Monday, January 12, 2015

Iodine and Cancer Prevention

In the June 2014 issue of the Natural Medicine Journal, author Tina Kaczor looks at iodine and the support it can offer around cancer.  In addition to supporting healthy thyroid function, iodine also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can offer anti-cancer support.  Iodine is also involved in cellular pathways that are implicated in cancerous cell growth and death.  Iodine is effective in reducing breast tenderness (non cancer related) and also has the potential to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and reduce the activity of estrogen receptors in breast tissue.  As well a number studies around gastric cancer have found people with gastric cancer to have lower levels of iodine.  And an US survey (NHANES I) found that men who excreted the highest amount of iodine (indicating higher levels of iodine in the body) had a 29% lower risk of prostate cancer than the men who excreted the lowest levels of iodine.  On a supplemental level, molecular iodine is more well tolerated and easier on the thyroid/body than iodide salts although it can be hard to find.  It is important to note that people with auto immune mediated thyroid concerns/thyroid antibodies can have difficulty with supplemental iodine.    One way to increase iodine in our diet in a way that is gentle and easy on most of our systems is to focus on whole foods that are rich in iodine.  Seaweed (kelp, dulse, nori) is rich in iodine and easy to integrate either as a snack or mixed in with soups, grains, beans.  

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