Posts Tagged ‘iodine’

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

The radiation crisis in Japan shows that diabetics, who are often even more deficient in certain minerals than the massively-deficient Western populations, are the canaries in the mine. With less latitude, I’m sounding the clarion call for diabetics to get their biochemical house in order! Let’s learn what to start with.


According to the staff at Life Extension Foundation, scientists conclusively established that low levels of chromium directly contribute to high blood sugar and even to pre-diabetic complications. That knowledge was found and published officially more than 50 years ago, and yet, today, how many of your doctors advise you to take chromium – usually in the trivalent form with GTC (glucose tolerance factor)?

And, amazingly (but as a reflection of rising over-all rates of obesity and diabetes), now anywhere between 25-50% of the American population suffers from chromium deficiency.

This began about 50 years ago, too, because of  “modern commercial farming methods” which depleted the soil of valuable chromium, in the interim.

Then, “industrial food processing”  depleted whatever natural chromium was in the whole foods. So, you got a double-whammy and that’s why so many people are deficient now.

It’s another reason why organically-grown, naturally-composted and amended soil, with little or no industrial processing — so-called  “whole foods” are much more nutritious.

Compounding the danger of chromium deficiency is the reality that your body’s capacity to absorb chromium also declines with age. That’s possible one of the reasons that Type 2 diabetes used to be “adult onset” when people still ate decently. Now, even children have poor diets and can become Type 2 insulin-resistant (adult-onset) diabetics in their teens!

Rampant nutritional insufficiencies may also be undermining even the best efforts to optimize blood glucose levels using other protocols. For even if you eat well, if your diet is chromium deficient, you will not have enough to “partner” for your insulin needs.

Excess glucose ingestion (too many quick carbs)  and high blood-stream levels not only increase degenerative disease risk, but also adversely impacts our longevity genes.

In published scientific studies, chromium deficiency induces early-stage diabetic complications, too,  and hastens  full-blown diabetes.

Chromium is the Master Blood Sugar Regulator.

Supplementation with chromium has consistently demonstrated improvement in:

___   blood sugar levels

___   insulin sensitivity

___   helpful lipid profiles.

The mechanism appears to be  that chromium favorably modulates your cells’ internal communication centers (intracellular signaling systems). It helps your cells’ components communicate.

How does that work? In order to establish and maintain optimal blood glucose absorption and metabolism, the intracellular signaling is especially critical so each of your cells can  detect and respond to elevated glucose levels in your blood.

When cells detect these elevations, a large-array of biomolecular processes are set in motion.  Chromium is now recognized to be singularly vital to this process, enabling the cellular uptake and breakdown of blood sugar — and thereby effectively lowering glucose levels in the blood and increasing your insulin sensitivity.

Chromium also lowers blood sugar levels via  GLUT4.

Chromium, like most metals in our bodies, binds to a specific protein “carrier” molecule (which is why Dr. Vickery’s protocols are so effective — see the Title Archive for those articles).

Just as the hemoglobin molecule in red blood cells binds to iron, the chromodulin molecule binds bio-electrically to chromium ions.

In the presence of insulin, the chromodulin molecule even changes its shape and additionally changes its location in the cell. This process then triggers a further cascade — the activation of a vital glucose transporter molecule called GLUT4.

GLUT4 is found most abundantly in skeletal muscle and in fatty tissue, and this IS where most glucose metabolism takes place in your body! Of all your tissues, muscle is the most metabolically active, so that is why exercise to build and maintain muscle is SO important.

Once activated by chromium, GLUT4 actually migrates from deep within each cell’s internal matrix to a position on the edge, at the cell membrane.

GLUT4 then allows glucose to flow from high concentrations in your bloodstream to lower concentrations in the cell, acting as a gate-keeper. This allows the cell to safely metabolize sugar while lowering sugar levels in the blood, at a reasonable rate, concurrently.

One of the earliest events in the onset of type 2 diabetes is now known to be inhibition of glucose transport by the GLUT4 complex. Scientists and physicians are understanding the need to reactivate GLUT4’s ability to transport glucose effectively.

Chromium also directly increases the production of GLUT4 transporter molecules as a second, separate, important, active mechanism independent of its effects on insulin.This is even more essential for those who are already “insulin resistant”.

Exciting recent studies show chromium also activates an entirely different signaling system called p38 MAPK and, again, that contributes to increased glucose uptake independent of the GLUT4 system.

Our body usually has back-up and alternate pathways. We are marvelously designed and it takes a lot to make us ill and overwhelm our ability to Heal. So, respecting that, we must give our body what it needs to help it do the Healing it knows how to do. Doctors seldom do more than help a little, mostly we need to give our body what it NEEDS.

Recent studies show that supplementing with chromium and biotin (an expensive B vitamin seldom in proper quantities in vitamin formulas) can improve glycemic control in overweight and obese diabetic patients when taken along with their regular medication. Or, as I have done, take these together,anyway, if you are not on medication.

LEF says: “Chromium also exerts its positive effects on blood sugar selectively — which means it does not induce dangerously low blood sugar levels like some drugs, but rather kicks into gear only when blood sugar levels become too high.” Nature always has a safe, life-affirming mechanism, if it has the supplies it needs.

Scientists recognize that control of blood sugar in the immediate period following a meal (the postprandial period) is perhaps more important than at any other time. Chromium helps control this interval when blood sugar can dangerously spike in the body thereby prevents or ameliorates the   cumulative damage.

Chromium also helps prevent the formation of advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. You should see the difference in readings on your A1c tests.

The combination of chromium and biotin has favorably affected a biomarker called the atherogenic index: this is the ratio of triglycerides to HDL. Chromium and biotin here reduce your cardiac risk factors.

Inflammation is the true cause of many of the same, connected dis-eases, and the improvement in insulin signaling by chromium is also associated with decreased production of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines, which will help tissue health all over your body, especially cardiac and arterial health.


___   Indian Goosebery and Shilajit

The organic compounds amla (Indian gooseberry) and shilajit work synergistically to enhance chromium’s glucose-lowering effects. The high anti-oxidant  amla fruit shields cells from damage inflicted by high blood sugar, while shilajit boosts efficient cellular glucose metabolism (be sure to get a quality preparation).

Shilajit is an unusual, complex mixture of organic and inorganic compounds rich in fulvic acid. Studies show that shilajit has remarkable effects on how our mitochondria utilize energy from dietary sugars and fats. As I’ve tried to emphasize, diabetics already have their mitochondria more at-risk, so this “support” is vital.

Fulvic acid acts as a molecular “chaperone,” shuttling electrons efficiently along pathways within our cellular mitochondria furnaces, which are actually genetically-independent life-forms within your cells, in a symbiotic relationship as old as Life itself.

Taking a compound of chromium plus amla and shilajit acts to optimize the way your body takes up and distributes glucose between and within cells, thereby assuring rapid removal of glucose from the bloodstream and encouraging efficient utilization of glucose within your cells’ mitochondria.

___   Brown Seaweeds

You can block carbohydrate breakdown using seaweeds which limits the amount of glucose that your body has to process.

This approach blunts the conversion of starches into their component sugars in your  gastrointestinal tract by introducing natural enzyme inhibitors.

The usual targets are the sugar-producing alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes. Potent, anti-oxidant seaweed extracts have inhibitory effects on these enzymes.

