Detoxification with Iodine

By Linsey McLean
Environmental & Nutritional Biochemist

Iodine supplementation helps allow the body to detoxify from the common toxins that it has been exposed to, and accumulated, throughout your life.

Detox Halogens From The Body

Chronic low exposures to a category of elements called halogens explains a lot about the exploding prevalence of hypothyroidism and low basal temperatures among the U.S. population. There are 3 main categories of halogens that impact human health the most (bromines, fluorines, and chlorines).

• Bromomethane (Methyl Bromide)

A lot of the fruits and vegetables (both organic and conventional) that come from outside countries are fumigated with the pesticide/fungicide bromomethane before they hit store shelves.

• Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is typically used as a dough conditioner, has been banned from food products in the EU, Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru, Sri Lanka, China, yet in the United States it has not been banned.

Many toothpastes, inhalers, and nasal sprays also contain potassium bromate. Read the labels on your personal care products, and try to replace the ones that contain bromates.

• Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

BVO is a flame retardant, and also used in the U.S. as an emulsifier for typical citrus sodas. It's banned from food throughout Europe and Japan, yet BVO has been used for decades in North America.

• Brominated Flame Retardants (BFR's)

Of the commercialized chemical flame retardants, the brominated variety are most widely used. Brominated flame retardants are most always found in plastics, electronics, pillows, paints, upholstery, domestic kitchen appliances, carpet, clothes and furniture.

BFR's are widespread, bioaccumulative, and toxic to both humans and the environment; they are suspected of causing neurobehavioral effects and endocrine disruption.

When you are in a building or car, try to open windows and turn on fans to increase ventilation as much as possible. New building materials and the new car smell is mostly produced from fire retardant materials that include bromine. Levels of chemical pollutants, such as bromine are much higher indoors than outside.

• Chlorine & Chlorides

Halogen-based chemicals such as chlorine and bromine are commonly used as primary sanitizers for swimming pools and hot tubs. Chlorine-releasing compounds are the most popular and frequently used in swimming pools, whereas bromine-releasing compounds are more popular for spas and hot tubs.

There are a lot of great laundry detergents that will get your whites clean without having to use chlorine bleach. There are also many great household cleaners which do not use chlorine bleach. These are some of the easiest ways to avoid chlorine coming in contact with your body.

The water supply often contains chlorine. When you shower day regularly, chlorine accumulates and gets absorbed through the skin and can damage your hair. Even worse, you end up breathing in chlorine from water that turns to steam in a hot shower. You can avoid all of this by installing a chlorine shower filter.

Too often, chlorine is found in the drinking water. We recommend purchasing a counter-top water distiller because it cleans water better than any available technology known to date. The price of counter-top water distillers have dropped, and the choices have increased, over the last few years.

• Fluorine & Fluorides

While fluoride has been found to aid dental health by including it in toothpaste, evidence is gathering that Fluoride in a water supply has far more drawbacks than health benefits. In fact, there is evidence that fluoride may actually be destructive to the body and brain when ingested though the stomach, rather than through a localized topical application such as toothpaste on your teeth. Stop drinking fluoridated water entirely.

Detox Dioxins From The Body

Dioxins are not manufactured commercially in the United States or intentionally produced because they have no known use. They are the by-products of various industrial processes (i.e., bleaching paper products, and chemical and pesticide manufacturing) and combustion activities (i.e., burning household trash, forest fires, and waste incineration). Agent Orange, the defoliant used during the Vietnam War, contained dioxins. Dioxins are found at lower levels throughout the world in air, soil, water, sediment, and in foods such as meats, dairy, fish, and shellfish.

Most human exposure to dioxin-like chemicals comes from animal based foods: meat, dairy products and fish depending on the country. In many countries the significance of dairy products and meat have decreased due to strict emission controls, and brought about a decrease of total intake. Since the half-lives are very long (commonly 7–8 years), the body burden will increase almost over the whole lifetime. Therefore the concentrations can increase five to tenfold from age 20 to 60. Dioxin levels can be measured in breast milk.

By aiding thyroid function, iodine supplementation could help mitigate the harmful effects of exposures to dioxin like compounds.