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Episode 21 – A Critically Important Nutrient You Probably Don’t Think About
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Jonathan: Welcome everyone to another episode of Empowering You Organically. I’m your host, Jonathan Hunsaker. I’m joined by my co-host, TeriAnn Trevenen.
TeriAnn: Hey everyone.
Jonathan: Today, we’re going to talk about something that needs to be talked about and it’s very important. We’re going to talk about iodine deficiency. We’re going to talk just in general about iodine, where did it come from and then different signs you can recognize that you are iodine deficient.
Now, I will start this off with a disclaimer that nor TeriAnn or I are doctors. We’re not here trying to diagnose anything. We’re not prescribing anything. We are just talking about iodine in general and just sharing information that we have about it, information that we’ve researched on it.
So, if you feel like your iodine deficient or after listening to this you want to take iodine, feel free to consult your physician or your doctor and just understand that none of this is made to diagnose or cure anything. TeriAnn: Education.
TeriAnn: Free education. So, let’s talk about iodine. Iodine is essential for every function in your body including immune function, cardiovascular health, and metabolism. Of course it’s instrumental for the thyroid. That’s one of the big things we talk about in connection with iodine since iodine is the foundation for thyroid hormone production. So, it’s super important.
According to the American Thyroid Association close to half of the US population suffers from lack of energy, temperature dysregulation, cognitive impairment, metabolic irregularity, and other conditions consistent with insufficient iodine intake. So, this is something when we talk about supplementation. I mean supplementation is a big thing right now.
We talked about how we’re not getting all the nutrients that we need in our body based on the soil depletion, the nutrients in the soil and the depletion of those based on our diet. We just wanted to bring more education today around another supplement that’s so critical in our body that we’re not getting enough of and that’s iodine.
So, let’s talk a little bit about the history of iodine. Iodine was discovered in 1811. It actually became the first modern medical treatment. It was the first time in medicine that one remedy was used to treat one disease and that was when iodine was used to treat goiters. So, I mean a lot of people have already heard about that. Iodine eventually became one of the primary antibiotics.
It was used orally as an antibiotic. It was used topically as an antibiotic and still today we do use iodine in surgical rooms we use it to paint over surgical wounds and things like that to make sure that they don’t get infected.
Jonathan: And that’s something we’re going to talk about too. I mean there are some different forms of iodine, right? And that’s the topical kind, right? Is the antibiotic versus the oral kind and different things to look out for. So, we’ll get into that a little bit later.
It’s interesting because iodine has been explained to me as kind of the medicine bag, right? When it came out that doctors it was always in the medicine bag of every doctor and they used it to treat so many different things.
Jonathan: And it was interesting the stat that you read just a couple minutes ago. I’m trying to pull it up here but you’re talking about close to half of the US population suffers from a lack of energy, temperature dysregulation, cognitive impairment, metabolic irregularity, and other conditions consistent with insufficient iodine intake.
TeriAnn: And think about energy and metabolic like think about those two things and how they function in your system in your body overall, it’s a big deal.
Jonathan: Absolutely. I mean let’s look at it. I mean how often are you getting iodine in your body? How often are you eating seaweed? How often are you eating other plants that are rich in iodine and where are you getting your sources from?
Jonathan: So, it’s such an important conversation for us to have right now.
TeriAnn: Well, and the fact is that iodine is utilize for just about every function in your body. So, a lot of people aren’t aware of iodine and how important it is for your body overall but iodine deficiency as we just talked about is actually an epidemic today and it’s why it’s coming back into the conversation of supplementation right now and how important it is.
So, why do optimal levels of iodine matter? Iodine deficiency has multiple adverse effects on growth and development and is the most common cause of preventable mental retardation in the world which many people may not know. Iodine deficiency disorders result from inadequate thyroid hormone production secondary to insufficient iodine. During pregnancy and early infancy iodine deficiency can cause irreversible effects.
