Recently I came across the book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It, by David Brownstein, MD. At first, non-plussed, I flipped through a few pages, figuring it was another manual on the cure-all effects of a particular nutrient. It was easy reading, and I actually found I was impressed by the points that the author was making, and the research he was presenting. The author's primary points are as follows:
96% of a typical population is iodine deficient. Iodine is found in every cell of the body, and in integral to the optimal functioning of the thyroid and entire endocrine system. (From a spiritual perspective, my understanding is that the endocrine system is where the soul energy interfaces with the physical body and reality, so having a balanced endocrine system is vital to health on many levels.) Iodine deficiency is linked to a variety of disorders affecting the glands in the body, and iodine supplementation has been shown to actually reverse many of these disorders.
Some of the disorders linked to iodine deficiency, which have been reversed through supplementation:
- Breast and ovarian disorders (including fibrocystic conditions)
- Liver disorders
- Prostate disorders
- Thyroid disorders
- Eating disorders
- Fatigue, cold extremities, dry skin (including cracked heels), brain fog, migraines, hair loss, and more.
Fluoride, bromide, chorine, and perchlorate are toxic elements commonly added to many food and drug sources. They have the effect of displacing the iodine in the body, contributing to iodine deficiency. Fluoride is added to municipal water supplies, while the evidence does not really support the idea that this improves dental health. Bromide is found in many common items, such as pharmaceutical drugs, computers, televisions, mattresses, clothing, carpeting, draperies, pesticides, and bakery products. (Previously, iodine was added to bakery products as a dough conditioner, but it was replaced in the 1980s with bromide, which is toxic to the human body.) Chlorine is used to disinfect water, but there are many safer alternatives. Perchlorate is both natural and man-made. It now contaminates a large quantity of the environment and groundwater, and it has been found in human and dairy milk.
The author discusses studies that show that the toxic elements fluoride and bromine are associated with the epidemic rise in breast cancer (p. 118). These elements lower the iodine level, which helps maintain the correct balance of the 3 estrogens in the body.
Iodized salt has a very small quantity of iodide, and it is poorly absorbed by the body. The thyroid gland and skin primarily use iodide, a form of iodine. The breasts, prostate, and reproductive systems primarily use iodine. So to supplement iodide/iodine in your diet, the author recommends a supplement that contains both (see below). Also, it is best to purchase unrefined salt, as refined salt has had all its minerals removed and been exposed to toxic chemicals to give it its white color (p. 43).
Natural sources of iodine include seaweed, some seafish, and plants grown in iodine-rich soil. The midwest has been nicknamed the "goiter belt" -- as there are typically very low iodine levels in the soil. From what I can determine, kelp contains both iodine and iodide, but depending on where it's grown, it can contain arsenic or other contaminants. I recently came across a package of dulse, a type of seaweed, that said they test for contaminants. For years I have mixed powdered kelp with unrefined or rock salt.
Brownstein says that unrefined salt helps rid the body of bromine, and that he has actually found it impossible to lower bromine levels if they don't consume unrefined salt (p. 213).
The author mentions that iodine also works as an anti-oxidant, and supports the immune system's functioning, even more so than vitamin C. He says taking vitamins B2 and B3 support the uptake of iodine. Selenium is important for activating the thyroid hormone, and small doses may be helpful for certain people (100-200 micrograms/day).
In his book, The Source Field Investigations, David Wilcock discusses research about fluoride accumulating in the pineal gland, the resulting calcification, and correlated disorders -- such as MS, schizophrenia, tardive dyskinesia, Parkinson's disease, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and more (pp. 62-66, or www.DivineCosmos.com).
Once people start on iodine, there can be a detoxification phase, as bromine and fluoride are washed out of the body. It may be helpful to begin in small quantities, and slowly raise the intake level to minimize any physical symptoms that may appear.
A friend of mine who has been taking the iodine supplement for 3 months says this is working for her, she is feeling much better and has discontinued 3 pharmaceutical medications she was taking.
I just started taking an iodine supplement, and the next morning I woke up crisp and clear. My metabolism is up, my energy level is up. I can go all day, without feeling exhausted at the end, and I need less sleep on top of it. I've started remembering my dreams even better. Cuts heal much quicker as well. One side effect is that it has created some minor lesions on my skin as the iodine detoxes other elements from my body. Aside from that, I would highly recommend taking it.
Iodine in Edgar Cayce Readings
Edgar Cayce often recommended iodine in his readings. Below is information from the Wikipedia page on atomidine.
