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Iodine Essentials with Dr. David Brownstein

Everything you need to know about iodine.

I had a great interview with Dr. Brownstein today. We spoke for an entire hour about iodine, which I’ve started using more and more in my practice after reading his book, which I highly recommend you read.


  • Introduction to Dr. Brownstein. 0:01

    • Dr. Stillman welcomes Dr. Brownstein to the podcast.

    • Dr. Brownstein gives a brief synopsis of his website.

    • The importance of iodine in thyroid health.

    • How to get started with iodine.

  • Dr. Brownstein’s turning point. 2:48

    • Dr. Brownstein shares his story of becoming a holistic doctor.

    • The turning point in his journey.

    • Weighing $100,000 in student loans back in the day.

    • His father was on 12 medications for diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

    • His bloodwork results were surprising.

  • How did you know you needed to leave your practice? 9:06

    • The first 10 years of holistic medicine.

    • The letter to the editor from a doctor.

  • How Dr. Guy Abraham became interested in the thyroid. 11:57

    • Dr Guy Abraham became interested in his practice.

    • Different tissues of the body concentrate iodine.

    • Reducing thyroid hormone levels for most of his patients.

    • Iodine deficiency in the population.

    • Treating a number or a symptom, not a symptom.

    • Gold standard dose of iodine.

  • Exposure to fluoride in the modern world. 18:58

    • Fluoride is the smallest of the four halides.

    • Bromide and bromide exposure.

  • The normal architecture of the glandular tissue. 22:05

    • One in seven women in the United States have breast cancer.

    • Lung cancer is getting worse.

    • Iodine deficiency and its effect on the thyroid.

    • Fibrocystic breast disease.

    • One in seven women get breast cancer.

    • Thyroid cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the U.S.

  • Strategies for testing for Iodine deficiency. 27:06

    • His strategy for testing people in his practice.

    • The iodine loading test.

    • The 24-hour urine test and spot testing of iodine levels.

    • The goal is to get people to take one drop of iodine a day.

  • Should I reduce my iodine intake? 33:27

    • No stores of iodine in the body.

    • Consistently eating seaweed for iodine.

    • Testing seaweed brands for iodine and bromide content.

    • The seaweed content of iodine has gone down.

  • How to use seaweed for detoxification. 36:52

    • Bromide levels and iodine levels in seaweed.

    • Dosages of iodine and bromide.

    • Bromide is part of pharmaceutical makeup, just like fluoride is.

    • Bromo seltzer and salt.

  • Iodine dosing for children. 43:08

    • Using unrefined salt like celtic-brand sea salt or redmond's or Himalayan salt.

    • Iodine dosing recommendations.

  • Iodine and Hashimoto’s Disease. 45:59

    • Objections to iodine and hashimoto's disease.

    • The importance of lab-based testing.

    • Women suffer from iodine deficiency more than men.

    • Inverse correlation between hashimoto's disease and iodine.

  • Iodine and Hashimoto’s Disease. 51:02

    • Iodine treatment for hashimoto's disease.

    • One criticism of the thyroid treatment regimen.

    • The importance of educating oneself and taking control of healthcare decisions.

    • Why he wrote his books, miracle natural hormones, and why he started writing.

Unedited transcript below.

Speaker 1 0:01

Hello everyone, Dr. Stillman here joined by Dr. Brownstein is my esteemed colleague is decades ahead of me in practices and one of the leaders in natural medicine, you may have recognized his work. If you don't know his work, I encourage you to check him out. Dr. Brownstein? Do you want to give people your quick, quick, brief synopsis of your website where reach you were to follow you before we jump into talking about ini?

Speaker 2 0:21

Well, I'm happy to be here, Dr. Stillman. And thanks for having me on. I've been doing holistic medicine for about 30 years, 30 years now, this year, and my website is www.dr Brownstein, PR o wn St. And looking forward to having a good discussion with you today. And you know, I've written 17 books and just write about what works in my practice either what works or what irritates me, one of the two things get, get it, get a book, and they come quickly if I'm irritated, or I'm excited about something.

Speaker 1 0:54

Yeah, I absolutely know exactly what you mean. That's pretty much exactly what I do. I write blog talk about what excites me and what irritates me. And it's funny, you mentioned that because iodine was something that was kind of on my list of things to learn about for a long time. And finally, I picked up your book on the topic, and it really opened my eyes to what I was missing. You know, the mean, the short store and iodine, I think a lot of people know, you know, it's a halogen. It's an element in the periodic table, you need it to make thyroid hormone. But the things in your book that blew my mind, and changed my practice where the doses you need to make thyroid hormone are very low, but the doses you need for optimal health are very different. It can be, you know, very much pushed out of the body. My other halogens, so chlorine, and fluorine, fluoride. And so in our world full of chlorinated pools, and chlorinated water, and fluoridated water, and fluorine, you know, doped pharmaceuticals, a lot of people don't realize the nasal sprays, they're on inhalers they're on, they're loaded with fluoride. So they're not eating enough seafood, they're certainly not eating any seaweed, they're getting very little iodine, from their iodized salt, all of a sudden, they're in a situation where their health is falling apart. They don't know why they have low thyroid hormone, they have no energy, they can't sleep at night, they can't lose weight. Lo and behold, you give them iodine, a lot of those problems go away. So I'm really curious to ask you, you know, how did you fall into this? And, and what got you to finally start using higher and higher doses of iodine? Because that was what I think, in many respects, differentiates you from a lot of our colleagues who will say, Oh, take kelp eat seaweed seafood for the iodine. And I've heard people say, take a shot at cranberry juice. But what got you started on this? And what pushed you to start using higher and higher doses?

