Point #5: The Wolff Chaikoff effect, AKA the ‘iodine escape mechanism’, has been verified in vitro and in vivo and is present in all humans without exceptions or variations. Were such a ‘fuse’ not in place, normal variation of Iodine intake could induce cardiotoxic hyperthyroidism. This effect is used when managing patients in a state of hyperthyroid storm. One can suppress thyroid hormone synthesis with pharmacologic doses of Iodine more quickly than with thionamide drugs due to the Wolff Chaikoff effect.
Dr Abraham -
"The W-C effect is supposedly the inhibitory effect of peripheral inorganic Iodide (PII) levels equal to or greater than 0.2 mg/L (10-6M) on the organification of Iodide by the thyroid gland of rats, resulting supposedly in hypothyroidism and goiter. These rats never became hypothyroid and thyroid hormones were not measured in their plasma. Nevertheless, the W-C effect, which did not even occur in the rats, was extrapolated to humans. The correct interpretation of the results obtained in rats from the W-C experiments is: Iodide sufficiency of the thyroid gland was achieved when serum inorganic iodide levels reached 10-6M, as we previously discussed.2-4 These law-abiding rats refused to become hypothyroid and instead followed their normal physiological response to the iodide load. They were unjustly accused of escaping from the W-C effect. Labeling these innocent rats as fugitives from the W-C effect was a great injustice against these rodents.
To the disgrace and stupidity of the medical profession, US physicians swallowed the W-C forgery uncritically, which resulted in a moratorium on the clinical use of inorganic, non-radioactive Iodine in effective amounts. However, this moratorium did not include toxic organic iodine-containing drugs and radioiodide. The iodophobic mentality prevented further research on the requirement for inorganic, non-radioactive iodine by the whole human body, which turns out to be 100-400 times the very recently established RDA.2-4 Prior to World War II and the W-C publication, US physicians used Lugol solution safely, effectively and extensively in both hypo- and hyperthyroidism.3 Wolff and Chaikoff acknowledged the excellent and dramatic results achieved consistently with the use of Lugol solution in hyperthyroidism.1 But they postulated erroneously that these results were due to the fictitious W-C effect. In the discussion section of their publication, Wolff and Chaikoff1 stated: "Ever since the introduction of iodine therapy for the treatment of Graves' disease by Plummer in 1923,6 the mechanism by which iodine brings about a dramatic remission of signs and symptoms in patients suffering from this disease has attracted considerable attention … we do believe that our findings, even though they deal with normal thyroid tissue, justify the conclusion that an interference in organic binding of iodine by the gland is an integral part of the mechanism by which iodine brings about a remission in Graves' disease."
"Let us recapitulate by defining the W-C effect. When normal rats are injected with a single intraperitoneal dose of Potassium Iodide mixed with radioiodide tracer, in amounts five times or more greater than the total amounts of iodide measured in the thyroid gland of those rats, the organic binding of radioiodide by the thyroid becomes undetectable as long as serum levels of inorganic iodide are maintained above 19 ug percent (10-6M). As we previously discussed,2 radioiodide uptake by the thyroid gland should be zero when stable (non-radioactive) iodide sufficiency of the thyroid gland is achieved. Therefore, the so-called blockage of organification of radioiodide by the thyroid gland when serum inorganic iodide reached 10-6M is really the amount of serum inorganic iodide needed for thyroid sufficiency.2 There is no blockage of organification of stable iodide by the thyroid gland.
The fictitious W-C effect initiated the iodophobic era, which is still alive and well more than 50 years later. This was the beginning of the end of inorganic, non-radioactive iodine in the form of Lugol solution, used extensively by pre-World War II US physicians for both hypo- and hyperthyroidism.3 What was it about this publication that caused the capitulation of US physicians who exchanged Lugol solution for thyroid hormones in iodine deficiency-induced hypothyroidism and simple goiter and for toxic goitrogens and radioiodide in iodine deficiency-induced hyperthyroidism? The answer is medical iodophobia, the fear of using and recommending inorganic, non-radioactive iodine in amounts previously used safely and effectively in medical practice. What was it in the 1948 Wolff-Chaikoff publication1 and in Wolff's review7 that resulted in medical iodophobia? The answer is that they were iodophobic publications. What is an iodophobic publication? It is a publication that promotes iodophobic misinformation in order to discourage the use of inorganic, non-radioactive iodine in the proper amount.
Medical iodophobia resulted in the thyroid hormone thyroxine replacing iodine in iodine deficiency-induced simple goiter and hypothyroidism. Thyroxine has been the most prescribed drug in the US for several years. So, the manufacturers of thyroxine benefited tremendously from this deception. It also resulted in the destruction of the thyroid gland by means of radioiodide in patients with hyperthyroidism caused by iodine deficiency, although this condition had previously been treated successfully with Lugol solution.3 The radioablation of the thyroid gland with radioiodide resulted in 90% of these patients becoming hypothyroid within the first year and eventually joining the ever-increasing thyroxine-consuming population.3
Supplying thyroid hormones to iodine-deprived individuals masks the iodine deficiency and can result in a zombie-like effect. The patients are capable of performing physical work but are not able to think and reason at maximum capacity. An even greater negative effect is realized if iodine deprivation is combined with goitrogen saturation, using the potent goitrogens bromide, fluoride, and perchlorate in the food and water supply.
Iodine is involved in many vital mental and physical functions, and yet whole body sufficiency for iodine has never been determined. Why? Medical textbooks discuss inorganic, non-radioactive iodine only in relation to the most severe deficiencies of this essential element: cretinism, hypothyroidism, and endemic goiter. Based on an iodine/iodide loading test developed by the author to assess whole body sufficiency for iodine, the amounts of iodine needed for whole body sufficiency and optimal physical and mental health are 250-1,000 times higher than the amount of iodine needed to control cretinism, hypothyroidism, and endemic goiter.3-4"
"According to Wolff,7 iodine intake of 2 mg or more is considered "excessive and potentially harmful." So, Nishiyama, et al22 divided those 15 infants into two groups: one group with maternal intake of iodine below 2 mg and another group with maternal intake above 2 mg. However, in both groups, the reported intake of iodine by the pregnant women was much lower than the national average intake of iodine.2
Nishiyama, et al22 reported that their so-called control group of pregnant women ingested only 0.25-0.48 mg iodine/day, which is within the range of iodine intake in the US. Women in their control group were asked to abstain from seaweed for a few days. How convenient! In the mothers who supposedly ingested "excessive iodine" from their diet, the amount of iodine ingested was 5-10 times lower than the national average intake by mainland Japanese.2,3 Normal thyroid hormones and TSH were observed in these women. All 15 infants from these mothers had normal serum free T4 levels. The physical and psychomotor developments of the 15 infants were normal.
After centuries of consuming safely large amounts of iodine from seaweed, why would iodine in seaweed suddenly become toxic to mainland Japanese? The data presented in Nishiyama's publication do not justify the alarming implication of the title of that publication. The expression "excessive iodine intake" is taken from Wolff's review.7 More than 50 years after the Wolff-Chaikoff forgery, it is still quoted in iodophobic publications.