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 drugFluorouracil.
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).