How to Prevent Infection Naturally: Iodine Basics
DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR CANCER OR ANY OTHER DISEASE.
Definition of Terms and Important Iodine Safety Information:
In the following discussion, we talk about two types of iodine that can be used for both COVID-19 PREVENTION as well as for TREATMENT. But these two types of iodine, Povidone Iodine and Lugol’s/Iodoral are NOT interchangeable.
An example of Povidone Iodine (also known as PVP-I) is Betadine. Povidone Iodine is the type of iodine that is sold in pharmacies. It is commonly used to treat wounds. Povidone Iodine is an iodine product that is only used externally on tissues of the human body that are exposed to air (the interior of the nose and throat can be safely sprayed with a fine mist of Povidone Iodine, for example). Povidone Iodine is a complex of iodine and a substance called polyvinylpyrrolidone. The polyvinylpyrrolidone makes the iodine stay on surfaces longer and remain active longer than iodine that is not in a complex with this substance. But polyvinylpyrrolidone is not well tolerated internally. It should not be swallowed in large quantities and it should not be nebulized and breathed into the lungs.
Povidone-Iodine can be used to prevent COVID-19 infection as well as any infection that is spread through the air. It is used as a nasal spray and a gargle. The polyvinylpyrrolidone allows the iodine to stay active for 4-6 hours at a time. Dilute 1 drop of Povidone Iodine in 20 to 50 drops of water to achieve the most effective concentration for a nasal spray and throat garglethat will stick to the nasal and throat membranes. Higher concentrations of Povidone Iodine are less effective than the 1:20 or 1:50 ratio that we recommend here.
Lugol’s Iodine and Iodoral:
Both Lugol’s iodine and Iodoral contain molecular iodine and potassium iodide. They are essentially the same thing, but Lugol’s iodine is in liquid form while Iodoral is in pill form. The two iodine molecules contained in Lugol’s and Iodoral work to feed both the thyroid gland and the reproductive organs. Lugol’s iodine and Iodoral can both be taken internally, unlike Povidone odine. You can drink water that contains Lugol’s iodine (or take Iodoral pills) and you can nebulize with Lugol’s iodine. Lugol’s iodine or Iodoral, taken daily as supplements at 3-50 mg per day can prevent COVID-19, but Lugol’s iodine (which is a liquid) can also be used as a COVID-19 treatment by nebulizing with a dilute solution that contains approximately 1 drop of Lugol’s in 20 to 50 drops of filtered water.
1 drop of Lugol’s Iodine 2% = approximately 2.4 mg
NOTE: You can take a daily Lugol’s or Iodoral supplement at 3-50 mg and also, at the same time, use a low-dose nasal spray and throat gargle that contains Povidone-Iodine to prevent COVID-19 and other infections that are spread through the air.
ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT NOTE: Lugol’s Iodine 2% (12 drops) can be used with No-Odor Dimethylsulfoxide/DMSO (12 drops) in an 8 ounce glass of water to potentiate the antibiotic effects of Lugol’s Iodine taken internally. Also take a zinc supplement (20 mg) daily to ensure that the Lugol’s iodine can be used to its highest potential in the body. See Dr. Metharam Haresh’s recipe for using Lugol’s Iodine with DMSO by clicking here.
Iodine is an essential trace mineral that humans need in order for all organ systems to function harmoniously. Though many people are aware of the fact that iodine is important for the production of thyroid hormone, few people realize that iodine is essential for fertility and reproduction and for proper reproductive hormone function. Iodine affects libido and reproductive hormone levels in both men and women. During gestation, iodine levels have an important impact on the developing body of the fetus specifically the brain. In children, iodine deficiency can lead to serious intellectual problems that masquerade as other diseases like ADHD or even Autism. Iodine has a wide array of affects on human health and a deficiency of this mineral leads to serious health problems including obesity and cancer. Very few people indeed, realize that adequate iodine is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the immune system.
It isn’t hard for most people to understand how adequate iodine levels in the body are essential for general good health (given its effects on multiple organ systems including hormone levels that regulate everything from libido to metabolism). But it is harder to explain how iodine works directly with respect to the immune system. Part of the problem is due to the fact that the human immune system and how it works is a complicated topic that isn’t fully understood even by scientists who study nothing but the immune system for their entire lifetime. Nonetheless, below we’ve include a list of direct effects that iodine levels have on the immune system according to the scientific literature and the current understanding of how the immune system functions:
- Human white blood cells have proteins on their cell membranes that communicate with thyroid hormones.
