Iodine is a trace element found in many foods and in iodized salt. Iodine deficiency is much less common in the United States as compared to 50 years ago because of the widespread distribution of foods grown in iodine-sufficient areas.

Some doctors have suggested that iodine is needed in greater amounts by patients with chronic disease. But, fairly modest increases in iodine intake have been reported to cause thyroid dysfunction, particularly hypothyroidism.

In an editorial on high-dose iodine supplementation, Alan R. Gaby, MD writes1):

The possibility that high-dose iodine/iodide can relieve certain common conditions is intriguing. Considering the positive anecdotal reports, an empirical trial of iodine/iodide therapy, based on the clinical picture, seems reasonable. The case has not been made, however, that the average person should markedly increase his or her iodine intake in an attempt to saturate the tissues with iodine. Nor has the case been made that the iodine-load test can provide reliable guidance regarding the need for iodine therapy. Thyroid function should be monitored in patients receiving more than 1 mg of iodine per day.

Even if a trial of iodine did prove supplementation with the substance were “effective,” there is every reason to believe that is effective because it suppresses the innate immune responseThe body's first line of defense against intracellular and other pathogens. According to the Marshall Pathogenesis the innate immune system becomes disabled as patients develop chronic disease..

===== Notes and comments =====

broke widespread distribution

List of references for iodine research that may contradict the quoted article: https://www.womentowomen.com/hypothyroidism/iodinedeficiency-thyroidhealth-references.aspx

===== References =====

Gaby, A.R. (2006). Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients. Iodine: A Lot to Swallow.
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