Most of us never consider the link between diet and chronic fatigue or insomnia. A body produces negative warning reactions when it has too much or too little of any given thing. Most of us lack vital nutrients like the B vitamins, which are found in most vegetables. They are weakened by cooking, and they are destroyed whenever they are microwaved.

Iodine is an element that is found in trace amounts throughout the human body. It is the foundation of all nutrition, since cells need it to regulate their metabolism. When lacking iodine, people are known to suffer from swollen glands in the throat, thyroid diseases, increased fluoride toxicity, decreased fertility rates, increased infant mortality rates, sugar regulation problems, and (with severe deficiency) mental retardation. It has been theorized as a cause of A.D.H.D. for newborns of iodine deficient mothers. Iodine is the only substance known to neutralize fluoride stored inside the body, and it can shield against some radiation damage.

A New York Times syndicate reported:

"Besides causing unsightly goiters, iodine deficiency slows all the systems of the body: The digestive system becomes sluggish, nails grow more slowly, skin and hair become dry and dull, tendon reflexes stiffen, sensitivity to cold increases, and the pulse slows. Iodine helps form who we are to such an extent that a deficiency can lead to a dulling of the personality, deterioration of attention and memory, increase in irritability due to fatigue and extreme apathy."

Iodine deficiencies, soy consumption, and fluoride exposure are all causes of the hypothyroidism epidemic. Hypothyroidism generally strikes women, causing fatigue, weight gain, and cancers amongst many other problems. Therefore, we recommend topical applications of iodine, because there is no known toxicity when it is absorbed through the skin into the blood. No person anywhere understands why, but it is a verifiable fact that low to moderate amounts of iodine are harmless when absorbed transdermally.

Organic iodine is found in some foods naturally, including eggs, sea salt, cheese, asparagus, garlic, beans, spinach, and beef. As is usual with all of the critical minerals, iodine is found in higher amounts in organic foods, and there is no comparison between organic iodine and the chemically synthesized versions of iodine found in retailer products and or those so often sold by quacks. The difference is a glaring example of the difference between God-made and man-made foods.

The Iodine Speed Test / Iodine Patch Test

Most people are deficient in iodine, and there is a simple test that can be used by anyone to determine if he is deficient. This is the test that was once used by the establishment, and from our studies of it, we still believe that it is more reliable than the modern blood tests. Here is the simple procedure:

  1. Apply standard 2% topical iodine in a circular area that is about the size of a silver dollar (2 inches) on the abdomen, and allow it to completely dry before redressing.
  2. Check to see if it disappears within 12 hours.

If the iodine disappears within 12 hours, then the test subject is iodine deficient. This test works due to the fact that the skin absorbs iodine at the rate at which it is needed. We do not pretend to understand the whole process, but the results accurately and reliably reflect iodine consumption in the diet. Whenever a person is ill, transdermal iodine will absorb especially rapidly because iodine helps to produce the hormones which fuel the immune system. In our own testing, we have witnessed a 4 to 5 times absorption increase during periods of high stress or illness.

Apply the iodine cautiously, for real iodine is brown and it will stain almost anything. Always avoid the harmful substitutes for iodine, such as clear iodine and povidone iodine.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

There is a lot of conflicting information on the Internet regarding the application of iodine for those with Hashimoto's, with much of it being entirely wrong. Iodine dosage is especially important in Hashimoto thyroiditis cases, since an overdose can destroy the patient's thyroid. However, a small amount of iodine does actually help this condition. Problems tend to occur for those who consume potassium iodide supplements, and those who internally consume iodine drops. There is greatly reduced risk with iodine applied transdermally, as we generally recommend. Remember that transdermal application allows a body to better self-regulate iodine absorption.

If you feel that you must consume iodine orally, then get it through supplementing with red marine algae. It is the safest natural source for oral iodine supplementation, but other underwater vegetation generally contains toxins such as heavy metals and PCB's. You can also get iodine safely by eating fish. The oral intake of potassium iodide is a much safer alternative to iodine amongst those who are careful not to overdose, but people should beware of additives such as sodium benzoate. Potassium iodide should never be used by those with Hashimoto's disease.