These seaweed extracts also stimulate differentiation of fat cells, preventing them from replicating and reducing the release of harmful fat-related, inflammatory cytokines. Eating seaweeds also accomplishes these goals as long as ingestion is daily.

Seaweed compounds achieve this anti-inflammatory effect by their upregulation of the important PPAR metabolic sensing system and also through increased expression of the GLUT4 glucose transporter.

The seaweed compounds will also be protective of your thyroid to prevent it uptaking the radio-active Iodine isotope 131 while the radiation crisis is happening in Japan.

It will also help insure that you have enough Iodine for your thyroid to run your metabolism properly. Seaweed is a basic, foundational human food. Don’t leave home without eating some, every day.

Kelp, dulse and other sea vegetables are the best source of chromium, as well as being a mineral source for all needed minerals available on the planet. If you take seaweed, it will be hard to be deficient in anything. The sea veggies are all pH alkaline, which really is anti-inflammatory.

___   Beets, Olives, Fresh Garlic, Onions, Spirulina, Wheatgrass

These are other chromium sources. Do not overdose on wheatgrass juices as it is a powerful detoxifier.

Make sure you get adequate chromium daily. Next time I’ll write about other helpful foods and protocols. To heal diabetes, and that is often possible, and certainly to improve your condition, you need to act and give your body the raw materials it needs. Medications do not seem to be doing that.

Best to all – Em

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(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

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

I can’t believe that it’s Thanksgiving in one week and Hanukkah begins December 1. That has really caught me off-guard. I already have a husband who’s ill with some kind of influenza, it seems, and I am trying to get him on-the-mend. Everything is always in flux; now it’s even more so. What to do? How can diabetics weather the peaks and valleys and stresses of this spate of seasonal celebrations?

I do it by being organized, which is why it’s a little more scary this year. Another thing I do is trust to my experience, which I will definitely need this year. One more tip, is that I am always paying attention and gathering through the year. I never wait until just Holiday Time.

So, I took my husband to the clinic 2 days ago and will bring him back today.  Hopefully, the physician will see some progress, as we really want to avoid him getting pneumonia from the grungy, small cough that appeared 2 weeks ago, just after he got his flu shot.  It has just slowly progressed to show some lung changes on Wednesday’s  x-ray. So, yesterday, I made him a mighty healing soup.

I am including the recipe here, as I do not want you to get ill if you stress or obsess over the holidays. My soup recipe will help give your immune system the ammunition it needs to kick into high-gear.

My husband is not diabetic, but has other health issues which I have to be careful of, too, which share diabetics’ usual “concerns”.

As Hippocrates said, “Let Food Be Thy Medicine“. That’s a treatment your body knows how to use and you have to be knowledgeable these days or get counsel. I have been taught by family experience and my own use of Food As Cure has been for multiple decades. Now that I am without medical insurance, it’s even more critical knowledge.

One consistent place to find a tradition of using Food As Cure, is in the Chinese Culture. You will be able to find many recipes, some of which may have been used as food cures for thousands of years. I have many Chinese Food Cure books on my shelves, and hopefully you have some family traditions, too.

Many of the things called “old wives tales” in the past are being shown to have a solid basis when science catches up. The grandmothers and mothers of the past were the Healers, and they were good at observing what worked. Even what we think of now as “witchcraft” and “herbalism” were female scientific endeavors which males either didn’t understand or didn’t like handing over any Power to a woman. That’s true, let’s face it.

But, now, it is everyone’s responsibility to be a Healer — and that’s especially true when American medicine and much of western medicine is going in the wrong direction, becoming a spineless shill for Big Pharma. If you can find a more holistic physician, you are lucky.

I’ll be suspending my series about a few of the good doctors out there while we talk about the holidays, and I may resume the series sometime on the New Year. I will return to a couple of the first few physicians, too, Dr. Timothy Harlan, MD, especially, who is just starting to produce a TV series, so he may get wider exposure as “Dr. Gourmet”.

Pay attention to whom you get counsel from, but be proactive and DO learn what you need to know.

Now, on to today’s recipe.


Em’s Mighty Healing Soup

For 4 servings — in a large soup pot, combine:

1 1/2 cartons of free-range, organic chicken broth – about 1 1/2 quarts

1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled, diced in 1/2″ slices

1 medium Yukon Gold potato, scrubbed well with peel on, 1/2″ dice

3 large beet leaves and stems, shredded, then diced 1/2″ lengths

about 1/2t  each of dried: garlic powder*, turmeric, oregano, thyme

1/4 C Turkish red lentils, rinsed

1 large piece of kombu seaweed (Eden brand)

1 large piece of Nori seaweed, (Eden Brand)

Add these and bring to the boil, then immediately reduce heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Then add:

1/2 C well washed organic quinoa

(1)  20+ ounce can organic diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Brand^)

Cook another 10-15 minutes once the pot has returned to heat. You may have to turn it up to boil again and immediately return it then to a good simmer.

Because I kept the heat low for most of the time, I did not need to stand and stir the soup. In fact, I just kept an eye on it while I did more things in the kitchen.

At the end, place the following in a bowl:

about 1 t – 2t of organic extra-virgin olive oil (bowl size determines how much to use)

same amount of Organic, apple cider vinegar with the “mother” enzymes (Eden or Bragg’s or Spectrum Brand)

a tiny pinch of Celtic Sea Salt

splash of lemon juice

about 1/4t Kelp Granules (Maine Sea Vegetables Brand)

Pour in the desired amount of soup and enjoy!


* I will be explaining why I use each ingredient, and I want to say that I will also be adding fresh garlic cloves next time, and I had wanted to add finely diced fresh onion as garnish, but had used my last one! Onions provide quercetin, an important factor.

If you take coumadin or warfarin or another blood thinner, then pay attention as seaweed will affect your numbers. Seaweed is Nature’s blood thinner. You will need less medicine if you use seaweed regularly. See my previous articles about Seaweed, and Iodine, in the Titles Archive, above.

Many of the ingredients that you can’t find in your local stores, especially if you live outside the United States, you can buy at the companies’ websites.

___ Free-range Organic Chicken Broth – is the best form of “Jewish penicillin”. Science has found many immune-stimulating or modulating substances in chicken soup — as Jewish Mamas have always known!

___   organic sweet potato – this is a very alkaline pH food which will help to “neutralize” some of the pH acidic tissues which is where pathogens hide. Viruses and bacteria require an acidic pH environment to live. If you remain pH alkaline, you are not a host. Sweet potatoes also have good fiber to try to help the gut keep moving even though you may not be physically active as much, if unwell. They are filled with pro-Vitamin A phytosterols which help your body to fight (and protect your eyes).

___   organic Yukon Gold Potato (or white potato) – again, another pH alkaline food, if eaten with the skin and there’s actually a fair amount of Vitamin C in them, too.

___   organic beet greens – these dark green leafies have lots of Vitamin B’s to help us handle stress, which being ill certainly is. They also have lots of Vitamin A which is being covered up by their dark color. I was also hoping that there’s still naturally-occurring nitrates in the leaves and stems, not just the beet bulb. Natural nitrates help to produce nitrous oxide, needed to dilate your vascular system which means more oxygen can be brought deeply into tissues. Oxygen is another “killer” of most pathogens – which tend to be anaerobic organisms. (Natural nitrates are very different as opposed to man-made ones in deli meats, which are cancer-causing.)

