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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Here’s Part 10 on my series about Iodine, a critical element for your health that most of us are severely depleted in! This week’s input includes my synopsis of some of the information provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

___   Iodine is a non-metallic trace element, and it is required by humans for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Serious Iodine deficiency is an important health problem throughout much of the world, as most of the earth’s Iodine is found in oceans, and Iodine content in the soil varies with region. Seaweeds, sea veggies and ocean fish are the main sources of this CRITICAL element.

The older, land-locked countries or internal areas of large land masses have an old exposed soil surface, so more  Iodine has been leached away by erosion and weather. In mountainous regions, (such as the Himalayas, the Andes, the Alps) and in annually-flooded river valleys, (such as the Ganges an Nile), these are among the most severely iodine-deficient areas in the world.

Severe lack of Iodine causes irreversible brain damage.

Function

___   Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).  So, Iodine is essential for normal thyroid function, your metabolism and your ability to control your weight. Your body must also be able to convert T4 into the active form, T3 and some groups of people have problems doing this chemical conversion, so they do not have enough “energy”, and also gain weight.

To meet your body’s demand for thyroid hormones, your thyroid gland traps Iodine from the blood and then incorporates it into thyroid hormones. These are stored and released into the circulation when needed, and travel to all tissues and organ systems.

In target tissues, such as the liver and the brain, T3, the physiologically active thyroid hormone, can bind to thyroid receptors in the nuclei of cells and then regulate gene expression.

In target tissues, T4, the most abundant circulating thyroid hormone, can be converted to T3 by selenium-containing enzymes. So having enough selenium in your diet is also important, as again, most people are selenium-deficient.

This process is how thyroid hormones regulate a number of physiologic activities in your body, including:  growth, development, metabolism and reproductive function.

___   The regulation of thyroid function is a complex process that involves the brain (hypothalamus) and pituitary gland, as well as the thyroid gland itself. You can read more about it at:   Scientific Iodine Information

But, it is important to know that, in response to decreased blood levels of T4, the pituitary gland increases its output of TSH, and that persistently elevated TSH may lead enlargement of the thyroid gland, also known as goiter.

Deficiency

___   Iodine deficiency is now accepted as the most common cause of preventable brain damage in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) affect 740 million people throughout the world (that’s about 10% of all humans! But 35% are in jeopardy, due to deficiency of Iodine.). Nearly 50 million people suffer from some degree of IDD-related brain damage.

IDD’s result in: mental retardation, hypothyroidism, goiter and varying degrees of other growth and developmental abnormalities.

Estimates are that over 35% of the world’s population (almost 2 billion people) has insufficient Iodine intake (as measured by urinary iodine excretion below 100 µg/L. Moreover, this analysis estimated that 36.5% of school-age children (6-12 years old) worldwide (285 million total children) has insufficient Iodine intake, and are therefore at risk for brain damage.

Since the 1990’s, major international efforts have produced dramatic improvements in the correction of Iodine deficiency, mainly through the use of iodized salt and iodized vegetable oil in iodine-deficient countries.

Adequate Iodine intake will usually reduce the size of goiters, but the reversibility of the other effects of hypothyroidism depends on an individual’s stage of development. Iodine deficiency has adverse effects in all stages of human development, but is most damaging to the developing brain of fetuses and infants.

In addition to regulating many aspects of growth and development, thyroid hormone is critical for the myelination of your central nervous system, which is most active before and shortly after birth. The  myelin sheath covers nerves, the way insulating rubber or plastic does for electrical wires, and it prevents the short-circuiting and disruption of our nerves’ messages. MS, Multiple Sclerosis, is a dis-ease where the nerves have been deprived of their myelin sheath; it is presently increasing in incidence.

The effects of Iodine deficiency by developmental stage

Prenatal development

Fetal Iodine deficiency is caused by Iodine deficiency in the mother, and one of the most devastating effects of that deficiency is congenital hypothyroidism, (referred to as cretinism). It results in irreversible mental retardation.

Newborns and infants

Infant mortality is increased in areas of Iodine deficiency. When Iodine deficiency is corrected, there is an increase in childhood survival. Infancy is also a period of rapid brain growth and development and normal brain growth depends on Iodine intake. Deficiency results in impaired intellectual development.

