and millet. These foods are called goitrogens and excessive consumption can cause goiters. However, cooking usually inactivates goitrogens.

Available Forms of Iodine

Sodium iodide (iodine) is available as part of a multivitamin/mineral combination or as a topical treatment for wounds.


Sudden, large doses of iodine may impair the production of thyroid hormones, causing hypothyroidism temporarily in someone with otherwise normal thyroid function. Excessive iodine intake can also increase the risk for other thyroid diseases such as Hashimoto's, Graves', certain thyroid cancers, and thyrotoxicosis (a dangerous condition due to an excessive amount of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream). For these reasons, iodine supplementation is not recommended for people who live in areas where iodine levels are sufficient.


11/24/2006: Our Bangkok contributor Ted writes, "Iodine is taken when you suspect you have a deficiency. But it is not taken everyday at all and often it is taken once or twice a week. Only when you know you need it. Seaweed contains both iodine and bromine, which generally means you can't overdose on iodine. The reason is simple: bromine displaces iodine. But when bromine and iodine are present together, it makes for iodine bioavailability, while bakery products high in bromine will displace the iodine. The interesting thing is when bromine and iodine (found in nature) as in seaweed are found together, once the body doesn't need iodine it can easily be removed due to the presence of bromine. I have not seen any case of excess iodine consumption from taking of seaweed, but I have seen quite often excess consumption of iodine when they are added in the salt and taken too much. The reason is nature presents us with many minerals in their respective ratios and their antagonism preventing such an overdose and allowing the body to achieve greater equilibrium. This issue appears to be consuming foods from natural rather than chemical if you fear of any possible overdose. Ted"

Replied by Mona
(Minneapolis, Minnesota)

A couple of comments on the above statements:

1. Iodine is found in every cell in the body and the thyroid is only one of the organs in the body that stores iodine. The mammary glands store even more iodine than the thyroid. Research being done by the Iodine Project is finding that women with breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease are all iodine deficient. There are also strong connections between iodine deficiency and ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. A study in Italy followed 26 pregnancies and children over 10 years and found that 11 of 16 children from iodine deficient area were diagnosed ADHD and each mother was iodine deficient during pregnancy. (None of the 11 children born in the iodine sufficient area had ADHD.) The thyroid's demonstration of an iodine deficiency by swelling (goiter) is a symptom known for well over a century. Goiter had been successfully treated with iodine therapy since the 1800's. Then in about 1948 a couple of scientists did a study and reported some misled and unsupported conclusions that sent iodine therapies for humans into oblivion. They sparked iodophobia within the world that may have caused the destruction to our health that is manifesting in many of our modern ailments and diseases.

2. "Today, iodine deficiencies in the United States and other developed countries are rare because table salt is supplemented with iodine and crops in developed countries are generally grown in iodine-rich soil. In developing countries, however, where soil is often low in iodine, more than one billion people are estimated to be at risk for disorders caused by iodine deficiencies."

This statement is inaccurate. The soil of the Great Lakes region of the US is extremely iodine-deficient and has been since the last glacier melted. The Great Lakes region is referred to as the "Goiter Belt." The population living there may have fewer goiters now, and the iodization of the table salt may have played a role, but so did the iodine used in the flour that made their bread and the iodine used to wash the dairy cow's udders. But the iodophobia that struck after WWII and the use of the competing, opportunistic, toxic halides--fluorine, chlorine, and bromine--in iodine's place is destroying our health. Iodized table salt remains on our grocers' shelves, but less than half of the population buys iodized salt, and the salt they are buying contains other harmful chemicals used in the processing of the salt. The iodine in bread has been replaced by bromine which is toxic to our bodies. We fluoridate and chlorinate our drinking water, both toxic, competing halides that will readily take over iodine's receptors in our bodies--but they don't do iodine's job!

Did you know that studies--several, good, strong studies--have been done around the world comparing the number of dental problems in the populations of fluoridated water communities to those of non-fluoridated communities and the studies show NO DIFFERENCES! Fluoride in your drinking water is not helping to ensure that you have fewer cavities, in fact, about only thing it might be doing for you is weakening your bones as it replaces the calcium in the structure. Think of that when your hip breaks!

Did you know that bromine is found in your bread, your soda pop, your mattress, your upholstery, your computer, your car, in the chemicals applied to your food supply, and in the chemicals you spray around your home to kill bugs?

On a much brighter note, did you know that the Iodine Project's research is finding that when your body has sufficient iodine, it can actually win back its territory and step back in to do the job these toxic, worthless, intruding cousins have not been doing? Iodine supplementation--inorganic, nonradioactive iodine, such as that found in Lugol's or Iodoral (tablet form of Lugol's) can detoxify your body, removing excess bromine and mercury and lead and others.

This link is a good starting point if you want to read some good information on iodine research."