___   specific dry herbs: garlic, thyme, oregano and turmeric are all either antivirals, antibacterials or both.  Don’t underestimate the power of these plants. They’ve been used by herbalists for millennia because they work. Science is now just catching up. Fresh herbs are best, but you can use dried to lesser effect.

___   Turkish red lentils – these are acidic pH, as all beans are, in varying degrees, but I needed to add more protein to help tissues repair themselves in the battle with the pathogens, so the pH alkaline foods will help neutralize these beans, too. I chose these lentils because they cook very quickly, but true French green lentils have some remarkable qualities, due to the volcanic soil they are grown in, so I might consider using them, too.

___   organic seaweeds — I used kombu and nori – large leaf portions. They provide Iodine, an essential anti-viral and anti-bacterial and also the full range of minerals. The key here is to use a brand like Eden which is fastidious about the cleanliness and safety of the ocean water where these are harvested. Do not buy Chinese products.

___   organic quinoa — a high protein food to aid tissue renewal and it’s a very alkaline food to help raise pH to levels where pathogens cannot survive. It is also the original alkaline fast-food, as it cooks in about 10 minutes. Use it as a substitute for grains, all of which are pH acidic foods.

___   organic tomatoes — source of lycopene and lutein — important phytonutrients to help with immunity and eye health, and there’s some Vitamin C, but, again, that’s being lost when exposed to heating — so I try to keep the cooking temperature as low as possible and add the Vitamin C foods as late in the process as possible. ^ I use Muir Glen because it has an enameled interior to the can. Most companies use Bispenol A treated liners for canned food, especially tomatoes, which are sub-acidic fruits and can corrode the can. Bisphenol A is now banned in Canada and should be, everywhere. Children, especially, should not be exposed to Bisphenol A.

___   olive oil — source of important essential fatty acids and it’s a healthy food to help with joint pain and heart health — both of which are stressed when dealing with the flu. I prefer organic, but that can be hard to find. Make sure the oil is in a dark glass bottle, and buy a small size. Keep refrigerated or in a cool spot.

___   organic apple cider vinegar with the “mother of vinegar” enzymes — it leaves alkaline ash, so it is considered to bring alkalinity in your body. It is the only vinegar which does this. This vinegar is very good for diabetics and it it aids digestion, so the food value is more available with less work for the ill person

___   Celtic Sea Salt — supplies the full range of ocean minerals, and it is the only one which is assured to have been harvested in truly pristine ocean waters. Get it at Trader Joe’s or from the original preferred source – The Grain and Salt Society. Look them up in Asheville, NC.

___   splash of organic lemon juice – again, lemons may have citric acid, but they leave alkaline ash after metabolism is complete, so they are an alkalizer. Of course they are also a source of Vitamin C, but it is best not exposed to heat. You’re better off having a  real, organic lemon squeezed into pure spring water to drink before your soup or along side – sweeten with a little stevia.

___   kelp granules — more iodine in an easy to use anywhere, anytime format. Even though heat does not deactivate Iodine, I wanted some fresh, just at serving. Iodine is a potent pathogen killer.

Put some of my Mighty Healing Soup into a thermos to take to work if your co-workers are hacking and coughing. And, if you decide to take an Echinacea preparation, which IS effective (contrary to the “science” “reported” in the media where it is being “studied” for “off-label” uses), then be sure to take Echinacea for a maximum of 2 weeks on, then 2 weeks off. Your thymus has to rest and not be constantly stimulated. The traditional use adheres to that timetable and Russian research confirms that wisdom.

Well, I hope you stay well, and we’ll see if I get a post done next week — maybe on Friday. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Best to all — Em

Please use my Titles Archive Tab on the upper navigation bar to learn lots more!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please respect my copyright. You can use 2 short paragraphs, but to quote more, please write for permission at the About Me tab above. Thanks.

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Diabetics – Iodine and Health 12

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

Iodine is a critical factor in you being healthy — if you are deficient, like most people, then you are not optimally healthy. Learn more here and now! This will be the final article in this series for awhile, as there’s lots more topics in waiting.

Iodine is a non-metallic trace element which is required by humans for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which run your metabolism in each cell in your whole body. This effects your energy level and your ability to lose weight. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from your pituitary gland, stimulates iodine trapping from your blood, then thyroid hormone synthesis and release of T3 and T4 by your thyroid gland.

But there’s way more need and benefit to you in the Iodine story!

I’ll mention more unusual aspects at the end *, and try to stay with a quick overview here, and see the LINKS to the other 11 parts where you can learn why this topic is important enough for me to have spent 3 months on.

Just remember, Iodine is needed by every cell in your body in natural, optimal amounts. This is NOT happening in most of our bodies, and the Japanese and Okinawans take in far more than the American Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)! Don’t be frightened away from using Iodine foods because I have to put up the unusual situation comments at the end of this article.

Also, by the way, I am never talking about Iodine in all forms; for example, DO NOT USE FIRST-AID IODINE FROM THE PHARMACY; IT IS POISONOUS AND NOT FOR ORAL USE!

Given the importance of sufficient iodine during prenatal development and infancy, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consider taking a supplement that provides the RDA.

In my opinion after reading the literature, 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. Lactating and pregnant women actually need 1,100 mcg (micrograms) of Iodine daily while in those conditions.

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.

A multivitamin / multimineral supplement that contains 100% of the daily value (DV) for iodine provides 150 mcg of iodine. (that’s micrograms) Kelp tablets from the health store will also supply Iodine OR 5 grams a day of seaweed (that’s 1 ounce a week).

Two groups of substances found in food – isoflavones, most commonly found in soy foods — and thiocyanates (most commonly produced in the body from glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli) have been shown to interfere with iodine utilization by the thyroid gland. This is only under very specific circumstances which involve simultaneous dietary deficiency of iodine or selenium (or both) and imbalanced overall dietary intake of them.

And, now for some more seaweed recipes. These include Sea Tangle products. I did use one of the recipes on the back of their package when I tried their sea veggie salad last week. I used the one with apple, and it was such a filling dish using one packet, that the 3 of the adults in my home did not need (or want) the rest of lunch. The seaweed salad prepared that way was tasty and satisfying for very few calories and lots of nutrition.


The Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles are absolutely an awesomely odd texture somewhere between cucumber and rice noodles and they are a raw to be eaten raw or only warmed. There is no cooking involved in the preparation. Rinse for 10 -30 minutes and just like that, they are ready.

They are made of only the interior of the kelp frond, sodium alginate (a sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed) and water. That’s it. They’re actually not slimy at all; they are crisp.

Basil and Asparagus K-Noods

Serves 1 – 2

1/2 packet Kelp Noodles
5-8 florets of cauliflower (raw, or lightly steamed) or substitute
1/3C basil, chopped fine
1/4C sunflower seeds
1/2C cucumber, sliced into rounds and then quartered
4-5 black olives, sliced
1/2 clove garlic, minced
2 T flax or hemp oil
1 T lemon juice
sea salt and cayenne to taste
pea shoots and / or broccoli sprouts or other sprouts to garnish

___ Rinse kelp noodles thoroughly and allow to soak for about ten minutes. Drain
___ Mix all ingredients in a bowl together. than add kelp noodles.
___ Toss and serve

You can store in fridge for about two days.
In Los Angeles, Hugo’s serves a “Kelp Noodle Salad Bowl’ The noodles are topped with “julienned vegetables, sprouts, snow peas, cilantro and scallions. Tossed with orange-mango-sesame-chili dressing. Garnished with mixed sea vegetables, pickled ginger and toasted sesame seeds”. Sounds good enough to figure out my own version.