Atomidine is a liquid iodine preparation that was recommended as a therapeutic measure in over 600 "readings" (channelled writings) by Edgar Cayce. The manufacturing method is called a "modified detoxification process" which involves a stage in which electricity is run through the substance; the result is "electrified atomic iodine", or "atomidine." The electrification is said to allow the Atomidine to continue to function as an iodine supplement — the original use of detoxified iodine — while also giving it added attributes that affect the immune system.
Cayce regarded this specially formulated “atomic” iodine as far easier to assimilate than other forms, and even gave advice regarding its preparation. According to the readings this mineral is a vital element in the makeup of the human body and is essential to the process of building new cells. It also was valued for its stimulating, balancing and purifying effect on the endocrine glands.
In order to gently stimulate the system and then give it time to adjust, Atomidine was to be taken in cycles that alternated several days of dosage with several days of rest. Many readings recommended only one drop per day for this purpose, although others increased this dose by a drop a day for several days—a regimen adopted by the A.R.E. Clinic after studying some 75 different plans.
In these extracts from some of his readings about Atomidine he says:
The Atomidine—that is activative in the glands, especially the thyroid, the adrenal and all the ductless activities through the atomic forces in iodine, the one basic force with potash—makes for a balance throughout the functionings of the body itself (636-1).
Within a few weeks…the system will be changed, and also the vibrations through the glandular forces that control the lymph circulation in alimentary canal as well as organs of the pelvis…the Atomidine acts as a gland purifier—causing especially the thyroids and the glands of the stomach, particularly the pyloric portion of the stomach and throughout the duodenum, to change in the form of secretions thrown off—and this affects directly the circulation (3104-1).
(the numbers that follow each quote from the readings refer to the reading filing code in the A.R.E. files)
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Link to Research:
Optimox Corporation, maker of Iodoral, provides an information page here with some research and iodine intake guidelines.
A Few Links for Iodine Supplements:
www.SupplementClinic.com - Pure Horizon IO Plus - Iodine/Potassium Iodide tablets, which also contain selenium and vitamin B2.
www.PureFormulas.com: Iodoral and Nu Formulas - Iodine/Potassium Iodide tablets.
Natural Living (www.1-Thyroid.com) - Iodine/Potassium Iodide tablets, which also contain selenium and vitamin B2.
www.JCrowsMarketplace.com - Lugol's drops, - This is the original formulation of iodine/iodide. Drops are useful if you are giving to pets or want to put it on your skin (put a drop on your skin and watch how soon it is absorbed. The more quickly it is absorbed tells you how much your body needs it).
Atomidine - This is Edgar Cayce's iodine formulation, prepared by the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E., http://www.edgarcayce.org/)
Why Wheat Allergies?
I was a bit dismissive of wheat allergies, until I started reading the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D. For thousands of years, wheat has existed as a few strains of relatively genetically simple lines. In the past 50 years, since the 1960s, with all the hybridization that has happened, the genetic make-up of wheat has changed. This has affected the formation of wheat gluten, whose proteins have changed significantly. So if you are experiencing a wheat or wheat gluten allergy, it is likely that you are allergic to the modern strains of wheat, not the original wheat that was farmed for thousands of years. Possibly you are allergic to all the chemicals applied in modern production as well.
The author has seen remarkable results when taking people off wheat, clearing up diabetic and many other conditions. He himself was allergic to wheat, and diagnosed with celiac disease (which can cause cramps, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, migraines, arthritis, infertility, depression, chronic fatigue). After going off wheat and curing himself, he did an experiment where he made one loaf of bread from einkorn (an ancient form of wheat) and one from modern organic flour. After he ate the einkorn bread, he experienced no symptoms and was fine. After he ate the modern flour, his blood sugar doubled and he experienced symptoms of nausea, cramping, poor sleep, and brain fog. He says it took 36 hours before he was back to normal again.
He had done studies on modern wheat and blood sugar levels, and found that modern wheat raises blood sugar more than table sugar. Wheat acts as an appetite stimulant, so if you have excess cravings or want to lose weight, consider omitting wheat from your diet and see what happens. The author has routinely seen how people who eliminate tend to lose weight. The author mentions that many gluten-free wheat substitutes, such as cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch, or tapioca starch, have the same appetite-stimulant effect as modern wheat gluten. So replacing wheat with gluten-free options won't necessarily help decrease your appetite.