The Insanity of Ingesting Iodine

Skull and cross bones emblem on iodine bottleLugol's iodine is a special formulation of iodine that is sold by quacks who proclaim it to be a supplement for internal consumption. They suggest that it is a medicine for an endlessly growing plethora of diseases, but they are careful to never actually call it a medicine, lest they risk imprisonment. They present Lugol's iodine as the gold standard of iodines for drinking. The formulation is 5 g. of chemically extracted iodine, and 10 g. of potassium iodide per 100 milliliters of distilled water. There are rogue people who advocate drinking as much as three teaspoons of such chemically-extracted iodine daily; to supposedly cure and prevent countless illnesses. What it really does in the long term is damage the liver and obliterate the thyroid, awhile producing a very high risk of heart attacks. In some cases, these people are even feeding it to small children in what is blatantly child abuse.

Dr. Guy E. Abraham and his close partner Dr. David Brownstein have been repeatedly quoted and cited by the quacks of iodine drinking as "the experts" on this topic; so it is worth a moment to discuss them. Brownstein wrote an entire book about drinking iodine, and Abraham's faithful point to his credentials as a professor and a former M.D. However, their therapies are not even endorsed by their own establishment. In previous times, they were both a willing part of a medical system that routinely gives children radioactive iodine to virtually destroy any chance of them having a long and healthy life.

"Want to join the experiment? If you are already taking iodine click here to become a member, or Order a bottle for $40 to try it out for yourself!"

-- Dr. Guy E. Abraham

Elemental iodine is quite useful as a topical antiseptic, and topical applications eliminate a plethora of health issues that are wrought by iodine deficiencies. However, elemental iodine can quickly become toxic when it is orally consumed, for it is difficult to not overdose. However, it is always safe when it organically occurs in foods, such as fish. The effects of an overdose with elemental iodine mimic the central nervous system problems that are caused by well-known poisons; for instance, the metallic taste that is caused by arsenic poisoning. The iodine that is found in typical retailers is always toxic in any amount when it is taken orally, and Lugol's is not much safer.

The poisonous short-term effects of ingested iodine are well known, but the consequence of tiny amounts being ingested over a period of years is unknown. We have written this hoping that those who are considering following moronic advice about drinking iodine will research enough to find the truth prior to hurting themselves, or their children.

Symptoms of Iodine Toxicity and Overdose

  • Abdominal pain
  • Coughing
  • Delirium
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Mouth and throat pain
  • Inability to urinate
  • Seizures
  • Shock
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stupor
  • Excessive thirst
  • Profuse vomiting
  • Death

Other misguided followers of Abraham and Brownstein allege that ingested iodine from chemical sources is not toxic, and that the toxic effects only result from methanol being inside the over-the-counter products. They usually follow with boasts about how Lugol's iodine lacks methanol, while ignoring all the other toxicity facts about it. However, the National Institutes of Health specifically cites Lugol's iodine as being poisonous, and even its fumes are dangerous whenever it is heated. The official medical term for toxic overexposure to iodine is "iodism", and this condition is virtually always the result of oral consumption. No other 'supplement' requires environmental protection suits in its production process, as iodine synthesis is a dangerous and chemical-laden process.

Some of those who are consuming synthesized iodine (and even giving it to their children) believe that it must be safe because iodine is added to salt and bread. This is actually false. It is normally trace amounts of potassium iodide (not iodine) that is added food items. It is a significantly less toxic chemical relative of iodine that somewhat helps to compensate for iodine deficiencies. While the safer iodide can be found inside the Lugol's solution, and inside of other 'supplemental' iodine solutions, it is still dangerously easy to overdose. It is so risky that it is absolutely irresponsible to supplement with it, or to recommend it as a supplement.

It is worth noting that iodine is much safer when combined with carbohydrates like bread, because starches are known to neutralize it. Thus, even if real iodine were actually inside breads, then the breads would neutralize that iodine. The excessive carbohydrate consumption of our Western diets is one of the many reasons why so many of us are lacking iodine. For this reason, victims of iodine consumption are recommended to eat bread by iodine manufacturers and poison control centers.

There has been a philosophical debate that has raged for eons about whether laws should protect people from themselves. However, there is no debate about whether children should be protected from bad adults. All of us in society have a shared duty to protect children from harm. It is our moral duty to report any parent who is poisoning a child with iodine, or any other toxic substance, to child protective services or other relevant governmental agencies. Contact us if you know of this happening to a child, but you are too afraid to get involved yourself. Poisoning a child is a symptom of the mental illness, Munchhausen by proxy, so the abuse will only get worse in time if there is no intervention. For some really bad parents out there, the book from Brownstein is the excuse that they need.

