Iodine: What Happens if You Don’t Get Enough [Interview][Transcript]

Dr_Jacob_Teitelbaum_iodine_healthGuest: Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, Director of the Practitioners Alliance Network, is one of the most frequently quoted integrative medical authorities in the country. He is the author of the bestselling From Fatigued to Fantastic!, Pain Free, 1,2,3!, the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series, Real Cause Real Cure, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction, and the popular free smartphone app Cures A-Z.

Segment overview: Dr. Teitelbaum discusses the vital role iodine plays in the body and what happens if you don’t get enough.


Health Professional Radio – iodine health

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. Americans need more iodine today and they’re not getting enough from salt. The intake of iodine in America has dropped by about 50% in the last 30 years. Our guest in studio today is Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum Director of the Practitioner’s Alliance Network one of the most frequently quoted integrative medical authorities in the country today. And he’s the author of the bestselling book ‘The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution,’ also the Developer of the smartphone apps Cures A-Z. And he is here today with us today to discuss iodine and the important role that iodine plays in the body. Welcome to Health Professional Radio today Dr. Teitelbaum.

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum: Neal, a pleasure to be with you.

N: Iodine, we need more now than we should be getting. I thought that the salt that we were getting was enough to keep us all healthy.

T: Well iodized salt gives us a little bit of iodine compared to the total that’s needed. And so the vast majority of salt that most Americans get is not iodized, it’s out of food processing. The bottom line is that we’ve lost over 30 to 50% of the iodine in the diet as bakers change from using iodized flour to bromated flour and other similar changes has occurred over recent 30 to 50 years. And if you think about what will it be like to lose 30 to 50% of your income, that’s what it’s like to the body when it loses the iodine intake. Now a couple things too, not just only dealing with decrease iodine of the diet but there are number of chemicals and minerals that act as competitive and direct inhibitors to the iodine and to keys ones would be to other halides. Because if you think about it, halides look similar to the body and they act as competitive inhibitors and this include fluorides and also bromides. So well not just we have less iodine, we also have an increased need, because of numerous chemicals in the environment to these are … of many. So will see that the iodine deficiency is critical and it’s not just the thyroid, it’s important there are many other functions of the body.

N: Well in your opinion why would we as a nation, as a society change or reduce iodine when it’s something that gets pretty widely known that we may need?

T: Neal, you’re presuming the decisions you make and society are the same.

N: (Laugh)

T: There’s so much of what you do is based, just on individual well-meaning people doing the best they can, but often having to do with economics more than anything else. So in most countries bromated flour for example is illegal, it’s toxic. But we live in a country where if you’ve given up campaign contribution and tax to drug companies they’re able to get congress say that we were not allowed to negotiation on medical drug crisis, insane.

N: Okay, so basically follow the money?

T: Yeah, exactly. I mean you look at that and so many people I don’t put fault to drug companies on this, they’re doing their job to make money within those people. But socially we make decision that often unwise and that’s one reason our healthcare system is arguably certainly not the best in the world and without question it is by far the most expensive and quite probably the most toxic. So let’s just say as physicians, we can’t count to that kind of risk or the drug industry to look out for our patients’ wellbeing. We really have to take on that responsibility ourselves and that means learning to separate sense from nonsense, looking at the research. And so often when people are screaming evidence based medicine, is because they’re giving what really sleek advertising masked letting the science which is most our companies are putting out. And then by using that slogan and it’s justifying this kind of the old 1984 department of defense always invading everybody kind of thing. So we have as physician to look at the research directly and just see what’s going on. And if you look at iodine function, breast cancer, our foundation is gonna do a study looking at iodine levels in breast tissue in women with breast cancer for example.

N: Now does that been shown, is that been something suspected or is this something you just say “Hey let’s look and see if this a contributing factor?” Or it has always been suspected has been a contributing factor?