The archaeological record shows that the introduction of grains in general into the human diet thousands of years ago resulted in a variety of health afflictions: "The adoption of grains into the human diet was followed by archaeological evidence of increased infections, bone diseases such as osteoporosis, increased infant mortality, reduction in lifespan, as well as diabetes." (P. 98)
Research has tied modern wheat as well to a variety of conditions:
- Celiac Disease
- Liver disease
- Autoimmune diseases (such as MS, rehumatoid arthritis, Hashmoto's thyroiditis)
- Connective tissue diseases (such as lupus)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's Disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Acid reflux
- Skin rashes
- Psychological impairments, such as schizophrenia
In celiac disease, there is an awry immune response that essentially destroys the small intestine. Celiac disease has increased fourfold in the past 50 years, and has been paralleled by an increase in type 1 diabetes, autoimmune disease such as MS, Crohn's disease, and allergies. Gluten proteins that trigger celiac disease are found in higher quantities in modern wheat than the ancient wheat (p. 82).
The author cites studies that show that wheat can be directly linked to schizophrenia. During WWII, in Europe and the North America, there were fewer hospitalizations for schizophrenia when food shortages made bread unavailable. At that time, the wheat available hadn't been heavily modernized, so apparently some people are sensitive to wheat whether it's modern or ancient; although perhaps there are fungi or mold on the wheat that can also affect certain individuals.
In the 60s, experiments were done where wheat was removed from the diets of schizophrenics. A decrease in hallucinations, delusions, and social detachment was seen. When they reintroduced wheat, these behaviors increased.
In the 70s a study was done of the New Guinea hunter and gatherer culture, prior to the introduction of western eating habits (wheat, beer, corn, etc). At this time schizophrenia was virtually unknown. After western eating habits had been established, schizophrenia went up 65-fold.
Wheat as Acidic Food
Grains and wheat in particular create an acidic environment in the body, which can result in a variety of health imbalances. In studies, it has been found that a protein, beans, nut, vegetable, and fruit diet results in an alkaline state in the body, regardless of whether the protein is animal or plant protein. Once grains are added to the diet, the body tends to shift towards an acidic state and has a harder time returning to a natural alkaline state.
"If wheat and other grains are responsible for tipping the pH balance towards acidic, what happens if you do nothing more than remove wheat from the modern diet and replace the lost calories with other plants such as vegetables, fruit, beans, and nuts? The balance shifts back into the alakaline range." (p 123)
Bone Density and Wheat
The body neutralizes this acidic state by drawing upon the calcium stores in the bones. This results in increased fractures and osteoporosis. Studies have demonstrated this, such as one study which showed a five-fold increase in fractures among high school girls who consumed carbonated sodas.
Another study found the elimination of wheat from the diets of celiac participants promptly improved bone density, without the use of osteoporosis drugs.
A diet with more plant protein and less animal protein is associated with fewer fractures. Research has shown that at the highest intake of vegetable protein, hip fractures are basically non-existent. Diets with a ratio of vegetable protein to animal protein being between 2:1 to 5:1 is associated with fewer than 10 hip fractures per 100,000. By comparison, diets with a vegetable to animal protein intake ratio of 1:1 is associated with as many as 200 hip fractures per 100,000 population.
Visceral Fat -- "Wheat Belly"
Repeated cycles of high blood sugar and high blood insulin, as happens with wheat consumption, results in the growth of fat specifically in the abdominal organs. This is called visceral fat, and it results in a fat liver, fat kidneys, fat pancreas, fat large and small intestines, even a fat heart, as well as the familiar "wheat belly." This visceral fat functions much like a very large unhealthy endocrine gland. It produces inflammatory signals and abnormal cytokines (cell-to-cell hormone signal molecules, such as leptin, resistin, and temor necrosis factor). The more visceral fat present, the greater the amount of abnormal signals released into the bloodstream. Visceral fat triggers a variety of conditions by releasing these abnormal signals, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer, and dementia. (p. 61)
Joint Pain, Arthritis, and Wheat
The high blood sugars associated with wheat, coupled with the inflammatory activity of visceral fat cells, can also lead to damage of the cartilage tissue in joints and joint inflammation.
A diet of foods that create an alkaline environment in the body has the potential to reduce muscle atrophy, kidney stones, salt-sensitive hypertension, infertility, and kidney disease.
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There is more in the book, but I don't have time to summarize it all. In particular, I remember one set of studies of China which clearly showed the introduction of wheat correlated with heart attacks and other issues. These problems did not correlate with red meat consumption.
It seems to me that the genetic modifications applied to the ancient wheat are the bulk of the problem, coupled with the modern diet geared towards acid-producing foods. Also, there can be fungi or mold growing upon the grains in storage. Sprouted wheat minimizes the effects of the GMO problem with modern wheat. So for my purposes, I have found a particular line of sprouted wheat bread I buy, which has only 7 carbs per slice, then I generally avoid it in the rest of my diet.