Intestinal Health – Salt and Iodine

Kippy: I was reading in Prescription for Nutritional Healing (a book I highly recommend) that kelp (a form of seaweed) is essential for anyone with an under-active thyroid. If I’m already taking 1/2 grain Armour thyroid, should I add kelp to the mix?

Marilyn in Seattle: I am on Armour and I still take kelp. This was recommended because I was so low on iodine. Each kelp tab contains 225mcgs of iodine and I am taking 2 a day. I also use sea salt instead of iodized salt. In fact, I just got some Celtic Sea Salt and plan on using it for the trace minerals. I avoid mined salt because it is unbalanced in sodium to potassium ratios. And also because the processing methods use a lot of chemicals.

Sea salt tastes great. The sea salt that I buy is by the pound at the health food store. I have used sea salt for years, … but actually you know, I am not sure what the iodine content of sea salt is. I am sure there must be some but I don’t know what amounts. I could quote. Edgar Cayce said iodine is used throughout the body, not just by the thyroid. He encouraged the consumption of salt-water fish and kelp, but not to overdo it.

Polly: “Not to overdo it” is right. Yes, you need iodine to make thyroid. In fact, T3 thyroid means three iodine atoms and T4 thyroid means 4 iodine atoms. But if you get too much iodine, this suppresses the thyroid. More iodine might also pose a problem if you have autoimmune thyroiditis. Raymond Peat, PhD, warns that iodine will combine with unsaturated oils to form substances that inhibit the thyroid. So you must be careful not to get too much iodine. Yet you want to get enough iodine. Not only is iodine important for the thyroid hormone, but iodine kills yeast in the body. See this example:

How do you know if you have too little iodine? The skin patch test is not reliable. The best test is a loading test to see how much iodine is eliminated in the urine. (See Dr. Brownstein’s book on Iodine.)

One way to increase your iodine stores is to ingest 4 or 5 drops of Lugol’s iodine solution in a glass of water once or twice each day. Just be careful, because some people have life threatening allergic reactions to iodine. If you don’t know if you are allergic to iodine or not, try only one drop when someone else is with you. However, the iodine drops don’t taste that great. Another approach is to just keep painting patches of iodine on the skin. This way, you don’t have to taste it.

Lugol’s iodine solution can be obtained from a chemist or on the Internet. It is also called Aqueous Iodine Oral Solution B.P. Don’t substitute another product if it contains isopropyl alcohol or some other noxious ingredient. The Edgar Cayce store (Heritage Store) carries a product called Atomidine. This product has been “electrified.” phone 757- 428-0100 or 800-862-2923. Cayce said to slowly build up the number of drops taken to allow the body time to adjust. One drop per day would be a cautious start.

Here is an article by Ryan Drum, PhD, Dr. Drum suggests that iodine deficiency is more widespread than many assume. We are not getting iodized salt in our processed food because it is too hard for the mass produces of this food to properly mix the iodine with the salt in large batches. So they just leave it out. We are also losing iodine when we are exposed to fluorine, chlorine, and bromine. (Bromine is in pesticides, dough conditioners, and in disinfectants for water in hot tubs and spas.) These chemicals displace iodine and cause its excretion. We are also losing iodine when we are exposed to perchlorate. (The perchlorate contaminant can be found in our water and milk. It is from rocket fuel.)

Shelley: Marilyn, this intrigues me. I have been pronounced “allergic“ to iodine since I reacted badly to an iodine-based “see what’s inside you” kind of test in the hospital years ago. So I avoid iodized salt. But kelp seems fine with me. I love kelp. I also now am hypothyroid and take Armour so I’ve had my eyes on this post because I’ve had the same question as Kippy about kelp and Armour. My question to you is why do you avoid iodized salt but then take it in as kelp? Why avoid the iodized salt? Processing? Not a synergistic mix with other minerals as in kelp? Have I answered my own question?

Polly: I’ve seen iodized sea salt in the market, but I haven’t tried it. I love the way certain brands of sea salt tastes. The good sea salt is much less bitter than regular salt. Perhaps the taste difference is due to the mineral mix, or perhaps it is due to the lack of processing. Regular salt is processed with aluminum to keep it from caking.

Irma Rombauer, in her classic book Joy of Cooking, warns you not to put too much salt in your bread, because the bread will not rise very well. Perhaps it dehydrates the yeast?

