The Importance of Iodine: A Critical Mineral for Optimal Health

The Importance of Iodine: A Critical Mineral for Optimal Health

“Iodine is the body’s first line of defense against infections, the “vehicle” that moves secretions from inside cells to outside cells so they can be used. Iodine is critical to make thyroid hormones (which control cellular voltage) and is necessary to make stomach acid. Most importantly, iodine needs cofactors like selenium and zinc to work correctly. The “Plus” of Lugol’s Plus are those factors to make Iodine work. You can’t just substitute iodine by itself and get the results you need.”

— Dr. Tennant 

Iodine is an essential trace mineral that plays a vital role in our health. It is required to synthesize thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism, oxygenation, and energy production in the body.

In addition to maintaining optimal thyroid function, iodine helps with weight management, hormone balance, cardiovascular health, immune system, mental focus and memory, fetal and childhood development, pregnancy, and reproductive health. Moreover, iodine aids in the treatment of fibromyalgia and migraines, and facilitates heavy metal and halide detoxification.

As you can see, iodine is a critical mineral for our overall health and healing. 

Let's dive in and take a look at a few roles iodine plays in our health...

Supercharges Energy Production and Fires Up the Metabolism

  • Iodine is required to synthesize thyroid hormones. These hormones regulate metabolism, oxygenation and energy production. When we are iodine-deficient, we can lack energy and can feel sluggish.

  • All of the the cells in your body use iodine, and thyroid hormones can increase the body’s need for iodine. Disorders that involve iodine deficiencies may worsen or become more prevalent, such as breast, prostate or thyroid cancers. This is why it may be important for patients taking thyroid hormones to supplement with a high-quality iodine supplement.

  • Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones. Low energy or metabolism are also symptoms of hypothyroidism. When patients take thyroid medications for hypothyroidism, their need for iodine throughout the body (not just for making thyroid hormones) rises due to improved metabolic processes.

Easier Weight Management

  • Iodine helps prevent metabolic weight gain and helps maintain healthier weight and energy levels.

  • Iodine can fire up the metabolism so your body can burn calories more easily.

Hormone Balance and Cancer

  • Iodine promotes hormone balance and production of all the body’s hormones—not just thyroid hormones. Balance is key for disease prevention, as well as an overall sense of well-being.

  • Iodine helps regulate hormone production and balance estrogen production in the ovaries in females and adrenal tissues in men, which can stimulate the development and progression of hormone-related cancers such as breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical and prostate cancers.

  • Estrogen dominance in both men and women is dramatically increased in iodine-deficient, hypothyroid states. Estrogen dominance also appears to be a significant risk factor in the development of hormone-related cancers.

  • Incidence of hormone-related cancers (breast, ovarian, uterine, prostate and cervical) and stomach, lung, esophagus, thyroid and throat cancer are markedly increased in iodine-deficient patients.

  • Incidence of goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland because of iodine deficiency) and breast and prostate cancers, have a direct relationship with iodine levels. Two studies done in Iceland and Japan—populations with high iodine intake—have shown a much lower incidence of breast and prostate cancers and goiter compared to other populations.

  • Iodine helps prevent fibrocystic breast disease and is used successfully to treat fibrocystic diseases such as uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.

Cardiovascular Health

  • Iodine supplementation can naturally reduce the amount of circulating cholesterol by helping to address one of the underlying causes of high-cholesterol: hormone imbalances and deficiencies. Cholesterol is the precursor to sex steroidal hormones and adrenal hormones.

  • Iodine sufficiency can help prevent or alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome starting with the hallmark: hypothyroidism. Clinical studies show a direct correlation between iodine deficiency and the cascade of other diseases related to metabolic syndromes such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Strong Immune System

  • Iodine destroys viruses, bacteria, pathogens, molds, fungi, parasites and malaria on contact.

  • Iodine helps prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

  • Iodine treats and helps prevent h. Pylori—a bacterial infection of the stomach—that has been connected with ulcers and gastric cancer.

Mental Focus, Clarity and Memory

  • Children born to women with higher iodine levels showed a decrease in SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and a higher childhood survival rate.

  • Iodine can even make us smarter as it promotes sharp thinking, mental focus, cognitive functioning, and helps eliminate brain fog in adults.

Normal Fetal and Childhood Development

  • Iodine makes children smarter. Iodine is essential for normal growth and development of children. Pregnant women who are iodine-deficient have children with a greater risk of mental development issues. A study showed a 15-point reduction in children’s IQ when pregnant women were iodine-deficient.

  • Iodine helps support proper fetal development and growth along with speech and hearing development.

  • The percentage of pregnant women with iodine deficiency increased 690% between the NHANES I (1974) and NHANES ii (2000) studies. It is well-known that a low maternal iodine level in fetal development is associated with higher levels of cretinism, mental development issues, autism, ADD, SIDS, ALS and other myelin disorders.

Pregnancy and Reproductive Health

  • Adequate iodine levels can also be important in the treatment of infertility, because iodine is essential for healthy hormone balance.

  • Pregnant women who have adequate iodine are also less likely to experience high blood pressure during pregnancy.

  • Iodine can help prevent and treat endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts related to hormonal imbalance and dysfunction.

Fibromyalgia and Migraines

  • Iodine helps reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.

  • Iodine supplementation helps resolve migraine headaches and other types of chronic headaches for many patients.

Heavy Metal and Halide Detoxification

  • Adequate iodine levels reduce the amount of halide toxicity in the body from fluoride (in water), chlorine (in water) and bromine (in bread preservatives and carpet flame retardants).

  • Iodine levels can be affected by halides. Halides successfully compete for iodine’s binding sites on cells and hormones, rendering them ineffective. For example, thyroid hormones may contain atoms of bromine rather than iodine, as they should. This results in inactive thyroid hormones. This is why some practitioners and patients are perplexed at “normal” thyroid hormone test results, with hypothyroid symptoms.

  • Iodine helps prevent lead and other metals from being stored in the body.

Radioactivity Protection

  • Iodine helps prevent the effects of radiation exposure from the use of cordless phones and cell phones.

  • Normal iodine levels can protect the thyroid and the rest of the body from radioactivity generated by nuclear accidents, such as the radiation drift from the Fukushima disaster that crossed the Pacific and is still detected on the U.S. mainland.

Healthy Skin, Nails, Teeth and Hair

  • Iodine is essential to the formation of healthy skin, nails, teeth and shiny hair.

  • Iodine supports hair growth and follicle strength.

  • Iodine deficiency results in hair loss.


There is a lot of controversy around Iodine, but as you can see, it is an essential trace mineral that plays a crucial role in human health.  As always, we recommend that you consult with your healthcare practitioner.


Want to Learn More? Check out our Educational Materials:

Iodine: The Controversy (41 min Video)

Understanding Lugol's Iodine (27 min Video)

Guide to Taking Dr. Tennant's® Lugol's Iodine Liquid & Capsules
[Free Download]

Featured Products in This Article:

Dr. Tennant's® Lugol's Iodine Liquid

Dr. Tennant’s® Logol's Iodine Liquid

A great solution for supporting the body’s need for iodine and iodide. Iodine is one of the few elements required for cellular health that the body cannot produce, so it needs to be supplemented through food or additional nutrition. 

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Dr. Tennant’s® Lugol's Iodine Plus CapsulesDr. Tennant’s® Lugol's Iodine Plus Capsules

 A complete iodine supplement solution with necessary co-factors Zinc, Selenium, B1 as well as Fulvic and Vitamin C necessary for proper iodine metabolism. 

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