Speaker 2 2:48

That's a good opening question. And just for the audience, we didn't prepare anything we got on this talk, he said, we want to talk about anything in particular Mike, and we can handle it again. And we will this will be easy. And that's a good segue into it. So I my story was I wanted to I went to medicine to be a family doctor, if modeled after my family doctor, I came from a conventional household. We didn't take vitamins we didn't. We didn't do any alternative things. We went to a doctor, when we were sick, we took whatever they gave us, we never questioned anything. And I had a severe case of asthma as a kid. And once a doctor a little more frequently for that. And just I've always been interested in the body and you know, medicine and things. So I went to med school. You went to undergrad to go to med school, the University of Michigan and went to med school in Detroit, and then I went to a family practice residency, and I came out doing conventional family practice. I remember telling people, you don't need to take vitamins. They're a waste of time and energy and urine. Yeah, my mother in law who was into Adelle Davis and getting some newsletters from alternative practitioners would would show me these articles and things and I'd say, oh, you know, no, you know, whatever, I would dismiss her. Yeah. She never forgot. Never forget to remind me about, you know, as I became a holistic doctor. So, so my turning point came about six months into practicing conventional medicine, when all of a sudden, I go through a couple of nights of not sleeping for an unknown reason. And I'm getting up to go for work, and I just blurt out to my wife, you know, I don't want to be a doctor anymore. And, you know, we met when we were 18. And that's all I talked about, was, you know, yeah, asking for being a physician and medicine and, and that's all she's known me. And she's weighed $100,000 in student loans back in the day, which was a lot and she said, you know, what's wrong? And I said, It's just not good. I'm not helping people, I'm just putting my drugs, spending five minutes with them maybe. And after I was I was trained well enough back in the day that maybe after 30 seconds of them talking, I was already writing the prescription out for the drug. And I was done. My brain had turned off, and I was ready to get out of the room. And I was good at it. I mean, I could, I could see 5060 patients a day. Yeah. And it was easy. So I, you know, six months later, I'm not sleeping, and I blurt out that statement to her. And she says, Well, why don't you do another residency? And I'm like, no, they're all the same. What are you going to do? And I said, I don't know. But I can't do this for the next 30 years. So around that time, I had a patient bothering me to meet his chiropractor and the, you know, I never referred to a chiropractor. I've never been to one never knew what they did. I used to tell patients don't go because they were dangerous, because back then, that was what we were. I know, you know, it was, it was kind of a discussion. You know, there was no, there was no classes at it, you just kind of told that we all kind of knew, you know, we've heard airbrake. They're dangerous, and not knowing their philosophy not knowing what to do. And that's what I used to tell patients. So in my lack of sleep, and my high anxiety, which I had at that time, and my wife was pregnant with our first child. I go meet with his chiropractor, and he's a nice guy. His name was Dr. Robert Radke. He brings a book at that meeting, healing with nutrition by Jonathan Wright, who's an allopathic physician, Dr. Radke started telling me about treating patients with vitamins and minerals and herbs, and, and he knew a lot of functional biochemistry, which I did not know. And I came home from that meeting. Excited, took that book, open the chapter to cardiovascular disease because my dad had his first heart attack at 40 a second heart attack at 42. He had two bypass surgeries and a couple of angioplasties was on 12 medications for diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. And he looked like he was going to die at any moment. He was having continual angina every day and taking nitroglycerin pills like they were candy. And he was literally waiting to get the phone call. He had died. We all were in the family. So I read that chapter toll. I remember it 230 In the morning, I was going to work on a full day, the next day, I get up for work, I'm still excited. And I call my dad before I leave the house. And I said hey, can you come in the office, I want to draw a couple blood tests on you. And he said I'll come before work and he didn't get the bloodwork back a few days later. And his testosterone levels were below detectable limits, no one had bothered to check him. And his thyroid levels were in the reference range, the high in the low reference range, but in the lower part of the reference range. Sure. And I put him on two things based on what Dr. Radke and I have talked about and what I read in that book, and I put them on natural testosterone and natural desiccated thyroid hormone. And within seven days, his 20 year history of angina went away. Within 30 days, he looked better. His pale pasty look in his face was now pink. And he wasn't short of breath. Wasn't he never used nitros. After that seven days, I drew his blood work. 30 days later, his cholesterol in the three hundreds and medication fell below 200. Even not changing as bad dietary habits and my dad could eat like the best of them out there. And he, you know, no longer looked like he was gonna die. And, you know, over the next few months, I decreased his medications from 12 down to like four or five and half the doses of those. And people were asking who knew him, you know, what are you doing your look, it looks so much better. So I saw the changes in my dad, I knew that's what I wanted to do in medicine. So I went to the partners who I was negotiating a buy in for. I said, I'm gonna leave, I need to leave and they said what's wrong? And I'm like, I want to go do holistic medicine. And they said, What's that? And I said, I'm not sure. But I'm going to have to figure it out. Why don't you do it here? And I'm like, No, I came to an office like this. I need my own office. I said I want and when people answer the phone, I want nurses, I want other doctors on the same page with me. And so I left and I started checking every patient from that moment on as a is a hormonal and nutritional. They have hormones and nutrient levels at every single time. And they got thyroid levels every time because my dad did so much better than that thyroid hormone and they'll get testosterone progesterone, you know all the other hormone levels to Sure. So from that moment I started and I went to courses and start reading books and articles. And I started putting a lot of patients on thyroid hormone and I use natural desiccated thyroid hormone in patients were feeling better my practice was growing was happy. It was starting to realize what holistic medicine is even though I'm still figuring it out today. And it was the first 10 years of my practice. And I probably had at the end of 10 years 75% 80% of my patients on thyroid hormone, natural desiccated thyroid hormone. They were feeling better. I wasn't running into any side effects. And but it was bothering me Why does so many people need thyroid hormone? You know, I didn't think we were designed by our maker to the thyroid hormone just because we're getting older. So I would look at the physiology of the thyroid gland. And what fuels the production of thyroid hormone what the thyroid gland needs to make thyroid hormone, and you run across things like Selenium and magnesium and B vitamins. And I that's always part of that. Whenever you read about that, it's, you know, you're worried about it. Since you can't make thyroid hormone without iodine. In fact, you can make any hormone in the body without iodine and inactive thyroid hormone T for has four atoms of iodine attached to the thyroid globulin molecule. Activated thyroid hormone T three has three items that are attached to it. So I would try it was bothering me Why did three quarters of my patients on thyroid hormone to feel well, so I would try these cofactors, magnesium, Selenium vitamins. B vitamins are aid i. And I kept reading more about it. And I would try varying amounts of iodine low medium high doses. And I couldn't couldn't get people off the thyroid hormone, they still felt better when they were in thyroid hormone than the ad. Now, I never saw problems with it using low medium or high doses I just didn't, couldn't decrease thyroid dosing or get them off thyroid dosing sanka frustrated with it, I go back to it, I get frustrated with it. And you know, around 10 years now, later, I run across an article in one of my holistic journals. And it was it was a letter to the editor from a doctor who developed an AI loading test. So I read the letter.