04/01/2009: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Much of current research on iodine has been focused on intake of iodine, which is not a proper view of things for a couple of reasons. Namely halogens competing against iodine including chlorine, fluorine and bromine displaces iodine. Hence, in a place where there is fluoridated and chlorinated water, and where diets are high in white flour which uses bromine bleaching process all depletes iodine, so you end up having iodine deficiencies despite adequate levels of iodine intake. An iodine cannot be properly utilized also without sufficient tyrosine. There was a study of taking of inorganic iodine to resolve iodine deficiency but it failed to raise iodine levels up once deficiency has already happened. But what is so interesting is that the raising iodine levels seems to occur best if the iodine are in an organic forms found in seaweed and kelp and can raise the iodine levels. Exposure to fluoride, bromine and chlorine isn't helping so it's best to first avoid these other halogens as well as taking more bioavailable forms of iodine. More inorganic can help prevent some of the deficiencies and may also help ovarian cysts and fiborcystic disease as mentioned. And it's also likely that pregnant woman may need more supplements given to breast feeding has a good chance of depletion of iodine levels. And without sufficient iodine may lead to other conditions as well as ADHD and ADD, but I have also found mother who do have these condition to have a very high heavy metals during term pregnancy, including higher than average levels of cadmium, lead, mercury and other toxic heavy metals.

It is also important to note that when a person is afflicted with any number of conditions such as ovarian cysts for example, yes, iodine helps, but there were other factors that was in play also that seemed to significantly caused ovarian cyst such as the taking of birth control pills, such as estrogen or hormone replacement. What happens is that external sources of estrogen often leads to a hormonal shutdown whenever the body detects a spike of estrogen from pills, but this doesn't occur with hormonal patch, since the release is transdermal and the amount is small compared to taking pills which leads to a spike causing the body to shut down hormonal production for about 1-2 month, at which time the body becomes overly dependent to external hormones instead. During which time this lead to either polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), or ovarian cysts. It tends to occur in woman after 30 years of age, more often rises significantly around 33 years of age. In which case ovarian pain can occur. What is so interesting is an ovarian cyst may occur as early as a woman in the mid 20s, such as 25 years of age due to past mold exposures in the home (something like a decade or more), the common one being the black mold, which generates aflatoxins and mycotoxins, that leads to a breakdown of proteins, especially the glandular functions such as ovaries, thymus, thyroid and adrenal, being the most frequent ones I have seen. The molds and fungus generally creates these mycotoxins in order to breakdown the the protein with which the fungus can grow, unfortunately these can be our own body's organ and it is this that it causes mensturation pain during or after menstruation period. The other issue that leads to cyst, besides low magnesium, excessive calcium and metabolic acidosis from acid forming foods, found mostly in the flour is the major issue of blood sugar. For a cyst to occur, a blood sugar spikes commonly occur after eating or a generally high blood sugar, leading to ovarian cysts being the most common issue, more so than the issue of iodine. In fact certain PCOS or ovarian cysts for example, the single most effective remedy I have found, after looking over many supplements such as vitamin B complex, selenium, iodine, magnesium, alkalization, which are indeed important, including copper, is the chromium. If long term chromium deficiency is there, it leads to a blood sugar problem and causes the calcium to be many times more soluble in blood leading to calcium accumulation of healthy tissue. Therefore the single most effective remedies against cysts, which leads to hirsute, is the chromium supplements. Iodine, selenium, and the other mentioned while important isn't as nearly important as alkalization and the need to control blood sugar, assuming on average person who consumes typical Western food. Many supplements have to be taken, but the two needs them most often and the dose for chromium is also higher than average, where the effective dose to deal with this condition appears to be 1500 mcg.

As to the fibrocystic disease, seems to be the issue of generalized glandular suppression, that occurs from overall high fluorine and chlorine exposure during young adult life plus an exposure to black molds, fungus in general. A vaccination is also high in mycoplasma, so that's not helping either, and most antibiotics are in fact made from fungus, so it may be possible to have certain forms of mycotoxins that leads to side effects and may not be just the antibiotics in itself.

What I am trying to say is I tend to view environmental exposure that needs to be considered first, and view each of the diseases that's needed to reverse the condition, then looking on any individual supplements to help. For each condition it needs a specific supplements as in the case of PCOS I have mentioned.

In another case a person may have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and yes, iodine did help some, but tyrosine is also needed so that the body can utilize the iodine. However, for a chronic fatigue syndrome the most effective so far, at least in the short term is the hydrogen peroxide be added in the drinking water being the most helpful of all, especially if they are viral in nature.