- White blood cells that were treated with sodium iodide show increased chemokine expression. Chemokines are a type of cytokine that work to attract white blood cells to areas of the body that are infected.
- Studies have demonstrated that white blood cells release thyroid hormones which means that these immune cells may influence thyroid hormone balance.
- COVID and other infectious microorganisms are deactivated inside the nose when iodine is naturally present in the nasal mucus. When iodine levels are high enough, the nasal mucous thus acts as a disinfectant.
- Iodine in sweat naturally deactivates the COVID virus before it can enter the body. In order for iodine to be present in sweat, it must exist at adequate levels in the body.
- Iodine helps the body identify cells that have been infected with COVID or other disease-causing organisms to stop those cells from allowing the virus to replicate.
- Iodine functions as an antioxidant when individuals take 3mg per day or more in supplement form.
Recommended Daily Iodine Needs
The low recommended daily dosage of iodine is in part due to the fact that a small number of people in the population might develop hypothyroidism and goiter if they take too much iodine in supplement form. But these negative effects disappear if the iodine supplement dose is lowered or if the individual stops taking the supplement. These health effects are far less common than the serious problems that develop in individuals who consume too little iodine.
The lowest daily dose of iodine that can provide medicinal benefits, including better immune functioning, disinfectant effects in the upper respiratory system and on the skin, COVID-19 prevention, and cancer prevention is 3 mg per day. But, if you are regularly exposed to bromine or fluorine, that daily dose should be much higher. Indeed, we recommend that self-hackers take 12.5 to 50 mg of iodine daily to promote a strong immune system, and healthy thyroid healthy and reproductive system health. Our research into the use of Lugol’s iodine at high doses legitimizes the use of Lugol’s iodine at 50 mg per day (Iodoral is an iodine product in pill form) to prevent all reproductive cancers including the prevention of breast cancer.
Iodine for Influenza and More…
After the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, which killed approximately 30 million people, research was funded to better understand the causes of this disease. Twenty-five years of research yielded very little in terms of preventing the spread of a deadly virus except the fact that iodine was the most effective substance against viruses. Iodine in aerosol form (such as a nasal spray) was even effective at killing viruses, and scientists found that they were able to prevent the transmission of influenza by simply putting iodine on the snouts of mice. Some experts suggested that iodine-impregnated masks would be useful in preventing the spread of the infection though these were never used during the COVID pandemic. Hand washing with mild iodine solutions is a healthy alternative to petroleum-based hand sanitizers. And taking iodine supplements at 12.5-50 mg per day provides a first-line immune defense on the skin and in the upper respiratory tract.
Some experts have pointed out that iodine has the ability to quickly deactivate coronaviruses like COVID-19 at very low concentrations. This fact led to the use of oral and nasal sprays containing low-dose Povidone Iodine in healthcare settings in a variety of countries throughout the world including the United States. We talk more about iodine gargles and nasal sprays that can be used for both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
But in addition to the use of Povidone Iodine as a disinfecting agent that can be used on the surface of the body (and in the nose and throat), Lugol’s Iodine is a vital tool in promoting immunity and protecting the body from infectious organisms. In certain Asian countries like Japan, where approximately 25 times more seaweed and other high-iodine-content foods are consumed regularly, reproductive and thyroid cancer rates are extremely low in comparison with the United States and other countries where dietary iodine consumption is low. This has gotten the attention of cancer experts who analyzed the iodine content of cancer patients. One studied linked breast cancer and stomach cancer to iodine deficiency, but other studies have substantiated the significantly increased incidence of breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, thyroid cancer, and other reproductive organ cancers that result from an iodine deficiency.