Speaker 2 11:57

He was in California, Dr. Gary Abraham, and I call them and he became interested in my practice, because of my location I was in Michigan, I'm in Michigan, the quarter belt of the United States, right was no little island. It was low, it was known in the early 20th century, that the area surrounding the Great Lakes was full of goiters in people in quarters are swollen thyroid gland. And it was known that the the thyroid gland will swell, you know, and from lack of iodine, so, but the soil around the Great Lakes in the central part of the United States is really low in iodine. Whereas the soil around the oceans where most of the iodine stores are it should be a little bit higher right and concepts away. So we began collaborating, and Dr. Abraham became a close friend of mine. He had written some articles about iodine that he sent me and I started talking to him about it. And I was flying out to California four times a year, four to six times a year to work in his lab for a weekend and we started studying iodine. And you know, I learned from my mentor, you know, Dr. Abraham, you know, more than more than he could imagine and more than I could imagine at the time. And what I learned was I was using the wrong form of iodine, the first 10 years, I was using iodide, the IDE, the reduced form of iodine. And although the thyroid gland does concentrate iodide, and that should work for the thyroid gland, what I found when I learned from Dr. Abraham and going through the literature is different tissues of the body concentrate different forms of iodine. So there's two major forms in the body iodine, di N E and iodide, di D. That's the oxidized and reduced form of iodine is a fancy terms. The oxidized form is lacking an extra electron in the outer shelf of the molecule of the atom and the reduced form he has a full complement of electrons but either way, the breast concentrate a name, the thyroid concentrates iodide, the stomach concentrates a day, and other tissues can straight AD and AD. So for I quickly realized when I when I saw a couple of articles about this, that to deal with whole body ad insufficiency, and optimization of ad, you really need to use a combination of iodine and AJ. So I pivoted at the moment, and instead of just using a day, I began using a combination of iodine in a day in the form of glucose solution or tablet glucose solution. And lo and behold, started to see the results I was looking for. I was able to reduce the thyroid hormone levels for the vast majority of my patients were taking thyroid hormone, and in a few years I went from three quarters of my patients on thyroid hormone to feel well to less than a quarter of them and thyroid hormone and my average thyroid dose went from I would estimate around two grains. First 10 years of my practice to now, maybe a half a great, you know, less than that's over 50% lower in that dosing. Yeah. And patients. And I was seeing some other good effects with the, you know, the idea which we can get into. But that's how it got started with it. And, you know, a, you know, I have a busy practice in my office right now. My daughter's eight Allison was pregnant with is now in my practice. She's finishing a residency in two months, and she'll be there full time. She's there part time right now. And we have six practitioners in our office and probably have, I don't know, 90 95% of our patients are more taking iodine. And, as you mentioned, you know, some considered high dose iodine, I don't really consider that I once high dose, you were trying to optimize the body iodine level, right. And in today's world, because for some of the things that you mentioned earlier, you know, the toxicity of fluoride, chlorine, and some other items that inhibit iodine that are out there are iodine requirements have gone up compared to our predecessors. So we, our population right now is more iodine deficient than our grandparents and great grandparents, and, you know, in the past and things because of all this, so we need more aid, I know what's our parents needed, and our grandparents needed, and so on, and so on. And, you know, that's the situation I find myself in right now. And it's a good situation, it's a good practice. And, you know, that's my long winded version of, you know, how I got started with it.

Speaker 1 16:33

Got it, when I read your book, or read the chapter on testing. And one of my first thoughts was, Wow, it sounds like, first of all, if someone's not deficient in iodine now, just wait, and they will be. And the second thought I had was because I read your testing, you know, protocols, I thought, and I, when I talk to patients about therapeutics, I always say, Look, we're either treating a number or we're treating a symptom. And I'm actually more interested in because one of the things about, you know, iodine mechanics is, let's say that someone's urinary iodine is high, they're excreting a lot of it. What if that just means that they're not holding on to it? Versus if it's low, suggesting that either they don't have enough intake, and or they don't have a lot around? And I looked at the testing procedures, and I thought this is a little bit cumbersome with your 24 hour urine collection. If we really want to do the gold standard. How often are we going to do that? Is it going to be once a year twice a year, three times a year? How long do I leave someone on, say 20 to 50 milligrams of iodine daily, which I think would be a pretty set, would you say it's a pretty standard dose for you to use.

Speaker 2 17:47

Average patients in my practice are 25 milligrams, and the run more if they have glandular disease, thyroid, ovaries, uterus, breast, prostate, pancreas, any any illness of those tissues, there are more, but I would say average 25 to 50 milligrams.

Speaker 1 18:02

Got it. And I want to put a really fine point on what you just said, because you said it fast. Anyone with any glandular disease? Because if we've seen I mean, we've seen lots of organ system diseases expand and exponentially in the last, I don't know several decades, but glandular diseases right now one of the big things people are struggling with. So diseases are the breast diseases of the prostate, I mean, all the endocrine organs, they have glands, and those glands make things that we need in order to be healthy. And we see this, you know, in so many patients, and it's totally missed by so many people, that these glandular organs require iodine to function optimally. And so if you're deficient, you're not just going to have a problem with your thyroid hormone, you're gonna have a problem with all these other organ systems that can then cascade out into all these other problems. So average dose is 25. And then how do you approach follow up testing? And, you know, what's your thought on just using iodine empirically, and just giving it to people and seeing if they respond?

