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Before I jump into a discussion of iodine, I just want to say that taking iodine supplements literally changed my life. It changed my daughter’s life. And it changed my husband’s life. Later, it changed my parent’s lives. I tell everyone about iodine supplementation because every single American is deficient in iodine! I explain why this is true below and I go into even more depth in an article I wrote about iodine supplementation as a cure for breast cancer. I tell everyone about iodine because I once had fibrocystic breast syndrome. This went away over the course of about a year taking high dose iodine supplements. I once suffered from foggy headedness, low energy levels, difficulty losing weight, cystitis, and more. But I don’t have these problems anymore because I take my daily dose of iodine religiously. You may be inclined to think that something as common as iodine could not possibly cause a disease as dramatic as Parkinson’s or Lewy Body Dementia, but at least entertain the possibility that it could be a contributing factor in the disease as you read this article. If you’re committed to finding a cure for Lewy Body Dementia, then you’ll need to keep an open mind and continue reading. Often, the cure for disease is elegant and simple. The cure for Lewy Body Disease is most likely unique for each person and involves several different treatment components that will address specific weaknesses the patient has in their constituency. Become an expert on the disease and then keep your mind open! We’ll continue adding more content about Lewy Body Dementia cure research as time goes on.

A number of serious diseases tend to be more prevalent in certain geographical locations and many doctors believe that this is no coincidence. One of the main theories about why these diseases happen more frequently in certain areas of the United States than in others has to do with the lack of bulk and trace elements in the soil in those regions. This theory has led to the development of “Disease Family Trees” that have their roots in specific bulk or trace elements that are missing from the soils in certain areas of the world. One important Disease Family Tree has to do with iodine deficiency [1]. 

Iodine is an essential trace element that appears to be associated with many diseases and birth defects including: 

  • Cretinism
  • Obesity
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Goiter
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Cancer 
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Fibromyalgia [1][4]

Worldwide, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of goiter. This prevalent problem happens most often in people who live far inland, away from oceans which are the richest source of iodine (along the coasts, iodine comes from kelp or seaweed for example). These areas of the world, where populations of people are living far away from oceans and iodine are called “Goiter Belts” because in these places, people tend to have a much higher than average rate of thyroid problems (and other issues related to iodine deficiency) [2][4].

Studies on rats have demonstrated that iodine deficiencies can cause a reduction in brain weight, issues with myelin formation, neuronal maturation retardation, and diminished production of enzymes, proteins, and RNA [1].

Throughout the world, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and by association Lewy body dementia deaths tend to increase with latitude. In other words, people who live in northern latitudes are more likely to die of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy body dementia, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In contrast, patients who live in the southeastern United States are 20 percent less likely to die of one of these diseases than patients who live in the north. Other countries including Spain and Sweden have done studies that showed that there were higher incidences of Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the north and fewer incidences in the south. The prescription of Levodopa (a drug used to treat Parkinson’s Disease) follows this same pattern (fewer prescriptions in the south, more prescriptions in the north). The relationship between northern latitude and Parkinson’s Disease has been confirmed by a global study performed by de Pedro  [1][2].

Multiple sclerosis, a disease that’s related via the Disease Family Tree to Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), appears to be most common in cow milk-drinking societies located in the northern latitudes that are far inland and not located close to the ocean. The reason why this is true is because cow’s milk in these areas would be low in iodine. As a result, the people drinking the cow’s milk would be iodine deficient. For example, the low-incidence of multiple sclerosis in Japan puzzled researchers for many years because Japan is a milk-drinking society located in a northern latitude. But Japan is located near the ocean and the Japanese eat seaweed and other foods that are very high in iodine [4].

Studies have shown that deaths from Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are most likely in areas of the world that were recently glaciated. These are iodine deficient regions. Before the food supply was fortified with iodine, these areas of the United States were well known for their elevated goiter prevalence. (Goiters develop as a result of iodine deficiency.) [1][2]

A number of studies have been conducted on the relationship between Parkinson’s Disease and iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency, of course, is more common in northern latitudes in the United States. And Parkinson’s, Lewy Body Dementia, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are all also more prevalent in northern latitudes. Scientists have noticed that iodine deficiency that occurs early in a child’s life appears to cause abnormalities in the dopaminergic system and these abnormalities could trigger the development of these diseases [2]. 

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a special chemical packet that carries information from point A to point B in the brain. There’s a wide variety of different neurotransmitters in the brain and each one of them performs a slightly different function. Dopamine’s role is pretty diverse. It regulates body movement, attention, learning, and emotion. Dopamine is important because it’s part of our Internal Reward System and it contributes to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction and helps us identify rewards and take action to obtain those rewards. As a result, dopamine plays a big role in addiction, but also in achieving important, healthy goals [3]. 

