5-6 years ago when I started researching iodine, I spent close to a year sifting through people’s opinions of starting dosage, and was so confused and unsure what to do. People were talking about different forms of iodine, with different methods of measuring dosage, it was a nightmare.
Even when people were talking about the most common type of iodine, Lugol’s solution, one person would talk about 10 drops of 2% and another would say 2 drops of 5%. Then people talk about taking a 12.5mg pill, ugh.
To help myself wrap my head around this whole iodine thing, I put together a simple calculator that helped me convert 2 or 5 or any percentage of liquid Lugol’s into milligrams, or mg. This way, as I read people’s testimonials, I can easily convert ’10 drops of 2%’ into an mg amount, and compare it to what others were talking about. This made things much easier, and allowed me to upgrade my understanding of iodine. I ended up making this tool available for free at http://dropulator.com/
Which type do I use?
Now that its a little easier to compare dosages, I was able to wrap my head around the different types of common iodine.
- Lugols liquid – economical, commonly used, many different strengths
- Lugols pills – more expensive, only available in 12.5mg or 50mg
- SSKI Super Saturated Potassium Iodide – missing the elemental iodine that Lugol’s has
- Nascent – “charged” potassium iodide, usually 3x the price
- Other – there are some other odd forms, with harsh or just unnecessary ingredients
I wrote a bit more about these on my other site WhyIodine http://whyiodine.com/which-iodine/
I ended up starting with Lugols liquid 2% strength. The Lugols pills are designed to bypass our stomach, causing some people to pass them completely. Plus they are a bit more expensive, so they didn’t seem like the right way to get started. SSKI is more economical, and our body is able to convert it into free/elemental iodine that Lugols has, but I figured providing both forms instead of depending on conversion would be better to get started. Nascent just claims to have “charged” iodine to help it do something in our body, but there is no proof of better absorption etc, so I figured 2-3 times the cost wasn’t warranted.
Dr. Brownstein has helped a lot of people restore their iodine levels. He developed an iodine protocol of recommended nutrients that should help most people’s body use iodine properly. I lay out his protocol and links to each of these nutrients, as well as other resources on my other site http://whyiodine.com/protocols/
If learning about these supporting nutrients is currently too much for someone, starting with kelp or seaweed snacks can be a great way to help our body get used to having iodine around again. Kelp has a lot of various nutrients in it, enough to keep up with the kelp’s iodine content. Worrying about the toxicity of kelp is silly Imo. If we test any concentrated powder, we will find a level of toxicity. Here is a study pointing out the inaccuracies of testing kelp https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2137117/
Dr. Brownstein’s protocol has people start at 50mg. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of starting that high. Not only is it weird to start taking 50mg of this new potent nutrient, there are also a good bit of people in the groups claiming that starting at 50mg did not work well for them.
Some people in the groups start at or quickly jump to 100, 200, 300mg or even much higher. These higher doses may have benefits, but there is at least one major flaw I see with this. Some of us have a very potent toxicity tucked away, and if we take enough iodine, we can send it right into our bloodstream. If this toxicity isn’t something our body can easily wrap up with fat or water to render it less damaging, we’re just stuck with whatever it is, in our blood, making us feel like crap. But there is a very simple way to avoid this situation, by just moving up slowly with our dose. We can eventually get to higher doses, and don’t have to worry about knocking ourselves on our butt.