Some of the people who are most at risk for iodine deficiency, pregnant women, people who live in countries where there is very little iodine in the soil. I mean we see a lot of issues with soil overall but we’re talking specifically about iodine here. This includes South Asia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and European countries, and people who don’t use iodized salt people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. So, it’s you know if you’re on a vegan diet or vegetarian it’s important to listen up about getting iodine in your diet.
Jonathan: Well, and it’s interesting with iodized salt. I mean in the health space I mean I don’t use that at all at home. I don’t have iodized salt. I use pink Himalayan salt.
Jonathan: Right? So, I’m definitely not getting it in my salt there and prior to learning about pink Himalayan salt I was using a regular sea salt which wasn’t iodized. Now, I remember growing up we always had the iodized salt. I remember the blue container and the girl with the umbrella or something on it, right? But you always had the iodize salt and so, and I’m not saying that that was sufficient to get everything that you needed but I think we’re just less aware in the soil depletion and we’re just not getting enough of it.
TeriAnn: Yeah. Absolutely. So, what are some signs and symptoms of an iodine deficiency? So, we have a few listed here. We’ll just go back and forth. So, the first one is swelling in the neck. So, in the front of the neck or a goiter it’s a common symptom of an iodine deficiency. It occurs when your thyroid gland is forced to make thyroid hormones when there is a low supply of iodine in the body.
Jonathan: Some other things is unexpected weight gain. So, low iodine levels may slow your metabolism and encourage food to be stored as fat rather than be burned as energy. So, this may lead to weight gain. What I’m going to say around that it is very interesting. I don’t want to get the impression that just goes start taking iodine and you’re going to become skinny, right?
TeriAnn: Yeah, absolutely.
Jonathan: Now, I will say that I’d be hard-pressed to say that a lot of people I think that are overweight or are struggling with their weight are likely deficient in iodine as well and this in my opinion, personal opinion, personal experience, adding iodine back into your diet is only going to support a good healthy diet and workout routine and things like that. In my opinion will help you get results quicker but not just taking an iodine supplement all the sudden you’re going to lose those extra 50 pounds.
TeriAnn: Yeah, absolutely. Hair loss. An iodine deficiency may prevent hair follicles from regenerating. Fortunately getting sufficient iodine can help correct hair loss that occurs due to that iodine deficiency but hair loss is a big one.
Jonathan: Fatigue and weakness. The low iodine levels may leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and weak and it’s because your body needs the mineral to make energy. I’m amazed at getting more involved in the health space in the last four or five years, how little iodine is discussed and only just being in this space did I learn more about it.
TeriAnn: Same for me too, agreed.
Jonathan: And so, I mean how much of the general population has no idea that this could be one of the reasons why you’re not feeling well why you’re tired, while you’re not processing the food that you’re eating as well.
TeriAnn: Yeah. I remember to just to go off on a little tangent about this like my first exposure to someone having thyroid issues was a friend of mine in our early 20s and they gave her pharmaceutical drugs to correct issues with it but just as time has gone on I become more educated and I know what iodine is and I know how it impacts the body. I think about things like that like a lot of people are dealing with thyroid issues and hormonal imbalance and thyroid gland issues just overall and it’s just interesting would iodine be your first go to or something you’d even think about? Is it something that your doctor recommends to you? Probably not.
Jonathan: And I think that’s why it’s important to see a variety of experts, right? So, you can go see your allopathic doctor and see what they say but go see your naturopath too and see what they suggest because in my opinion a pharmaceutical drug or surgery or some sort of intervention like that is the last resort, right?
Jonathan: And what are some of the early things that you can do to try it? I mean most things develop over time. It’s not like you just woke up one day and all of a sudden all this bad stuff decided to happen. It grew over time.
Jonathan: So, and again I’m not a doctor. I’m not giving any medical advice but consider seeing your natural path and talking about getting on a good iodine supplement for 30 days and then get some blood work done and see is that making the difference. Are you starting to see little improvements there?
Jonathan: And not just an iodine supplement but what about changing your diet up? Changing different things up? And just consider that a lot of times when you go down the change in your diet adding supplements I’d there’s no side effects other than good side effects whereas when you go down the pharmaceutical path almost every pharmaceutical has some sort of list of side effects that go with it.