Children and adolescents

Iodine deficiency in children and adolescents is often associated with goiter, and  goiter peaks in adolescence. It is more common in girls, as the female thyroid is twice the size of the male’s gland; so girls automatically need more Iodine. Any Iodine deficient child can show lower IQs and a higher incidence of learning disabilities than matched groups from Iodine-sufficient children. A meta-analysis of 18 studies concluded that Iodine deficiency alone lowered mean IQ scores in children by 13.5 points. That’s HUGE!

When I taught school, I had two children in one year’s class who had IQ’s of 70 (as well as others in the same class with IQ’s above 135); it was a teaching night-mare with such disparate needs (but I enjoyed the challenge of teaching the brightest to excel). However, teaching the two at IQ 70 was nearly impossible. It is heart-breaking to know that if it was Iodine related, it could have been eliminated by proper pre-natal and post-natal care for those kids. It’s another reason why I am trying to hammer this lesson home so hard!

Adults

Inadequate Iodine intake can still result in goiter and hypothyroidism in adults, during any part of their life. The effects of hypothyroidism are more subtle in adult brains, but research suggests that low-functioning thyroid due to Iodine deficiency results in slower response times and impaired mental function.

Pregnancy and Lactation

Daily Iodine requirements are increased in pregnant and breast-feeding women. And, Iodine deficiency during pregnancy has been associated with increased incidence of miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects, as well as decreased intelligence for the child.

Moreover, severe Iodine deficiency during pregnancy and lactation affects the fetus, infant and child. Iodine-deficient women who are breast-feeding cannot provide sufficient Iodine to their infants (who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of Iodine deficiency).

A daily prenatal supplement providing the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Iodine will help to ensure that pregnant and breast-feeding women consume sufficient Iodine during these critical periods. Check if you can get this! Not all pre-natal vitamins include Iodine and Selenium.

Increased Cancer Risk

Because Iodine deficiency results in increased Iodine trapping by the thyroid, Iodine-deficient individuals of all ages are more susceptible to radiation-induced thyroid cancer from the radio-active Iodine produced from the environment due to human activity (nuclear energy industry and above-ground atomic testing). If you are eating seaweeds, in sufficient quantity, your thyroid will first take up the healthy Iodine 127 isotope, and reject the radio-active, toxic Iodine 131 version, (which will otherwise hog your Iodine receptors in deficiency disease states causing ill health for you and disturbed metabolism).

Nutrient Interactions

Selenium deficiency can also exacerbate the effects of Iodine deficiency, as selenium-dependent enzymes are also required for the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to the biologically active thyroid hormone (T3). Additionally, deficiencies of vitamin A or iron may also exacerbate the effects of Iodine deficiency.

Goitrogens – Substances Causing Thyroid Damage

Some foods interfere with Iodine utilization or thyroid hormone production; culprit substances in these foods are called goitrogens.

Cassava, which contains a compound that is metabolized to thiocyanate and that blocks thyroidal uptake of Iodine. Some species of millet and cruciferous vegetables (cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens) also contain goitrogens. Further, the ever-touted  soybean isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, have been found to inhibit thyroid hormone synthesis. Most of these goitrogens are not of clinical importance unless they are consumed in large amounts or there is coexisting Iodine deficiency (which exists in most Americans).

Results also indicate that tobacco smoking may be associated with an increased risk of goiter, in iodine-deficient areas.

Individuals at risk of Iodine deficiency

Vegetarian, vegan and meat-eating diets that exclude iodized salt, fish and seaweed have been found to contain very little Iodine.

Urinary Iodine excretion studies suggest that Iodine intakes have also declined in Switzerland, New Zealand, as well as in the U.S. (but recently the US was showing progress, as was Switzerland) . This lack may be happening due to dietary recommendations to eat less salt, so iodized salt intake needs to be replaced with use of ocean fish and / or use of seaweeds and sea veggies.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

Dr. Guy Abraham, MD, world-expert in Iodine says the RDA is set way too low. Read about this in the early part of my series.

The RDA for Iodine was reevaluated by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine in 2001, and it was slightly increased. These are the currents RDA’s.

