But Don’t I Need Iodized Salt?

IodineBut Don’t I Need Iodized Salt?


Iodine is an important nutrient to the human body.  It is naturally present in sea water, sea vegetables, and sea salt.  It is important for energy production, mental development, production of thyroid hormones and for a strong lymph system. Although small amounts of iodine are found in the blood, nerves, and other organs, most of the body’s iodine is present in the thyroid, ovaries, and uterus.

Women require more than men especially during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause or when there is infection or stress.  Iodine is involved in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus.  It is also important in the absorption of complex carbohydrates.  Iodine helps the digestion of carbohydrates which in turn will help with weight problems and sugar cravings.

Because iodine is not available to inland populations and deficiency of iodine produces goiter and other thyroid disorders, iodine is added to processed salt.  Sea salt naturally contains iodine but once it has been washed and/or refined (such as typical table salt or most ‘sea salt’ that are white in color) it doesn’t contain a speck of iodine.  Iodine is therefore added to refined salt.  This is an instance of a product that once contained a multitude of healthful elements which are lost in processing has a few added back and it is ironically called “enriched.” Do you think “enriched” white bread with bleached flour or homemade fresh bread with whole, freshly ground flour is healthier?  The same applies for white, bleached salt/sea salt vs unprocessed salts with high mineral content like Celtic, Himalayan sea salts.

The iodine, added in this artificial and excessive way (an average of 30-1200 times the dosage that occurs in natural salt), passes in the urine within 20 minutes and all of it will have left the body within 24 hours.  In this excessive concentration, iodine can cause hypoplasia (growth due to an increase in cell number) of the thyroid and trigger many other glandular and sexual disorders.  Dr. Esteban Genao states that in his practice he sees many sluggish thyroids.  These people often have faulty metabolisms and fluid retention.  He holds that the main reason for this is the excessive iodine that is added to REFINED salt.

Think of it like the high fructose corn syrup of iodine. The fructose in corn is fine if you’re eating fresh corn on the cob. It’s more of a drug instead of food when processed into HFCS though. Organic iodine (found in seaweeds, oyster, shrimps, unprocessed salt, etc.) is far more effective because it is slowly released into the body.  Celtic Sea Salt naturally contains all of the elements found in the sea, including iodine.

Because iodine does not remain in the blood for long, a daily small supply of organic iodine is vital.  The very minute but precise amount required can be met easily by Celtic unrefined ocean salts.  There is no need to worry about having too much (within reason).  The key is to make sure that the salt is unrefined. The easy way to do that is to avoid ALL white salt. Even “sea salt” is often refined and highly processed. The term sea salt only requires the salt to come from the sea.

It doesn’t matter what they do to the salt after that. Just make sure it has some color.
  • Use unprocessed salt, NOT white in color
    • E.g. Real Salt®, Celtic Sea Salt®, Pink Himalayan Salt, etc.
  • Salt food ‘to taste.’
  • At least ¼ to ½ teaspoon daily on food.
  • Some doctors recommend a teaspoon in one cup of water to drink in the event of stomach pains and viral infections (in children and adults).

You’re probably asking yourself right now, “But isn’t salt BAD for you.” The reality is that it depends on the salt you’re using. All the research that most doctors reference when pointing out the “dangerous” of salt were studies conducted with REFINED salt and not natural salts that are high in other trace minerals.

If you are concerned about your iodine or salt intake or would like more information about whole food therapy, talk to Dr. Wickstrom about getting a nutritional exam and whole food supplement prescription.

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