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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Iodine and Breast Health

Nov 02, 2020 08:23AM ● By Don Joergens

Fibrocystic breast disease affects more than 60% of women in the U.S. While fibroids in breast tissue are not evidence of cancer and do not increase the risk for cancer, the lumpiness in one or both breasts may cause discomfort, breast tenderness and pain. 

What causes fibrocystic breasts? Abnormal hormone levels during the menstrual cycle contribute to the cyst formation and inflammation. This condition can be worsened by consuming caffeine and overconsumption of bad fats (or good fats in the wrong ratios) may add to the inflammation. Diminished iodine levels are less well known but are a critical factor in maintaining breast and body health.  

Although most people think they consume enough iodine, it is estimated that up to 96% of the population is deficient. Diet is partly responsible because digesting nitrates in foods can expel iodine and tap water may contain iodine blocking chemicals such as bromides, fluorides and perchlorates. The FDA recommended daily allowance for iodine is only 150 micrograms. This standard was based on studies conducted in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that found iodine consumed at that level prevented and reversed enlarged thyroid glands, called goiters, in both children and adults. However, cells in the body require iodine in significantly greater amounts to optimize function and protection.

Many women are unaware of the importance of correcting iodine deficiency in getting relief from fibrocystic breasts. Iodine is not only one of the most potent antioxidants in the body—its effect is even broader than vitamin C—it is a critical molecule that tells an older, failing cell when it’s time to perish, allowing new cells to be born. A process which, if blocked, can lead to these disease states and more. Iodine is also needed and transported into every cell of the body for a litany of biological reactions to occur but only if there is enough daily supply.

Iodine is not only important in managing and even relieving fibrocystic breasts. It can also be vital for breast cancer prevention and remediation. Research published in Oncology Times shows that molecular iodine has a “potent inhibitory effect” on cell growth for both fibrocystic breasts and breast cancer. Research has demonstrated that rats given known cancer-causing carcinogens will develop cancers and that when iodine is taken along with carcinogens, tumor formation cannot occur.

In the case of breast cancer, we know that a combination of iodine/iodide positively affects expression of the BRCA1 gene—which produces proteins that suppress tumors—in estrogen-responsive breast cancer. It does this by increasing BRCA1 activity. Researchers in this study also found that this combination “could enhance the efficacy of tamoxifen therapy...thus preventing or slowing the development of tamoxifen resistance.”

Those who have had a mastectomy and/or chemotherapy for breast cancer may still need high quality iodine/iodide as studies suggest it provides a significant proactive prevention going forward.

Addressing iodine deficiency isn’t as simple as just buying a supplement in any dosage. There are risk factors as other health considerations come into play so it is important to work with someone highly knowledgeable in how iodine/iodide may interact. For example, those with autoimmune or thyroid issues would be warned not to take large doses initially or until other measures have been established. Accurate measurement of iodine levels requires a 24-hour iodine challenge test given by a physician. Home tests are also available.

The future is incredibly exciting for women, men and children alike as knowledge of our great need for iodine is understood. Not only for breast-related diseases but also to prevent, manage and heal from thyroid disease. Iodine is also being studied as factor in addressing prostate cancer, immune weakness, ADD/ADHD, atherosclerosis, excess mucous production, fatigue, headache/migraines, infections, hypertension, ovarian disease, vaginal infections and more.

Dr. Donald Joergens, D.C., and founder of Functional Brain Training (FBT), is an expert in functional medicine and advanced nutrition. He is part of a team that has developed advancements in iodine, the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2, as well as mitochondrial/anti-aging nutrients.

Functional Brain Training is located in Rockaway and Whitehouse. For more information and to schedule a free phone consultation or set up a talk, call 862-777-8612, email [email protected] or visit See ad, page 13.