So as you can see I tend to view the disease and the cause of disease and the environmental exposure as the primary way to look at finding the proper remedy. It's not easy solution, but it's the most effective way. Obviously a company which markets iodine or specific supplement may prefer to promote the one bullet theory, or someone I know to promote one other single theory which cures everything. It doesn't work that way because I have seen too many cases of people who thinks one supplement will do it, as in MMS, or colloidal silver, but that is rarely the case to get a cure. The best way is often an array of different supplements and the understanding of the cause, and environmental exposure that relates to that specific condition rather than any individual supplements.


04/14/2009: Mona from Minneapolis, MN replies: ""Organic iodine" does not imply a form of iodine grown in natural conditions as in iodine from an organic farm. Iodine is a mineral, an element like iron, aluminum, or gold. "Organic iodine," therefore, would be an iodic compound that contains a carbon atom, as in a compound formulated in a laboratory that contains iodine molecule(s) and carbon molecule(s), such as ethylenediamide dihydriodide salt (Organic Iodine 20). The correct statement for the type of iodine present in seaweed is "inorganic iodine," meaning a compound of iodine that does not contain a carbon molecule(s), such as potassium iodide or sodium iodide (both salts of iodine). The inorganic, nonradioactive iodines are the only forms of iodine which are safe for the body.

Organic iodines are present in pharmaceuticals, such as the organically-bound iodine used in radiographic studies (x-ray or CT "contrast"). Radioactive iodine, or radioiodine, is the isotopic versions of iodine used in nuclear medical studies and in radioactive iodine thyroid treatment. Radioactive iodine is also the toxic fallout from nuclear reactor explosions such as the one at Chernobyl. "

08/21/2009: Alimaacd from New Fairfield, Ct Usa replies: "I have been researching Iodine supplementation as part of my treatment for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis / Hypothyroidism. I would just like to point out table salt cannot be considered a reliable source of Iodine for Americans as noted in this article. I was in 2 supermarkets yesterday looking to purchase Celtic Sea Salt which I ended up finding at my local health food store. As for the table salt, most people grab a container of salt probably without noticing that some are iodized and some or most say non-iodized and that they do not provide iodine. Even the sea salts, with the exception of one, said non-iodized."

03/15/2011: Jac from Baltimore, Usa replies: "Please help me out here- we're on a tight budget and I ordered some of 'strongest Lugol's' from an aquatic supply place. I need to be certain I'm not hurting us- especially w/the radioactive dosing we're all getting.

*** Help? ***

So, what is the percentage and safe dosage of Lugol's concentration of 3600 mg/per oz? I'm estimating 600 mg = vertical drop, and would administer one drop per gallon of H20, for half cup consumption twice a week. Thanx much!"

04/01/2011: Aginto from Toronto, On replies: "NASCENT IODINE... Isn't this the safest form of Iodine to take internally Ted? I have only ever "painted" iodine on my skin because of toxicity fears... but now I have discovered NASCENT IODINE.

Can you shed some light on this? THX"

04/03/2011: Anthony from Windsor, Ontario Canada replies: "1-4 drops a day of lugols or iodoral would be safe and incorporating 3 grams a day with vitamin C for thos who may have a difficult time with the uptake of Iodine--the research on this is when Vitamin C is added with the iodine the uptake is better and easier for those who are having difficulties with absorption--taking it with selnium and tyrosine would also increase the effciasy of all the nutrients together since they form a synergeistic activity the tyrosine with the iodine to ward of specific virals and to regulate T4-T3 conversions.

Replied by Tony
(Feltham, Middlesex)

Found the following article re iodine.

Iodine stimulates the thyroid. If you have Hashi's this can stimulate auto-immune attack. It has been known to CAUSE Hashi's in people that did not have it. This is the flip side that the iodine proponents will not tell you. Japan has the highest incidence per capita of Hashimoto's Disease, they also have the highest intake of iodine in the world.. coincidence? If you are taking thyroid hormones you are taking iodine in proper amounts. More can cause hyper symptoms ( called detox symptoms by people pushing iodine) or hypo symptoms. It can cause thyroid LABS to be inaccurate. One never knows which way labs will go when taking iodine. If your thyroid is ABLE to process it make hormones, it will make T4 from it. If you have RT3 it will make MORE of it. OK I am done. Now they will hate me even more on the iodine group that I helped to found.

Replied by Mike
(Denver, Colorado)

A whale doesn't take an iodine supplement he gets plenty of iodine from whole foods plus all the other nutrients in their proper proportion these are some ways to get all the iodine and everything else you need take hawaiian spirulina they get the water from a certain depth that is highest in nutrients lowest in pollutants they have a special drying procedure called ocean cold 4 lbs of now foods Spirulina costs $80 take 1 tsp, of trachang fish sauce from import foods 12 bottles 1 case $55, per pint of water several times a day- the salt is wind and sun dried and the magnesium removes the excess sodium from the tissues. The dosage for salt is per quantity of water not per day. Get some kelp from z naturals they and the government of canada. Check for contaminants $7 per lb take 1 gram in 12 oz of water 5 times a day monday thru friday. Take the weekend off so the body can remove the excess potassium iodide from the thyroid. The sodium in kelp is 1/3 that of sea salt if you want to take an iodine supplement that is safe take iosol. For hundreds of years naturopaths the world over have been removing the potassium from potassium iodide in kelp and replacing it with ammonium. The thyroid uses potassium iodide the rest of the tissues use ammonium iodide take 50 drops a day for 1 month as a loading dose then take 7 drops a day as a maintanance dose gods goodies save.