I apologize for the formatting here. I’ll try to make a table when time permits. Meanwhile, please just persist to read it.
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Minimal RDA Intake: double-click on the image to enlarge it

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Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for Iodine
Age Group UL (mg/day)
Infants 0-12 months Not possible to establish*
Children 1-3 years 200 mcg/day
Children 4-8 years 300 mcg/day
Children 9-13 years 600 mcg/day
Adolescents 14-18 years 900 mcg/day
Adults 19 years and older 1,100 mcg/day (1.1 mg/day)

*Source of intake should be from mother’s milk, food and formula only.
___ Children with cystic fibrosis may also be more sensitive to the adverse effects of excess Iodine.
___ Individuals with Iodine deficiency, nodular goiter or autoimmune thyroid disease may be sensitive to these intake levels which are considered safe for the general population.
======================================================================

You can get too much Iodine and that is detrimental, just like too little is, but it’s almost impossible to get too much if you get you just get your Iodine from normal portions of food. It is rare for diets of natural foods to supply more than 2,000 mcg of Iodine/day, and most diets supply less than 1,000 mcg of Iodine/day.

The exception is people living in the northern coastal regions of Japan, whose diets contain large amounts of seaweed. They have been found to have Iodine intakes ranging from 50,000 to 80,000 mcg (50-80 mg) of iodine/day, and are healthy! But, they built-up those tolerances over a life-time of use. For you, use just a small serving of seaweed daily or a nori wrap or some seaweed stock or ocean fish a few times a week to get a reasonable quota.

Food sources

The Iodine in most foods depends on the Iodine soil content. Seafood is rich in Iodine because marine animals can concentrate the Iodine from seawater. Certain types of seaweed (e.g. brown kelps like wakame and kombu) are also very rich in Iodine, for the same reason.

Processed foods may contain slightly higher levels of Iodine due to the use of Iodized salt or food additives, such as calcium iodate and potassium iodate.

Dairy products are relatively good sources of Iodine because Iodine is used to clean cow’s udders before milking and it is commonly added to animal feed in America. But, be aware that in the U.K. and northern Europe, Iodine levels in dairy products tend to be lower in summer when cattle are allowed to graze in pastures with low soil Iodine content.
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The table below lists the Iodine content of some foods in micrograms (mcg); 1000 mcg = 1 gram. These values should be considered approximate. See how they affect your Optimal Iodine goal. Double-click on the image to enlarge it.

*A three-ounce serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.
** may be greater than 4,500 mcg !!!
=========================================================================
I’ll continue next week.

Best to all — Em

Please read additional articles in my Archive on the upper navigation bar. Please highlight this article at your favorite Web 2.0 site; sharing this information is critical. Thanks!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to use my article or quote more than one paragraph of it, please write for permission to use it at the About Me tab on the upper navigation bar. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Ever watchful for gestational diabetes, which did not materialize, if you read my post last week, you know that my daughter just had her first baby – a healthy boy. What little time I had for “research” on diabetes this week has been guided by the birth, desire for the baby’s continued health and my daughter’s best route to recovery.

Pregnant women and post-partnum moms need to take action using the information below. Anyone who’s overweight needs this information, too.

One factor which will help both mom and baby was disclosed in a recent email that I received from Dr. Mercola, DC and the research of Dr. Ron Rosedale, MD.

We’ll talk about some of their medical lessons now, and other aspects over time.

The most important (and easiest ) part to implement now is to include active, massive amounts of friendly “probiotic” families of bacteria back into your gut!

This can be done with kefir (a better product) or with active, live-culture yoghurt (confirm live cultures on the label content) or with refrigerated probiotic capsules. Why do this?

The proper balance of friendly micro-organisms is critical for diabetics!

Dr. Mercola reports that clinical studies show that diabetics (and anyone who is overweight or obese) have improper percentages of the various families of gut bacteria.  So, we need to know more.

As 1 in 4 Americans are either pre-diabetic (blood sugar over 100) or full-blown diabetics (blood sugar over 125), we have to do everything to regain the health of more than 70 million Americans and tens of millions more globally  — here goes.

The rate of diabetes in the last 5 decades has increased 700% in America, and during this time, mainstream medicine has incorrectly treated diabetes, in Dr. Mercola’s and Dr. Rosedale’s opinions.

Other doctors have been treating a “symptom” (high blood sugar) NOT the root cause.

Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient, highly-accurate first medical system of humanity, emphasizes throughout its 5,000 years of practice that the health of the bowel is critical. Modern science is showing that’s true!

The same cells that make the brain also become part of the gut, in the fetus and then adult,  so we do have another “brain” there — a very powerful one, in fact — which is able to understand the nuances that make up health in the gut.

Our red blood cells are also made in these intestinal tissues, too. So, gut health is a prime target to regain.

We always hear about ‘eating more fiber’, and that’s still important — both soluble and insoluble fiber. But gut-health is far more than that.