Speaker 2 18:58

So in our modern world with our exposure to so as you mentioned earlier, it ends in group 17 of the periodic in that group of the halides. So they're, in order of size fluoride, bromide, iodine in Oh, I might be off on that for a moment a chlorine. Yes, I might be off on that order

Speaker 1 19:20

a little bit. It's F, Cl, Br iodine.

Speaker 2 19:24

I knew I mix up chloride in there. So fluoride is the smallest one. So the most. So out of those four halides two are toxic with no known therapeutic value in the human body and to our net. The two that are toxic are Florida and bromide. Two that are not our chlorine, chloride and iodine. So we, we have iodine and chloride receptors all through our body, we get chlorine from salt, sodium chloride. We can't live without it, and we can't live without it. And it's essential element that every cell in the body needs and it's concentrated and clean. Joy tissue, as I mentioned earlier, and I'll say it slower this time that thyroid, ovaries uterus, breast, prostate, pancreas are all glandular tissue that release hormones into the bloodstream. And, you know, can't make any of those hormones without adequate amounts of iodine. So our modern world is pretty cool because we have things like cell phones that we carry around with us while the cell phones are full of bromide, as prevents overheating of electronics. So when we're holding cell phones, and we're talking to cell phones, we're getting these bromide exposures. bromide

Unknown Speaker 20:38

actually isn't aerosolized in the bromide somehow.

Speaker 2 20:41

It's in these things. I mean, I don't know exactly what all the sources of bromide are. But in my testing of the halides, the thing that was crowding on it was bromide, and in my testing that I did with Dr. Abraham, so prominent in carpet, it's in curtains, it's in mattresses. It's in

Unknown Speaker 21:00

energy drinks.

Speaker 2 21:01

It's in food, it's in red, pop, it's in, it's all over the place. Yeah. Fluoride is the most electronegative of the highlights and the smallest one and most ranked of one that you know, will get fluoride from our water supply, as we all know, but it's in it's in like juices and drinks and, and things. And no, you're right. It's in the drugs or the antidepressant drugs and some asthma drugs and the inhalers and nasal sprays, like you mentioned. Yeah. And so each time we're getting these fluoride bromide exposures, it's competitively inhibits iodine, and it lowers the IGA level. Conversely, if you take enough iodine, you can displace fluoride and bromide and your body can get rid of that. So our exposure in our modern world to Florida bromide is enormous right now. And that's made the iodine deficiency problem worse because it's kicked out iodine from our bodies. And when you couple it with declining iodine in our soil, and in our food supply, it's like a double whammy, and therefore we're more deficient in iodine. And I think that's led to all the glandular problems as you you mentioned earlier, we have one in seven women across the United States with breast cancer. 30 years ago, when I started practicing medicine, women had breast cancer, and I diagnose women with breast cancer, but it was women 50 And up mostly. And, you know, you know, I didn't see women in their 40s and 30s 20s, getting breast cancer and they were in their mid to late 50s and up getting breast cancer. I have patients. I have one, one young lady who in her teenage years are diagnosed with breast cancer. I have a few in their 20s and more in their 30s and 40s. Now, I just went to a funeral from a patient of mine was 32 years old, and they diagnosed her at 18 breast cancer. I mean, it's it's it's oh my

Speaker 1 22:50

gosh, wow. Yeah, we weren't and that's it's just, it's everywhere. You know, I lost a 36 year old patient last year to colon cancer. I mean, this didn't. And I remember, I remember a mentor of mine, I can't remember who it was actually. But he said that when he was actually known as Dr. Jack Cruz, he was telling a story about when he was in medical school or residency, I can remember which, in New Orleans, the head of the department that he was working in, said, Oh, we have a lung cancer case on the wards, you've got to come see the lung cancer case. This was like one of the only cases they were going to see in a year. You know, cancer went from being rare to being not just common, but tragically common among young people. It's getting worse. And there's no doubt in my mind that iodine deficiency, not to mention, it's you know, the contamination and toxicity with fluoride and chlorine is and bromine is to blame.

Speaker 2 23:46

So that segues into let's talk about the what iodine does. I then concentrates in the glandular tissue. Islands helpful for the immune system fight infections, I use it as part of my COVID protocol. But if we're going to focus on the glandular tissues, iodine job is to maintain a normal architecture according to our tissues, one of its jobs. And so if we call this the normal architecture, the glandular tissues, breast, ovaries, uterus, pancreas, thyroid, testicles. I think I got ultimum. Prostate if I didn't mention it, this is the normal glandular tissue. In iodine deficiency, the first thing that happens is you get cysts forming those tissues. If it goes you know fibrocystic breast disease affects eight out of 10 women in their lives. cysts and in the thyroid gland area, you know, enormous easy to diagnose if you can palpate the thyroid which I teach other physicians how to properly complete thyroid since I wasn't taught in med school, but here's normal glandular tissue. First thing happens is you get cysts in tissue when there's iodine deficiency. Animal test tube in human studies show that if I didn't deficiency continue longer that says become artisanal jeweler goes on longer, they take a hyperplastic appearance, if you biopsy it look under look at it under a microscope, and cancers the end of that road. This similar animal test tube and human studies show that iodine cannot only halt this progression wherever it catches it, but reverse it. And there's not many things out there that have anti apoptotic effects to it, anti cancer effects to it. I don't one of them. So, you know, we've got one in seven women with breast cancer. We got one in three men with prostate cancer. We got ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, we all know people with pancreatic cancer, all of us when I was when I was in med school and residency, it see a patient with pancreatic cancer here and there. They were all old. They were all alcoholics or something. Some reason you kind of thought they might have got it or they were just got it because it was super old. But, you know, I got pancreatic cancer patients in their 40s. Now, I mean, it's ridiculous. So thyroid cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States right now. Ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer growing at epidemic rates. And I say this is this is all due in part to iodine deficiency. And unless we correct this, we're not we're not going to get a hold of this glandular epidemic that we're seeing. And we all know, people, we all got friends, family members, patients that, you know, struggle with this and died from this. And it's just, it's, I think the one of the, you know, do I think it would cure the one in seven women getting breast cancer? No, I don't think it's going to fully cure it. But I think it would help the situation greatly. And and I think the, you know, it's right below right in front of our eyes, you know, what we need to do, and you know, it's just not being done. It's just not identify non patentable substances cheap. Yeah. Like farmers got no reason. It's hard

Speaker 1 27:03

even to get some of the manufacturers to make it because Google's is so cheap. Yep. But I'm really curious. So what's your strategy for, for testing people in your practice?