Replied by Carmel

We keep reading that certain vegetables and peanuts work against these things, but the British Thryoid Organisation has examined these issues in detail and insists that the amounts most people eat would not affect it, you would have to eat huge amounts of it every day for it to make any difference.

Iodine Interactions

3 User Reviews
1 star (3) 

Posted by Lin (Wa) on 03/09/2014

To Ted or anyone who can help me with this question, I would like to know as I have been reading on Iodine it says that Vitamin C cancels out Iodine. So if I need Vitamin C then must I give it up in order for the Iodine to help me? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you to Ted and Earth Clinic for being here for us.

Replied by Mike62

Lin: Animals make a lot more vitamin c than people get. They also require iodine. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that vitamin c does not cancel iodine. Maybe isolated c supplementation causes this. A 200 lb. mans tissues become saturated with c from whole foods at 200mg. After this c is no longer absorbed. C from whole foods depletes at 8%/hour. Freeze dried wild harvested acerola cherry powder has 17% c along with co factors when the product does not contain fillers.

Replied by Lin

Thank you Mike62 because of your helpful answer I went back and re read the article. I realized that I had totally misread it and they simply meant that they shouldn't be taken together. The article I read was: Iodine Remedies: Secrets From the Sea.

Replied by Bill
(San Fenando, Philippines)

Hi Lin...Regarding mixing lugol's iodine with vitamin c or ascorbic acid, I do this quite often because it's quite beneficial. Ted from Bangkok also recommends taking it this way(there's no iodine taste).

Without getting too technical, when you mix together lugols iodine and ascorbic acid with water in a glass and then add sodium bicarbonate until the fizzing stops, the molecular iodine component of lugols is converted to sodium iodide and the ascorbic acid is converted to dehydro-ascorbic acid(DHAA). Put simply, the ascorbic acid is oxidized to DHAA by molecular iodine and the molecular iodine is reduced to sodium iodide during the reaction. You can see this happening in the glass because the brown color of the molecular iodine in lugols slowly turns colorless(iodide is colorless).

Iodide is extremely useful to the body -- very beneficial to the thyroid and it is essential to the immune system.

The dehydro-ascorbic acid has exactly the same properties as ordinary ascorbic acid except for one difference -- DHAA is able to penetrate the blood/brain barrier whereas ordinary ascorbic acid cannot do this. Normally ascorbic acid is dependent upon and converted to DHAA by glutathione in your body. So taking ascorbic acid with lugols iodine like this also helps to save the glutathione stores in your body for more essential tasks.

So the short answer to your question is that taking lugol's iodine and ascorbic acid together will not harm your body -- and it does not cancel out all lugol iodine's beneficial effects -- you will actually benefit in different ways from taking both these nutrients together in this way.

Replied by Lin

Bill from San Fenando, Philippines: Thank you so much for your very clear and concise answer, it helped me understand it so much better. My friend Jackie is worried about taking lugol's iodine and I wanted to know if taking liquid kelp would work just as well? Thanks for all your help. We would be lost without you and earth clinic, I have learned so much from the good people on this site.

Replied by Bill
(San Fenando, Philippines)

Hi Lin...Your friend Jackie can take liquid kelp extract if she prefers. Just ensure that the kelp extract is organic and make sure that it has not been chemically standardized. If it has, then other chemicals will have been added to it and the synergicity of its natural nutrients will have been altered for the worst.

On the good side, liquid kelp extract will also contain many other beneficial minerals and vitamins for the body. The other thing is that if Jackie is taking kelp just for its health giving aspects then thats fine. But if she is taking it for a specific reason like low thyroid or candida then kelp may not be as effective as lugol's iodine because it contains far less iodine as an extract. It takes about 3 months, at a higher dosage of 50 mgs iodine/iodide per day, to bring back proper levels of iodine in the thyroid gland and the rest of the body. This is why I prefer lugol's iodine at 50 mgs a day.

Replied by Anne

I know this is old, but others may need this answer.

Acid converts elemental iodine into potassium iodide. Your thyroid and several other organs need iodide. Your breasts and several other organs need elemental iodine. If you need elemental, you want to eat/drink acids like orange juice away from lugols/idoral/nascent/etc..., that is elemental supplements. If those aren't your concern, then it's no problem.

