Iodine for Radiation: Why You’re Still Deficient


Prior to the next possible intensification in the Fukushima crisis, it’s important to prepare your body so you’re protected to the best of your ability.  While people tend to scramble for potassium iodide in the midst of heightened radiation fears, what they don’t understand is that iodine won’t remain in the body at optimum levels immediately, or even after a month of daily supplementation.  A proper schedule of iodine supplementation needs to be implemented months prior to any radioactive exposure to fully utilize the defenses iodine can provide.

Dr. Guy Abraham pioneered iodine research in the 1970s and found that iodine was needed in much larger doses long-term than was, and is, conventionally thought.  While the FDA recommended intake is still only 490mcg per day, Dr. Abraham found that you need closer to 25 to 30 times that amount for optimum health.  This amount is in fact the typical daily intake for the average Japanese person due to a diet high in seafood and seaweed.  In contrast, today 96% of Americans are severely deficient, and if you begin iodine supplementation at the ideal 12-15 mg per day range, you won’t have enough to create sustainable iodine levels in the body.  At that rate, you would need to wait a year or more before reaching sufficient iodine saturation, such that your thyroid won’t absorb radioactive iodine and other halogens like fluoride.

To normalize your iodine levels, he found you need to supplement with roughly 50mg of iodine per day, and 100mg if you have diabetes, for two to three months before you can taper down to the 12-15mg per day adult maintenance dose.  Even at these conventionally-considered high levels, less than 5% of his patients had any negative reaction like allergies, and all were temporary in nature.  Dr. Gabriel Cousins adds, “no one has ever died from iodine overdose or allergic reactions….Moreover, iodine is a universal health mineral having 22 major health and well-being benefits….My prudent suggestion is that we follow these (Dr. Abraham’s) ideas.”[1]  Nutrition expert David Wolfe agrees, recommending a daily intake of 13-15mg per day.

For the maintenance dose, Dr. Cousins goes on to specifically recommend that “children under 6 years of age take half the adult dose, children 0-2 years take ¼ the adult dose, pregnant women take 47% more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio), and lactating women take 93% more than the adult dose (current FDA ratio)….the risk to benefit ratio of these recommended doses is extremely safe.”[2]

Two ways to check your iodine levels are the iodine skin test and the iodine loading test.  For the iodine skin test, take a drop or two of Lugol’s iodine (or equivalent) and smear a 3”x3” square on an inner portion of your arm.  If all or a significant amount is absorbed within 24 hours, you are probably deficient.  The iodine loading test requires you to submit a urine sample through the mail, but it can provide more exact results.  Just make sure you follow Dr. Abraham’s marker for iodine saturation, not the lab’s if it’s different.  Dr. Abraham’s guide was the following: take a 50mg serving of iodine, and then sample the urine—if you can eliminate 90% or more of the iodine within 24 hours, you’re sufficiently saturated.

Commonly recommended sources of iodine are kelp, Lugol’s iodine, Iodoral iodine, Iosol Formula II iodine, and nascent iodine (contains alcohol, but more potent than other forms of iodine).

Jonathan Cho