A good friend of ours just went through an ordeal with diagnosis and
treatment of breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer has
increased to 1 in 8 women, with 4,000 new cases weekly.
You might ask, could there be a preventive measure which is safe,
cheap and widely available that has been overlooked?
The answer is YES , and it's the essential mineral, Iodine , which was
added to table salt in 1924 as part of a national program to prevent
Goiter. It turns out that this same Iodine in table salt is the key to
breast cancer prevention as proposed by the following list of
Guy Abraham, MD (1), Robert Derry MD PHD (2) (3), David Brownstein MD
(4) (5), George Flechas MD (6), Donald Miller, M.D. (7) (8)
Our Diet is Iodine Deficient:
The problem is that we have been told to avoid salt because it causes
high blood pressure, so dietary intake of iodine has dropped to low
levels and we have a generalized iodine deficiency in the population.
Currently 15% of the US adult female population is classified by the
World Health Organization (WHO) as iodine deficient. (9)
The RDA for Iodine is too Low for Optimal Health:
According to Guy Abraham MD, our dietary intake of Iodine is too low,
set at 150 mcg by the government RDA. Dr. Guy Abraham tells us that a
healthier level of Iodine intake would be 100 times greater at 12.5
mg, which is the average Iodine intake for Japan, and this higher
Iodine intake could explain why the Japanese have the lowest rates for
cancer of the breast, prostate and thyroid.
How Safe is Iodine Supplementation?
Very Safe. Iodine is the only trace element that can be ingested
safely in amounts up to 100,000 times the RDA. For example, potassium
iodide has been prescribed safely to large numbers pulmonary (COPD)
patients in amounts of up to 6 grams per day for several years. This
potassium iodide is a well known treatment for COPD which helps
mobilize lung secretions. (18)
The FDA has officially stated that Iodine supplementation is safe and
actually recommends 165 mg of Iodine for adults in case of Radiation
Emergency to protect the population from thyroid cancer. (17)
"Iodine allergy" is a misnomer since this name applies to allergy to
iodinated radiographic contrast agents, and not to elemental iodine
which is quite different. (10)
Iodine Deficiency causes Fibrocystic Breast Disease, Breast Cancer and
Iodine, a well known topical antiseptic and antimicrobial agent, also
directly kills cancer cells and serves as the key player in our body's
surveillance system for removing abnormal pre-cancer cells. There is
considerable medical research to support this statement. Dr. B.A.
Eskin published 80 papers over 30 years researching iodine and breast
cancer, and he reports that iodine deficiency causes breast cancer and
thyroid cancer in humans and animals. (11) (12) Iodine deficiency is
also known to cause a pre-cancerous condition called fibrocystic
breast disease. (13)
Ghent published a paper in 1993 which showed iodine supplementation
works quite well to reverse and resolve fibrocystic changes of the
breast, and this is again the subject of a current clinical study.
Despite its obvious potential, not much has been done with Iodine
treatment over the past 40 years in the United States. Since iodine
isn't patentable and is therefore unlikely to be profitable to market,
there is no money to fund studies for "FDA approval". However, FDA
approval is not required since Iodine is already an additive to table
salt at the supermarket.
Iodine Deficiency Diseases
As an interventional radiologist working in the hospital for 25 years,
a large part of my job was evaluating thyroid abnormalities, nodules,
and cysts with ultrasound, radionuclide scans, and needle biopsy.
Although it was obvious these common thyroid abnormalities were due to
iodine deficiency, I often wondered why none of the patients ever
received iodine supplementation. The obvious answer is they should
have been and that this is a blind spot in mainstream medicine.
Another part of my day was spent reading mammograms and breast
ultrasound studies. Fibrocystic breast disease was quite common, and
these women would return for needle aspiration procedure of the many
breast cysts, and needle biopsy of the benign solid nodules. Many of
these ladies returned multiple times for the procedures because the
medical system had no useful treatment to offer them. Well, as we have
just discussed, we now know there is a very useful medical treatment,
namely, Iodine supplementation which not only resolves breast cysts
and fibrocystic breast disease, it also resolves ovarian cysts and
thyroid cysts. Actually Iodine supplementation has always been
available, but again this is a blind spot in mainstream medicine, and
hospital based physicians are unaware of it.
Which Iodine Supplement ?