Iodine Interactions
Posted by Kaybeebee (Bristol, Tn) on 07/01/2010

Now I'm really confused. I've been taking Lugol's liquid (2.5%) in my smoothie every day, along with Vit. C powder, lysine, protein, greens. I need to know if I am negating the iodine by taking it with Vit C.

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines)

Hi Kaybeebee...Lugol's iodine contains a mixture of 10% potassium iodide and 5% iodine in water.

When you add the drops of lugol's to a solution of ascorbic acid it is just the iodine portion of the lugol's solution that reacts with the Ascorbic Acid(Vit C) and is converted to iodide. So you end up with this reaction:

Iodine plus Ascorbic Acid --> Dehydroascorbic acid plus Iodide

The dehydroascorbic acid is handled in the same way by the body and is just as beneficial as ascorbic acid(Vit C). As well, your dose of lugol's becomes completely iodide with no iodine component now. This is Ok if you are taking this solution for thyroid problems or for general health because most organs, mucus glands and endocrine system can uptake both the iodide and iodine forms, but if you are taking lugol's specifically for a breast problem like fibrocystic disease or for uterine fibroids or BV for example, the iodide form will not be of much use because the breasts, cervix and prostate all uptake the iodine form only. Also, iodine is the component that is truly anti-microbial, so if you are taking lugol's against intestinal candida, better to take drops of lugol's on its own in a glass of water(containing both iodide and iodine).

Either way, lugol's iodine is very body-friendly.

You can read more here: The Role of Iodine in Health and Disease

Replied by Kaybeebee
(Bristol, Tn)

Thank you so much Bill for your prompt and informative response. I am taking Lugols due to my VERY low iodine count discovered in hormone test and I also believe I suffer Adrenal Fatigue. Thank you again for your help.

Replied by Deb
(Waterloo, Ia, Usa)

Thanks Bill, I love Dr Stan. I listen to him all the time. Deb

Iodine Interactions
Posted by Fred (Atlanta, Georgia) on 01/23/2008


Sinus Infection Remedies - Danger!!! A MSDS sheet for Betadine stated the following: "Reactivity - A mixture of equal parts of a 10% povidone iodine solution (Betadine) and hydrogen peroxide 3% exploded about 100 minutes after mixing." Folks, this is the normal Betadine and hydrogen peroxide that you buy in the store! I was actually considering putting a few drops of these in some salt water and using it in an atomizing spray bottle (these are normally called "non-drip."). Not any more! On the other hand, after all of their warninings, I like the few drops of Betadine in a spray bottle of salt water, it works great! Betadine is one of the few things that kills viruses, it is stable in storage and and has a residual effect. To be on the safe side I will be keeping an eye out for possible iodine toxicity.

Another website states "REMEMBER: Betadine and tincture of iodine are not the same thing. Tincture of iodine is NOT safe to use. Tincture of Iodine is poisonous! Never use tincture of iodine when piercing skin. It dangerously inflames mucus membranes and if put on a wound or piercing it can result in a toxic level of iodine absorption." Therefore, I think I'll stick with the Betadine.

Iodine Interactions
Posted by Donna (Aspen, CO) on 10/17/2007


I took one tablet of Iodoral (iodine supplement) a day for a year, my blood calcium and alkaline phosphatase levels rose to above normal. A year later my blood test results were even higher, so the doctor gave me a PTH (parathyroid--which sits right next to the thyroid) blood test, and it was very high. As the only thing that I had changed in my life was taking Iodoral, I quit taking it, and 3 months later all my tests were back to normal. The parathyroid's job is to take calcium out of your bones and give it to the brain, but too much in your blood can mean heart attacks, strokes, and osteoporosis. There really aren't any symptoms of an over active parathyroid until it's very bad...feeling cold all the time, brain fog, are two. If you've been supplementing with Iodoral or iodine I suggest you get your blood calcium level tested, then alkaline phosphatase, then PTH (which is expensive, so save that for last).

Iodine Interactions
Posted by Ted (Bangkok, Thailand) 391 posts


Sometimes kelp is often improperly processed and has high heavy metals and/or contaminants. This is a well known fact that supplements also have fillers added. In that case, your next best choice is just use iodine foot painting or eat some seaweed. I never seem to have problems with eating seaweeds often sold in supermarkets. I guess they have better manufacturing standards as the market is much larger than those that take kelp supplements.

Iodine Loading Test

Posted by Anthony (Philadelphia) on 06/03/2013

Hi, Has anyone had a iodine loading test done? Could a testing center or place be recommended? Did you find it helpful? Thanks!

Iodine Painting

2 User Reviews
3 star (1) 

Posted by Wondering (St. Louis, Mo) on 09/02/2011

I was painting a quarter size amount of Betadine Iodine on my stomach for 8 days. On the 8th day my blood sugar started to act very different; it wouldn't go under a 100 (I have a blood sugar issue of it spiking, but it always would go back to 85ish). And, as it turns out I was taking about 200mcg of iodine with some supplements (didn't realize that at the time). Could I have overdosed and that's what caused the blood sugar issue? If so, how does one resolve the overdose issue?