T: It’s been suspected for a number of reason. One, Japan which has a lot more iodine to the seafood in their diet than we have has a dramatically lower rate of breast cancer. You’ll see that and then a lot of research showing iodine deficiency critical role in breast tissue function if they have fibrocystic breast disease inside their breast by giving iodine, will often make the problem go away after about 6 to 12 weeks. But the thing is on the literature search we found that that study had already been done and showed that women with breast cancer have lower levels of iodine significantly in their tissues. And it’s suspected, I mean this is certainly can say that surely done as a cause. But it’s suspected that low iodine is also a significant contributor to the increased prevalence of breast cancer. So there’s a lot of different functions of the body and I think the best way Neal for people to get the iodine. It’s amazing that the multivitamin has 200 micrograms of iodine in it. It is good kind of RDA type of level to be getting to our recommend to our daily amount. In addition, it’s worthwhile for people who have unexplained fatigue and who have breast tenderness and breast cysts to also be taking a higher level of iodine. I recommend something called “tri-iodine” which is 6 and 1 quarter milligram a day. I don’t recommend the higher dosing except in some cases.

N: Now you’re the author as well, your book The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Speaking of chronic fatigue, you’re saying that this iodine deficiency contributes to the condition called fibromyalgia as well as fatigue?

T: Yes. It’s one of literally hundreds of things that contribute, fibromyalgia which is…combination of widespread pain, combined with inability to sleep, severe insomnia, those two together are often the most case really make the diagnosis, represents an energy crisis in the body. And when you have unreactive thyroid despite normal tests, this test very unreliable. But do you have this thyroid achy weight gain and cold intolerance … thyroid – it doesn’t matter what the test show. And iodine deficiency is one of the number of contributing factors. So given the 6 and a quarter milligram of iodine a day which is 6,250 micrograms for 3 to 6 months will not only replace deficits, but also tends to wash out the fluoride and bromide from the body that because it gets excreted.

N: Now if we’re washing this out – this bromide and this fluoride – aren’t we getting that same compound in our drinking water and in the bread that we’re gonna eat when we’re out anyway? Is it?

T: We are. But the thing Neal is that there’s over 85,000 chemicals adding at our diet. And if you think about it if you want to add medication, we have to put it to $800 Million FDA approval process for safety enough to take. But if one of your chemical in your environment, just do it. (Laugh).

N: Simply, none.

N: Simply nothing, the…are very little. And so to tell people to avoid everything in the environment… it just doesn’t work. Much better to give people what they need to be able to strive in the current environment. And that’s why the iodine, but again more is not better 6 and a quarter of milligram a day is what I recommend for 2 to 6 months, the 200 micrograms a day or two times a milligram. If people get multivitamins so that they have all the things that have been lost in the food processing. Some people who tend to be skeptical in nutrition in general and they say well evidence based medicine and I’ll give them, well here’s a thousand studies, and they go, “I don’t have time to read this nonsense.” And then somebody ask and they say I’ve never seen any study telling it, and it’s insane. There are thousands of study showing the importance of natural and efficient therapies, then just like medication there’s also a lot of non-sense out there and we need to distinguish, separate, watch out for our patients. We can’t do that without looking the actually initial research, you can’t look at people’s reviews on the research, as so often biased these days.

N: Now as we wrap up Doctor you also the developer of a free smartphone app called Cures A-Z. What prompted you to go into app development?

T: Well having that tens of thousands of studies, what basically it’s a simple tool that everything from app gets all so people can fully app up, it’s a free app. And it’ll say here is research on natural, and some of the medications, and they see which things get a thumbs up, a thumbs down. It’s a way of sorting to and separating sense from the nonsense, it’s a tool that I’ve given people help with this.

N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio today speaking with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, Director of Practitioners Alliance Network and also the author of The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution and the Developer of the free smartphone app “Cures A-Z.” We’ve been in studio this afternoon talking about the importance of iodine. It’s been great having you here with us today Dr. Teitelbaum.

T: Neal, a pleasure.

N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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