Nori Snack:

To prepare your own healthy snack, all you need are:

Nori seaweed in sheets
Salt, preferably Celtic sea salt
Organic Sesame oil

___ On a piece of wax paper, for easy application, brush the sesame oil on both sides of the nori sheet then sprinkle lightly with salt.
___ Heat your non-stick skillet over medium heat. Take the nori off the wax paper and place one sheet at a time into the pan. It takes about 15 to 20 seconds each side.
___ Cut to bite-size pieces. And it’s ready!

Use as a sprinkle or eat out of hand like chips.

Healthy Rosemary and Seaweed Salt

This is a homemade, innovative recipe for a new Gomasio.

___ In a coffee grinder take 1 sheet of nori seaweed, kombu, a few tablespoons of mekabu or another sea vegetable and grind till fine.
___ Add 1 tablespoons of rosemary and 1 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt and grind again until fine.
___ After grinding, you can also add 1T chia seed (Em: Salba is a good brand.)(Em: do it after grinding so the chic stay whole giving longer shelf-life and less chance of rancidity.)
___ Store in an air tight container in a dry, preferably dark and cool place.

It’s best to use it as a condiment on a dish after it has been cooked.

Celtic sea salt contains over 82 buffering elements to protect against the effect of just sodium chloride being used in other “salt”.

Remember to have moderation with everything, even moderation!


Vegetable Tofu Soup

3 Shiitake Dried Mushrooms
1 1/2C Mekabu Dried Seaweed (Eden Foods) *
10 ozs soft tofu
4 t Hon Dashi Bonito-Style Soup Base Granules
3T Sake
1/8t black pepper
2 med carrots, thinly sliced
1 med new potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 green onion and its top, thinly sliced on diagonal

___ Soak shiitake as package directs. Drain. Remove and discard shiitake stems. Thinly slice shiitake.
___ Re-hydrate the mekabu as directed by package. Drain well.
___ Drain tofu on paper towel for 20 minutes. Crumble tofu.
___ Combine 6 cups water, dashi granules, sake and pepper in medium saucepan.

___ Bring to a boil. Add shiitake, carrots, potato and green onion. Return to a boil.
___ Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
___ Mix in mekabu and tofu. Cook 1 minute longer, or until all is hot. Ladle into bowls to serve.

Makes 6 servings, about 1-1/2 cups each.
* You can buy Mekabu online at Eden Foods. There are more recipes there, too.
Eden Foods Seaweed Recipe Archive

Mekabu Cucumber Orange Salad

Serves 6 | Prep Time 0:25

1 package Eden Mekabu
1 med English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
8 med red radishes, sliced into thin rounds
1/4C scallions, thinly sliced
1/2C orange sections, cubed
2 T Eden Toasted Sesame Oil, or to taste
2 T Eden Organic Brown Rice Vinegar, or to taste
1 T Eden Shoyu Soy Sauce, or to taste

___ Quickly rinse the mekabu in a strainer under cold water, place in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 10 minutes, drain and place back in the bowl. Cover with cold water and soak 5 minutes.

___ While the mekabu is soaking slice the vegetables and fruit, and place in a medium mixing bowl. When the mekabu is ready, drain well in a strainer and then add to the mixing bowl.

___ Combine the oil, vinegar and shoyu, mix and pour over the salad ingredients. Gently toss to mix. Serve.

Nutritional Info
Per serving: 60 Calories, 5g Fat (74% calories from fat), 1g Protein, 3g Carbohydrate, 1g Fiber, 0mg Cholesterol, 315mg Sodium

Wakame Seaweed Salad With Gomasio

2 ozs fresh wakame seaweed
2 Japanese or English (seedless) cucumbers
assorted young greens (mesclun)

1T su (Eden brown rice vinegar)
1T fresh lemon juice
1T organic sesame oil
3T grapeseed or other neutral oil
pinch Celtic sea salt
pinch fresh white pepper
prepared Chinese mustard

___ Pour hot water over fresh wakame seaweed. Immerse in water and drain. Cut into 1 inch lengths.

___ Wash the cucumbers then take a fork and run it along the skin from tip to tip on one side and then the other to score it to make a simple decorative pattern on the outside skin. Japanese cucumbers are much more delicate than Western varieties. If you cannot find them, use a single English cucumber, slice it in half and seed it. Cut on the bias into thin rounds.

___ Tear the baby greens into bite-sized pieces and arrange in a bowl.

___ Mix and stir the dressing ingredients.

___ Mix seaweed, cucumbers with the dressing and then place them on top of the greens.
___ Garnish with gomasio (sesame salt) if desired.

PÂTÉ with Hijiki, (arame or wakame)
Serves 12

hijiki 1.75 oz (50 gr)
garlic 1 clove
parsley 1 tuft + 1 for garnish
sesame oil 2T
shoyu / soy sauce 2T
rice vinegar 1T
tahini (sesame paste) 1 teaspoon
lemon ½
grey Celtic sea salt 1 pinch

Cooking time: 50 minutes.

___ Rinse hijiki and soak in warm water for 20 minutes, then boil it for 20 minutes.
___ Rinse parsley and chop it (reserve a bit for garnish). Place most of the parsley in a blender container along with the squeezed lemon’s juice.
___ Strain hijiki and put it in the blender with all the remaining ingredients. Pulse to obtain a soft pâté.

Garnish with chopped parsley. Use as a dip or spread on crackers, veggies etc.
Try a “DLT” Sandwich, with fried dulse replacing the bacon. It is great! The recipe is simple. Just take some strips of dulse, fry like bacon, then add to your favorite sandwich bread with lettuce and tomato. The fried dulse has a crispy, fish-like flavor, so it’s more like a faux-fish sandwich. OR try using to wrap dates with cream cheese and dulse
Reference and more notes

Sanuki Sea Stock by Elizabeth Andoh

7 large, or 15 small, dried sardines (iriko), about 1/2 ounce trimmed *
10 to 12 square inches kombu kelp *
1 whole, or stems from 2 or 3, dried (hoshi) shiitake mushroom *
4 1/2 to 5 cups cold water, filtered or bottled for best results
1-, 3-, or 5-gram packet bonito flakes (katsuobushi), optional *
1/4 lb cod

___ Place the dried sardines, kelp, and dried mushrooms in a deep pot and cover with the cold water. Place the pot over medium-high heat and wait until small bubbles appear around the rim before adjusting the heat to maintain a steady but not very vigorous simmer.

___ Cook the stock for about 10 minutes, or until the broth becomes a pale gold. If large clouds of froth appear, skim them away.

___ Remove the pot from the heat and allow the contents to sink to the bottom naturally, about 2 minutes.

If you want a smoky flavor, add the bonito flakes (the more flakes you use, the smokier the flavor). Wait 2 or 3 minutes for the flakes to sink, and then strain the broth through a fine-woven muslin cloth, or a coffee-filter-lined colander.

___ Adding a quarter pound of cod, sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and simmered for a further 9 minutes makes a delicious little soup.