Replied by Lily
(Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)

Hi wondering, just avoid iodised salt and fish for a few days. I avoided anything with Iodine in for about 2 weeks (it's in bread here in Australia now again too) and my incredible whole body itching and kidney and bladder pain went away. It took about 4 days for it to calm down and a week to recover completely and then I waited 2 weeks to eat things with iodine in them again. I also used betadine, maybe it is too strong I haven't used it since and won't be going to either. Hope this helps. Cheers Lily.

Replied by Dianna
(Austin, Tx)

painting iodine evidently is not for everyone! I started this about a year ago using iodine tincture - and since it would fade away quite quickly I kept doing it... I thought it was making me feel better and it still seemed to be going away pretty quickly.

after a week or so I noticed that my thyroid was swelling up! I also noticed that I felt weird, kind of nervous, and my blood sugar was higher (i am a type 1 diabetic).

so I stopped taking it (there is iodine in my multivitamin) and my thyroid went back to normal and I've had no problems since.

however once I had an animal bite and my bf insisted on putting iodine on it and it got more and more swollen until I stopped the iodine.

perhaps it is sensitizing for some people? or we actually have more than we think.

Replied by Jc
(Boston, Ma)

You don't mention if you have a thyroid issue.

If you have Hashimoto's disease (an autoimmune conditon that attacts your thyriod) you may be aggravating it. If you don't know, get your TPO and Tg antibodies tested. While you are at it get a full thyroid panel done.

They say many people are hypothyroid and don't know it. I have also seen estimations that 90% of those who are hypothyroid have one or both of the Hashimotos antibodies.

Replied by Karenina
(Southampton, Uk)


Hi Ted,

I tried one drop of Lugol Iodine on my foot and within 24 hours I feel asthmatic, sneezes, running nose, and runny stools. I feel sick, with a headache and stomachache coming on. It takes a lot of Vitamin C to calm the reaction. I have tried doing this 4 times and the same problems occur again and yet it is helping me with painful breasts, more alertness and energy, not so tired etc. I do suffer from allergies generally. I read somewhere that when iodine is introduced to the body it kicks out bromide which has to be flushed out of the body, possibly causing a detox reaction which is what a get each time I try again. Is there anything or other alternatives to Lugol Iodine or is it simply the case that I am very allergic to Iodine or Bromide? I really find Iodine very effective for me. Please let me know. Many thanks in advance. Karenina

Replied by Debbie
(Melbourne, Australia)

Karenina, I read recently that you should never take vitamin c at the same time as iodine because vitamin c will render the iodine ineffective or useless and will in fact deplete the body of iodine. If you are using a lot of vitamin C you to" calm the reaction" you are negating any effect the iodine would have. You may as well not use iodine at all.

Replied by Debbie
(Melbourne, Australia)

Karenina, Dr. William Shevin, has developed a salt loading protocol to clear bromide detox symptoms that may occur while taking iodine:

Take 1/4 teaspoon of salt (unrefined sea salt) in 1/2 cup of warm water and follow immediately with 12-16 ounces of water. Repeat this twice in 30-45 minute intervals until urination begins.

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, La Union)

Hi Debbie... Regarding your precautions on taking Vitamin C with Lugol's Iodine supplementation -- I think your advice is perhaps incorrect. Ted from Bangkok has always advised taking Lugol's with Vitamin C to avoid headaches and other after-effects of taking the lugol's.

And recent research by The Iodine Project in 2005 would also suggest that taking Vitamin C with Lugol's Iodine is also quite beneficial. Here is their research:

Evidence that the Administration of Vitamin C improves a defective cellular transport mechanism for iodine: A Case Report

Vitamin C seems to help remove absorbed bromine from the body in rather large quantities, thus greatly aiding iodine transport and eventual iodine re-absorbtion by the thyroid and the rest of the body.

Replied by Debbie
(Melbourne, Australia)

Hi Bill, thanks but I would be interested in your opinion on what is written in the e-book I posted on Iodine.

It says that vitamin c can help iodine absorption but not taken at the same time. It was suggested to take them on alternate days. Anyway I would be interested if you could read it and give your opinion. I am referring to Point #10

Replied by Karenina
(Southampton, Uk)

Thanks to those who have responded. The first time I painted a drop of Lugol Iodine on my foot I did not take Vitamin C until I had started experiencing a severe reaction to it. I took lots of Vitamin C afterwards to reduce the reaction to Lugol Iodine. Each time I had recovered fully I tried painting it on my foot again but each time I try again my reaction worsens, this time it has left me with a very tight chest and a need to cough all the time which is not going away so easily. If I had not taken Vitamin C after each episode I would have been in serious trouble.