The actual populations of bacterial micro-organisms and their percentage in your gut community are truly critical. Diabetics and obese people have severe imbalances in these populations.

According to one study, diabetics and overweight people usually harbor more of the family of bacteria known as firmicutes … (20 percent more), whereas another bacteria called bacteroidetes was almost 90 percent lower.”

How do we shift the balance and why do we need to?

“Probiotic supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy can help women lose weight after their child’s birth”, according to new findings from a Finnish study.

Researchers report that supplements containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were associated with less central obesity (the type of killer fat associated with the “apple” shaped body).

Women were given the supplements during their first trimester of pregnancy and continued them until they stopped exclusive breastfeeding (up to six months on the study).

If you weren’t on the probiotics during pregnancy, start the probiotic regimen now, with the rest of us. It’s imperative for you to do so — for your health and for your baby’s health, if you are nursing.

Firmicutes appear to be more efficient at taking calories out of complex sugars and depositing those calories as fat. When these microbes were transplanted into normal-weight mice, they suddenly gained twice as much fat. And in a human study, obese people who lost weight increased their bacteroidetes, while the numbers of firmicutes decreased.”

“Gut bacteria also influence your weight through the activation or non-activation a single molecule in your intestinal wall.” It is activated by the waste products from certain gut bacteria.  The activated  molecule slows the movement of food through your intestine, causing you to absorb more nutrients and thus gain weight.

Beneficial bifidobacteria and lactobacillus bacteria must predominate over potentially harmful bacteria for you to be healthy and normal weight.

Babies get the helpful bacteria to populate their gut from their mom’s milk. So, the mom’s must have goodly amounts of the best microflora or else the babies won’t get enough of the “good-guys” (and may even get too many not so good ones??? I’m not sure about that part.).

Getting these good-guys through breastmilk will have lasting benefit, into adulthood, for your baby.

We also need the same good Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus bacteria, as diabetics, pre-diabetics, overweight or obese people.

Here’s an important reason behind the usual directive: “to stop consuming sugary foods”. Eating a healthy diet low in sugars, grains and processed foods will generally cause the good bacteria in your gut to flourish, and naturally build up a major defense against excessive amounts of bad bacteria (that can damage your health).

Even using an extremely low-sugar diet is not the full-story. You need to know that there are other factors that negatively influence your friendly-bacteria’s survival, including:

• Antibiotics
• Chlorinated water
• Antibacterial soap
• Agricultural chemicals
• Pollution

All of these factors can kill off your good gut bacteria.

Eating fresh, raw, washed vegetables and fruit (preferably organic produce) will help to repopulate with good bacteria for humans beyond babyhood, as will daily consumption of kefir and yoghurt and / or probiotic capsules.

It’s probably the yoghurt-eating habit of the people in the Caucasus which make them the largest group of oldest humans, because their guts are SO healthy.

Cheese and regular milk do NOT have these good bacteria alive in them. And, in fact, cow milk in babies and young children is implicated in destroying the insulin producing parts of the pancreas —- leading to Type 1 diabetes in children!

I am making very specific suggestions here! In addition to kefir (best) and live-culture yoghurt, other foods which have some of the good-guys are traditionally-made versions of slowly fermented vegetables (like Bubbe’s dill pickles and sauerkraut), kim chee, miso and natto (this is the only one on the list that I won’t use … I find it nasty!).

Get the balance right so your bacteroidetes will prevent your firmicutes from making you fat, and the good guys will help you use the fat you have stored for energy, as the bacteroidetes won’t “mine” as many calories from your food, so you will use up your fat and then likely remain lean, as long as the good-guy intestinal gut flora remain dominant.

I’m off to get more kefir in my fridge more regularly now!

I love its taste and slight effervescence. There are several excellent brands and at least one is in most Safeways, in the health section’s refrigerator or in regular section near yoghurts. Get an organic kefir from there or from your favorite health store. Well known brands are Helios and Lifeway, as well as Nancy’s.

You can read the original article and get a jump-start on Dr. Rosedale’s views on obesity etc., at the following links (you may have to “register” to get the info, but do that. You’ll learn a lot there.). You will also need to scroll quite far down the page before the articles begin.

Dr. Mercola’s Probiotic Information

Diabetes not being treated correctly. Dr. Ron Rosedale, MD.

(c)2009 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
Please respect my copyright, and if you want to quote from my article or use my piece, please include the full copyright citation and website location in your footnotes or reference section. Thanks!

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