* Iriko (dried sardines) (also called niboshi) are available in most Asian markets. To maximize their flavor-enhancing ability and keep potential bitterness to a minimum, trim them by removing the gills and contents of the belly cavity. Because the fish are dried, this is not a messy procedure: Discard the heads. Then, pinch each fish at midpoint along its abdomen to split open the belly cavity, and discard the crumbly, blackened material. ·

For making stock, look for the reasonably-priced, all-purpose kombu labeled “dashi kombu,” or “Hidaka.”

Fresh shiitake and dried (hoshi) shiitake mushrooms are not interchangeable. Dried mushrooms are especially rich in minerals such as potassium, and contribute an intense flavor to stocks and stews. For making stocks, the flatter, less costly varieties of hoshi shiitake (either whole caps, broken pieces, or presliced bits) will be fine.

To further release the full flavor of the dried sardines, kelp, and dried mushrooms, soak them for at least 10 or 15 minutes (and up to several hours) in the pot of cold water before cooking.

Dried fish flakes (katsuobushi) generally combine shavings of tunalike bonito (katsuo) with other less expensive fish such as sardines and mackerel. Bonito yields a mild but smoky flavor; if your preference runs toward smokiness, look for a higher percentage of bonito, usually accompanied by a higher price. Sardine and mackerel lend a more assertive flavor. Once opened, the flakes go rancid rather quickly, so if you will be using them only occasionally, look for a “fresh pack” (several small, sealed packets, each containing 3 or 5 grams) rather than a single larger bag (usually 100 grams).

All the dried pantry items in this recipe can be ordered online at Maruwa or Katagiri.

I hope you have enjoyed the series and I will update more when it seems right. Meanwhile, do learn more on your own as Iodine is super important, and if you find good seaweed recipes, please share them here or send them to me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar.

And, remember Iodine-rich foods help your heart, too. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I will remind you how important that is for 400,000 Americans will die of Heart Disease in 2010. Try not to be one of them.

2-2-10 Daily Health News email I received which was made even more poignant by the news that President Bill Clinton was whisked away in a NYC snow storm to get more heart stent surgery, even when he has managed to keep his weight in check.

5-Second Artery Test

As we age, arteries can lose flexibility, and that’s not good because arterial stiffness is often a precursor to cardiovascular disease. So I’m happy to be able to tell you about a simple, do-it-yourself way to gauge whether your arteries might be dangerously stiff.

The simple test

Muscle flexibility is a component of cardio-respiratory fitness and physical fitness and is also an aspect of arterial flexibility. In a study at the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo, 526 healthy participants were divided into three age groups and instructed to sit on the floor with their backs against the wall. While researchers held their legs straight in front of them, they were asked to use their arms to push forward a device that measured their maximum reach. Researchers then classified each as having “poor” or “high” flexibility. They also simultaneously measured blood pressure and pulse wave velocity, which gives a clinical measure of arterial stiffness.

The results: In middle-aged and older people, poor body flexibility was associated with arterial stiffness. The findings were reported in American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

“This study takes the first step in determining the relationship between flexibility and cardiovascular diseases,” says Kenta Yamamoto, PhD, a research fellow in the department of integrative physiology at University of North Texas Health Science Center and lead author of the study.

There could be several reasons for the association. The researchers speculate that habitually working to increase flexibility by stretching your muscles may also relax the arteries and help decrease arterial stiffness. Another possibility involves collagen and elastin, the composition of which changes with age, reducing the flexibility of both muscles and arteries. A third possibility relates to blood pressure, since we already know elevated blood pressure stiffens arteries. In this study, researchers found that those with the highest blood pressure also had the poorest flexibility.

How to Test Yourself for Heart Healthy Arteries

It’s easy to test yourself at home, says Dr. Yamamoto: “If you cannot touch your toes when sitting with your legs held straight, your flexibility is poor.” He suggests integrating flexibility exercises — such as yoga, Pilates or basic stretching –into your routine, adding that doing this may help prevent arterial stiffness. He says to follow the recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, which advise those who don’t work out regularly to stretch for 10 to 15 minutes every day … and says that those who do exercise regularly should incorporate several minutes of stretching before and after each workout. That’s a very easy prescription for something that could save your life.


Kenta Yamamoto, PhD, research fellow in department of the integrative physiology at University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Reference


Best to all — Em

Read the whole Series:
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 1
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 2
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 3
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 4
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 5
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 6
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 7
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 8
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 9 Brief Synopsis, so far.
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 10 Includes Nutrition and RDA charts
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 11

Dr. Brownstein
Basic Iodine Science-Based Information
Victoria J. Drake, Ph.D., Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University

If you do not get enough healthy Iodine isotope 127 daily from food sources, then your body will begin to absorb the toxic Iodine isotope 131 (created by the Nuclear Industry) coming into your body and harmfully attaching to the Iodine sites, (but doing no work to help your body — in addition to the radiation it brings in). That’s why I am opposed to any more nuclear power plants and I am shocked that the Obama administration would be bringing up that as an option as he did in the State of the Union speech recently. They are known hazard, even without nuclear accidents.

As the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports: “Radioactive iodine, especially Isotope 131, may be released into the environment as a result of nuclear reactor accidents. Thyroid accumulation of radioactive iodine increases the risk of developing thyroid cancer, especially in children. The increased iodine trapping activity of the thyroid gland in iodine deficiency results in increased thyroid accumulation of radioactive iodine (131 Isotope).

Thus, iodine-deficient individuals are at increased risk of developing radiation-induced thyroid cancer because they will accumulate greater amounts of radioactive iodine.

Potassium iodide administered in pharmacologic doses (50-100 mg for adults) within 48 hours before or eight hours after radiation exposure from a nuclear reactor accident can significantly reduce thyroid uptake of 131 Isotope and decrease the risk of radiation-induced thyroid cancer.

The prompt and widespread use of potassium iodide prophylaxis in Poland after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident may explain the lack of a significant increase in childhood thyroid cancer in Poland compared to fallout areas where potassium iodide prophylaxis was not widely used. …”

Potassium iodide is available as a nutritional supplement, typically in combination products like multivitamin / multimineral supplements. Iodine makes up approximately 77% of the total weight of potassium iodide, and even if you are getting some Iodine from iodized salt in commercial foods or from a little seaweed on your own, the amount in a multivitamin / multimineral pill will not cause excess and will give you a very minimal foundation. Earlier in the series, I gave better oral Iodine options. DO NOT USE FIRST-AID IODINE FROM THE PHARMACY; IT IS POISONOUS AND NOT FOR ORAL USE!

There is a small risk of IIH (Iodine Induced Hyperthyroidism) when Iodine deficiency increases the risk of developing autonomous thyroid nodules that are unresponsive to the normal thyroid regulation system, after Iodine supplementation. Talk to your doctor if you already have thyroid nodules or concerns.

The Linus Pauling Institute also mentions: Drug interactions
“Amiodarone, a medication used to prevent abnormal heart rhythms, contains high levels of iodine and may affect thyroid function. Medications used to treat hyperthyroidism, such as propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole may increase the risk of hypothyroidism. Additionally, the use of lithium in combination with pharmacologic doses of potassium iodide may result in hypothyroidism. Further, the use of pharmacologic doses of potassium iodide may decrease the anticoagulant effect of warfarin (coumarin).”

You can find more valuable articles in my blog’s archive. Click on the Title Archive on the upper navigation bar.