Does anyone know whether a different type of Iodine will make a difference? Or will I still get a reaction? If it is in capsule form would it be better for me? Should I take something with Iodine to conteract the side effects? The Lugol Iodine certainly doesn't agree with me especially as I am very sensitive and allergic to most things. Can someone help me please? It would mean a great deal to me. Karenina

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, La Union)

Hi Debbie... Here, in answer to your question, is part of the chemical titration method used to find out how much Vitamin C there is in a substance or pill:

Iodine is relatively insoluble, but this can be improved by complexing the iodine with iodide to form triiodide:

I2 plus I- --> I3-

Triiodide oxidizes vitamin C to form dehydroascorbic acid:

C6H8O6 plus I3- plus H2O --> C6H6O6 plus 3I- plus 2H

As long as vitamin C is present in the solution, the triiodide is converted to the iodide ion very quickly. Howevever, when the all the vitamin C is oxidized, iodine and triiodide will be present, which reacts with starch to form a blue-black complex. The blue-black color is the endpoint of the titration.

This titration procedure is appropriate for testing the amount of vitamin C in vitamin C tablets, juices, and fresh, frozen, or packaged fruits and vegetables. The titration can be performed using just iodine solution and not iodate, but the iodate solution is more stable and gives a more accurate result.


From the above, essentially when you combine iodine and iodide in water, you get the triiodide ion which makes iodide/iodine very bioavailable to the body.

When reacted with ascorbic acid, you also get dehydroascorbic acid, which is exactly the same as ascorbic acid but it can penetrate the blood/brain barrier which ascorbic acid cannot. But the outcome still seems to be the same - you still get the triiodide ion generated anyway from the final reaction, exactly the same as when you add iodine to iodide in water. And as the above says, at the end point of this reaction -- both triiodide and iodine are still present when tested with starch. The worst that can happen is that some of the triiodide is converted to just the iodide, with some loss of iodine perhaps. But potassium iodide is also good for you.

I also know from the Iodine Project research that their preference has always been to use only 5% lugols iodine because they regard this mixture of iodide/iodine to be in the perfect ratio for the body. Their research also backs this up. Perhaps they were trying to preserve this ratio for best results which is why they took Vit C and Lugols on alternate days? I generally always take lugol's on its own, sometimes mixed with fulvic acid drops, but there's no harm in taking Vitamin C, say, an hour or so after taking the Lugols in order to preserve that ideal iodide/iodine ratio if you wish.

Replied by Baldev
(Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
185 posts

Bill, I have a question for you. Whenever I have applied the Lugols Iodine on any part of the body, it burns that area and the skin peels off after a few days. Well, I want to understand whether it is an allergy to Lugols or is a correct reaction. After about 12 hrs. The color of the skin becomes normal but the burning sensation remains and is quite disturbing. Your comments will be appreciated.


Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, La Union)

Hi Baldev... The usual test to see if you are allergic to iodine is to put a drop somewhere on your skin and, after only one or two hours, if this area is red, inflamed or itchy then there is a good possibility that you are allergic. Less than 1% of the population is allergic to iodine. The more serious symptoms of iodine allergy through oral or injected intake are defined here:

Another factor that could cause your skin-burning problems could be due to the actual strength of lugol's iodine that you used. If it was above 5% Lugol's Iodine strength and since iodine is caustic at high concentrations, it's possible that this might have also caused your skin-burning problem.

I know that I am not allergic to lugol's iodine since I have been orally supplementing it regularly for over 5 years now at doses 100 times higher than the RDA. I recently tested 2% Lugol's Iodine on a mole awhile back. During the day I put between 10 and 15 single drops, at different times, on the mole. The next day, like you, I had a burning or sore/tender sensation which disappeared after a few days.

It might be worth diluting some of the lugols iodine 50/50 with water and re-testing a patch of your skin again with a drop to see if the skin-burning recurrs. If it does, then likely you are allergic to lugol's iodine.

Dr James Howensteine, a member of the research team from the Iodine project, has written a notable and detailed book which truly emphasizes the importance of iodine towards good health -- Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It.

Replied by Annu

Hi Bill, the same reaction as Baldev said occured after painting iodine solution not the first day but after applying 3... 4 days at the same place. As you say it may be the % of lugol's iodine. I can't find 2 % lugols iodine in the store. But I somehow arranged to make the the solution in the chemistry lab of our college. I have used 10 gm of KI, 5 gm of Elemental iodine , 50 ml Ethyl alcohol and 50 ml of distilled water. Is the measurement correct for 2% lugols iodine solution? Can I take 1 drop of this solution internally? As I guess I am iodine deficient after applying the patch, as the patch disappears within 4 hr.