Speaker 2 27:12

So when I've when I first started doing this, the first 10 years I was using iodine on and off, there was really no testing available to me, there was not that sector, Abraham developed at it loading test, this was a functional test where you, you collect 24 hours of urine. For people not taking iodine, you measure the iodine concentration in that urine, and you take a loading dose of iodine 50 milligrams was established. Explain why that was established in the in the book, and you measure another 24 hours of urine and what you're looking for. The really neat thing about iodine is that about 98% of oral you take an iodine is cleared through the urine. So you know the amount coming in, you can measure the amount coming out of the urine, subtract the numbers and figure out how much the body held on to. So what we found was that in a iodine sufficient person, if you give them 50 milligrams of iodine, collect 24 hours of urine, they'll pee out 945 milligrams of that, or 90%. And they'll hang on to five milligrams to five milligrams is a it's not, because you don't have any, we're not camels of iodine, we don't store it, but we use it. We use it to make thyroid hormone, we use it to stimulate white blood cells to make hydrogen peroxide to fight infections. Once it's used, it's discarded and we need more to come in. So it needs to replenish be replenished on a daily basis or you become deficient. But that five milligrams is stored in that storage pool to use for daily daily use. So someone who hangs on to more than five milligrams, like 20 milligrams, or 30 milligrams. So out of the 50, they're taking orally, they only pl 20 milligrams, or 30 milligrams, so they're gonna hang on to 30 milligrams or 20 milligrams in their body, they're really deficient, the body's really soaking it up. And what what we found over time was with testing enough people that they might start off, and I'm just making a point here, and you know, these numbers, they might start off, you know, instead of 90% excretion of iodine, 50 milligrams, instead of being up 45 milligrams, they'll be out 20 or 25 milligrams, it means they're hanging on to the rest of it. Over time, as they took that iodine, they would go, they would pee out more and more and more until they get to that 90% thing. So when I first started doing it, I was doing 24 hour loading tests and everybody and I did it in hundreds and hundreds of multiple hundreds of patients. What I found was, everybody's slowing it down. If they're not taking it, period. The only people that weren't doing it were the ones that either heard me lecture somewhere or got my book or some other doctor was telling him take it down and back then there was hardly anyone doing it. But it was easy to be a deficient, it is easy to be iodine deficient in our modern world. And it's not only easy to be iodine deficient, it's pretty easy to be severely iodine deficient. So now I don't really test, I do do the 24 hour loading tests, I just don't do it. If a patient asked me for it, I really don't do it anymore. What I do for testing, that's a little bit easier is I do spot urine iodides. So on a new patient, as long as they're not taking iodine, because if they're taking eight, and we don't have a normal reference, we don't have a reference range for spat items. A span a day means they're just pee in a cup, whenever they're in the office doesn't matter, morning, afternoon, evening, you're just spotting, start checking their item levels. And the spot check of iodine, if you're not taking iodine, can give you a rough idea of how much iodine is coming into the system. And I can tell you from doing it this way, it's easier for people they know it's quick 24 hours a urine, the laboratory testing is cheaper this way. And it still gives me the same percentage of people iodine deficient, which is, you know, over 95%, it's 97, you know, keep track of these numbers were tested, over seven were over 8000 people now. It's 97.8, or 9%, or something like that, that are low in it, and the vast majority of them severely low in iodine, I will do this 24 hour urine test and select patients that were looking for a reason to do that. Or if something's you know, wrong with their system, but most of them are done with spa urinary iodides. Some people talk about the skin test where you rub I'm very suspicious, or you and it turns brown and you look for how long it takes the brown color to go away. And you assume that when the brown power goes away fast, they're by soaking up the iodine, and they're really deficient. And the brown color lasts for 24 hours and they're not deficient. There's a there's a study that showed 80% of the iodine rubbed down the skin sublimates off into a gaseous phase. So you know, I don't really think that's a valid way to do it, the best way to do it is if you're an error testing, whether you're doing spy danger 24 hour urines.

Speaker 1 32:15

So after reading your book, what I decided to do is just challenge everyone with iodine, start them at one drop of Google's a day in not everyone, you know, I wanted to I did this with people who I'd known for a little while, we'd gotten some other ducks in a row, so to speak. But I started just ramping people up on Google's to a see what they would tolerate and be find out you know what therapeutic benefits there were. And, and I've had a very interesting experience with that some people can tolerate more, some people can tolerate less. Usually the symptoms they describe if they feel like they can't tolerate it are very vague. And I haven't gotten into yet repeating or checking levels. Because from my perspective, my goal is first replete the body and if it's terribly deficient, then you've mentioned in your in your book that you took you months or even years, it seems like to fix some people's iodine levels. So what am I going to do something it's a beneficial response, I'm not going to take them off of it, I'm not going to ramp their dose down. So you know, so far, I haven't ordered the 24 hour urine reloading doses, I'm sure I will, the situation arises where I'm thinking about, you know, potentially stopping it. But what do you think the optimal doses per day? And what do you recommend to somebody who's just coming into your office?

Speaker 2 33:27

So you bring up a good point, one of the things to consider? Should I ramp them down or so you know, yeah. And one of the things you have to consider is, again, I mentioned it earlier, we have no stores of iodine, we're constantly using it to make thyroid hormone, adrenal hormone, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, whatever. So if you, if you if your patient stopped taking iodine tomorrow, it'll take her him or her about 48 hours to clear whatever she was taking. And then she'll be back to a baseline level, and what's in our food supply, which is now much and then you throw in bromide and fluoride and you know, all the toxic allergens that we're exposed to on a daily basis. So let's pause

Speaker 1 34:14

on that for a minute because one of the things I've seen is that if you eat seaweed very consistently, and I mean, this is coming from a the Japanese and be just basic, you know, nutrition science. If you eat seaweed consistently, you can get two to three, four milligrams a day of iodine, just with seaweed. If you really went crazy, you could maybe get up to high single digits or 10 milligrams, I think that would take a heroic amount of iodine or seaweed consumption. But you know, what do you say to people who say, Well, can't I just eat seaweed?