So, I just say all that to say consider trying the diet changes first, trying some supplements first before you get down that path too far.
TeriAnn: Yeah, and we’ll talk about that in a little bit.
TeriAnn: Some ways to get iodine in your diet not just an iodine supplement. Another sign of iodine deficiency is dry flaky skin. The minerals help your skin cells regenerate and if you’re not getting enough of that you’re going to see that dry flaky skin come about. It also helps your body sweat and hydrates your skin cells. So, an iodine deficiency can cause you to sweat loss.
Jonathan: It’s interesting. Iodine deficiency can also have you feeling colder than usual as well. So, iodine helps generate body heat. So, low levels of it may leave you feeling colder than usual as well.
TeriAnn: Yeah. I’m always cold. I take iodine but I’m still always cold. So, fairly it doesn’t help me with that but—
Jonathan: You might need to add more body fat to help you and keep you warmer.
TeriAnn: Something like that. Changes in heart rate, an iodine deficiency may slow your heart rate which may leave you feeling weak, fatigue, dizzy and at risk of fainting.
Jonathan: Trouble learning and remembering. It was interesting because as we were getting ready to do our podcast I was like, “I need to go take some iodine.” Right.
Jonathan: So, trouble learning and remembering an iodine deficiency at any age may cause you to struggle to learn and remember things. One possible reason for this might be an underdeveloped brain.
TeriAnn: It’s pretty interesting. Problems during pregnancy, getting enough iodine is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women as they have higher needs and iodine deficiency may cause severe side effects especially for the babies such as stunted growth and brain development.
I have two healthy and very smart children and I’m very fortunate but I wonder sometimes with some of the information I know now as I’ve gone on this journey of health for myself and I’ve learned so much that I didn’t know before like my life has changed drastically since I had children when it comes to health and how I live my life and how could that have impacted them in a positive way. There’s no doubt in my mind I wasn’t getting enough iodine when I was pregnant and I think that’s probably the case for a lot of women.
Jonathan: Yeah. I think everybody wakes up at a certain time. That’s absolutely when things changed for me when I found out that we were pregnant with my first daughter, it was right about the time that built the other health company and so, like everything just it was time to wake up. It was time to get things going and I wish I knew then what I know now. But the reality is we’re all on a health journey, right? None of us have been perfect since we were born and all of us have ups and downs and go through good and bad and all of that. So, the most important part is recommitting to yourself, right?
Jonathan: To stay healthy and get healthy.
TeriAnn: The last thing is heavier regular periods for women. Some women with an iodine deficiency may experience heavy or regular periods. This is because low thyroid hormone levels may interfere with hormones. They’re involved in regulating the menstrual cycle but just hormones overall too. I think there’s a lot of issues that women experience with hormone and iodine deficiency. Again, going back to that conversation of like before reaching for that pharmaceutical or throwing you know some type of drug at you what can you do with your eating and with your supplementation that may improve that?
And that’s a great segue into the next point that we wanted to cover is what are different kinds of iodine and different sources of iodine? So, the first one is salt. The addition of iodine to the US salt supply started in the 1920s in response to a government health mandate. During that time up to 40 percent of the population of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region suffered from goiters and other thyroid diseases caused by extreme iodine deficiency. So, going back to the history that’s really-really interesting.
Jonathan: That is very interesting. So, what are some foods in that we can eat, right? So, we talked about the salt a little bit earlier.
Jonathan: So, some foods are seaweed, sea food, fish, eggs, spinach, dairy, strawberries, and cranberries. Food alone is not enough due to the depletion of nutrients in the soil as well as an increased toxic load has changed the amount of essential nutrients available in the food we eat. This comes up time and time again on our podcast and it’s a real issue and that’s our soil and the nutrients being depleted out of our soil from over farming, right? We’re on such a such a mission to profit as much as we can off of every square foot, off of every square meter every acre, every hectare, whatever it is you’re measuring by that we’re not giving seasons off, right?
