The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Anti-Iodine conspiracy - Wolff-Chaikoff medical myth

"Sample of iodine" by LHcheM - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Much of the following information, studies, links and inspiration is based on Jerzy Zięba's 2015 book "Ukryte Terapie" ("Hidden Cures"). Highly recommended!

Basically, Wolff and Chaikoff (Wolff J, Chaikoff IL "Plasma inorganic iodide as a homeostatic regulator of thyroid function", J.Biol Chem, 1948) destroyed the previously widespread and largely successful thyroid disease therapies based on iodine supplementation (*) by claiming that the excess iodine blocks thyroid hormone production. However, what their study did actually measure was the effect of stopped absorption of radioactive iodine in to iodine-saturated rat's thyroid tissue. They did not measure thyroid hormones production! Furtheromre, they used unrealistically high iodine tissue dosage, corresponding to an oral intake of 50 grams of Iodine a day (if it were done for humans)

This one study has became the basis of discontinuation of the time-proven previous iodine supplementation therapies in favor of treating thyroid disorders with thyroid hormonal supplements or with surgery.

*) Using Iodine in Potassium-Iodide (Lugol) solution, for both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid conditions. The claimed success rate was close to 90% of the cases!

A compilation/review study of prior thyroid therapies using inorganic iodine supplementation can be read here:
Kelly FC, "Iodine in medicine and pharmacy since its discovery - 1811-1961", Proc R Soc Med, 1961, 54:831-836

Interesting overview of the conspiratorial aspect of the story can be found here:

Guy E. Abraham "The History of Iodine in Medicine Part III; Thyroid Fixation and Medical Iodophobia", The Original Internist, June 2006


From Guy E. Abraham "The History of Iodine in Medicine Part III


john said...

Have you ever experimented with Iodine yourself? I've had quite a high intake for the last few months (1-2mg), but I haven't yet gotten labs.

john said...

Stan, why do I sometimes see your comments in my e-mail but not on your site?

Anyway, I am interested in the protective effects, as often stated by Jack Kruse. The citations he gives (one author being Liu) aren't on pubmed, as far as I can tell, and I've seen them cited in other works as well.

This^ is all I can really find regarding protection against peroxidation markers.

tess said...

Drs. Abraham and Flechas wrote extensively on the subject of iodine for thyroid and other tissues. It seems that when problems are seen when megadosing with I, it is because those people are selenium-deficient.

John, i've taken over 50 mg/day for extended periods with no ill effects. I've heard that some hypothyroid people take much more.

What is forgotten by some endocrinologists is that the thyroid is not the only tissue that needs iodine -- it's merely the biggest user. Skin, breast tissue, and more need a lot too -- surely the deficiency is part of what drives cancers in all those organs.

john said...


Oh yea, that's very high. From my mildly high dose, I haven't noticed anything but perhaps increased libido? ...Hard to say, as it wasn't low anyway. I actually find iodine-rich foods very tasty, whereas some people hate it. I've seen the selenium argument, and maybe there are nutrients that need balancing as well. My iodine comes from seafood, seaweed, and a supplement, so I'm getting adequate selenium too (I sometimes have a brazil nut also).

Stan (Heretic) said...

I did have some side effects. I took about probably 50mg of "Iodine" (Iodine in alcohol solution) since Lugol [I in KI] was currently not available in Warsaw, Poland where I have been in the last 3 weeks.

I took it twice, 2 weeks apart. Each time I had something that felt like heart arrhythmic (heart flutter?) episode on the next day for a short time, when under stress. I have always had a propensity towards that all my life since teenager but it became very rare in the last 15 years on my high fat diet. I think it was not a coincidence, so I am being careful and I am not going to take iodine too often from now on, and not as much. if at all.

However, one other interesting observation: within 2-7 days following the first administering of iodine 2 weeks ago, all my small slivers of dry skin peeling around and in the corners beside my finger nails - have healed completely! It happened so quickly and completely that I didn't even notice when did it happen! I had this condition in the last couple of years, it was't particularly severe but annoying I had to cut off the dry skins from the corners of my fingernails every couple of days with the small wirecutters.


JC said...

I got this from James Sloane.

"Seaweeds are some of the safest and best sources of iodine. Seaweeds not only contain iodine, but also the other nutrients the body requires for proper utilization of the iodine except a cAMP stimulator to enhance iodine uptake.

What is a safe dose of iodine is not the same for everyone. Doses of iodine for example that are safe for a healthy individual has been shown to aggravate Hashimoto's thyroidosis. Iodine can also aggravate hyperthyroidism.

There are also other factors such as binding of iodine to starches, ability of cells to uptake iodine, etc. But it would be more difficult to get excess iodine from seaweeds compared to a toxic chemical compound like Lugol's iodine. And again, the other nutrients in seaweeds help in the proper utilization of iodine."

Stan (Heretic) said...

It is probably safer to supplement it from seafood rather than using synthetic chemicals. Incidentally, do you have any reference to Hashimoto aggravated by iodine? I am curious because Zieba claims otherwise, but who knows.
Stan (Heretic)

JC said...

I remember James saying it was safe to supplement 150mcg several times a day if necessary(heavy consumption of cruceferious veges).He did not think it was safe to supplement with the large does measured in mg for very long.

Stan (Heretic) said...

James saying? James who? The whole contention of Abraham, Zięba and others who wrote on the subject is, that there was only one study (Wolfe-Chaikoff) claiming any detrimental effect of higher than the normal doses of iodine and that one study was a mistake or a fraud since it used unreasonably large dosage (megadoses) equivalent of tens of grams of iodine in human equivalent. This whole issue appears to rest upon one old dodgy study. If you know of another study I would be very interested to verify those claims. Regards,
Stan (Heretic)

JC said...

James Sloane....He is an herbalist....I have mentioned him several times before.Look on cure zone ...."truth in medicine" under the name Hv or havergetti.

I don't know of any studies so its possible the whole iodine scare is false.

Stan (Heretic) said...

It probably is, this story reminds me of fat and cholesterol fraud and scare, it follows the same pattern of deception and often involving even the same people in the high echelons of medical establishment and farmaceuticals. If it looks like a conspiracy it probably is a conspiracy. They also have the motive - money!

Apparently, similar deceptive scare tactics has been used to depopularize other suplements such as vitamin A (exaggerated or possibly fradulent claims of toxicity), vitamin E (deceptive claims involving one compound versus a mixture of variety of natural tocopherols), vitamin D3 and K2 (i.e.: attempts by your vegetarian "friends" to obfuscate the effectivness of two different molecular forms of the vitamins D3/D2 and K2/K1).

Stan (Heretic)

Anonymous said...

FWIW, potassium iodide can be found on ebay, and is probably a better prospect than seaweed, which is usually high in bromine. I think if you look you will find that selenium is the other element that helps to support the thyroid.

The contra-indication is possibly adrenal insufficiency.

Stan Bleszynski said...

Lugol solution can be found in many supermarkets and pharmacies, without prescriptions, except they, for some strange reason, no longer call it "Lugol", it is now labelled as "Iodine Solution" and ingredients are listed as potassium iodide, iodine, alcohol and water. Incidentally, I found accidentally, when trying to kill toenail fungus, that a foot bath with a one cc of Lugol in a bowl of water, completely cured my fascitis (foot base tendon inflamation). Very strange! Same effect when I strained my elbow muscle - it almost completely eliminated the pain. Not sure about selenium, haven't seen much research, I heard about its protective effect against cancer but not much details.
Stan (Heretic) Bleszynski