(NaturalNews) Despite some controversy over supplementing with iodine, most health writers, nutritionists, and practitioners agree that it is important for proper thyroid functioning and cellular metabolism. The thyroid gland is an important regulator for most of the endocrine system.
Most people tend toward hypothyroidism, or insufficient thyroid gland production. This is attributed to the low iodine content in the average westerner's diet. Hypothyroidism manifests with low metabolism, lower energy levels, weight gain, chronic fatigue, and depression. Many of us could use a little more iodine in our thyroid glands and bodies.
The opposite is too much thyroid gland production know as hyperthyroidism. This brings about higher metabolism, heat sensitivity, rapid heart rate or palpitations, trembling hands, inability to gain weight despite eating more, and sudden fatigue at day's end and insomnia at night.
Iodine deficiencies are products of our depleted soils and poor diets. These symptoms are simplified summaries. One should check with a holistic health practitioner or MD to determine thyroid activity levels.
Iodine controversy and testing
The controversy is over how iodine should be taken into our bodies. Some claim it should come from food only or kelp supplements only. They claim that iodine supplements are dangerous. Those who advocate supplementing directly with iodine argue that the concern is only for product purity.
Applying iodine to the skin and allowing it to penetrate is considered a good self test for iodine deficiency. The premise is that the body will absorb iodine to satisfy its needs. So if a painted patch of iodine is quickly absorbed, in an hour or less, it may be a sign the body needs more iodine.
There are naysayers for this test, but one of them concedes this can help determine thyroid iodine deficiency if applied to the neck area. Increasing iodine intake is not advised for anyone suffering from Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Adding iodine can worsen this compromised immune system malady.
How to increase your iodine levels
Foods high in iodine are: Seaweed dishes, kelp, kale, broccoli, cabbage, peanuts, Brussels sprouts, turnips and kohlrabi.
The thyroid gland uses iodine to help create its essential hormones. But iodine could use a little help from zinc, copper, and selenium. Make sure you're also getting those nutrients in your diet or through supplements.
Kelp supplements are very safe iodine providers, but how much is absorbed depends on how well they're digested and how much you can consume. Potassium Iodide (KI) is useful as a radioactive blocker to protect the thyroid from radiation exposure. There was quite a run on KI after the initial Fukushima disaster.
Most health experts consider Lugol's iodine solution a safe and effective iodine supplement. Lugol is not a brand name. It is the type of solution in which iodine is carried, named after a 19th Century French physician who created a water soluble combination of potassium and iodine crystals.
High strength Lugol's in large quantities is restricted because of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) limitations. It appears that large quantities of high iodine content mixtures have been used by underground meth labs to create illicit amphetamine drugs.
But small bottles and less potent solutions of Lugol's can be purchased on the internet. It only takes a drop or two a day to supplement iodine.
Different brands offer nascent iodine, highly recommended by Dr. Mark Sircus. Nascent, or atomic iodine, is considered more bioavailable, more antiseptic, and safer even than Lugol's solution.
About the author: Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com