We’re not planting other things in the off season that are going to fall onto the soil that are going to decompose into the soil and that are going to refill the soil with the nutrients that we need before we grow a new crop. Not to mention how many of these fields are sprayed with immense amounts of pesticides and herbicides and that’s all getting into the ground into the soil and it’s killing off all kinds of bacterias and all kinds of other bugs and just all these things that mother nature made it so that our food that we ate had a lot of nutrients, we’re just killing it all.
Jonathan: So, I say all that to say listen, I mean and it’s challenging too. I mean where are you getting your seaweed from? Right? I would suggest not getting it out of this Pacific Ocean, right? With Fukushima and stuff that happened over in Japan and it’s still leaking all kinds of radiation into the ocean over there. Seaweed does have high amounts of iodine but where are you sourcing it from? The same thing with your seafood. Where is your seafood coming from? And the fish is right along there and again, egg, spinach, dairy, strawberries, cranberries are good consider that a supplementation is sometimes essential.
TeriAnn: Yeah. Well, and I think going back to the point I made about the addition to iodine in the US salt supply in the 1920s, I mean slowly over time we’ve seen this issue with the soil become a bigger problem the way people are eating, what they’re getting in their diet. It was interesting when we interviewed John Easterling on the podcast. He gave this great visual of like we just restock our food cabinets with the same thing over and over and over again. It’s like, “Oh, I’m out of that. I got to go to the store and get it.” “Oh, I’m out of that. I got to go to the store and get it.” “Oh, I’m out of that. I got to go to the store and get it.” And it’s not like we’re going in the produce section like, “I’m going to try this vegetable today and this vegetable.”
It was like not like we’re going in our backyard and picking something out of the garden. How many people really have gardens now? And so, when we talk about you know, what you were just—you’re touching on that point, we start to see like supplementation coming even back in the 1920s like people aren’t getting enough of this because just slowly over time even back that and our diets become more and more limited which is why it’s so important.
Jonathan: I think it’s such a relevant conversation about that restocking, right? “Oh, I’m out of this. Let me go get more of that.” “And I’m out of this.” As oppose to you know, what if we had blood work done every month and then we looked at where we were deficient in things and we shopped according to our blood work results?
Jonathan: I should get blood work done every month and shop accordingly but it would just be interesting, right? If we changed our habit from what are we used to eating and liking eating to what is our body need yeah and if we were more aware of what our body needed we would buy different things to help make up for it.
TeriAnn: Yeah. That was another cool thing that John Easterling talked about and it’s relevant to this conversation like he’s gone and lived in the Amazon rainforest quite a bit and he said, “As you go down the river, more people are eating like 2,500 different types of plants.” And you know what? He calls plant medicine. And he said the further down the river you go the less you see with disease and Alzheimer’s and cancer and all these things that were seeing in more developed countries where we’re living off of the same food over and over and over again.
And it would be interesting like you know getting a blood test every month would be super hard but what if we just ate different things all the time that we’re in season we were really studied up on like this is the type of food that’s in season at this time and this is what your body needs and this is what’s in season at this time. I mean they’re those people who are living on the river go through the different seasons and eat the plants that are in season and they’re just eating plants and they rotate through all these plants. They’re not seeing any of this disease and all these issues that we’re seeing in deficiency in so many different things that our body needs.
Jonathan: We’ll see and I think that’s a highly relevant conversation too of eating what’s in season and what’s locally in season, right? We go to the grocery store and you can get blueberries in the middle of winter but they’re growing down in Chile, right? And they’re being shipped up there. And I’m not saying blueberries are bad by any means but if you lived here in this area, right? Blueberries were not available. So, why are you eating them during this time?
TeriAnn: Yeah. You’re right. You can get so many things in the produce section year-round now but wouldn’t that be interesting? And I’m going on a tangent here. So, I won’t go too far down on this tangent but I was really fascinated by him talking about those people living on the river cycling through what they eat like imagine if we were well read on what’s really in season for us right now based on where we live and what we would eat if it was growing out in the garden—
Jonathan: Well, go to local farmer’s market, right?
