Iodine Supplements – ADD & ADHD Epidemic

What reasons are there for so many of our chidlren and youth being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD?  And why do our health professionals pay so little attention to nutrition and biochemistry?  Have we become so indoctrinated and dependent upon the advancements in medicine, or maybe we have forgotten the importance of nutrition.  And might an iodine supplement be effective in helping the physical and mental well being of our children and youth?

Here’s just one of many studies published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 1990.  Two-thirds of children born in an iodine deficient area had attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) whereas none of the children from an iodine-sufficient area had this disorder.  In addition to ADHD these children had IQs 20 points lower than the controls.  The researchers considered that an iodine deficiency caused defective neuromotor and lowered cognitive abilities.

Of course this study selected a population which ate products grown in a region where the soil was depleted of iodine.  Most of us don’t live on islands with a narrowed range of selection but we do eat foods from other parts of our country and the world with little knowledge as to its iodine content.  It is very likely that most produce is grown in iodine deficient soils and that all of us are suffering to some degree from an iodine insufficiency. 

This insufficiency is also passed on from one generation to the next.  It is a well know fact that in the last trimester a woman’s breasts increase in the number of special channels which actively absorb iodine and iodide so that during lactation or breast feeding these important trace minerals will be passed on to the infant.  This initial 6 months of life outside the womb is especially critical for the development of the child’s brain and iodine is known to play a very important role.  Every physician if familiar with the condition of cretinism in children which is a severe stunting of brain and body development due to an iodine deficiency.  I believe iodine deficiency has degrees and is reflected in the increase in the number of our children being labeled by physicians.

From the NY Times, 1996, “Iodine deficiency has caused mental retardation in 50 million children worldwide including 10 million in China” and our World Health Organization (1996) estimates 2 billion people suffere from iodine deficiency disorders. 

Looking at one of the more popular infant formulas, Enfamil, each 5 ounce serving contains 10 mcg of iodine.  Our US Department of Agriculture (USDA), even though they are working with the false premise of 150 mcg of iodine being adequate for health, provides a listing of nutrient recommendations and iodine for newborns is 110 mcg.  I consider this to be an absolute minimum daily requirement.  So you can see that if a child is not breast fed the will be deficient in iodine and suffer the long term mental and physical consequences.  It’s also interesting to note that they upped their recommendation to 220 mcg for lactating women. 

By the way the USDA also established what they call their ‘Tollerance Upon Intake’ (TUI) which likely means what a person can take without doing any harm.  For lactating women it’s 2,000 mcg or 2 mg of iodine and for children between the ages of 4 and 8 the TUI is 300 mcg.  The TUI for infants has not been determined.  But for that matter I wonder how they determined 300 mcg for children.

Might the epidemic of children and youth diagnosed with ADD and ADHD be partly due to a lack of iodine?  Absolutely.

Do pediatricians, psychiatrists and other physicians ever consider our children’s need for these two all important trace minerals?  Most often not.

How unfortunate that our society has become so complacent and so far away from our connection with the earth.  Certainly putting a lot more emphasis on nutrition and the eating of organic foods will bring some degree of reassurance but still, I truly believe that we cannot rely solely on foods to provide our bodies and minds with the level of iodine and iodide we need for maximum health.

It’s time to reconsider who is really in charge of the health of our children and youth.  It actually comes down to us.

Dr. Alexander Haskell, N.D.

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Iodine Supplements – Our Children are Deficient


Many people wonder if they should be using iodine supplements for their family.  Just 4 years ago The Australian National Iodine Nutrition Study published an article in the Medical Journal of Australia showing that half of all Australian primary school children are borderline iodine deficient.  If they are considered borderline then they are certainly iodine insufficient.  What does this mean in terms of the problems these children may be having?

Professor Cres Eastman, Director of the National Iodine Nutrition Study states, “The effects of iodine deficiency are dependent upon how severe it is and when it occurs. So if we go to the pregnant woman, she doesn’t get enough iodine, she won’t make enough thyroid hormone, and the foetus won’t get the amount of thyroid hormone it needs for adequate and proper development of the brain, so you’ll then see consequences being loss of IQ, learning difficulties, hearing difficulties and other neurological problems.”

Might an iodine deficiency be one of the major causes of our epidemic in psycho-social-IQ problems and all the labels being placed on our children (ADD, ADHD, etc.)?

Professor Eastman continues, “If an infant’s not getting enough iodine… brain development won’t be completed and they won’t grow normally, and as you get older the problem will be that you will develop a goiter and your thyroid won’t function as well as it should, so this may have all sorts of pernicious effects upon normal function in life.”

Might a long term iodine and iodide insufficiency be one of the underlying causes of our population’s problem with obesity?

Lydia Buchtmann for Food Standards Australia New Zealand, says, “One of the reasons that iodine is going down (in our daily intake) is because people are taking that good healthy eating message and not adding salt during cooking.”

Senior researcher Mu Li, of the University of NSW’s school of public health, said “it is reasonable to assume that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are also iodine deficient, putting the next generation of children born in this country at risk of the neuropsychological consequences of iodine deficiency.”

The recommendations arising from this research is to force industries to include iodide in salt production.  The problem is that salt, or sodium chloride, is not as healthy as sea salt because it includes other trace minerals. 

It would seem to me far easier to simply use iodine supplements including iodide.  A daily dose would be about 25 cents per day, a reasonable cost for such an important health measure.

Consider using iodine and iodide for the whole family.

Dr. Alexander Haskell, N.D.

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The Safe Uses of Iodine Supplements

Iodine is such an amazing, almost miraculous trace element which most of us unfortunately know little about and take for granted.  We know it’s found in products from the sea yet we wonder, “Am I getting enough?” and “Do I need an iodine supplement?”

I say no to the first question and emphatically yes to the second. 

There are a number of very important health reasons for taking these trace minerals which I’ll cover in upcoming posts but for now, a few words of caution.

There are many physicians (MD’s, DO’s, ND’s and Chiropractors) and online marketers recommending and selling iodine supplements which are 100, 200, even 500 times the MDR (minimum daily requirement).  I agree, this MDR of 150mcg is far too little.  It is barely enough to sustain life, not even close to what we need for optimal health.

Yet these megadoses are dangerous!

I know this because I used to be a high-dose iodine & iodide prescriber until I started reviewing follow-up lab tests on patients.  I was shocked, literally shaking at the knees and worried about medical liability.

If you are taking more than 3mg of the combination of iodine and iodide stop today!  It may be harming your thyroid without you even knowing it.

I’ll soon review the biochemical dangers of iodine and iodide and what the medical research and lab tests show.

But I want to clarify something.  The effects of iodine and iodide are truly miraculous if used wisely.  They both play essential roles in physical and mental health.  They are vital during pregnancy and lactation for the health of our offspring.  They have proven to prevent numerous diseases and play a major role in protecting our endocrine system from environmental chemicals.  A healthy life is impossible without iodine and iodide.

Soon I’ll explore hundreds of medical journal articles from around the world to help you realize the importance of iodine supplements, what the optimal doses of these two trace elements are and the reasons why eating products from the sea is just not enough.

Until then…

Dr. Alexander Haskell, N.D.

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The Safe Uses of Iodine Supplements- The Miraculous Qualities of Iodine

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