Friday, March 8, 2013

Taking Health By The Horns ~ Lesson 1: The Necessity Of Iodine

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This May I will be 1 year away from turning 40.  Unlike a lot of women, I  view every completion of a year on this earth as a reason to celebrate and welcome the new coming year.
Every year that I grow older is another year with my family & friends. A year that more experiences have occurred and memories have been made. 

So many people are having their lives cut short these days, so I value each and every day that I get. When I turned 25 I celebrated hitting that 1/4 century mark. At 30, the completion of three decades was greeted with a joyous, "Woohoo!"
With another decade fast approaching, I am taking inventory of the things that I need to be aware of in my life and the things that I want to better.  The biggie item ~ My Health!
I am on a mission to make the transition into 40 the most healthy year of my life!  In doing so I am also on a quest to pick up my old obsession and learn more about nutrition, herbs, vitamins and alternative medicines. Having battled hypertension, being over weight and exhausted, I am determined to make a change!  I want my girls to see how Mommy turned her life around...WITHOUT fad diets or pharmaceuticals.
So here is my first goodie tidbit to share with you all:
Have you ever had your iodine levels tested?

Going through my past blood work I found that it was never on the list to be tested.  Now, you may think that it's not a big deal, but it is actually a HUGE deal.  We all need to know our levels of iodine.
I've learned that not only is iodine necessary for our bodies to function, but that it can help to avoid many health issues that have been running rampant in our society these days. It is most commonly found in our table salt...yet apparently is not being consumed in the amounts that help to raise our levels.
Ponder this correlation: The medical industry's push to reduce the consumption of salt, thus reducing the primary source of our consumption of iodine and the incline of sickness and diseases.  Is it any wonder why we're all in a state of deficiency for our optimal health? 
Here are some interesting facts that I never knew about iodine:
  • It is essential for brain development in children.
    • Women who are iodine deficient during pregnancy run a high risk of having a child with mental retardation.
    • Deficiency can lead to Fetal Hypothyroidism (improper development of the thyroid in unborn children, which can cause brain damage)
  • A deficiency could be one of the causes of autism.
  • It is necessary for a healthy thyroid gland. 
    • The thyroid gland controls things such as your metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, glucose levels and blood lipid levels.
  • Inadequate levels of iodine can cause weight gain, low energy, depression, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and a variety of cancers.
  • It is vital to breast health in women.  Low intake levels increase the risk for breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease.
  • Regular exercise (which is necessary for optimal health) causes substantial amounts of iodine to be lost in the sweating that occurs during exercise.
  • Regulates the levels of stress hormone cortisol.
  • Protects against stomach cancer.
This information blows my mind!  Prior to a little digging I had absolutely no clue that iodine was so vital to our existence.  Wouldn't it be remarkable if iodine turned out to be the main thing that we have been lacking in our American Diet?  The trigger to the ridiculous amount of people that we all know who develop cancers?
The Japanese have the right idea, and I'm happy to bring more sushi into my diet, by consuming kelp regularly.  It is an excellent source of iodine!  I'm thinking some smoked salmon sushi may be in my very near future.  Or maybe I'll just stock my fridge to the brim with strawberries...and excellent fruit source of iodine!
Well, with this little nugget of golden knowledge I have obtained, I am going to be hunting this weekend for the best iodine supplement that I can readily get my hands on. According to the Global Healing Center these are the top four iodine supplements you should be looking for (best listed first):
  1. Transformative Nano-Colloidal Detoxified Iodine (best non-toxic source of elemental iodine)
  2. Nascent Iodine (easily recognized & assimilated by the body)
  3. Lugol's Solution Iodine (studies show that breast tissue prefers this form of iodine)
  4. Potassium Iodide
Here are some links to help you, should you decide to grab some iodine for yourself as well.
Dr. Brownstein's "Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It" 3rd Edition & Iodine Drops

 Lugol's Iodine Solution Twin Pack (2 oz.)

Could there be side effects from taking iodine supplements? As with any supplement the answer is yes.  Click HERE to read more information on possible side effects and medication interactions. 
Make an informed decision, I highly recommend talking to a holistic doctor (because traditional doctors are not taught nutrition or natural remedies) or your personal doctor before endeavoring in supplement changes or additions.  A pharmacist may also be able to assist you in checking for any interactions with current medications.
Life Extension - The Silent Epidemic of Iodine Deficiency 
Global Healing Center - Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency
Global Healing Center - Iodine Supplements: The Four Best Kind To Use 
Medline Plus - A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine 
LIVESTRONG - Foods With Iodine

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