Archives for: March 2008, 28
After I wrote my blog about my mammogram, a reader left me a note to look into the connection between iodine and breast tissue. That sent me on a Google search that lasted several days. It turns out that there are a group of doctors who believe that it is the lack of iodine in the American diet that has led to an increase in breast cancer, polycystic breast and ovary disease, ADHD, and low thyroid function since the 1960s.
I wouldn't dare to summarize all that I read. I am a volunteer blogger and I have no medical experience or expertise. But let me include two links to get you started if you want to do your own research.
The first will take you to some MP3 interviews about iodine and health. The second will take you to the Linus Pauling Institute, which I thought did a good job of presenting both sides of the issue.
Of course the thing in the interviews that immediately caught my attention was the connection between lack of iodine and calcifications like the mammogram found. In addition I remembered that I had for a long time been suspicious that my Darling Daughter might be low on thyroid. She is always cold, and her hands are icy. I have even given her kelp tablets from time to time, but never on a consistent basis.
I remembered reading years ago that one way to check for iodine deficiency was to paint a spot of iodine on your skin. If it is quickly absorbed, you are deficient. The place where I give blood uses iodine to clean my skin before the donation. There was always visible color when they wrapped my arm, and the color was always gone when I unwrapped my arm at night.
So I bought some iodine and painted DD, HH, and myself. Within an hour all of our spots had faded. Within 4-5 hours the iodine was gone.
In my 40+ years of being interested in nutrition, I have read about lots of megavitamin therapies, and I've avoided all of them. I believe in balance, not in extremes. I was uncomfortable with the 12 - 50 mg of iodine recommended by the doctors on the recordings. However clearly we needed more iodine than what we were getting in our diet plus the 150 mcg (RDA) in our multiple vitamins.
I was interested in the Linus Pauling reference to 1.1mg as the "tolerable upper intake level." I decided - somewhat randomly I admit - to up our kelp supplements to just below 2mg and to eat more seaweed.
After two weeks, I did another skin test on myself. The iodine stain again faded rapidly. Two weeks later I tried again. This time my stain stayed visible all day. DD's faded in a few hours, but not as quickly as it had in the first test. I cut my kelp supplement to the 1mg level, but left her at a little under 2mg.
If I had paid more attention to the Type O food lists that were right in front of my nose, Dr. D might have set me straight years ago. As DD and I have tried to reach a conclusion about the GTD and the BTD, we have built a database with the food lists from the GenoType Diet, the BTD, and the three books I own from the Eat Right Health Library. It makes it easier to compare the way the foods are ranked in the different books.
Seaweed is beneficial on the Type O diet. Three of the five specific seaweeds are either beneficial or super beneficial on the Hunter diet. Perhaps most important seaweed is both super beneficial and a top 12 food on both the menopause and cancer Type O diets.
Seaweed is only listed as neutral on the Type A diet. However on the Teacher diet three of the five seaweeds are super beneficial.
I had never eaten seaweed when I started the BTD. Because it was beneficial, I bought sushi nori papers and dried seaweed flakes. It took a while to get used to the taste, but I did. I ate them once every week or two, but I never realized that I really should be eating them daily. I'm looking for creative ways to include more seaweed in our diets. In the meantime, we will continue taking kelp supplements.