Speaker 2 34:45

Look, the best way to to get nutrients from your diet, eat a healthy diet, you know, we shouldn't have to supplement with things and however, it's hard with iodine again, our exposure to that Attack of toxic elites are constantly pushing it on the body. So, so I tested seaweed brands for a few years, and I would send them further iodine and the bromide content and fluoride content. What I found was, first off what I, the reason I was doing this was seaweed has the same sodium iodide symporter, we have the ability to take iodine from a low concentration. In that case of seaweed from seawater, and concentrate it higher inside the seaweed, we have the same thing. It takes a low cause you're moving iodine, from a low concentration in our bodies in the bloodstream to a high concentration in the glands like the thyroid or the breasts or, you know, so we have the sodium iodine, simple orders these taxicabs waiting to move it down across the cell membrane. See, we've kept the same taxi cabs to do it. So where am I going with a story? What did you ask me?

Unknown Speaker 35:55

You're telling me why we can't just do it with seaweed?

Speaker 2 35:57

Oh, why we can't do it? Yes, why we can't. So when I tested seaweed, what I found was different batches of seaweed at different amounts of iodine, and different amounts of fluoride and bromide. And the seaweed is sort of my name symporter can move the other tax account like bromide, and fluoride into the body into the glands of the body as well as it can move it into the seaweed. So if the seaweed is grown in an area of toxicity with bromide and fluoride at sea, which can be high in bromide, in Florida, low in iodine. So the seaweed content of iodine has come down over the last five decades, just as our food supply has come down, just as our soil has come down, and that's a problem. So I say in our modern world that we're living in with our exposure to these toxic halogens, it's impossible to get optimal amounts of iodine from food. I don't I don't relish saying that. But that's the way it is. And I've had patients who try this with seaweed, their iodine levels, and bromide levels would really fluoride levels, which shift depending on I think that seaweed content of all that stuff. So my feeling is if I'm really going to focus on iodine, and if I'm especially if I'm treating something like fibrocystic breast disease, or breast cancer, or ovarian tumors, or you know, whatever, you know, I want to I want to use a known source of iodine for that, and I don't want to take a chance of this batch is contaminate with bromide or fluoride. And that's, that's what I've done. And, you know, when I, when I realized the importance of iodine, I wanted to people get from their diet, I didn't want to have to supplement them with it, but they just couldn't do it. We couldn't get levels up high enough.

Speaker 1 37:48

And so you settled on 25 milligrams is the average, having found that that's what it took to really ensure a normal Island steps.

Speaker 2 37:55

I've been severely criticized by my colleagues for that, including my holistic colleagues. And there's many that have said, That's too much. And three milligrams should be the right amount, somebody has written a couple of articles on it. In my book, and in my lecturing, and in my research, it's not enough. It's just and there's reasons for it. It's not like we didn't, we didn't pull this 50 million. Dr. Abraham there was there was four of us in that career, usually 50 or 25. Well, 15 was for the loan intense, but for 25 milligrams, the average dose 50 milligrams if they're, you know, glandular problems, these doses were not pulled out of thin air. They don't have made up doses. There's reasons for this, I describe it in my book. And you know, I give doctors when electric told me all the research behind it. And I've been doing this for 20 years now. I can state with authority or whatever authority I have, that these doses are what people are needing right now in our in our world. And these doses are the effective doses. When it's done appropriately, it's safe and effective. Like with anything, there's a potential for side effects. You know, look, people get side effects with magnesium, they get side effects of vitamin C, they do effects from drinking water, you drink enough of it. But when it's done appropriately, these doses are incredibly safe. And I do I have problems with patients. Sure. I have some problems, but they're rare. And most of the problems I have is they're toxic and bromide and fluoride. When you give a lie down, they go through this detox reaction getting the bromide and fluoride on they get sick. That's it. You have to go with that I wrote a book about salt. So

Speaker 1 39:41

do you find that the salt mitigates you know, what percentage of the detox reactions because when me when one of the questions I've had with my patients is they say that they don't feel well and I don't do I need to keep going and you know, what dose do I keep them going? What I've done is a back the dose off to what they can tolerate and just say do that for now and then Seeing go up later

Speaker 2 40:01

ident should be used as a part of a holistic treatment regimen. And I never prescribe iodine without prescribing salt. And never. So the reason for that is there were old studies. Back in the early 20th century, where bromide was part of, it's still part of pharmaceutical, makeup, biochemistry of their drugs. Just like fluoride is, so bromide is an atom. It's in a lot of pharmaceutical products, a lot of asthma products. And, you know, you're too young for this one, but I remember the TV commercials for bromo seltzer. bromo seltzer preceded Alka Seltzer. Wow, Roma seltzer was bromine, like, like, like, the little tablets like and if you have a hot tub or pool, you know, you get these little tablets you can throw in your or your hot tub to to disinfect him can also use chlorine tablets. But these bromo Seltzer for upset stomach and acid problems, so people would become toxic and bromide. So the, you know, the old treatment for bromides ecstasy wasn't 100 years ago, was it Salt, salt stabled salt, the bromide out there can IVs of normal saline, they come into the ER delirious confusion, mental status changes, they diagnose bromine toxicity, and they would give them an IV saline. So I started, you know, when I saw this iodine bromide thing, it just, you know, one thing leads to another I mean, you know, and I was using salt in my practice. And, you know, I was, I was actually writing this book first, I think before I wrote the AAA book, situation health. And I never, from the moment I started using it and didn't use salt water and salt helps to usher the bromide out the sodium combined with bromide to form sodium bromide, which is easier to get out of the body. And that leaves chloride to bind to its chloride receptors where it needs to go. And if you don't have enough salt, take iodine and bromides released, you're gonna get bro my toxic, which is don't feel good, they feel anxious, and they feel both foggy and a brain, achy and things like that. And so I don't see too many problems with it. But I know it's because I've been using a decent amount of salt with my patients for all this time. And I'll tell you that it'll make it easier for your practice as well. So when I started mine, 25 milligrams of iodine, I say, well, you're going to take a teaspoon of salt at a minimum with that, and explain why. And if they do, it's a blue moon patient. And that's a problem with iodine in my practice, the big problem with iodine, they have an autonomous autonomously functioning natural, it can scoop up iodine and make a lot of thyroid hormone, they get hyperthyroid from it. That's rare, and a couple of patients over the years now many, and they can't take it until they get their natural surgically removed, but there's it's few and far between.