Replied by Baldev
(Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
185 posts

Hi Bill, thanks a lot for the prompt reply to my query. Lugols Iodine which I am using is Iodine 5g. Pot. Iodide 10g in 100ml. Of water that means it is 5% lugols Iodine which is being discussed on this site. I am keen to make use of this product towards a better health and also what ever I learn from dedicated people like Ted and you I use it to help others who don't have access to computer/internet. Your advice is well taken that I should dilute it further with water and see whether it still burns the area, but I hope the benifits do not get diluted.Thanks


Replied by Debbie
(Melbourne, Australia)

Baldev, you can add a small amount of vitamin E to the area you are putting the iodine so it won't burn as much (it will soothe the skin and heal it).

The best way to take iodine however is to have a drop in water (I am taking 6-8 drops daily in water or milk). If you only put it on your skin only a small percentage can be utilised (about 12.5%). I only put it on my skin to test whether I was allergic to it.

Replied by Maria
(Gippsland, Australia)

Hi Baldev, My husband and I are using Lugols 2% as we don't have access to a stronger one and we are starting to see benefits. We started with the skin painting as taking it internally went against everything I'd been taught, we never painted the same spot as iodine can dry out the skin for some. Then we progressed to one drop internally and are now at 3 drops twice a day. So the 2% is definitely beneficial for us. But as Bill has said you need to know if it is an allergy or the strength that caused your reaction.

Replied by Dennis
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

Hi Karenina, I have heard that Nascent Iodine might have fewer side effects (just search for it on Google -- you can order it from Amazon I think). Still, start with low dosages and proceed with caution. Good luck.

Iodine Painting
Posted by Ann (New York, NY) on 08/04/2011

I told my sister to use iodine test, i.e., painting 2x2 inch with Swanson's iodine.

She said it disappeared within 8 hours so reapplied. In 3 days of doing this, her eyes became swollen, red and itchy and she felt very bad. If the test is correct, she does need iodine but why did she have such a bad reaction?

I too, did the test and the iodine disappeared withing 8 hrs each time I applied the test sqaure for 3 days. I, too, started feeling crabby and my throat started to feel raw. I did apply on throat and for a few moments afterward felt I would choke, as though I'd swallowed something that irritated me terribly and couldn't swallow properly.

My sister is afraid now and says she will just use kelp.

2 things: Does anyone know why we had these reactions? And I thought kelp wasn't a complete iodine source. If it is, how much should one take every day?

Many thanks, Ann

Replied by Timir
(Princeton, Nj, Usa)

Some people are allergic to iodine. I believe that your sister might be allergic to iodine. You can try with a different brand and very small amounts. Good luck!

Replied by Lily
(Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)

Hi Ann, you may be allergic to Iodine. If I paint it on it disappears in less than 3 hours, so I'm thinking you may not need it. Lily.

Iodine Painting
Posted by Sandra (Clovis, CA) on 03/15/2007

Hi. I read on your site about someone's experience with painting iodine on the skin, having it disappear overnight, and then reappear after applying hydrogen peroxide. Here is an excerpt from a site I found: From the published data, the skin iodine patch test is not a reliable method to assess whole body sufficiency for iodine. Many factors play a role in the disappearance of the yellow color of iodine from the surface of the skin. For example, if iodine is reduced to iodide by the skin, the yellow color of iodine will disappear because iodide is white. In order to regenerate iodine on the skin, one needs to apply an oxidant such as hydrogen peroxide, complicating the test further. The evaporation of iodine from the skin increases with increased ambient temperatures and decreased atmospheric pressure due to weather conditions and altitude. For example, the yellow color of iodine will disappear much faster in Denver, Colorado at 5,000 feet above sea level then Los Angeles, California at sea level, irrespective of the amount of bioavailable iodine. This was taken from the site: . Just thought you might like to know.

Iodine Painting
Posted by Ted (Bangkok) 391 posts

Generally iodine skin test are not reliable, yes. But iodine doesn't evaporate easily either. Try spilling povidone iodine on a bed mattress. It is still there after almost a month (I still have it). I spilled it by accident. Even on my towel it is still there (yellowish color) after several weeks. On the skin it is very unlikely that it will stay that long, even with hydrogen peroxide to detect presence of iodine as iodine salts react with it to cause the color to come back still will no longer be there for several weeks. Therefore the issue does not appear to be evaporation and air pressure, although it is a factor, but a minor one. It appears to be taking a bath or human sweat likely to wash out at least some part of the iodine, especially its salt. However in areas not subjected to sweat, such as knees, they still disappear faster than the iodine staining on a piece of cotton, cloth, wood and other things that we like it to stay clean. When everything is discussed, you just have to get an iodine tested in urine by a iodine tests to check the presence is a more accurate way. It involves taking an iodine tablets and they use a starch tests to in the urine to see if the body is absorbing or not. Those are better tests and you just have to buy their kits.