Iodophobia: The American Doctor’s Irrational Fear of Iodine:
Doctors in the U.S. have been taught to spurn iodine supplements out of fear that taking iodine as a supplement will worsen certain diseases. The FDA recommends extremely low daily allowances of iodine under the same mentality, proclaiming that Americans get plenty of iodine through iodine-fortified salt. And they claim that if they increase the daily allowance that some people might develop serious health issues after taking iodine supplements. But even at high doses of iodine, a person who develops hypothyroidism or goiter will rapidly return to a normal state of health when they stop taking the supplement (no harm done). And people with Hashimoto’s Disease need to combine their high-dose iodine with selenium to avoid negative effects. Indeed, the health problems that people experience as a result of iodine deficiency is much more widespread and problematic than the health problems that might occur if a person with a thyroid disorder takes high dose iodine.
Dr. Brownstein, an expert in the use of iodine to treat major diseases like cancer, has taken a humorous approach by dubbing American doctors’ unfounded fears of iodine supplements as “iodophobia”. Indeed, looking at the historical trajectory of iodine fortification and how the change from bread to salt dietary fortification in the U.S. kicked off the obesity epidemic, it isn’t hard to develop conspiracy theories about why this change was instigated. Doctors in the early 1900’s once prescribed iodine regularly to patients. Soil in the U.S. was even deficient in iodine back then (imagine how deficient they are now!). Iodine cleared up many women’s health issues from heavy menstruation to fibrocystic breasts and even Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. But today’s doctors have no idea that iodine deficiency causes these health problems.
What the FDA neglects to mention in establishing their stance regarding iodine is the fact that bread used to be the iodine-fortified food before the 1980’s (which incidentally, is around the same time that obesity started to become a major issue in the U.S:). Bread was an excellent carrier for iodine. Salt, in contrast, is a terrible carrier because iodine begins to evaporate out of the salt as soon as the box is opened. To further the blow to the human body’s metabolism, reproductive system, and immune system, many commercial breads, most citrus-flavored, bottled soft drinks and sports drinks, and a variety of other food products now contain BVOs, or brominated vegetable oils. Bromine is used to sanitize swimming pools and hot tubs and it is ever-present as an insecticide in the U.S. as well (though all other developed nations of the world have made bromine illegal because of the havoc that it wreaks on human health). Additionally, Americans must contend with fluoridated water in their showers and in their drinking water. Exposure to bromine and fluorine increases the body’s iodine needs. And during the initial stages of taking high-dose iodine, many people experience a bromine and fluorine detox that many doctors mistake for “iodine allergy”. The characteristic rash called Bromaderma befuddles the average general practitioner who has maybe never taken even one nutrition class in his or her entire career.
In reality, it isn’t possible to speak only about iodine and immunity. Iodine belongs to a family of elements known as the Halogens and because all of these Halogens have the same outer electron shell configuration, they all behave in a similar way inside the body. But though they behave similarly they do not behave in the exact same way. Indeed, bromine and fluorine masquerade as iodine and the body accepts bromine and fluorine as iodine substitutes if adequate iodine is not available. But when bromine and fluorine gain access to the body, they disrupt metabolism in a major way causing intellectual problems, foggy thinking, extreme weight gain, hormonal problems, and cancer. So, in order to talk about iodine honestly, we all have to understand and accept the presence of bromine and fluorine as endocrine disruptors that significantly increase our need for iodine supplementation every day in order to combat their effects.
Iodine Effects on the Body: Treating Disease with Lugol’s Iodine
When supplementing with iodine, you’ll use Lugol’s Iodine 2% (10-20 drops per day) or Iodoral at 12.5 mg – 50 mg per day.
Iodine deficiency causes the following effects on the body:
- Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) by causing a lack of sufficient thyroid hormones to be produced. This affects mitochondrial receptors in human cells that are responsible for energy production. Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroxin (T4). Thyroxin (T4) must be converted to (T3), the active form of the hormone. In some individuals, this conversion is not possible due to a lack of selenium, which assists in the production of involved enzymes.
- Iodine deficiency (which is usually compounded by bromine and fluorine toxicity) can lead to frequent urinary tract infections.
- Thyroid cancer
- Low adrenal function
- Frequent respiratory infections and respiratory problems:
- Sinus infection
- Chronic post-nasal drip
- Iodine deficiency can cause men’s health issues:
- Prostate cancer
- Prostate swelling
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Iodine deficiency can cause a variety of women’s health issues including:
- Menstrual problems
- Menstrual irregularities
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Heavy menstruation
- Low libido
- Fibrocystic breast disease
- Fibrocystic ovaries
- Uterine fibroids
- Benign and malignant tumors in the reproductive organs including the breast, uterus, ovaries, cervix, etc.
