Iodine is an essential micronutrient that most people relate with their thyroid function, but can also help in shrinking fibroids. Iodine is indeed important for the production of thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
However, the reality is that iodine is a vital nutrient for the entire human body and all human organs.
Iodine is vital for an effective metabolism. It is present in almost every organ and tissue in the body; iodine pumps (the sodium/iodine symporter) are detected on the cell surface of the gut, breasts, ovaries, prostate, salivary glands, thymus gland (adaptive immune system), skin, choroid plexus in the brain (makes cerebrospinal fluid), joints, arteries, and bones.
Because our body cannot produce iodine, we need to take it through the food we eat or iodine supplementation.
The main source of iodine was once iodized salt. But nowadays the majority of people don’t buy iodized salt anymore. Besides, iodine easily evaporates from salt and the chloride from the salt prevents iodine absorption.
Because of that, many Americans are iodine deficient and this could lead to serious health problems.
Benefits of iodine
Iodine has numerous health benefits:
- potent antioxidant
- induces apoptosis (programmed cell death)
- has anti-atherosclerotic activity
- removes toxic chemicals (fluoride, bromide, lead, aluminum, mercury)
- anti-viral, -bacterial, and -fungal activity
How can iodine help in shrinking fibroids?
One of the most important characteristics of iodine, when it comes to shrinking fibroids, is its ability to induce apoptosis. Apoptosis or the programmed cell death is essential for two processes: growth and development and destroying dangerous cells, like tumors and infected cells.
Another important iodine property, when it comes to shrinking fibroids, is that iodine has the ability to reduce estrogen-binding to its receptors. For now, there is only scientific evidence that this happens in the breast tissue.
As you already know, excess estrogen is responsible for fibroids growth. If iodine can reduce estrogen binding its receptors in the uterus, this will help in shrinking fibroids.
There is growing evidence that iodine deficiency is related to breast cancer and fibrocystic disease, and that iodine supplementation helps. Although, there is not enough direct scientific evidence that iodine supplementation can help in shrinking fibroids yet, many women reported that it helped them.
Natural sources of iodine
The National Institutes of Health recommends adults to get 150 mcg daily, but some physicians believe that this dose is not enough to prevent and treat breast cancer and fibrocystic disease.
An average American takes about 240 mcg of iodine a day, while average Japanese consumes more than 12 mg of iodine a day (12,000 mcg), a 50-fold greater amount.
So what we are supposed to do when it comes to iodine intake? While experts debate about the recommended daily dose of iodine, we can turn to natural sources.
Good natural sources of iodine are:
- seaweed, including brown algae (kelp), red algae (nori sheets, with sushi), and green algae (chlorella)
- cod fish
- cow’s milk
- baked potato with peel
- boiled eggs
- cooked navy beans
Try to incorporate some of these foods, which are rich in iodine, into your nutrition and it could help you in shrinking your fibroids.