The motor system, or the part of our nervous system that governs movement is heavily influenced by dopamine. A lack of dopamine can cause Parkinson’s tremors. One of the most important drugs for treating Parkinson’s is L-dopa or levadopa, which is a pharmaceutical that helps spur the production of dopamine. Dopamine also seems to play a role in the development of schizophrenia and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) [3]. 

Parkinson’s Disease is considered to be a dopamine-related disease that results from problems within the dopaminergic system. Lewy Body Dementia, because it is quite possibly just another presentation of Parkinson’s Disease is very likely to also be a dopamine-related disease, however, the Lewy bodies in Lewy body dementia are located in a different part of the brain than the Lewy bodiess of Parkinson’s disease. As a result, the Lewy bodies of Lewy body dementia tend to disrupt the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the onset of the disease.

But nonetheless, the relationship between dopamine and iodine seems to happen because there’s a link between the dopaminergic system and thyroid hormones. Some scientists have shown that when dopamine meds are prescribed to patients it reduces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and aggravates low thyroxine levels [2].

The connection between dopamine, thyroid hormones, and iodine deficiency is straightforward. Iodine deficiency is well-known for its impact on thyroid health and proper thyroid functioning. And thyroid hormones have an impact on the dopaminergic system in the brain. As such, a deficiency of iodine can lead to diseases such as Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Please keep in mind, however, that this is a vast oversimplification of the research and though iodine represents an important piece of the puzzle, treatment should include a full protocol, not just supplementation with iodine if the patient is manifesting symptoms of a major disease like any of the ones listed here [4].

Dopamine deficiency also plays a role in multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, both of which often show temporary improvement when patients are given L-dopa [2].

Scientists who have studied the relationship between iodine deficiency and Parkinson’s, Lewy body dementia, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis recommend that patients who suffer from any of these disorders receive treatment with:

Levodopa (L-dopa) is often prescribed by doctor’s to treat Parkinson’s disease, but this drug can lower the patient’s ability to produce dopamine on their own, so some patients may decide to forego treatment with L-dopa at first and try to get to the root cause of the dementia instead (nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal poisoning, etc.).

Vitamin B3 and coenzyme Q10 protect patients from dopamine depletion which helps prevent hallucinations and delusions in patients who suffer from these disorders.

Additionally, patients suffering from Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Lewy body dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can all greatly benefit from supplementation with antioxidants that would help protect them from oxidative stress that occurs as a result of enzyme depletion. The antioxidants that are recommended include:

Selenium is considered by some scientists to be almost as important as iodine in treating multiple sclerosis (and possibly Parkinson’s, Lewy body dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients) as iodine. In Europe, multiple sclerosis is common in regions where selenium has been depleted. Selenium is an anti-oxidant, so it could protect essential fatty acids from free radical damage, which would make these fatty acid nutrients more available for myelin formation [4].

Population studies have shown that vitamin E has neuroprotective properties perhaps because of its ability to neutralize free radicals. [5]

 

Consumption of vitamin A deficient cow’s milk has been correlated with the development of multiple sclerosis [4].

Further, scientists also recommend a Ca2+ channel blocker such as nimodipine in combination with all of the above to enhance the activity of glutathione peroxidase and to increase plasma concentrations of vitamin E. This regimen appears to slow the progression of the disease.

Other Important Links:

The Role of the Gut Microbiome and the Vagus Nerve in Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Lewy Body Dementia and Other Neurological Diseases

The Need for Alternative Treatments of Dementia and Degenerative Neuronal Disease

The Connection Between Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia

Disease Family Trees: How Closely Related Are Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis?

The Possible Role of Iodine Deficiency in Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia

The Possible Role of Bromine In the Development of Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and Multiple Sclerosis

Lewy Body Dementia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease: The Role of B -Vitamins Including Vitamin B17 (Laetrile)

The Budwig Cancer Protocol – The Flax Oil and Cottage Cheese Diet

Iodine Therapy for Breast Cancer and Other Reproductive Organ Cancers

PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency) Machines to Treat Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Pau d’Arco (Lapachol/Tabebuia Impetiginosa) and Its Effects on Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Lewy Body Dementia

Melatonin and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

References:

 

[1] Foster, H. D. (1987). Disease family trees: the possible roles of iodine in goitre, cretinism, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and cancers of the thyroid, nervous system and skin. Retrieved December 26, 2018 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3320695 

 

[2] Foster, H. D. (1999). Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: The Iodine-Dopachrome-Glutamate Hypothesis Retrieved December 26, 2018 from http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1999/articles/1999-v14n03-p128.shtml

 

[3] Sussex Publishers (2018). Dopamine. Retrieved December 26, 2018 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/basics/dopamine 

 

[4] The Iodine-Selenium Connection: It’s Possible Roles in Intelligence, Cretinism, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Breast Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis. Retrieved December 26, 2018 from http://iodineresearch.com/files/foster_1993_iodine_selenium_connection.pdf 

[5] Rosenfeld, J. & Ellis, A. (2008). Nutrition and Dietary Supplements in Motor Neuron Disease. Retrieved June 22, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2631353/