Please spread articles you think are important via email links and via web 2.0 site links. Thanks!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you want to quote any more than 1 short paragraph from my article, please write for permission to the About Me page on the upper navigation bar. Please respect my copyright. Thanks.!

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

Diabetics often have cardiac (heart) issues. Seaweed is the secret ingredient to a healthy heart. Yes, your doctor did not tell you that, but much scientific research shows that’s a major reason why Okinawans and Japanese are generally long-lived, as they consume the most seaweed of all the world’s peoples.

Seaweed is an alkaline pH food which has high mineral content, low-glycemic index and high fiber, along with lots of Iodine. It is generally neutral in taste, or is pleasant, and mostly provides texture. Kombu kelp also helps people be able to digest beans better.

A heart healthy diet is not complicated. Use lean protein sources — include wild-caught, cold-water ocean fish. Use only healthy oils (like extra-virgin olive oil; and flax and hemp oils — do not cook with the last two, just use for dressings), along with a little organic, extra-virgin coconut oil (yes, it’s saturated, but it does a lot of healthy things, too) and organic butter (a little now and then for flavor) along with NO man-made margarines or fake fats or deep-fried items.

Eating 2 servings of whole fruit (not juice) and at least 8 servings of fresh or frozen vegetables (including sea veggies) is another smart move to a healthy heart. And keep your grains limited, and only use whole-grains (and rarely even whole-grain flours). Use legumes, and gradually increase their use as your body adjusts to them.

And, past pages in my series include information on the various kinds of seaweed and the amazing benefits of food-sourced Iodine which can improve your cardiovascular health and general health to a phenomenal degree. See them in the Titles Archive (click Tab on upper navigation bar).

Seaweed contains Iodine, beta carotene and thiamine among many other nutrients; these possess antioxidant and detoxification properties. All 3 are beneficial for the general health of the blood and they promote good circulation. This is critical for most diabetics who already have atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) and often have circulation problems, especially to the legs, kidneys and eyes.

Each type of seaweed has its own role in a heart-healthy diet, which can also regulate blood sugar.

___ Brown seaweeds (kelps) discourage the formation of blood clots and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. The algin in brown seaweed dissolves the deposits inside arteries and gradually removes the existing build up of these deposits!

So, as you use seaweed, you may be able to decrease and even eliminate your cholesterol medications. That’s why you need to inform your doctor and have frequent blood tests as you try to switch from man-made medications (with their numerous side-effects) back to Nature’s protection.

___ Arame, a lesser known seaweed, lowers blood pressure.

___ Bladderwrack is excellent for lowering chronic high blood pressure, and it balances blood sugar. Preventing blood clots from forming and preventing atherosclerosis are also part of its miraculous capability. Talk to your doctor about its use, and see if you can be regularly tested as you wind down from depending on Coumadin or Warfarin. Presently, I am doing this for and with my Mum (I am using Kombu kelp, which is described below.)

Bladderwrack is also used for weight-control, successfully. Fucothin by Garden of Life – Seaweed Weight Loss supplement is recommended; ask your doctor if it’s right for you. Garden of Life

___ Hijiki purifies your blood and balances blood pressure. It is also used to prevent seizures, and is a tasty food, especially when cooked with carrots, the way the Japanese do.

___ Since Irish Moss is loaded with important nutrients, it has been traditionally given to patients who are surviving serious illnesses. This seaweed contains blood-thinning properties (it acts as an anticoagulant, like Coumadin) thus it may reduce high blood pressure and heal arteriosclerosis. Like Bladderwrack, it also balances blood sugar.

However, in the past, there was some evidence that there were some issues with Irish Moss, so you will get it in pre-made foods, but I wouldn’t use it in my own cooking. I don’t remember all the details, as it was decades ago, but I remember the “red flag” and don’t use it.

___ As I noted above, Kombu kelp sprinkled on your meals improves blood circulation and and lowers blood cholesterol levels. It also contains many minerals (like copper and iron) and it purifies your blood (detoxification). Kelp also provides you with chloride which helps to retain potassium in tissues; potassium is essential for heart muscle health.

By  eating  about 5 grams (.17 oz ) dry weight of Kombu a day,  you will improve the strength of the blood vessels and diminish plaque found in the vessels.  I use powdered kombu, and use about 1/2t a few times a week, and it can be frequent like this as long as you are balancing it out by eating dark-green leafy greens or romaine lettuce to keep Vitamin K levels up, too, so you can clot your blood if you need to.

What else does Kombu kelp do? Here’s why it’s my favorite.

* regulates blood sugar
* lowers blood pressure
* reduces cholesterol
* prevents arteriosclerosis
* purifies the blood
* thins the blood

___ Nori not only tastes great wrapped around our favorite sushi, it also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, improves circulation and promotes cardiovascular health.

Nori is the least concentration of Iodine, so it can be eaten everyday, whereas the other seaweeds should be eaten every other day or a few times a week. You NEVER ingest the first-aid type iodine from the Pharmacy; in this form it is poisonous!There are safe oral preparations which I have talked about in other parts of the series, if you do not want to rely on seaweed.

___ Wakame, a favorite in Japanese dishes, especially the foundational soup stock known as Dashi, prevents arteriosclerosis, lowers blood pressure, and purifies the blood.

Japanese and Korean women use soup and other dishes with wakame after childbirth.

Other forms of seaweed:

I have talked about this in earlier parts of the Series, but I finally found a local source for kelp noodles — mine are from Sea Tangle. I am going to try them for the first time, today.

Usually I just use the reconstituted, dried seaweeds or powdered seaweeds or dry sprinkles, so this will be a new experience. The kelp noodles are raw, not slimy, are crunchy until soaked more. They must be rinsed and soaked a little more before using. They are transparent, as once the outer layer of seaweed is removed, the inner core of the plant is translucent.

Here are some “kelp noodle” and “sea salad vegetable mix” recipes. You will find these products in the best health stores (maybe in the macrobiotic section) or in Asian markets (where their source is more murky and you may not be able to get clean waters or organic foods). Some Whole Foods stores carry Sea Tangle — it will be in the refrigerator section.

1 clove garlic, grated
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ avocado
Bragg’s to taste, tamari, or soy sauce
2 cups greens (spring mix, buckwheat, spinach, lettuce)
3 ounces sea vegetable mix (will need rinsing*)
Celtic sea salt and pepper, to taste

Grate the ginger and garlic. In a small bowl, mash the avocado, ginger, garlic, and Bragg’s together. Toss all ingredients thoroughly.

* Read the directions on the package. Get one made in USA (especially Hawaii or California) or Japan, only.
Kelp Noodles, soaked 30 minutes*, rinsed and drained
Honey Mustard Dressing
Cucumbers, sliced
Carrots, sliced
Apples, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Salt to taste.
* Ideas for soaking waters are below, in Preparation section.
12 ounces Kelp Noodles, rinsed and drained
½ cup onion
½ cup bean sprouts
½ cup carrots
½ cup red bell pepper
½ cup mushrooms
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Tamari or soy sauce, to taste
Dash of sugar or agave nectar, to taste
Dash of salt and pepper
½ cup vegetable broth or water

Saute the garlic in the olive oil. Add the vegetables (except for sprouts and bell pepper) and saute until cooked. Add the rinsed Kelp Noodles along with the soy sauce, sugar, and broth and mix. Saute until the noodles have nearly been softened. Add sprouts, red bell pepper; then use salt and pepper to taste.
The recipe I tried today is on the back of the Sea Tangle Salad Mix package. It should give about 6 portions. We used it for 3 and it was so filling that we didn’t eat the rest of lunch! I think it can use a little “zip”, so use a little more ginger than mentioned and add some lemon juice and Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar — maybe even a hint of cayenne.

