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IODINE

How important is it to choose what water we drink or what foods we eat?  One cannot say enough about the health benefits of drinking pure water, eating fresh organic vegetables and breathing clean air. The choice eternally remains ours to take.

Pencil drawing - 8 Bree Street, McGregor, Western Cape, South Africa [2013 © paulgodard.com]Iodine is a chemical element found mostly in bodies of water such as the ocean and salt reservoirs. Iodine is also found in soil but in small quantities. A severe lack of iodine in the soil in certain areas around the globe will affect the local population and historically those populations would have been prone to iodine deficiency illnesses. In the not so distant past certain area of the world were well known for high incidences of cretinism (congenital iodine deficiency syndrome) which left the individuals both physically and mentally stunted. Iodine is an essential element for the proper functioning of the human body.

 

Iodine is a member of a family of elements called halogens together with fluoride, chloride, and bromide, this last one being used as a preservative in bread. Iodine is the largest and heaviest of the 4 halogens which presents a problem to the body as it has to compete with the smaller, lighter halogens for a place on the cell walls. Our cells contain specialised receptors on the surface of the cell to which the iodine attaches and is then pulled into the cell where it is used in cell reproduction and in the synthesis of hormones.

 

All halogens have the same ability to dock onto these receptors on the cell surfaces. The smaller halogens can displace larger ones but not visa versa. With iodine being the largest, it is easily displaced by its smaller cousins and then cannot be taken up by the cell. When the body is overloaded with fluoride, chloride and bromide, iodine cannot attach to the cells and a deficiency ensues.

 

A further characteristic of iodine makes it a vulnerable element, it breaks down easily and does not remain in the body for any length of time while fluoride, chloride, and bromide do. They are persistent toxins that are stored in the bones and tissues, forever blocking access to other elements, not only iodine. These toxic halogens are found in all processed foods so freely available in our supermarkets and food stores and which form the basis of our modern diet.

 

The body does not produce iodine, all the iodine utilised by our bodies comes from our diet. Most of the world’s iodine is concentrated in the ocean and is therefore obtained from foods emanating from the ocean such as, seaweeds, crustaceans, and fish. Sea vegetables being by far the best source of iodine no matter which. Examples of sea vegetables would be: chlorella, dulse, kelp, nori, spirulina, and wakame. Ocean fish contain substantial amounts of iodine too, such as, shrimps and scallops, cod, tuna, salmon and sardines. Other foods however also contain iodine, these include eggs, cows milk and natural yoghurt (from grass fed cows), strawberries, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, onions, bananas, peanuts and navy beans.

 

Thyroxin, produced by the thyroid gland, controls the body’s rate of physical and mental development and is completely dependent on this element. The link between a lack of iodine and mental development and stability cannot be underestimated. However, a lack of iodine is equally linked to the cause of many serious disorders such as goiter, infertility, autoimmune diseases and an increased risk of contracting cancers especially of the prostate, breast, endometrial and ovaries. A lack of iodine breaks down the ability of the thyroid to perform its tasks in metabolism and immune function.

 

Thyroxine is a pre hormone that controls our metabolism and our metabolism impacts every aspect of our health. It is not difficult to see then that a diminished thyroid due to a lack of iodine (hypothyroidism) can cause adverse conditions as diverse as weight gain to memory loss, dry skin, irritability, constipation, heart disease, loss of libido to cover but a few.

 

Regulating metabolism is not the thyroid gland’s only role, it holds an equally important part in the immune system. The blood passes through the thyroid gland once every 17 minutes and it secretes iodine into the blood stream. The iodine has the effect of weakening foreign organisms, such as parasites, bacteria and viruses thereby making it easier for the immune system to eradicate them. This is a crucial aspect of the immune function which becomes disrupted by a lack of iodine.

 

How does iodine affect organisms such as bacteria? When iodine comes into contact with a bacterium, which has a specific protein, it creates a reaction between the two. In the reaction the iodine is broken down to iodide ion. Iodide ion is an electrolyte that upsets the bacterium’s ion balance and this action leads to its death or weakens it, making it easier for the immune system to destroy and remove it.

 

We hold the key to our health by deciding how we want to look after ourselves, whether or not we want to consume foods and water that will be detrimental to our health. Health is an attitude and a way of life in which one works with the body and nature, for in both lies the answer to being well. Our bodies have an intelligence that keeps us whole, in balance and free of potential threats.  Nature perfectly provides what the body needs, and works with the body to keep it in homeostasis.  What we choose to do determines the state of our health, and what we choose to eat and drink especially so.

 

Dr. David Brownstein M.D.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretinism

 

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen01/gen01492.htm

 

Martini Frederic H: 2006. Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology. Seventh Edition. Pearson Education, Inc. San Francisco, U.S.A.

Marieb Elaine N:  Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology. Fourth Edition. The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc. California.

Moritz, A:2005.Timeless secrets of health and rejuvenation. Ener-Chi Wellness Press


Published Date: 26 Nov 2014