Few people give much thought to how important iodine is to their health. Iodine plays a significant role regulating your hormone system. You’ve heard people blame weight gain on thyroid problems. If you are struggling to lose weight, it could be you don’t have enough iodine. Iodine is important to a properly functioning thyroid gland. An under or inactive thyroid leads to weight gain, severe fatigue, colder hands and feet, as well as other health problems.
Iodine Increases Testosterone
Even fewer men understand the impact low iodine has on testosterone levels. An iodine deficiency results in increased estrogen production. Iodine inhibits aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. This means more estrogen and less testosterone in men. An iodine supplement is very often necessary to reduce estrogen conversion to retain testosterone that the male body naturally produces.
Iodine also releases bromine and heavy metals from your tissues. Bromide is a known sex drive suppressant. In the past, bromide was given to prisoners for this reason.
We simply do not get enough iodine in our diets.
Not Enough Iodine
People used to get plenty of iodine but changes in our foods and environment have stripped us of iodine sources. In the 1970s, the food industry moved away from iodine-based yeast stabilizers to a bromine-based stabilizer. Not a good thing for men (or women). Additionally, fluoride (in our water supplies) binds to the same receptor in your thyroid as iodine does. The fluoride interferes with your thyroid function and lowers the amount of iodine your thyroid releases to your body and effectively causing men to have low testosterone levels.
Bromine is important because bromine causes the body to defecate iodine and replace it with bromine. Your thyroid hormone needs iodine, not bromine. Bromides are in medicines and cosmetics. It’s lurking in consumer products such as furniture, clothing, mattresses, baby furniture, and computers. Nonorganic potatoes contain bromine. Bromine is in popular drinks such as sodas and Gatorade. Bromides also come in nonorganic peanut butter and some deli meats. Many foods contain brominated flour and brominated vegetable oil (labeled as BVO).
All of this points to the need for an iodine supplement.
The Best Iodine Supplements
Several studies find that daily iodine intake is healthy in the range of 7 mg for men (some studies recommend 12.5 mg) and 13 mg for women. Women need more iodine for other reasons. It doesn’t limit estrogen in women because they produce their own estrogen instead of converting it from testosterone using the enzyme aromatase.
The best iodine supplements contain other healthy nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin d-3 along with iodine and iodide. Iodine supplements do much more than increase testosterone. Iodine also increases hormonal sensitivity of the brain and all body tissues. Iodine acts as an anti-oxidant, is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and controls your body’s cortisol response during stress. For these reasons and other sexual and health reasons, be sure you’re getting enough iodine.