An Iodine Crisis | 5 of 10

Posted On Jun 3, 2019 by Dr. Max MacCloud DO, ND, PhD

Part 5 of 10

This is part 5 of this series and continues the explanation of why we have an 'Iodine Crisis.'

Significantly More Iodine is lost in sweat than previously thought. Iodine is not generally grouped in with electrolytes or thought of as something we might sweat out, but it appears to be both.

In a simple yet elegant experiment on high school soccer players reported in The Archives of Environmental Health (May-Jun, 2001; 56(3):271-7) this was clearly demonstrated. The study authors were from the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.

They compared the electrolyte loss from profuse sweating in high school soccer players vs a control group of more sedentary peers. In addition to Iodine, they evaluated sodium, potassium, and calcium losses and status. They analyzed both sweat and urine. The mean losses from just a one hour game were 52mcg, 1,896mg, 248mg, and 20mg, respectively for Iodine, Sodium, Potassium, and Calcium. Recall that the US RDA for Iodine is only 150mcg and approx 80+% of Americans fail to even consume that much.

Alarmingly, 46% of the soccer players had Grade I goiter, compared with a mere 1% of the sedentary students. The results were highly significant with a chance of less than 1 in a 100 that this was due to chance.

Obviously, goiter didn't develop from a single hour of profuse sweating, it is a result of consistent Iodine losses on an ongoing basis together with inadequate intake.

This helps us to understand what many already know, increased physical activity &/or significant perspiration, depletes our bodies of various nutrients. Most, if not all, of us who choose to exercise regularly, do so to enhance our health and wellbeing. It should be obvious that we also need to be aware of what things are being depleted and make sure we compensate for those losses with our diet and supplementation. Very simply, none of the electrolyte replacement formulations that I've seen come close to providing enough Iodine to help restore depleted levels. That's why I recommend that virtually everyone take a Lugol's Iodine Solution. There are many on the market and they are relatively inexpensive. offers 2 strengths, the original 5% strength (limited to 1oz bottles by the DEA) and the 2.2% strength in 3oz bottles. Whether you buy our version or someone else's, I urge you to seriously consider getting started on this vital nutrient that is simply not in our food supply in sufficient quantities.

Another reason for 'The Iodine Crisis' is an Increased Consumption of Goitrogens.

Goitrogens are substances that can cause goiter due to their negative impact on Iodine absorption &/or interference with the body's ability to make thyroglobulin. Thyroglobulin (Tg) is a glycoprotein (a glycoprotein is simply a protein or peptide with a carbohydrate group attached), it is produced predominantly by the thyroid gland. It acts as a substrate for the synthesis of thyroxine and triiodothyronine (the two main forms of thyroid hormone) as well as the storage of the inactive forms of thyroid hormone and iodine.

Goitrogens include the cruciferous vegetables such as: cabbage, rutabagas, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, turnips, peanuts, mustard seeds, and soybeans. Additional goitrogens are various drugs such as thiourea, thiouracil, sulfonamide, and probably antabuse.

Obviously, these foods also have some good nutritional benefits so no one is saying that they should be avoided. Just be aware that they can and do interfere with iodine absorption and thyroid function. Since most people fail to consume even the ridiculously low RDA levels of Iodine, it simply reinforces the need to be sure to consume additional Iodine on a regular basis. Once again, Lugol's Solution appears to be the best way to do this.

That's it for this installment on 'The Iodine Crisis.'