PREPARATION NOTES: Quoted on a Forum of Raw Foodists.
A. The noodles will soften easily if you make a sauce containing garlic, salt and lemon. Just let them sit in the sauce until they’re as soft as you want them (the more lemon/garlic/salt, the faster they’ll soften).

B. I make a nut-based alfredo sauce (with or without sun-dried tomatoes), and the creaminess of the sauce makes up for the non-starchiness of the kelp noodles.

C. They also will soften if you make an Asian type sauce with some almond butter/ sesame oil.

D. When I first opened the package I did smell that weird odor that people here were previously discussing. I read elsewhere that this is not formaldahyde or anything toxic, just an odor from the kelp.

After rinsing the noodles the smell went away (it wasn’t that bad to begin with).

At this point the noodles will be crunchy. Here’s what I did for nice soft noodles at dinner time. In the mid morning I soaked the noodles in warm water with lemon juice and sea salt.

Then after about 30-45 minutes I rinsed and put them back into plain water to soak for most of the day while we were out and about doing errands and such. When we returned home later that afternoon I was pleased to find nice big soft noodles that looked like rice noodles and tasted very neutral.

E. So far I like making this lovely mild red pepper aioli sauce for the kelp noodles. But I believe any raw sauce or dressing would be lovely. These noodles are really super cool and the possibilities are endless.

F.  You do not need to do this technique unless you only eat Raw, too …

Okay, I’m a convert! I made kelp noodles tonight for dinner and my non-raw BF loved them. I soaked them in warm water with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and sea salt.

After an hour, I rinsed them well and refilled the bowl with warm water. I put our pasta bowls in the oven at 170 degrees F to warm up. When the oven reached that temperature, I opened the door to let some heat out and turned the oven off.

I put the bowl with the water and noodles in and let it sit for another half hour or so. I made my sauce and toppings and when it was time to assemble, I drained the noodles and divided them into our bowls. They were soft and awesome! The bowls and noodles were warm, while my sauce was room temperature.


You can find more valuable articles in my blog’s archive, including the other 10 parts of the series. Click on the Title Archive on the upper navigation bar.

Please spread articles you think are important via email links, and via web 2.0 site links. Thanks!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you want to quote any more than 1 short paragraph from my article, please write for permission to the About Me page on the upper navigation bar. Please respect my copyright. Thanks.

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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.


___   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.


___   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!


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.
Minimal RDA Intake: double-click on the image to enlarge it

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.
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

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

Happy Holidays. May this be a peaceful, blessed Holy Time, celebrated in your own way, and may this become the time when all Life is respected and cherished!

Onward, now, with the next part of the Iodine series, some of the most important information that I have ever posted. Catch-up here, if you need to, then continue reading these health tips for diabetics and for everyone you know.

Diabetics – Iodine and Health 1
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 2
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 3
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 4
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 5
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 6
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 7

and then …
Synopsis: Diabetics – Iodine and Health 9

It is very important to have a pH alkaline body. Each cell needs to be pH alkaline to work optimally. Seaweed is one of the most alkaline foods on the planet, whereas the typical American diet (typical Western, developed countries’ diet) is very acidifying. All the stresses and habits of modern life tend to make our tissues pH acidic and thereby we open ourselves to chronic ill health (with struggling metabolisms and improper cellular chemistry) and we are open to infection (as viruses and bacteria can only live in acidic pH tissues).

Seaweed is the best source for Iodine and iodide (another molecular form of Iodine), and it is this element which underscores a great deal of the benefit which we derive from seaweed and sea veggies.

As you read in the articles above, Iodine provides a singularly significant foundation for Health, as long as it is in the optimal range — not either too little OR too much.

Where you source your seaweed and sea veggies is important. I discount any food from China. You cannot trust even the “organic” designation there, as the surrounding area is likely to be receiving unabated pollution, regardless of whether the actual product tried to be organic. Also, their designation for “organic” is not as stringent as it needs to be.

The variety of marine aquatic products from China has surpassed 40, and their oceans are not clean, especially in any delta or bay where their great (and very polluted) rivers empty. Additionally, massive amounts of industrial wastes and sewage are discharged into the nearshore without effective treatment. The result is that the water quality in the nearshore ecological niche worsens gradually, and this has direct impacts on the survival and development of the mariculture industry. Clean water is critical for healthy seaweed and sea veggies!

On the other hand, environmental pollution from mariculture is also noticeable on the wild areas as chemicals and manure from fish and shrimp farms unbalances the ecosytem.

Fish disease, sea scallop disease, kelp disease, abalone disease and so on have occurred unceasingly in these Chinese products since 1993.

Last week, I had my husband shopping at Whole Foods to update exactly which brands of seaweed they stocked, so I could expand my supply, and on one product (Emerald Cove), you must read the fine-print, as some of it is Chinese “organic”.

I opted for the wild-crafted and gathered seaweed from the Mendocino Coast of California, where I know the oceans are pristine. I have used this brand before, over the decades; Rising Tide sea vegetables.

Iodine exposure can come from other sources too:
___ certain food colorings (erythrosine)
___ skin disinfectants (such as betadine and povidone iodine) are absorbed and reach the bloodstream
___ health foods – certain types of kelp
___ some dyes and medicines
___ exposure from Iodine’s use in farm animals (for cleansing udders) or as part of iodine-containing medicines for livestock.
___ Iodate has been used as a bread stabilizer in commercial baking, although this practice is less common now, and it has been replaced by dangerous Iodine robbers, from Bromine.

Seaweeds are delicious! However, if you want another way to get the benefit of seaweed without eating seaweed itself (beyond the several innovative products mentioned in prior articles in this series) then learn about Mekabu Bijin — it is a seaweed extract which research results from Industrial Technology Institute, Miyagi Prefectura, Japan show that [Mekabu Bijin] contains 22.4% of fucoidan compared to regular seaweeds which contains 14.9% . Fucoidan is covered in previous articles and is very important to Health.

Get it at JFC International, Inc. imports.* It is also imported by Suzukiya International, P.O. Box 3083, East 1st St., Tustin, CA 92781-3083, TEL: (714) 878-7107.

Wakame and Kombu are the major seaweeds used everyday in Japan and Okinawa’s long-lived population, and you will learn more about them in future parts of this series.

Elizabeth Andoh, expert American chef who has lived in Japan all her adult life, says that there are 2 areas of Japan which produce most of the commercially consumed wakame today. The first is the swirling, whirlpool currents in and around Naruto in Tokushima Prefecture, and the second is the craggy shoreline of the Sanriku district, primarily along the Pacific coast of Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures. These are pristine areas.

Andoh states that the fronds of Naruto wakame are thin and tender, requiring little or no cooking making them particularly suitable for salads or to float as a garnish in soups. Whereas, the Sanriku wakame is meatier, with a pleasant sweetness; it is perfect for simmering, braising, or stewing with other foods.