“As salt also inhibits yeast growth, never use salted water for dissolving yeast. … And it (salt) must be used cautiously in bread-making, as too much inhibits the growth of yeast and adversely affects gluten formation.”

Harold: You must have salt as you lose it every day, your skin is one of the big means of it leaving the body. I use a half-salt product. It is 1/2 salt and 1/2 potassium chloride. These two are in a very delicate balance in the body and if you cut down on salt your potassium goes up and the reverse is true if you eat too much salt. The consumption of vegetables, particularly raw, ie broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber, tomato, … depletes the body of salt, this is why wild animals will go for miles to a salt lick. I have found that if I am in doubt about putting salt on my food, I sprinkle a bit on my hand and taste it, if it tastes good, then OK. If it doesn’t taste good, then I don’t use it. Another thing that kind of gripes me is that most salt on the market has sugar in it, but if you look you can find it without. I haven’t been able to get the half salt without sugar yet, but it is still worth it. I know the adrenal glands, like every gland in the body, is very dependent on the proper salt balance.

Polly: Joe Wallach suggests a heaping teaspoon of salt each day is good for us. [9] However, everyone isn’t the same. For instance, the amount of salt needed depends on the amount of insulin in our body. Insulin causes the retention of salt. Those of us who have recently started a low carbohyrate diet may have lowered our average insulin levels and thus we may need a little more salt in our diet.

I do know that under certain circumstances, a higher salt intake can be quite helpful. Case in point: My husband was tested by the Broda Barne’s Foundation. They said his adrenal function was low, and that he had extremely low salt levels, perhaps the lowest they had seen. He tried taking small doses of a mixed cortisol and he didn’t notice anything. Then he started increasing his salt intake and this made him feel much better. He ended up adding about a tablespoon of Pacific Sea Salt per day to his diet for a year. After that he cut the amount in half. (He likes the effects of this brand of salt better than other brands.) That is a lot of salt, but he also eats a lot of “acidic“ meat, and very little carbohydrates. Here is an excellent article on the benefits of salt by Ted Spence, DDS, ND, PhD. m.

Avandish: All sea salt contains toxic minerals and studies show that it usually has negative effects on blood chemistry, causing imbalances in potassium, magnesium, sodium, and other electrolytes, and many hormones. I use regular “Morton salt” with iodine and this is what was recommended to help normalize the chemistry. I feel better on regular salt over sea salt from a symptom standpoint.

Mary G. Are you familiar with Pure Inland Sea Water? It’s a naturally concentrated sea water product from Utah’s Inland Sea and contains sodium and numerous trace minerals. Do you know if this product is contaminated also?

Avandish: Unless it is specifically purified, it will contain whatever was in the seabed—good or bad. Usually these salt beds have both good and not so good minerals. It doesn’t make sense to me that so many people try so hard to remove toxic metals and use products which are likely to contain the same items they take chelating agents to remove. I too made this mistake for too long, not thinking that it could be a problem. When the miners of sea salt process this stuff, they just grind it up into a fine powder and package it. It’s cheaper to make than regular salt, which is purified, but they sell it for more.

Lynn of Virginia: I have used Biosalt from the Heritage Store for years. It has plain salt and a blend of minerals in it. or 757-428-0100 or 800- 862-2923) This site has a lot of other useful products in it, also. The Heritage Store here in Virginia Beach caters to the Edgar Cayce believers and many of their products are excellent. The site is interesting too.

2009 update — Polly: Dr. Hal Huggins recommends Morton’s Canning and Pickling Salt. His patient’s blood work looks the best when they use this. Also, there has been several important books on Iodine published. One is by Dr.Brownstein, called Iodine:Why You Need It.. The other is by Dr. David Derry and is called Breast Cancer and Iodine: How to Prevent and How to Survive Breast Cancer. Dr. Brownstein has found that the vast majority of his patients need more iodine. He gives a loading test. The patient takes a large amount of iodine, and then the amount removed in the urine is tested. If 90% of the iodine is excreted, then he assumes the patient does not need more iodine. Dr. David Derry shows that a lack of iodine plays a major part in the initiation of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. However, once breast cancer appears, thyroid becomes the most important nutrient to replace. Yet, giving thyroid to a person who is low on iodine is harmful in his opinion. Iodine will be used more quickly, and the deficiency will become even more acute.

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