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Alabama Lifestyle Medicine - Dr. Noah Gudel, D.O.

Are You Iodine Deficient?

I had meant to write an article on fluoride, however, a colleague recently recommended a book on iodine, and these two substances’ importance intertwines in a way I had never before realized. We will start with the story of fluoride. Fluoride was one of the several topics murmured to be linked to health conditions, but I had never taken the time to investigate; such as chronic Lyme disease (real-likely another bioweapon leak), parasites (real-some estimates posit that 90% of us carry them) as well as other issues.

What is Flouride?

Prior to its reinvention as a dental savior, fluoride was regarded as toxic industrial waste. That is, until Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud and author of the book “Propaganda,” entered the picture in the late 1940s. Previously, his biggest marketing “success” had been in convincing women that it was fashionable rather than a social taboo to smoke cigarettes, thus doubling the market for tobacco cigarettes.1

As detailed in the excellent book “The Fluoride Deception,” by Christopher Bryson, Bernays took a job with the Aluminum Company of America, not because he needed an income or believed in their product, but rather because this sociopath wondered: if manipulated enough with skillful propaganda, could the American populace actually be convinced to vote contrary to their own health interests? The fact that most of us now drink fluorinated water and use fluorinated toothpaste and mouthwash attests that the answer was a resounding “YES.”2

I won’t bore you with all the data showing how ineffective fluoride is at preventing cavities, or its many health harms; suffice it to say I will be transitioning to a fluoride-free source of water and toothpaste as soon as possible. The real object of this blog was to let everyone know the importance of getting their iodine levels up, which is tied to fluoride (and bromide intake, but we’ll get to that), and I will explain why below.


How Common is Iodine Deficiency?

In traditional medical training, we are not taught that Americans are low in iodine, as we all know that our salt is fortified with it so physicians never check levels. According to Dr. Brownstein, author of the book “Iodine, Why you need it, and Why You Can’t Live Without It,” there is a 96% rate of deficiency in his group practice of 6,000 patients.3 There is a recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iodine which varies by age, but for adults is 150mcg.4 However, this RDA was intended only for goiter prevention, not for optimal thyroid function, which may require a much higher level. Despite the puny, purported goiter-preventing RDA, a wide swath of the USA has soil so deficient in iodine that it is known as “The Goiter Belt.”5 Additionally, most people trust their iodized salt to deliver sufficient quantities of iodine; however, research has shown that the iodine in salt is only 10% bioavailable (available to be absorbed).6

How does Iodine Affect Us?

Iodine plays a larger role than it is commonly associated with. It has an inverse relationship with both breast and prostate cancer – where iodide levels are lowest, cancer rates are highest, and vice-versa. Iodine deficiency predisposes one to an increased risk of breast, prostate, endometrial, and ovarian cancer.7 Other conditions that may result from low iodine are sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), multiple sclerosis, autism, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.8,9

How This Relates to Fluoride and Other Halides

Interestingly, all members of the halide family (which includes fluoride, bromide, and chloride) compete with each other to displace iodine in the body, preventing its absorption by inhibiting its entry into the cell.10 Bromide use has been skyrocketing, as has the incidence of iodine deficiency and both autism and ADHD diagnoses.11,12 It has many uses, being used as both a pesticide and as an anti-caking agent IN OUR FOOD, specifically baked products! Several countries including Brazil and the entirety of the UK have banned its use13 but we have not. Small changes in iodine levels are demonstrated to have serious impacts on the thyroid gland,14 so if only 10% is bioavailable, and much of our already-low amounts of iodine are being displaced by the increasing use of bromide, is it any wonder why so many are so deficient in iodine? We all need to become aware that like fluoride toxicity, iodine deficiency is a real and omnipresent threat to our health, and we need to supplement. Please ask your physician to test your levels. As much as I love saving folks money and stomach space (which they can then devote to actual nutritious food!), I think this is probably one of the supplements many – if not all – need to take.


  1. https://fcpp.org/2021/11/09/how-bernays-changed-the-world-through-pr/ (Accessed 10/3/22).
  2. Bryson, Christopher. The Fluoride Deception. 2004. Seven Stories Press. New York City, NY.
  3. Brownstein, David MD. Iodine, Why you need it, and Why You Can’t Live Without It, 5 th Ed. 2014.
    Medical Alternative Press. Orchard Lake, MI.
  4. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/ (Accessed 10/3/22).
  5. https://deal.town/biowarrior-nutrition/do-you-live-in-the-goiter-belt-hint-its-in-the-usa-
    (Accessed 10/3/22).
  6. Abraham, G. The Concept of Orthodiodosupplementation and its Clinical Implications. The
    Original Internist. June, 2004.
  7. Stadel BV. Dietary iodine and risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer. Lancet. 1976 Apr
  8. Foster HD. The iodine-selenium connection: its possible roles in intelligence, cretinism, sudden
    infant death syndrome, breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. Med Hypotheses. 1993
  9. Konikowska K, Regulska-Ilow B, Rózańska D. The influence of components of diet on the
    symptoms of ADHD in children. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2012;63(2):127-34.
  10. Vobecký M, Babický A. Effect of enhanced bromide intake on the concentration ratio I/Br in the
    rat thyroid gland. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1994 Fall;43-45:509-16. Erratum in: Biol Trace Elem Res
    1995 Jun;48(3):297.
  11. https://www.nrdc.org/media/2003/030603-0 (Accessed 10/4/22).
  12. Kibirige MS, Hutchison S, Owen CJ, Delves HT. Prevalence of maternal dietary iodine
    insufficiency in the north east of England: implications for the fetus. Arch Dis Child Fetal
    Neonatal Ed. 2004 Sep;89(5):F436-9.
  13. https://unitedpatientsgroup.com/blog/whats-so-bad-about-bromide-breast-cancer-dr-
    (Accessed 10/4/22).
  14. F Jameson JL, DeGroot LJ. Endocrinology adult and pediatric: The thyroid gland. 6th Ed.
    Philadelphia; Saunders, 2013.