Hoshi wakame is the dried form (best for soups and casseroles or inserted into ground meat mixtures) and only needs 3 – 5 minutes of soaking. When softened briefly in water, the black fronds automatically become green; be sure to rehydrate the fronds in a very large bowl, as they expand, greatly. Change the water and then do not cook it long. Follow a recipe. Squeeze out excess moisture; trim anything tough.

Wakame is also prepared for sale in a heavily salted form (nama wakame) to use in salads. This salted form must be kept refrigerated and is perishable.

Mekabu is a separate part of the wakame plant. It is not a frond, but rather a crunchy budding form near the base. It is wild grown and hand harvested. After harvest, then it is cleaned, sun dried, misted with pure water, shredded and dried again. Mekabu’s sticky texture comes from fucoidan, a highly valued and beneficial polysaccharide. This seaweed is famously used in the salads at sushi restaurants and it has a pleasant, mellow sweet flavor. You can also use in soups, salads, Japanese style pickles, as a garnish on top of cooked rice and other grains or on traditional noodles and inside sushi rolls. Soak it in cool water about 5 minutes, max. Botanically, it is Sporophyll Undaria pinnatifida.

Kombu can help regulate blood sugar. It is mostly harvested from the cold waters of Japan’s most northern island (Hokkaido). Depending on the season it is harvested, as well as the location, kombu can vary from grey to green with reddish blush. As kombu is tens of feet long, it is always pre-cut, usually into lengths of 2″ – 7″. The whitish powder which is on the leaves is not mould if it has been stored properly, rather it is a natural form of MSG, and is responsible for kombu’s “savory” taste (umami). Unlike commercial MSG, this natural form has not been causing reactions in those who are sensitive.

___ Hidaka Kombu is used for making dashi stock.

___ Ma Kombu is particularly flavorful and needs to be soaked 20 minutes to a couple of hours and then gently simmered. This makes a cloudy broth, and it is also often used to line the cooking pots when simmering fish or vegetables (it’s like a natural Teflon!).

___ Rausu Kombu is the best for vegetarians. It is substantial, and can also be used to line pans.

___ Rishiri Kombu makes crystal-clear stocks, with herbal overtones. It needs to be soaked in cold water before simmering, to bring out more of its flavor. “Cook” just until a few bubbles appear at the edges of the pot.

Save your kelp from stock-making and put it into braising dishes and casseroles. It can also be recycled into an ingredient for Japanese pickles.

Kelp noodles are a new sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. They are made of only kelp (kombu)(a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water. Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, there is no cooking required — just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat! Sea Tangle Noodles.

Update: January 30, 2010. I finally got some packages of Kelp Noodles and Sea Tangle. I’ll write about them in a future edition after Part 10.

Andoh continues that hijiki also comes in 2 dried forms, one (me hijiki) is tenderer, short buds. The other longer pieces are called naga hijiki. When you store seaweeds in their original jar, in the dark, in a cool, dry place, they can last indefinitely, she says.

Kanten is used a lot in macrobiotic cooking, which had its beginnings in Japan. It is also called Tengusa and agar-agar. The Japanese have used agar-agar to make confections and aspics for thousands of years. These are vegetarian gels. The tengusa is boiled to make a clear, very stiff aspic called tokoroten. Kanten is freeze-dried tokoroten, which can flake and is shelf-stable unlike the earlier product. Kanten is still made in Northern Japan by freeze drying it outside in winter.

Nori, used for sushi, is probably the most familiar seaweed used in America. The vitamin C in Nori is more than in oranges! The vitamin B is more than in spinach. It is filled with other vitamins and minerals, yet it is the least nutritious of the seaweeds, so imagine how much goodness is in the others!

Nori also contains high amounts of the amino acid arginine equivalent to that in animal protein. In Nori, the characteristic taste is a result of the existence of many amino acids: alanine, glutamic acid and glycine, and nori also contains a large amount of taurine.

Taurine is known to be effective for liver activity, especially in preventing the occurrence of gallstones and it is necessary for controlling blood cholesterol levels. Nori contains fairly high amounts of essential trace elements like: zinc (essential for certain enzyme functions), manganese, copper and selenium (needed by diabetics). These are essential for the metabolic processes of organisms.

Nori is actually a general word which describes a group of marine oceanic plants which were once gathered from the wild, centuries ago, and are now “cultivated” in the sea. The origin of Nori cultivation can be traced back to ancient China and Japan around the 8th century.

___ Asakusa nori is the most well-known form to Americans as it is used in sushi wraps. It is grown in bays near Tokyo.

___ Aji nori is always seasoned. This is in 2″ x 3″ packets, and I find that they can become “clammy”, even in their original wrap, so use them quickly after purchase. They are delicious! Open the packet just before eating; don’t let it soak up humidity. If they become soggy, as my last package did, them turn them into Nori Sauce, Andoh says.

___ Yaki Nori is already toasted and is always sold full-size and flat. I do not buy my nori this way, as I know the nutrition is compromised somewhat in the heating, and I see no reason to do this but that it changes the color. I prefer untoasted nori for my sushi. You can store the sheets in the freezer as long as they are quickly opened and then well sealed again. They can be defrosted and refrozen many times without loss of quality.

___ Tsukuda ni Nori – Nori Sauce
Use this recipe for any nori (seasoned or not) which has taken on humidity during the summer and become “sticky”. This sauce can be used as a dip for veggies, on tofu before broiling or as a topper for rice. This makes about 1/4 cup.

2 full sheets of sticky nori (or the equivalent number of individual packets of seasoned nori) — needs about 100 square inches, total.
1/4 C water
2T sake
1 1/2 t organic shoyu (tamari) (soy sauce)
1/2 t sugar or 1/4 t agave nectar

Using kitchen shears, cut the nori into short, thin strips. Place into a frypan and add all the other ingredients. Let it sit for 2 – 3 minutes to absorb, dissolve and then stir to make a paste.

Place the pan over low heat. Stir and heat only until aromatic. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely. Transfer to a clean jar which has gone through the dishwasher. Carefully fill the jar, refrigerate and use within 2 weeks. When using on foods, keep the cooking temperatures low for the final prep as the seaweed can scorch.

OCHAZUKE – This is but one version of a quick snack dish or rice and green tea —
per 1/2 C cooked brown rice
2 T nori seaweed preserve
1/2 – 1 t wasabi paste
1/4 t ume plum paste (Eden Foods, macrobiotic section)
pot of brewed green tea (sencha)

Pour on hot sencha tea, brewed strong. Enjoy right away after mixing everything well with your spoon!

___ Mekabu** in salads with avocado, cucumbers, and greens. I simply mix all the ingredients, tie it together with a dash or two of ponzu.

___ Seaweed Salad: seaweed, agar-agar, kikurage or enoki mushrooms (optional), sesame seeds, sesame oil, sugar or agave, rice vinegar, sea salt, marinated sweet red peppers.

___ Mekabu-Kimchi. Chop Korean kimchi into small pieces, then mix it in with briefly soaked Mekabu seaweed. Serve it as a palate cleanser.

___ Making Elizabeth Andoh’s basic kombu dashi stock.


Best to all – Em


* JFC International, Inc 7101 E. Slauson Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90040 TEL: (323) 721-6900. When placing an order for this product please give them their product code 14621.
** A special, crunchy lower section of the wakame seaweed plant.

(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
Please respect my copyright, and if you desire to use my article or quote more than a couple of lines, then write for permission at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar. Thanks!

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