Speaker 1 43:02

Got it and one teaspoon of salt is about 2400 milligrams of sodium

Speaker 2 43:07

chloride, correct? That's correct. And I use unrefined salt like Celtic brand sea salt, or Redmond's, or Himalayan salt. I've tested all three of those four times and they're they're both pretty they're all three pretty good folds. Got it?

Speaker 1 43:24

So to recap that you don't test anybody coming through the door because you're you know, almost dead certain that they're going to be low and if they're not low wait five minutes. You average have to give them 25 milligrams some more, some less. Do you find that that varies much with weight or height at all?

Speaker 2 43:41

I do have kids I will tell us lower and I believe my it's in my book but I think it's a point oh eight milligrams per kilogram is a very conservative iodine dosing for kids. It's it's in the book if I'm wrong a little bit here. And do I do some low if they're just over 100 pounds 25 milligrams. If they have glandular problems, thyroid overshoot as breast, prostate, pancreas I'll use more if they have severe glandular problems, such as cancer are used more. So yeah, I think people on hundreds of milligrams of iodine for you know, severe breast cancer being granted immunity like that. And that's quite a lot. Again, with enough salt, they generally tolerated pretty well

Speaker 2 44:38

can you hear me? Yeah, yeah, that's a good point for you. That's what I started I glitched

Speaker 1 44:43

out was like And yeah, so they tolerate up to the hundreds of milligrams. How do you make the therapeutic decision as we did titrate up to that?

Speaker 2 44:49

Well, again, they got a tumor. Right, you know, malignant tumor here fungating or growing or you know, whatever, you know, I'll use more and if they got thyroid It's sticking out of their neck and you know, going goitrogenic I'll use more. So it's, it's individualized for the patient. I have taken, you know, look, I've done so many tests on myself over the years, but I have taken hundreds of milligrams of iodine in a combination of iodine and iodide and logo solution, or tablet logo solution. And I've taken low doses, I have found that for myself, if I take 75 milligrams a day, it seems to optimize for me, I generally, I'm lucky, I feel good, I have energy, you know, like, very active and do whatever I want to do during the day. If I take more than 75, I can't tell the difference. I have taken hundreds, I just can't tell just by taking less than 75 My energy drops a little bit. And so 75 For me, seems to be the optimal dose. You know, you could I had the I don't have hypothyroidism, I don't have other glandular problems.

Speaker 1 45:59

Yeah. And it's interesting that, you know, a lot of people make the objection, and we'll put it make this or that or the other illness worse, obviously, you wouldn't be doing this if you'd ever seen that in any significant frequency in your practice.

Speaker 2 46:12

So, so one of the criticisms is that you're, you're gonna make them hypothyroid you're gonna make Hashimotos worse, you know, that's, that's a big base ism. That my, even my holistic colleagues have leveled at me that iodine causes worsens Hashimoto disease.

Speaker 1 46:32

But I my issue with their criticism of that is that they pull out these papers that show something like, oh, well, the antibody levels went up and someone we gave iodine to an antibody level going up is not the same as a disease getting worse.

Speaker 2 46:44

You are 100%. Right. And the other thing they point out is well, TSH levels went up. Well, I explained in my book, Why TSH levels go up when you take it down. I know how patients feeling because I see the TSH levels go up. I'll see them back. How are you feeling? It'll tell me most of the times, I feel great or I'm feeling better. You know, I never felt better. My head's clear. And it just takes a few months for the TSH to come back down. There's a biochemical reason for that. And I explain

Speaker 1 47:11

other things about TSH and I remember asking a colleague of mine, do you know Dr. Ty Vinson, he lives on Hawaii. I asked him how he doses thyroid he said, Oh, I just start them in a quarter grain and I increase it until they feel normal again, which is not what I was taught in medical school, which was tested TSH and made me think, okay, that's, you know, my goal is to make the patient feel better, right? Not overdose them on anything, right. That's why you do check labs and you make sure that you're not off the reservation. But you know, people will hang their hat on the TSH, it's a crazy thing to do. I mean, that thing will go up with out any kind of rhyme or reason and the thyroid hormone numbers will look phenomenal, and the TSH will be off. And I just think this assassination with lab testing, in the absence of looking at does the patient look, feel and function better is a sad trend in medicine.

Speaker 2 47:58

That started it started in 1970, early 1970s, when the TSH Test was developed, before then, doctors used to treat thyroid just like just like what you described. Once the TSH became involved, that was it, man, you were your you didn't. I always say it's like driving to the bank, you know you, you have to talk to the patient not to touch them. You don't have to examine them. You don't have to do anything. If they put their arm out there, draw some blood, send it through the bank to you know the little thing that you send your money through. And then if your TSH complex screwy, they'll send you a prescription back. And if the TSH is normal a data drive away, nothing's rogue. And that's how conventional medicine pretty much does that which is, you know, it's not the best way to do it.

Speaker 1 48:43

That's been kind. It's a it's a failed model. Yeah. One of the things you mentioned in your book, and then I'm fascinated by it seems like iodine deficiency is playing a really critical role in a lot of women's health issues related to obviously the glands. But we're seeing that women who have higher levels of iodine correct me if I'm wrong, tend to have a better estrogen progesterone ratio, begging the question of, should any woman with a hormonal abnormality pay very close attention to her iodine status in order to optimize the ratios of those hormones, which play a critical role in the genesis of a lot of their cancers?

