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Image Embedded Rationale for Iodine Supplementation for the Breast
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Published: 13 years ago
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Rationale for Iodine Supplementation for the Breast

Supplement Strategy: Iodine                             

What if there was a nutrient which accomplished the following?

    1. Desensitized estrogen receptors in the breast.

    2. Reduced estrogen production in overactive ovaries.

    3. Reduced fibrocystic breast disease (FDB) which often  precedes breast cancer

    4. Caused more cell death than the chemo drug Fluorouracil .

    5. Prevented rats from getting cancer when they were fed the breast cancer             
    causing toxin DMBA.

 Evidence-based research supports the possibility that breast cancer may be
  an iodine deficiency disease.

As iodine consumption has gone down, breast cancer rates have gone up. But the
research goes far deeper, exploring the effects of iodine supplementation on breast
disease and breast cancer. This important breakthrough has been in the research
pipeline for years but only recently found momentum.  After sifting through 50 years of
iodine research and corresponding with researchers around the world, the editors report
that abnormal iodine metabolism, due either to
bromide dominance in the environment
or a dietary deficiency of iodine, must be addressed as part of a preventive and or a
therapeutic strategy.  

Iodine Deficiency Growing Worse
  • Iodine consumption by Americans has dropped 50% since the 1970s as breast
    cancer rates have risen (1).  In the US Goiter Belt,  where iodine in the soil is
    lower, breast  cancer is higher (2).

  • By contrast, the incidence and severity of breast cancer are less in Japan than
    in Europe and the US, attributable to the diet (3).  Japanese women consume 25
    times more dietary iodine than North American women and have lower breast
    cancer rates (4).

  • Meanwhile, since the 1970s, in the US and several other countries, iodine-
    blocking bromides have been added to flour,  some sodas, and medications,
    exacerbating the iodine deficiency.

  • Flouridated drinking water also depletes iodine absorption. Thus, as women
    consume less iodine and excrete more due to toxic elements, our risk for breast
    cancer grows(5).

Iodine and Benign Breast Disease

  • Blocking iodine in rats' food supply led to progressive human-like fibrocystic
    disease (atypia, sclerosing, calcifications, dysplastic changes) as the rats aged
    (6). Supplementing patients with fibrocystic disease with iodine helped to resolve
    fibrosis and reduced breast size (7).
  • For women with painful breasts accompanying fibrocystic disease, iodine  
    improved symptoms in more than 50% of the women who took 6.0 mg. of iodine
    for 6 months (8), and brown sea alga improved pain and nodularity in 94% of the
    women (9).  From the editors' observations of the Iodine
    Investigation Project participants, depending on the kind of iodine agent used,
    painful breast symptoms have resolved in from 24 hours to two months.
  • Since benign breast disease increases the risk of breast cancer
    (10), and iodine improves fibrocystic disease, we at Breast Cancer Choices
    propose studies to see if iodine supplementation decreases the risk of getting
    breast cancer and the risk of recurrence.

 Iodine and Breast Cancer

  • For breast patients, iodine's therapeutic mechanisms of action may be at least
    three-pronged:  Hormonal (11),  Biochemical (12-18), Genetic (19).

    That is, iodine desensitizes the estrogen receptors, alters the chemical pathways
    as well effects on the genes, resulting in less cell growth, and causing anti-tumor
    effect by causing apoptosis (programmed cell death) of malignant cells.

  • Iodine-rich seaweed exhibits an anti-cancer effect in rats and in the lab on human
    breast cancer cells.

    Adding seaweed to rats' food delays the onset and number of rat mammary
    tumors (20,21). And in the lab, mekabu seaweed plant induced cell death in three
    kinds of human breast cancer cells. Mekabu had a stronger effect on the cells
    than the chemo drug, 5-fluorouracil (22).

  • Adding  iodine to chemically-induced (DMBA) rat breast tumors stops the
    growth of the tumors.  Adding iodine plus medroxyprogesterone gave the
    highestlevel of response: the growth-suppressed tumors showed 100% times
    the iodine content than the full blown (nonsuppressed) tumors. The researchers
    suggest that the uptake of iodine was enhanced by medroxyprogesterone. (23).  
    As David Brownstein, MD, phrased it, "You cannot give breast cancer to rats that
    have sufficient iodine."

  • In small, preliminary patient studies, using the screening iodine-loading test,
    breast cancer patients excreted less urinary iodine than healthy people, implying
    iodine-deficiency (24,25)

Accumulating data has inspired several prominent researchers to call for the
immediate study of iodine as an adjuvant therapy for breast cancer (comparable
to the current use of Tamoxifen or Arimidex).


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