TeriAnn: And like rotating through.
TeriAnn: I mean, I’ve read things before and there’s research and information behind the fact that certain things at certain times have you actually benefit your body for certain purposes and why you need those things. So, just food for thought, just food for thought, interesting things for sure.
Jonathan: Really quickly before we move on I do want to talk what the RDI is or Recommended Daily Intake used to be called the Recommended Daily Allowance is for iodine. So, the RDI for iodine is 150 micrograms a day for an adult and 220 micrograms a day for a pregnant woman. Now, this amount may stop goiters but it’s not enough for all the iodine needs of the body, right? And we find this often, right? Whatever the RDI is, yet you may take a vitamin C supplement that’s 1,000 percent that—because sometimes your body just needs more of that one.
It’s almost like the RDI is like here’s the bare-bare minimum or let’s put a number out there that maybe the fast food companies can reach, right? By saying, “Yes. We have these vitamins and minerals and we get 100 percent.” So, I just say all that to make sure that we have a good basis for everybody to measure on what they’re getting and what they need on a regular basis.
TeriAnn: Yeah. So, we talked about food, seaweed, seafood, fish, eggs, spinach, dairy, strawberries, cranberries, but food alone is not enough. You can also get it in a potassium iodine tablet. And then we also have the aspect of liquid which we have. Let’s talk a little bit about alcohol base versus glycerin base the differences there.
Alcohol base is not the preferred method of liquid transport for several reasons. Most alcohols used for supplements are simple ethanol or grain alcohol is that same kind that the bartender puts in your favorite Martini, not appropriate for children pets and those with high blood pressure recovering from alcoholism. Almost all alcohols are made with genetically modified corn which is a big no-no. If you listen to our podcast and it acts as a drying agent. But there’s the glycerin version of iodine also known as glycerin glycerol or glycerin and it has many advantages if you can find the right kind.
Most commercial glycerin based products like commercial soaps are sourced through animal products. A better option is vegetable based glycerin and the best of all is of course organic non-GMO that is not made from soy or corn. It retains moisture it’s an ant septic, good for burns house, won’t upset blood sugar levels and provides a more stable shelf life. So, it’s important to be looking for those differences when you’re looking at iodine supplementation and then of course there’s Nascent Iodine. Do you want to talk a little bit about Nascent Iodine?
Jonathan: Go for it.
TeriAnn: Nascent Iodine is also known as atomic iodine, monatomic iodine or atomidine or colloidal iodine. The term nascent refers to iodine that has an incomplete number of electrons. This gives it an electrical charge according to a report conducted by the nonprofit Weston Price Foundation and others. So, what does this mean? Many forms of dietary iodine break down into iodine in the iodide in the digestive tract. In this state iodine dependent organs like the thyroid and reproductive organs cannot use it. The charge of nascent iodine helps us stay intact and absorb quickly and thoroughly into the organs that need it most. So, super interesting.
Jonathan: Yeah. You just said a lot of stuff right there.
TeriAnn: So, basically, the nascent refers to iodine that has an incomplete number of electrons this gives it an electrical charge. So, what I said there at the end the change of nascent iodine helps or the charge of nascent iodine helps it to stay intact and absorb quickly and thoroughly into the organs that need it most. Without that charge, you’re not going to get as much of that absorption.
Jonathan: Well, and it’s like you said, right? A lot of forms of iodine break down into iodide in the digestive tract, right?
Jonathan: And in that state the thyroid can’t use it. Reproductive organs can’t use it. Shameless plug is the Organixx USDA certified iodine that we have and it’s a nascent iodine. It’s one of the very-very few USDA certified organic iodine’s on the market but it is why we’ve made it a nascent iodine is because of the bioavailability of it. So, I won’t stay on the topic too long other than to say if you want to learn more about our iodine you can just go to Organixx.com and you can search our site there and check out more about our iodine.
