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Iodine deficiency

Discussion in 'Health' started by poivron, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. poivron

    poivron Member

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    I've been vegan for a little over five years now. For the first four years or so, I ate a very healthy vegan diet but didn't supplement with anything other than two teaspoonfuls of ground flax seed on my oatmeal every morning. My health remained perfect. In fact, in my first year, my cholesterol levels, which had been normal but creeping upwards, went down significantly and remained low.

    In my fourth year, I realized that fortified soymilk and the occasional popcorn with nutritional yeast were not giving me the recommended daily dose of vitamin B12. I found Dr. Greger's nutrition recommendations at:
    https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/
    and started taking vegan vitamin B-12 and D supplements, along with some algal DHA. My energy levels went up within about a week, and I realized that I had been finding it harder and harder to get up in the morning before I began supplementing. My energy had declined gradually over the years, such that I hadn't noticed the change while it was happening.

    About half a year after this, after a health scare I will not to go into, I realized that I had not been getting enough iodine. I now think I was borderline iodine-deficient, and that this was starting to cause my estrogen level to be higher than it should have been. (I don't know this for sure, since I didn't have my iodine or estrogen levels measured in blood tests. But I suspect strongly that this was the case, based on what I've read about the consequences of iodine deficiency and on certain symptoms I had been experiencing.) I started taking 1/8 teaspoon of bladderwrack powder every day about a month and a half ago. My energy levels jumped way up for about three weeks and then stabilized. I feel healthier now than I have ever felt in my entire life.

    In conclusion, I did not suffer from any kind of health problems during my first four years of veganism. Even without supplementing, I believe I was healthier than I would have been as an omnivore. However, in my fifth year, I believe I started to suffer from the effects of vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and iodine deficiency. I am posting this in the hope of helping other long-time vegans out there who may be deficient in these nutrients. I am titling it "Iodine deficiency" because this is the one that really took me by surprise.

    P.S. For any anti-vegan trolls out there who are tempted to jump on this post as proof of the inferiority of the vegan diet, let me point out that the main source of iodine for omnivores in Western countries is the iodine-based germicide that is used to clean the teats of cows at factory farms.
     
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  2. rogerjolly
    Breezy

    rogerjolly Active Member

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    There was recently an intriguing science series on BBC Radio 4 about various chemical elements. But if mention of the periodic table makes you reach for the off switch please don’t. One of the programmes was “Awesome Iodine” and I would highly recommend it to anybody concerned about iodine deficiency, especially women of child bearing age. It is available on BBC I PLAYER:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09plrg0#play

    But be prepared for horror stories about the effects of too little or too much iodine intake.

    Be prepared also for some strong anti-veganism. I do wish that errant nutritionists would try harder to accept vegans as vegans and concentrate on helping them solve any perceived issues rather than attempting to convert them to taking dairy products. Please see my post number 13 in: https://veganforum.org/threads/supporting-my-vegan-partner.1949/#post-7843

    Roger.
     
  3. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience poivron. Do you still supplement with bladderwrack or do you use other seaweeds as well/instead of? I became aware of iodine issues through Dr Greger as well so I have added seaweed (Wakame, usually) to my diet...when I remember to use it.
     
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  4. Consistency
    No Mood

    Consistency Active Member Banned

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    Naturally iodine comes from the air. Bacteria in the ocean release iodine in the air and the winds push it on land. I've never gained any benefits from consuming iodine since I have always consumed vegetables rich in iodine and 2500iu of Vitashine daily.

    A misconception is that iodine stimulates the production of TRH. The truth is that Calcitriol (active Vitamin D) stimulates the production of TRH, then TRH stimulates the production of TSH, lastly TSH stimulates the production of thyroid hormones which need iodine for their production.

    Do you live in a cold climate?
     
  5. nobody

    nobody Member

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    I started taking iodine daily 5 months ago. I got the idea to take it from reading this article, where she recommends "around 90 micrograms per day". So I went to the vitamin store and they had some iodine in liquid form, but I wanted it in pill or capsule form and all they had was Terry Naturally Tri-Iodine 12.5 mg. I thought, "Gee, only 12.5 micrograms? Why so low? I need 90 micrograms." But I wanted to get started taking iodine, so I bought it, thinking I would just get a higher dosage capsule later on. The first day I took three capsules. Then, after doing some research, I found out to my horror, that the abbreviation for milligram is mg, the abbreviation for microgram is mcg and that 1 mg = 1000 mcg, so I had taken 37,500 micrograms, rather than the recommended 90.

    I guess the reason that such high dosage iodine supplements exist is because there is a disparity of opinions out there about what is a good daily dosage, different interpretations of various studies, etc. Here is a quote from the first google result for "iodine dosage":

    My Terry Naturally 12.5 mg ran out so now I just take 150 or 200 mcg/day. I have two different ones, one in liquid form and another in capsule form:

    Life-flo Liquid Iodine Plus

    Solgar North Atlantic Kelp

    For the Solgar, the bottle in that picture says "SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS" but my bottle is slightly different and says "SUITABLE FOR VEGANS" and "Non-GMO". Also, I've found that sometimes, supplements are vegan even though it says "vegetarian" on the bottle. For instance, I take this:

    Nordic Naturals Algae Omega

    On that web page it says "100% vegetarian, suitable for vegans". The bottle does not have the word "vegan" on it though, just "vegetarian". I have called Nordic Naturals and they assured me it is vegan, and that they were thinking about saying that on the bottle, but the reason it does not say vegan currently is out of an abundance of caution, in case there is some non-vegan process along the way from one of their suppliers that they don't know about, or something like that, but there are no animal ingredients in the actual capsules. So, sometimes 'vegetarian' on bottles means 'strict vegetarian', i.e. 'vegan'.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  6. poivron

    poivron Member

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    I'm still taking 1/8 teaspoonful of bladderwrack powder every day after dinner, usually mixing it into a small piece of boiled potato. It's really powerful. I had so much energy after starting on it that for about a week or so I would wake up in the middle of the night, all excited about one thing or another that I was going to do the next day, and not be able to go back to sleep. It's important not to overdo it. 1/8 teaspoon has 163.4 micrograms of iodine, which is just about the daily requirement. The Japanese consume 1-3 milligrams of iodine a day. I think that's where it starts to become toxic. Also, I forgot to mention it earlier, but iodine supplementation is not recommended for people with hyperthyroidism.

    Here is what gave me the idea to take bladderwrack powder:
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-treat-endometriosis-with-seaweed/
    which describes this study:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3204293/

    Here are some sources of bladderwrack powder:
    http://www.seaveg.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=29
    https://www.starwest-botanicals.com/organic-bladderwrack-powder-4-oz.html
    https://www.znaturalfoods.com/bladderwrack-powder-organic
    https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/bladderwrack-powder

    Some types of seaweed have too much iodine, so one has to be very careful. See:
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/too-much-iodine-can-be-as-bad-as-too-little/
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  7. poivron

    poivron Member

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    I live in New Jersey. Some people are lucky enough to live in regions where the soil is rich in iodine. But if your soil doesn't have iodine, and you're a vegan who doesn't eat much seaweed, your only source of iodine is iodized salt. The problem with that is that we're constantly told to avoid salt, and most salt isn't even iodized.
     
  8. poivron

    poivron Member

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    You might want to look into taking your iodine in the form of bladderwrack powder. It's naturally vegan, and it also contains other nutrients that are good for you. See:

    https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/bladderwrack.html

    But if you decide to take bladderwrack powder, take care not to overdo it. 1/8 teaspoonful provides your entire daily requirement of iodine.
     

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