There are many. Lugol's Solution has been used for many years. A new
one is the 12.5 mg Iodoral tablet from Optimox (16) and is the iodine
supplement tablet made by Dr. Guy Abraham, a former professor of
obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA who started "The Iodine Project" in
1997, and engaged two family practice physicians, Jorge Flechas and
David Brownstein to carry out clinical studies of the hypothesis that
the body needs 12.5 mg of iodine a day. More than 4,000 patients in
this project consumed Iodine supplements from 12 to 50 mg per day, and
in those with diabetes, up to 100 mg a day. They reported their
findings that Iodine does indeed reverse fibrocystic disease; diabetic
patients require less insulin; hypothyroid patients require less
thyroid medication; symptoms of fibromyalgia resolve, and patients
with migraine headaches stop having them.
The Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Szent Györgi (1893-1986), the physician
who discovered vitamin C, used Iodine freely in his medical practice.
The standard dose of potassium iodide given in those days was 1 gram,
which contains 770 mg of iodine.
Dr. Albert Szent Györgi writes:
"When I was a medical student, iodine in the form of KI (Potassium
Iodide) was the universal medicine. Nobody knew what it did, but it
did something and did something good.
We students used to sum up the situation in this little rhyme:
If ye don't know where, what, and why Prescribe ye then K and I"
In view of all the above, I personally take one Iodoral tablet (12.5
mg Iodine) daily as do all of my family members. Iodoral is available
without a prescription as a nutritional supplement from VRP (Vitamin
Research Products). A bottle of 90 tablets is about 25 dollars plus
shipping. Visit this page of my web site for more thyroid related
Regards from, Jeffrey Dach, M.D. drdach http://www.drdach.com/
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References for Iodine and Breast Cancer Prevention
(1) Guy Abraham MD Iodine references at Optimox.com
(2) Breast Cancer and Iodine : How to Prevent and How to Survive
Breast Cancer by Dr. David Derry M.D., Ph.D.
(3) Dr. David Derry Answers Reader Questions Brought to you by Mary
Shomon, Your Thyroid Guide http://thyroid.about.com/library/derry/bl1a.htm
(4) Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It (2nd
(5) Clinical Experience with Inorganic Non-radioactive Iodine/Iodide
David Brownstein, M.D.
(7) Iodine for Health by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
(8) Iodine in Health and Disease by Don Miller MD
(9) Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1996;66(4):350-62. Total diet study:
estimated dietary intakes of nutritional elements,
1982-1991.Pennington JA, Schoen SA. Center for Food Safety and Applied
Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC 20204,
(10) Effect of daily ingestion of a tablet containing 5 mg iodine and
7.5 mg iodide as the potassium salt, for a period of 3 months, on the
results of thyroid function tests and thyroid volume by ultrasonometry
in ten euthyroid Caucasian women by Guy E. Abraham M.D., Jorge D.
Flechas M.D., and John C. Hakala R. Ph.
(11) Bernard A. Eskin et al. Rat mammary gland atypia produced by
iodine blockade with perchlorate. Cancer Res. 1975 Sep;35(9):2332-9
(12) Cancer Research 46, 877-883, February 1, 1986] © 1986 American
Association for Cancer Research Dietary Iodine Deficiency as a Tumor
Promoter and Carcinogen in Male F344/NCr Rats1 Masato Ohshima2 and
Jerrold M. Ward3
(13) Hartmann, Lynn C. , et al. Benign Breast Disease and the Risk of
Breast Cancer . N Engl J Med Volume 353;3:229-237 July 21, 2005
(14) Ghent,W.R., Eskin,B.A., Low,D.A., Hill, L.P.. Iodine replacement
in fibrocystic disease of the breast. Can J Surg 1993; 36:453-460.
(15) Clinical Trial for Iodine treatment of Fibrocystic Breast
(16) Iodoral from Optimox
(17) Guidance on Potassium Iodide as a Thyroid Blocking Agent in
Radiation Emergencies, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
(CDER), December 2001
(18) Bernecker C. Acta Allergol. 1969 Sep;24(3):216-25. Intermittent
therapy with potassium iodide in chronic obstructive disease of the
airways. A review of 10 years' experience.
Jeffrey Dach, M.D. drdach
© 2007 all rights reserved Jeffrey Dach MD
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