I started with 1 drop of Lugols 2% and waited a few days to see how my body responded. Then I started taking 1 drops daily, and each week I added another drop to my amount. I slowly made my way up to 30-35mg per day and started to notice brain fog and fatigue. For some reason, instead of backing off of iodine, I felt like I had to race my way to higher doses. I figured moving slowly was the issue and that I needed these magical higher doses. I ended up trying 50 and 100 and 150 and 200mg etc, for about a week and probably consumed a total of about 1500mg of iodine. I wasn’t feeling any better so I stopped. Three days later I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a bus. I had sent a ton of mercury into my bloodstream and essentially acutely mercury poisoned myself. I wrote a bit more about this experience on my page about mercury detox https://sickoftired.com/mercury/
I eventually figured out how to overcome the mercury that I knocked loose via high doses of iodine, I went over this in my mercury detox page I just linked above. And then I started taking much less iodine. I took several weeks off from iodine and only consumed small amounts when I restarted. I eventually stopped taking Lugols again and tried getting iodine from kelp. After working my way up to about 6 kelp pills on most days, I resumed Lugols and worked my way up with that slowly again. I eventually learned about Methylation, and figured out how to support my body as it heals and detoxes. I wrote about this more here https://sickoftired.com/methylation/ and discuss it more in my mercury detox page.
I have a feeling iodine’s main mode of pushing toxicity out is by enabling apoptosis, which finally destroys toxic defunct cells, causing it’s toxins to end up in the blood stream. As we push more iodine, more cells can be killed off and cleaned up. As this happens, our other cells are going to be extremely hungry for the nutrients required to rebuild themselves and their neighbors. And if the cells we kill off were loaded with mercury etc, we better hope we have the ability to clean up as much as we’re knocking loose.
This is all my opinion, but after years of studying how our body works, I have not been able to find any methods that allow high dose iodine to assist our body in removing toxicity. High doses seem to allow us to move toxins, which can help us support an ailment or illness, but then what? If the person is able to, and the toxin is capable of it, our body can wrap extra toxicity in fat and/or water. But if this isn’t possible for some reason, there is no physical way for the toxins to be removed, which means we are going to feel it. We feel these toxicities in the form of brain fog, fatigue, headaches, rashes, sleep disturbances etc.
In my opinion, when people jump to higher doses and their detox symptom goes away, it’s because their body is skipping the detox to some degree. It could be our body just somehow bypassing the actions iodine can perform, or our body is wrapping the toxins into fat or water. I have been following a lot of health groups on the internet and Facebook, and have noticed a lot of people either have persistent issues while taking higher doses, or weight gain or hair loss etc. Meanwhile several nutritional balancing doctors and followers who advocate low and slow iodine, claim to have many successful patients. This doesn’t mean I’m right, but I think it’s something worth keeping in mind as someone contemplates dosage, or monitors detox success.
Which to buy
I started with J. Crow brand Lugols, which purchased through Amazon. There have been several people in the iodine groups to mention receiving different strength bottles of the same exact product from J. Crow. Some have mentioned that some bottles were only about 90% full as well. I consider this a quality control issue, so I will not purchase this brand again. If this brand were the only one available, I would be fine with using it though.
Eventually I tried some 3rdi Solutions brand Lugols, which is available on ebay. I noticed right away it was a bit stronger than J. Crow, but some people have claimed its stronger than many brands. There are actually several ways to interpret Lugols recipe, so I suspect some people end up aiming for certain strengths, but being off by a little bit.
Due to these several minor issues with most brands of Lugols, some people prefer to stick with iodine that has a more professional looking brand and website etc. Miss Lizzy’s Thiodine Lugols liquid is a good example of this. This iodine costs a bit more than some cheaper brands of Lugols, but Miss Lizzy is well known. Their special for 2 bottles for $89 is a pretty good deal though, as this stuff lasts us a long time. https://www.misslizzyhealth.com/products/thiodine-strongest-lugols-iodine-liquid-for-thyroid
Miss Lizzy also sells high quality tablets with what seems like better quality control than others. https://www.misslizzyhealth.com/products/thiodine-strongest-lugols-iodine-tablets-for-thyroid
High dose may have benefits, but carries risks if someone has a potent toxicity like mercury. Moving up low and slow allows us to potentially sense a potent toxicity before possibly dislodging it at a high rate.
For more information about iodine, check out my site WhyIodine http://whyiodine.com/new-world-iodine/