- Skin problems:
- Dry, coarse skin with a yellowish tinge
- Darkening of the eyelids
- Brittle fingernails
- Brittle hair
- Hair loss
- Visual disturbances
- Eye protrusion
- Mental Health Issues:
- Mental fatigue
- Foggy Thinking
- Mood swings
- Memory loss (Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, etc.)
- Cardiovascular effects:
- Intolerance to heat and cold (cold hands and feet)
- Poor circulation (which can lead to health problems such as Erectile Dysfunction or low libido, noted above)
- Raynaud’s Syndrome
- Heart Disease
- Digestive problems
- Gas / flatulence
- Constipation and irregular bowel movements
- Difficulty swallowing
- Throat swelling
- Throat tenderness
- Obesity and difficulty losing weight
- Swelling of the face (Myxoedema)
- Fluid retention
- High LDL cholesterol
- Increased triglyceride levels
- Shortness of breath on exertion and poor exercise tolerance which includes:
- Fast pulse
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Stiff joints
- Muscle cramps
- Excessive perspiration regardless of heat or exertion
- Fatigue, low energy, exhaustion, especially in the morning.
- Low blood pressure
- Sleep problems including the need for 12 or more hours of sleep
- Iodine deficiency can cause hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid). Many of these hyperthyroid conditions respond well to iodine supplementation without surgery or the use of radioactive iodine. These diseases including:
- Hashimoto’s Disease
- Grave’s Disease
- Toxic Thyroid
- Iodine deficiency affects motor skills in a negative way
- Iodine deficiency causes reaction time to get longer.
- Iodine deficiency reduces manual dexterity, muscle strength, and overall coordination.
- Iodine deficiency leads to lower IQ scores.
- Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can cause ADD, ADHD, or developmental delays known as cretinism.
Iodine supplementation can cause the following health-related effects on the body:
- Iodine is mucolytic. It causes mucous to be broken down in a manner similar to N-Acetylcysteine (NAC). Thinning mucous can help the body detoxify and remove pathogens such as viruses and bacteria from the body.
- At doses above 3 mg per day, Iodine behaves in the body as an antioxidant.
- At doses above 3 mg per day, Iodine causes sick human cells to die. For example, human cells that have been invaded by a viral pathogen such as COVID will be programmed by iodine to die rather than allowing the virus to reproduce.
- When Iodine is present in adequate quantities above 3 mg per day, it is distributed throughout the tissues of the body and it is also found in body fluids.
- Iodine in mucous works as a front-line disinfectant that can prevent infection with a virus, bacteria, or fungus including infections such as COVID-19 or influenza.
- Iodine is found in small quantities in the sweat and it works as a front-line defense against infectious organisms that come into contact with the skin.
- Initial use of iodine may cause hyperthyroidism, especially if iodine deficiency has been a problem for a long period of time.
- Initial iodine supplementation may also cause sore throat and a slight swelling of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland that has been starved for iodine may expand in effort to take in more iodine from the bloodstream during the initial phases of supplementation.
- Iodine is antimicrobial.
A Word about Fluorine and Bromine Toxicity
Again, it simply isn’t possible to talk about iodine deficiency without also talking about bromine and fluorine toxicity. Bromine and fluorine take up residence in the thyroid gland and reproductive organs as “squatters” that pretend to be iodine. But they don’t function in the body like iodine. Rather, they disrupt health and create general health problems that are extremely hard for doctors (who receive almost no education in nutrition) to identify properly.
As a self-hacker, you need to be able to identify the symptoms of fluorine and bromine toxicity when you start taking high-dose iodine for health. Below are some of the most common symptoms of bromine toxicity. Don’t let your doctor tell you that these symptoms are due to an “iodine allergy”. They’re not.