TeriAnn: Yeah, and let me just say to like let me just touch on this one more time. When you’re looking whatever iodine you’re taking you need to be looking for organic source directly from the earth, vegan and make sure that it’s specifically formulated to be gentle yeah, effective absorption in order to maintain that ideal iodine balance that you need in your body.
You need to be looking for all of those things. So, just like with all things supplementation and all things in life there’s good, better, best. You need to be looking for the best clearly iodine so important and crucial for our body but as we always talked about, you need to be looking at source and quality and cleanliness and if you’re going to spend the money—I always say this.
But if you’re going to spend the money on supplementation like the difference between $20 and $40 could be a big difference and it’s the difference between being healthy and not being healthy and think about putting a price on your health. You can’t. So, just something to be thinking about especially when it comes to iodine supplements, you could get a lot of different things out there and a lot of products that really aren’t good for you.
Jonathan: Yes. Agreed and so, our nascent iodine it’s nano driven nascent iodine supplement. It’s specially formulated for gentle yet effective absorption. It’s also sourced directly from the earth. It’s vegan and 100 percent organic. So, yeah all of that matters. And when you when you talk about what you pay for something and it’s not to try to inflate any kind of pricing but it’s just understanding when you buy the cheap stuff on the market you get what you pay for and if you’ve been on this earth for longer than 15 or 20 years, if you’re that young, you’re just now learning that you get what you pay for. If you’ve been on this earth for 30, 40, 50 years, the longer you’ve been here the more you really know that you get what you pay for.
So, if you want to go get the cheap stuff out there if you’re probably getting a good placebo effect, right? As opposed to getting some that’s higher quality that’s going to actually give you the nutrients that you need that your body can use.
Jonathan: And by the way it’s a liquid form for those of you that aren’t aware of it, it comes with a little dropper. You put a few drops under your tongue. You can put a few drops in water. It’s not bad. It’s not painful. It’s not going to turn your teeth purple. In fact, it’s actually really good for teeth if you put it. I actually do a full dropper about three or four times a week, put it on my mouth, take a little sip of water, swish it all around in my mouth then I swallow it but it’s very easy to take.
So, anyway we didn’t do this podcast to plug our iodine supplement. That wasn’t the purpose. The purpose of this podcast was to really inform you about iodine deficiencies and allowing you to take an honest look at yourself to see if maybe you are iodine deficient or if maybe that’s causing some of the fatigue or some of the extra weight gain or it’s affecting your periods or if you’re pregnant or things like that just to bring the awareness. And I do highly recommend go talk to a naturopath, get some blood work done. Find out what you need and what you don’t we need to get your body healthy. But this was just an educational podcast to let you see how important it is to have iodine.
TeriAnn: Yeah, absolutely. And we’re excited. Next week we’re going to be coming back to you to talk about the top 10 benefits of iodine and why you should be taking it, why it’s so important and I think that’ll be really enlightening. I know I learned some things along the way as I was researching and reading the information around this. So, we’re excited about that. So, tune into that next week for sure.
Jonathan: Absolutely. So, my final shameless plugs are for the podcast itself. So, please rate us on iTunes. Please leave us a written review on iTunes if you like what we’re doing even if you don’t like what we’re doing just share it because the more that you rate us, the more that you tell us how we’re doing, one the better that we can become and two the more people get exposed to our podcast and the more people that get exposed to it hopefully the more we help inspire people to get healthy in their life.
If you’re ever looking for a lot of health information on a variety of topics you can go to Organixx.com and search our health library. To check out any of our past podcasts, you can go to empoweringyouorganically.com and all of our cliff notes, all of our previous podcasts both and video and audio are there. Finally, if you’re looking for a very clean USDA certified iodine supplement go to Organixx.com, click the shop button and check out more about our iodine.
So, with all that said I’m going to take my breath and thank TeriAnn for joining us for another episode.
TeriAnn: Thanks everyone.
Jonathan: Thank you for listening at home and we will see you next week.
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Episode 21 – A Critically Important Nutrient You Probably Don’t Think About