Speaker 2 49:18

The answer is absolutely. And women have a higher iodine requirement than men because women have more breast tissue than men. And that starts at puberty when women start forming breast tissue. And it continues on and so women suffer from iodine deficiency more than men, which is, you know, why? I think we're seeing why we see women was so many more hormonal problems than men two. And one thing I would just want to make a comment, you know, for the iodine, causing Hashimotos disease. You know, I'd like some of those critics to answer the question as Hashem currencies gone up or down over the last 40 years? Questions easy to answer. Very easy. Most diseases caught up epidemically. I didn't see it when I was training that much. Now. I test every patient who comes in. So it occurs in, I don't know, 20 30% of patients, you know, the report literature says two or 3%? It's because they don't test people. No, yeah, no Hashimotos has gone up epidemically Over the last 40 years, 50 years or so, have iodine levels in the United States going up or down over that same time period. They've gone down over the last 50 years 50% This is called an inverse correlation. So is it any loves have gone down? Hashimotos has gone up that disproves iodine is causing Hashimotos epidemic we're seeing. It could be something else. It doesn't say what's causing it. But or it could say iodine is causing it. It's a correlation doesn't equal causation. But this inverse correlation disproves iodine as a cause of Hashimotos disease. None of them can answer that question, because it's, it's unanswerable. But that's what the data shows and iodine treats Hashimotos disease. My two daughters were we're to physician daughters now. They, they were, I don't know, 10 or 11 years old or a year apart, Reverend dinner. And my kids were complaining, being tired and having headaches and you know, they were in sports, they were doing things and we're having dinner. My wife looks at me and says, Do you think they got a thyroid problem? And I looked at her and it was like, it was like the shoemakers, kids without shoes. And I said, I remember I had like a spoon of soup or something, you know, going into my mouth. And I looked at her and I said, you know, we should probably check them. And so I did the testing. They both got Hashimoto disease at a young age. Wow. So we, I put on my night i i put them I also did you know as part of a holistic treatment regimen. In their case, they were both dairy and gluten sensitive. I tested antibody levels, they had high levels of both antibodies to that food source. And as I went up on the iodine, if one of my doctor daughters, Haley, I've tracked her levels over the years and I show as we went up an iodine or Hashimotos, titers came down, it was now 29 years old. She does not have signs of Hashimoto disease, and my other daughter Jessie is the same thing you know, and, and so to disprove a hypothesis, you only need one, one criticism of it. So if if it causes Hashimoto disease, I got two and then up to that iodine actually treated and reversed their housing models disease and resolved it.

Speaker 1 52:46

Not to mention the fact that if handing out iodine like candy, I mean, I think it's fair to describe us as doing that. Maybe you don't agree. But, you know, if we were really doing any harm, someone wouldn't be suing us in a country where at least in Florida, every other billboard is an ambulance chaser? Yes. I mean, there's no way

Speaker 2 53:06

this fix practitioners, I would say we have a busy practice of estimating 90 95% of people are taking iodine, we would not be in business.

Speaker 1 53:15

Now. We'd be away. Yeah, that's right. So any other last was not any any good questions. I forgot to

Speaker 2 53:23

just know, just, you know, for the people and feeling well out there, you know, just you got to educate yourself, you got to take control your healthcare decisions. Look, I always tell my patients, they're driving a car, I'm just having the side of the street yell and go left, go right, go straight. It's their choice. Exactly what I tell him, and I'm working with him, I'm partnering with him. But you know, if you're not, if you're not getting answers, if you're not, if someone's not listening to you, you know, you can really take the evidence, why started writing all those books and reason I wrote the books was selfishly. First book I wrote was a miracle of natural hormones. After treating my dad, I started checking everyone's hormone levels. And, you know, lo and behold, they're they're all a mess.

Speaker 1 54:02

So on that note, really quickly, do you suspect that low testosterone has to do potentially with low iodine levels?

Unknown Speaker 54:12

Well, it's a claim. It's absolutely that's part of it.

Speaker 1 54:15

seen men recover their their testosterone production with high dose iodine?

Speaker 2 54:19

I'm not yet but seeing that. No, I can't tell you that that's been the case. But I think it's a part of it. I think it's part of it is, you know, they got 40 or 50 years of low iodine and their testes. They got primary testicular failure generally. And I think it's just

Speaker 1 54:35

Yes, it is asking that it seems like if you let a disease process in any organ go for long enough. It just gets harder and harder and harder to get that, you know, to reverse it. I would say,

Speaker 2 54:46

Oh, but I think it's a piece of it, but it's not the whole story of it. I wrote the first book of miracle natural hormones because I got tired of trying to explain every hormone to a patient and it was I just couldn't do it, you know, so I said, Hey, read the chapter on progesterone or hydrocortisone or something. And, you know, here's what I want to put you on. Here's why here's the risk and benefits of it. And I have more information on that chapter in that book. And then, you know, if they looked at questions they can ask me, and then then I realized, you know, I got something to say, and, you know, I, I was actually decent at that. And I just started writing about what works in my practice, and what doesn't work and what excites me What irritates me. And, you know, it's been a good ride. It's been, you know, these days, it's a little harder because it's right is bumpier, you know, especially through the COVID years. Yeah. You know, it's, it's been very euphemistic. But we're, we do seem to be getting over that. And iodine was part of my COVID treatment protocol. So you want the the immune system needs iodine to fight infections, and it ends in old time, treatment for flu and flu like illnesses. And I instituted right around with Carbonite people doubled the dose since they got sick with COVID. I've been doing that for 30 years. And, you know, so they start using it and people, you know, take it whenever they got sick. And it worked great through COVID as well.

Unknown Speaker 56:15

Yeah. Yeah. I'm sure we could talk all day. Thank you for joining me. I really appreciate it.

Unknown Speaker 56:21

Let's do it again, Dr. Stillman.

Unknown Speaker 56:22

I would love to I'll let you know. Thank you.

Transcribed by

Dr. Stillman Uncensored
Leland Stillman, MD