Bromine Toxicity Symptoms include the following:
- Bromaderma rash
- Dark Thoughts
- Brain fog
- Leg or hip pain
To offset the symptoms of Fluorine and Bromine Toxicity, drink 1 teaspoon of sea salt in an 8 ounce glass of water. Continue drinking 1 teaspoon of sea salt in 8 ounces of water until you feel like you need to urinate. The sea salt will bind with the bromine and fluorine to make it inert on it’s journey out of the body.
Summary: How does Iodine affect immunity?
Of course, the use of Povidone Iodine (such as Betadine) as a nasal spray and throat gargle can help coat the mucous membranes that are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 pathogens as well as other infectious pathogens and this is an important self-hack to keep in your back pocket. The use of a Povidone-Iodine spray and gargle can be helpful in preventing the spread of COVID as well as other communicable diseases, but Lugol’s iodine has even more benefits in terms of human immunity.
Lugol’s iodine is made up of iodine and potassium iodide. These two iodine-configurations provide for the iodine needs of both the thyroid gland and the reproductive organs. As such, Lugol’s has the ability to balance thyroid hormones as well as reproductive hormone levels. But when a person takes high enough doses of Lugol’s Iodine (between 3 to 50 mg per day), iodine becomes bioavailable in a manner that amplifies the health benefits. It coats the skin (via its presence in sweat) and it stands sentinel inside the nose and throat (via its presence in mucous).
Iodine experts have proposed that iodine intake should be increased to no less than 3 mg per day of iodide to make sure that everyone can benefit from the general health effects that adequate iodine levels confer to human health. But due to high exposure to bromine and fluorine in the environment, in water, and in foods, many people need more than 3 mg per day of iodine to avoid diseases like COVID or cancer. This author definitely recommends a dose of 50 mg per day (with selenium supplementation), particularly if a person is suffering from cancer, women’s health issues, obesity and unexplained, uncontrollable weight gain, prostate issues, low libido, hormone problems, or any number of other health issues that are related to the problem of iodine deficiency.
Other Important Links:
MAO, I. et al. (1990). The Stability of Iodine in Human Sweat. Retrieved October 19, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2086989/#:~:text=By%20comparing%20the%20iodine%20concentration,an%20essential%20constituent%20of%20sweat.
Aceves, C., Anguiano, B., Delgado, G. (2013). The Extrathyronine Actions of Iodine as Antioxidant, Apoptotic, and Differentiation Factor in Various Tissues. Retrieved October 19, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3752513/
Bilal, M. Y. et al. (2017). A Role for Iodide and Thyroglobulin in Modulating the Function of Human Immune Cells. Retrieved October 18, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5694785/
Warren, G. (2020). Iodine Intake to Reduce Covid-19 Transmission and Mortality. Retrieved October 2, 2021 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340769844_Iodine_Intake_to_Reduce_Covid-19_Transmission_and_Mortality
Derry, D. (2009). Iodine: The Forgotten Weapon Against Influenza Viruses. Retrieved October 19, 2021 from https://www.scribd.com/document/453565213/Iodine-Weapon-Against-Viruses
Saeed, K. et al. (2017). Urinary Iodine Concentrations in Cancer Patients. Retrieved October 19, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28441792/#:~:text=Results%3A%20The%20median%20urinary%20iodine,L%20(moderate)%2C%20respectively.
Brownstein, D. (). Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It.
Montrone, R. (2017). Iodine Deficiency & Its Many Devastating Effects on Health. Retrieved October 19, 2021 from https://www.sentinelsource.com/elf/body_and_soul/iodine-deficiency-its-many-devastating-effects-on-health/article_8e987f3e-72e2-11e7-9378-6b1c0f6d87bb.html
Visser, S. (n.d.). Preventing and Treating Diseases with Iodine. Retrieved October 19, 2021 from https://www.medicalacademic.co.za/integrative-medicine/preventing-and-treating-diseases-with-iodine/
Kirk-Bayley, J. et al. (2020). The Use of Povidone Iodine Nasal Spray and Mouthwash During the Current COVID-19 Pandemic May Protect Healthcare Workers and Reduce Red Cross Infection. Retrieved October 29, 2021 from https://dr-samir.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/nasal-spray-and-mouthwash-during-the-current-COVID-19.pdf
Xu, J. et al. (2010). Supplemental selenium alleviates the toxic effects of excessive iodine on thyroid. Retrieved October 19, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20517655/