Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Minutes. Add 10 Years to your life.
Our beautiful template for infinite variety of greens and superfoods in your smoothies—print this and eliminate the need for recipes! Get it now for free!

your body needs IODINE . . . part 2 of 3 on thinning hair

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Sep 27, 2008

I have been reading a bunch of scientific papers by David Brownstein and G. Abraham on iodine, as I have suspected that iodine deficiency may be partly to blame for the fact that 1 in 4 American women has a thyroid problem (countless men, too), and most of those are undiagnosed.


You may know that your thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism.   If you have hypothyroidism, among a host of other symptoms, you are likely to have low energy and gain weight easily (and have a hard time losing it), regardless of your caloric intake.   (And hyperthyroidism, which is  that gland revving and eventually burning out,  often manifests with buggy eyes and manic energy.)   If your way of testing your thyroid is to go to an M.D. and ask for a test, you likely tested only T3, and that doesn’t show anywhere near the whole picture.   Also, the M.D.s accept a “normal” range that is inappropriately huge.

You need to go to a clinic specializing in hormones, and usually those are run by nurse practitioners.   Locally (Utah County), three clinics specialize in this, but I recommend Francine at Wellnique in Orem, who prescribes only bioidenticals rather than synthetics.   Get a full-panel blood test and have her analyze the interplay of a variety of factors including T3, T4, progesterone, and testosterone.   (Unfortunately most insurance companies won’t pay for this.)   You have to have iodine to synthesize T3 and T4.   And iodine is frankly hard to come by in food sources.

North Americans and Western Europeans have a high rate of goiter, or thyroid enlargement as felt by palpating the neck.   That’s a classic sign of iodine deficiency.   The studies I reviewed showed anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of Caucasions to have this disorder, rather easily rectified for most with iodine supplementation.

I’ve included a link below to quite a few iodine studies, for the meticulous, analytical, and detail oriented among you. 

You won’t be surprised to hear me say that the best way to get highly bioavailable iodine is through plant food:   the Japanese get it through sea vegetables, like seaweed, kelp, and dulse.   They have very low rates of breast and reproductive cancers and other iodine-deficiency problems, whereas we have high rates of all those problems.   If you like nori sheets, eat a few every day.   Roll hummus and/or veggies in it, or tear it up and put it in soup.   I personally don’t like it, so I season food with kelp, but that’s not enough.   I am using a Lugol solution of iodine and potassium iodine to try to achieve the average Japanese rate of iodine through seaweed consumption.

These are some papers regarding research on iodine:


Posted in: Nutrition, Research

16 thoughts on “your body needs IODINE . . . part 2 of 3 on thinning hair”

Leave a Comment
  1. Robyn,

    It probably won’t be a surprise to you that I was trained the traditional way to to evaluate the thyroid and I would order TSH and T3. I have lately been getting the Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone levels, as well as adrenals and cortisol levels. These labs are covered by local insurances in my area (you just need to get a prescription for them). I have found a consultant pharmacist who specializes in bio identicals and collaborates with me to look at the thyroid labs the “non-traditonal way.”

    I’ve used lugol’s iodine to treat Grave’s Disease (hyper thyroid) in breastfeeding–a unique situation–I wrote a casual summary of it in breastfeeding success stories at twofloridocs.com. Everyone was against using Iodine in breastfeeding.

    As for me personally, I am well and I’ll continue to add the kelp and seaweed to my soup.

  2. http:// says:

    That brings up a good point. If I went to my gynecologist friend to get the prescription, it would be covered. It’s when Francine orders the tests that the insurance co. denies them.

    So get one of your M.D. friends to write the Rx, I guess.

    Glad to hear your perspective, Denise, on this and anything you might have to add about these pervasive hair thinning and greying issues.


  3. Anonymous says:

    question: If iodine is necessary for the body and the body doesn’t provide the iodine necessary for the body, why would mother nature make us get something from Japan to get what we need?

    There must be some natural food here that supplies what the bodies here need? And what is a lugol solution?


  4. Anonymous says:

    Does OHCS have iodine in it?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Denise:

    Thanks for your input re Graves disease, which I have. I have just had my annual and the doctor ordered the usual T3 and T4 and a whole bunch of other biochemistry, like glucose, HbA1C, creatinine (eGFR) uric acid, sodium ALT, alk. phosphates, bilirubin, lipid assessment, Vit B12 and ferritin. Also CBC.

    Does this sound all inclusive to you?

