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By Dr. Alby Ford

New research shows a troubling correlation between a woman’s thyroid function and her child’s risk for autism. Mothers with very low levels of thyroid hormone early in pregnancy had a fourfold probability of the baby having autism. Very seldom do we see this strength of association.

The study published in the Annals of Neurology brings crucial attention to IODINE supplementation, something the medical community has recently begun to frown upon up to the point of creating a phobia against oral iodine. It was an ill designed Brazilian study that is used by doctors as a reason to stay as far away from iodine supplementation as possible.

Dr, Gabriel Cousens in the United States says, “Historically, as early as 1911, people normally took between 300,000 – 900,000 micrograms daily without incident. How is it that now only 1/5000th of this is now considered safe and the RDA (recommended daily amount) is 150 – 250 micrograms. Even the Food and Nutritional Board at the Institute of Medicine has set the tolerable upper limit of 1,100 micrograms of iodine daily. Other researchers have used between 3000 and 6000 micrograms/day to prevent goiter. Iodine is found in every single one of our body’s hundred trillion cells. Without adequate iodine levels life is impossible. Iodine is the universal health nutrient and brings health on many levels.”

Dr. Gustavo Roman, with the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute and researchers in the Netherlands, studied thousands of pregnant Dutch women and found a lack of iodine in their diets affected fetal brain development. “I think for the first time we have the possibility of finding an explanation of the problem but most importantly we have a way of preventing this from happening,” say lead author Dr. Roman.

The most common cause of thyroid hormone deficiency is the lack of iodine in the diet. Researchers in another study believe that one in seven (1:7) Americans is believed to be iodine deficient but Dr. David Brownstein has tested 5000 of his patients in the Detroit area and has found over 90% to be deficient. “After testing over 5000 patients, I found that 94.7% of my patients are deficient in inorganic iodine” says Dr. Brownstein.

Insufficient maternal iodine during pregnancy can result in a permanently lowered IQ as well as thyroid problems. Pregnant and nursing women need 220 – 290 micrograms of iodine daily. Dr. Roman encourages women who are pregnant or who are trying to get pregnant to take iodine. The best form of iodine is IODORAL tablets (available only from the practice), ideal for children and adults alike. Dr. Brownstein suggests we take 200,000 – 300,000 micrograms (20 – 30 milligrams) daily.

From a larger physiological perspective, it is important to realize that the thyroid is only one gland of many glands and tissues that needs iodine. Other glands/organs/systems with high iodine uptake are the breasts, ovaries, cervix, blood and lymph, bones, gastric mucosa, salivary glands, adrenal glands, prostate, colon, thymus, lungs, bladder, kidney and skin. Iodine is found and used in every hormonal receptor in the body.

Iodine is safe in large doses and has been used in the past to treat syphilis, skin lesions and chronic lung disease at 6 grams/day (6000 milligrams or 6,000,000 micrograms).

Iodoral tablets of 12.5 milligrams are available from the practice and the normal maintenance daily dose is half a tablet mornings and evenings. For women with fibrocystic breast disease, I recommend a twice daily dose of 12.5mg (25mg daily). I recommend the same dosage for women who have had breast cancer, to take Iodoral as a long term preventative.

References: Dr D Brownstein – Overcoming thyroid disorders
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