By Kennedy Shelley
The draft boards during World War I faced a problem, they were having to reject thousands of young men from military service because they had goiters.
Further research showed they were primarily from the Midwest and central parts of the country.
That’s when scientists made the link between iodine in the diet and the formation of goiters.
Why was it primarily in the central part of the country?
Because people on the coasts were absorbing iodine from the air and locally grown vegetables where they grew got iodine from the soil which again came from the ocean.
So, what is a goiter? It’s an abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck.
While often not fatal, a goiter can cause a persistent cough and create difficulty in swallowing.
That’s when we started seeing a link between iodine and thyroid health.
There were very few goiters in areas where iodine was in the air itself, but since the iodine from sea air can’t make it to the center part of the country it led to iodine deficiency.
Enter the Morton salt company. They found that adding iodine to salt didn’t affect the taste and because everyone salted their food back then they thought they had solved the problem.
Then in the 1970’s the war on salt began. So fewer people were getting iodine added to their diet.
And fewer people go to the beach because of the fear of skin cancer, so people are not absorbing as much through their skin.
So, what is the result? Record low levels of iodine in Americans and a slow but noticeable rise in thyroid problems.
For the first time in nearly a hundred years, family physicians are seeing goiters in their patients.
It is estimated that the average Americans iodine level has dropped by 50% in the last 40 years.
Is this something you should be concerned with in your life? What is the effect of low iodine levels?
We have seen a near epidemic of Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease.
Thyroid cancer is increasing. Animal studies show that you can not create these problems without creating an iodine deficiency first.
If your doctor says, “well I never see low iodine in my practice” you might want to ask him, “do you actually look for it?”
While iodized salt might give you enough iodine to prevent an obvious goiter, it hardly is enough to promote optimal thyroid health.
So how do you get enough? The best source is from the ocean. Ocean fish are chock full of iodine, so that will help.
And unprocessed sea salt will help.
Not the iodized salt, but that from old dead seabeds will also help promote your iodine levels. You might want to try this brand:
You can also supplement using such products as J. Crows 2% iodine solution (I use it once a day in my morning coffee).
Low iodine affects your thyroid health. It’s not just goiters. Low levels will cause weight gain, cold extremities, lower your energy level.
But don’t wait, get your doctor to check your iodine levels, and you can supplement now with no known side effects.