Why Are Iodine Levels So Low – Part 2

Why are iodine levels so low?

We don’t eat enough iodine! Deficiency of iodine in the soil leads to deficiency in our food. In an attempt to remedy iodine deficiency, salt was supplemented with iodine. But the iodine in salt does not absorb well. If we ate sea food regularly, we might have enough iodine in our systems. But most of us do not eat enough sea food.

You can find some really tasty seafood recipes in Dr. Jo’s Natural Healing Cookbook, so eat up.

For more background on iodine deficiency take a look at:

The Missing Mineral Part 1

On top of iodine deficiency in our diets, we actually consume minerals that antagonize the absorption and function of iodine in our bodies. Iodine belongs to the halide group of minerals which also includes bromine, fluoride, and chlorine. These minerals antagonize the action of iodine. You probably know that you may drink fluoride in your water if it’s fluoridated. Hopefully it is not. And chlorine is in all treated water supplies unless you specifically filter it out of your drinking water.

But where do you get the bromine? Interestingly enough, it’s used as a dough conditioner. So you eat it in baked goods, which aren’t good for you anyway due to the white flour, sugar and dysfunctional fats in them. Until the” iodine scare” bakers used iodine for their dough conditioner. Maybe it gave baked goods some redeeming food value. But honestly, a little bit of iodine doesn’t overcome the adverse effects of the dysfunctional food ingredients in baked goods.

And now eating baked goods, pastries, is even worse. On top of not containing iodine, they contain bromine which antagonizes any iodine you eat.

How will you find out if you’re low in iodine?

The Iodine Patch Test can give you a clue to iodine deficiency in your body.

Buy a bottle of tincture of iodine from your pharmacist. You don’t need a prescription for it, but for safety’s sake pharmacists keep it behind their counter. Drinking it can be poisonous, but of course that’s not what you do with it. It’s the same old iodine that your mom painted on your skinned knee when you were a kid to kill the bacteria in the wound.

Be sure to buy the brown tincture. The clear tincture does not work for this test!

With the applicator attached to the lid of the bottle of iodine, paint a 2 inch square patch any place on your body. Be sure it’s somewhere that you can see easily.

If that patch of iodine disappears from your skin in less than 24 hours, you are low on iodine. If it disappears in less than 8 hours, your iodine level is most likely very low.

When you start supplementing with iodine, retest with the patch test every one to two weeks to see how you are progressing in restoring that missing mineral in your system.

What you can do about low iodine levels:

Start eating food that contains iodine. Anything from the sea, fish, shellfish, and seaweed contains iodine. The Japanese consume an average of 14 mg. of iodine per day in the seaweed they eat. You can supplement with capsules of kelp as a supplement.

If you are very low in iodine, you will probably need to supplement with a more concentrated form of iodine for a while.

Dr. David Brownstein, MD in his book, Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, refers to one of the world’s leading researchers on iodine, Dr. Guy Abraham. According to his studies people need to eat 13 mg of iodine per day to maintain whole body iodine sufficiency. So obviously for awhile, anyone depleted of iodine will need to supplement with higher amounts for awhile.

According to these 2 doctors he thyroid gland needs about 6 mg per day and the breasts 5 mg per day. That leaves 2 mg per day for the rest of the body, not enough in a deficient state. All of the tissues of your body need iodine. However doctors debate how much iodine supplementation an individual needs, it’s highly controversial. This article describes the debate and provides some options for supplementing:


So if you presume to supplement iodine without a health practitioner to guide you start with low doses of iodine supplements and gradually build up. You can find iodine drops at a health food store or online.

Be cautious and do not take iodine if you are allergic to it.

Watch for these side effects of iodine supplementation:

  • Skin irritation
  • Watery eyes, nose, saliva
  • Nervousness
  • Headache
  • Racing heart – stop immediately

Retest with the iodine patch every 1-2 weeks.


Dr. Jo


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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