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This Mineral Could Save Your Breasts (and help you get pregnant)

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month so we’ll be seeing all those pink ribbons showing up on junk food which seems a little hypocritical. Cancer and junk food just don’t mix, but one thing you won’t see or hear anything about is iodine, an affordable mineral that could literally save your breasts and your life; and if you want, it could also help you get pregnant.

Every cell in your body needs iodine, but the reproductive organs and thyroid gland particularly need it. About 20 million people have thyroid disease in the US, 6.1 million American females are infertile, and breast cancer rates have been increasing every year since 1940. In the US, Iodine levels have fallen around 50% in the past 30 years. Japanese women have lower rates of breast cancer and their iodine intake is estimated to be between 1 and 3 mg daily. In the US, we get between 138 and 353 mcg daily, much less than 1 mg.

Along with not consuming enough iodine, we live in a world full of toxins that deplete iodine. Bromide is one such toxin that is in fire retardant clothing like baby and child pajamas, mattresses, rugs, furniture, cars, brominated flour, brominated vegetable oils (found in citrus flavored sodas, electrolyte, and energy drinks…it’s in nearly everything we are exposed to on a daily basis. Chlorine competes with iodine for absorption so if you bathe or swim in chlorinated water or consume Splenda (aka sucralose)you are decreasing iodine even further. Another mineral that competes with iodine is fluoride which we have in our water which means it’s also in tea and other water-based beverages and it is in toothpaste.

Iodine keeps breasts healthy, prevents fibroids, supports a healthy lining in the endometrium and also supports a healthy cervix. Iodine is necessary for the fetus and promotes proper brain function. It’s possible that the increased rates of ADHD are due to iodine deficient mothers. One of the main reasons for infertility is hypothyroidism. Do you see how all these things might be connected to iodine and why it might be important to ensure that you are getting the right amount?

In the US, we don’t eat foods that are high in iodine and we are exposed to toxins that deplete iodine. It’s no wonder we are deficient. But, you have the power to change your diet and your lifestyle habits to maximize iodine absorption. Here are 6 things you can do to boost iodine:

  1. Eat iodine rich foods like seaweed, seafood, dairy (especially yogurt), eggs, tuna and cod. Iodized salt is not a great source because the iodine evaporates rather quickly and only 10% of it is absorbed.
  2. Avoid bromide in foods like brominated flour in bread products; sodas, energy, and electrolyte drinks containing brominated vegetable oils (BVO).
  3. Avoid fire retardants and if you get furniture you put together, leave it outside in the sun for a little until the smell goes away.
  4. Get a chlorine filter for the water in your home and avoid using the sweetener Splenda (look for sucralose in the ingredient list).
  5. Avoid fluoridated toothpaste and fluoridated water and be aware that if you drink tea it might come with a lot of fluoride.
  6. Consume at least 1 tsp of salt daily (preferably unprocessed sea salt). This helps to displace the bromide.

It may not be enough to do those 5 things. If you are iodine deficient you may need to take high dose supplements to correct the problem, especially if you have cancer or other reproductive issue. I recommend seeing an iodine knowledgeable practitioner who can monitor you and help you find the right dose. When taking iodine you also need to take companion nutrients like vitamin C and selenium so you really need someone knowledgeable to work with. The best test for iodine is an iodine loading test which you can find at https://www.hakalalabs.com/ and they also have tests to detect bromide toxicity as well. You can retest to determine how your therapy is working.

Do your breasts a real favor this month. Get an iodine loading and bromide test and see if iodine deficiency may be contributing to your health challenges. For more information on iodine, you can go to http://breastcancerchoices.org/. You can follow me on social media @themommymaker.

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