    I did ask her to refer me for a coloscopy (I saw an Oprah show on this) but she said it is only ordered if there is a family history or otherwise a problem. She did however ask me to do a FOBT. This is a program that the Canadian government has started for anyone over 50 years. I just read the little pamphlet which was included with the test package and they will be doing it every two years. There is more info on ColonCancerCheck.ca

    I had a bone density test done last year and this is done every 5 years. Mine was perfect last year even though I dont drink milk (yuk) and stay away from other dairy product, apart from a bit of cheese every now and then. She (my doctor) would be horrified if she knew what my diet consisted of. She is very mainstream. When I did not accept her offer of a mammogram, she was puzzled and said that all women need to have it done after a certain age. Not sure if she really cares about the women, or more about the referral fee.

    Any information about thinning hair would be appreciated. Mine is very fine. Thanks for all your hard work and research, Robyn.

    When I was at Relief Society dinner and Conference broadcast last night, I looked around and saw that all the Asian women had marvellous shiny, thick, long hair. Is this significant? Is there something missing or lacking in Caucasian diets?

  6. http:// says:

    Lugol is just a 5% solution of iodine and potassium iodide that has been used for over 100 years. YES, Original Himalayan Crystal Salt has natural iodine in it. Whether in very trace amounts, it’s enough to correct a significant deficiency, I don’t know but doubt it. It’s a great place to start, and maybe enough for someone not suffering from the effects we’re talking about here related to iodine deficiency.

    I think the Weston Price folks would say, to answer Jeane’s question, that all ancient peoples were close enough to the sea and reliant on it as a food source that we are supposed to naturally get enough iodine. (We shouldn’t have to go to Japan–but people in Japan still eat lots of natural food and in particular, sea vegetables.) Those any distance away still obtained food from the sea and preserved it.

    Another way to look at it is that we become deficient in minerals because of acidosis (all the acids burning out our organs as well as our ability to assimilate minerals), thanks to processed diet, stress, pollution in air/water/indoors, etc. So we have to occasionally go further than nature provides to deal with the realities of modern life that ALSO isn’t what nature provides.

    You don’t want to take that argument too far or give it too many applications—but we are, virtually all of us, mineral deficient.


  7. http:// says:

    p.s. At church today, I looked around and noticed long, strong fingernails on the raw foodist, 12 Stepper, and vegetarian near me. 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:

    Is there a specific source that is better than others for the Lugol solution? Or should any Lugol solution be fine?

  9. http:// says:

    I believe that you will need a prescription for it, and you may have to go to a pharmacy that makes bioidenticals (and usually works with a naturopath or an M.D. like Denise who ventures outside the usual drug protocols). I think that Lugol is always the same; the studies I have read used a 5% solution.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I went to a dietician along time ago and he told me to put a 2×2 patch of the iodine you get out of the bottle from the drug store on my skin. He said if it got absorbed when i woke up then I was iodine deficient, which I was and told me to keep putting it on everyday until it stopped being absorbed into my skin. Robyn, what is your opinion on that?

  11. http:// says:

    Well, at a minimum, it’s a less efficacious way to get iodine than taking it orally. I think the drugstore stuff is meant to be used as an antiseptic—like when you give blood. And on a practical level, every day you used it, you’d be risking staining your clothes, of course.

  12. So I tried the iodine thing this morning, and it was gone in five hours (first time I checked), but I’d gone to kickboxing, and I know how sweating opens your pores. I was so interested that I did it again at 12:30 this afternoon and it’s gone again (less than three hours later). Sigh. I suppose I’ll try it again tomorrow!

    Husband says to try putting the nori in my green smoothies, which I thought was brilliant, but as yet untried. Any opinions?

  13. http:// says:

    I tried nori sheets in the green smoothie. YUCK. But then, remember, I don’t like nori.

    VitaMineral Green is available on this site: it has both kelp and dulse, which are the best thyroid supporting, iodine-rich sea vegetables I know of. The easiest thing is to get a few teaspoons of it daily.

    I absorb the iodine in 12 hours. The pharmacist told me they’ve seen people who absorb it almost immediately. I had not had my VMG for several weeks (I’d fallen off that wagon). I am going to get back on regular VMG and see if that changes my iodine situation.

  14. http:// says:

    Denise can’t give medical advice online; it would be unethical. Patients must be seen in person.

    I have about 100 emails in a folder of people asking me for advice re: a specific medical condition. I know lots of people are suffering out there, and it pains me that I can’t help in that way. But I’m not qualified to do that, and a full medical history should be looked at before giving any counsel anyway.


  15. I blogged about this, I’m trying the iodine in a different spot daily to see what difference the location makes. I’m still trying to find nori locally (you’d think Atlanta was a big city, but really, you’d be wrong; it’s sort of a backward metropolis that has vomited itself into a huge area). Sigh.

  16. I realy enjoy your news letter, and all those little trick

    I had see on other web after 10-12 hours only if the yellow on the skin

    is not gone you don’t need Iodine It took 24 hrs. for me ,I take magnascent Iodine from some one I trust.

    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.