Book Review: The Iodine Crisis by Lynne Farrow

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The Iodine Crisis: What You Don't Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life

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This post is the first of a regular series of weekly book reviews. I’ll be reviewing books every Friday from now on.

Book Review: The Iodine Crisis by Lynne Farrow

Iodine supplementation has been a controversial topic in the real food community for a number of years. Many experts advocate taking iodine supplements, but some people have come out and questioned whether or not we should be taking iodine. The new book, [easyazon-link asin=”098603200X” locale=”us”]The Iodine Crisis: What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life[/easyazon-link] by Lynne Farrow is a very important contribution to the ongoing debate.

According to Lynne Farrow’s book, “Over the last 40 years, iodine levels have declined over 50 percent. The consequences of this decline are severe — including epidemic increases in illnesses of the breast, thyroid, ovaries, uterus, and prostate.”

Breast Cancer Diagnosis

When Lynne was diagnosed with breast cancer, instead of following the conventional route of surgery/radiation/chemo, she searched for an alternative solution. And she found iodine.

She founded Breast Cancer Choices, a non-profit website devoted to educating people about iodine and breast cancer.

Bromine and Iodine Deficiency

Lynne writes, “I discovered the anti-iodine element, bromine, was added to flour at the same time iodine was removed — in the 1970s. Iodine disappeared just as bromines came charging in. Besides bread and flour, bromine chemicals became an environmental hazard as they were added to mattresses, foods and other consumer products, purging much of our dietary iodine.”

She goes on to write:

Breast cancer rates have risen since the 1970s as iodine consumption decreased and anti-iodine bromine exposure increased. I also looked at the Department of Defense statistics on bromide exposure in Gulf War veterans. The bromism symptoms seem to parallel other exposures, especially the ubiquitous brominated fire retardants that we sleep on every night and sit on every day in furniture.”
Bromide pesticides and fire retardants will wind up being the new DDT, a pesticide banned in 1972, is still present in the breast tissue of women born later than that date.”
“Iodine is the biochemical “antidote” for toxic bromine but it takes time. Bromine is a persistent chemical bully. Like any bully, it has to be outflanked, outnumbered and outwitted. The right dosage of iodine is your ally.

Dispelling Iodine Myths

In [easyazon-link asin=”098603200X” locale=”us”]The Iodine Crisis: What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life,[/easyazon-link] Lynne Farrow dispels many myths. Including the idea that you can get enough iodine from eating a lot of seafood (you’d have to eat over 4 pounds per day). And the myth that you can get enough iodine in iodized salt. And the myth that iodine supplementation is toxic.

Farrow explains the best form of iodine to take (Iodoral or Lugol’s) and why kelp is not recommended.

She explains why women and particularly nursing women need more iodine:

“In animals, blocking dietary iodine will cause the breasts to swell, develop nodules, fibrous tissue and cysts in a way that parallels the progressive development of breast disease in women. When iodine is supplied, the fibrocystic disease goes away. When iodine is blocked again, the breast disease returns.”
“In nursing mothers, the body will take iodine from the thyroid if necessary in order to make sure the baby gets enough. It’s one reason some women hold onto post-baby weight. Less iodine going to their thyroids and more to the baby via the breast could slow down metabolism.”

Farrow also debunks the myth that Hashimoto’s patients can’t take iodine:

“Originally, practitioners thought there might be a problem with Hashimoto’s patients taking iodine. Now we’ve found that so-called problem is a myth perpetrated by those promoting an incomplete iodine protocol. After much study by the experienced iodine practitioners, it has become clear that iodine deficiency is often the most direct cause of Hashimoto’s combined with selenium deficiency.”

If you’re interested in preventing breast cancer, this book is a must-read.

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