Safe Ingestion Methods

The safest oral supplement for iodine is red marine algae, which can be purchased in capsule form. Other marine plants have toxins, such as heavy metals and PCB's. The ideal food source for iodine is baked fish. Beware of bottom feeders and shell fish, for they have the same toxins that most underwater vegetation does, in addition to toxins that they produce themselves. Pure potassium iodide is an acceptable solution for those who are careful not to overdose, but people should beware of impure products that include additives such as sodium benzoate, or even iodine. Potassium iodide should never be used by those with Hashimoto's disease, nor should they use any other oral iodine supplements.

The potassium iodide that is added to table salt is not adequate to compensate for most iodine deficiencies. It is usually sufficient to stop goitrous boils from swelling in the neck, which are caused by an extreme deficiency. However, not enough iodine can be obtained from table salt to maintain optimal health, unless a dangerous amount of it is consumed. Naturally-occurring iodine is present in unadulterated sea salt with naturally-occurring complimentary minerals, but even the vastly superior and healthier sea salt might not be enough for people who have extreme iodine deficiencies that are caused by fluoride toxicity and other mitigating factors. The safest way to intake more iodine is to increase the amount of healthy seafood in the diet, but this excludes (non-kosher) bottom feeders.

The Facts About Iodine Ingestion

First Aid For Iodine Poisoning: In the event that somebody is searching the Internet in a bid to quickly neutralize iodine: Give the person milk, cornstarch or flour, and continue to provide milk every 15 minutes. Starches (bread, flour, rice, potatoes, and other carbohydrates) greatly neutralize iodine. A dose of activated charcoal would be a wise choice too. DO NOT give these items if the patient is having symptoms that make it hard to swallow (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness). Contact Poison Control immediately. The U.S. National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States.

Avoid Povidone Iodine

It is becoming increasingly difficult to know what sort of iodine to use, and a new form of iodine is being sold in stores. It is called Povidone iodine, which is a mix of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and elemental iodine. The PVP compound is closely related to PVC plastic.

There is no need to add another chemical to iodine as a preservative. The classic formula (water or alcohol, potassium iodide, and iodine) is highly effective, self-sterilizing, and it comes with less side effects. Pure iodine is itself a disinfectant, so the addition of toxins to supposedly preserve it is merely another instance of reckless chemical tainting. PVP (the "povidone") is said to simply pass through the body when taken orally, but is admitted to cause problems when injected. It is reported to cause pulmonary vascular injury in the latter case. Using iodine transdermally is the equivalent of injecting it into the blood, for it bypasses digestive filtration and decomposition. Polyvinylpyrrolidone contains vinyl. After all of the controversy surrounding such plastics as PVC, can you imagine the effects of chronic and intentional exposure?

PVP has some technical applications:

  • An adhesive in hot melt glue sticks
  • An additive for batteries, ceramics, fiberglass, inks, inkjet paper and in the chemical-mechanical planarization process
  • An emulsifier and disintegrant for solution polymerization

There have been a disturbing number of cases in which people have gone into anaphylactic shock due to an allergy to the povidone in this iodine. It is considered hazardous by O.S.H.A. (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), due to it causing respiratory distress and eye irritation. For the same reason, fire-fighters wear self-contained breathing apparatuses before they enter into buildings containing this substance. There is also evidence to indicate that there is a cancer link.

Answering Reader Questions About Iodine

"I know someone who has long-standing untreated Hashimoto's disease and who has recently ingested Lugol's for about three weeks, 4 drops a day, except for 15 drops two days in the middle of that period of time. She was trying to self-treat after reading a book by Dr. Brownstein. She said that at first she felt more energy than she had ever had in their entire adult life. For the very first time, she felt well in that way and was very happy. She thought she'd be safe because she took all the vitamins and minerals Brownstein recommended along with the Lugol's, but she ended up poisoned. She is now experiencing severe symptoms, including severe insomnia, racing heart 24/7, and goiter. She complains of extremely heavy arms and legs and weakness of arms and legs, sore muscles in backs of thighs, and numbness or circulation problems in left-sided appendages and face. She also complains of swollen thyroid with difficulty swallowing and breathing. She has have been off Lugol's for two days now, and now is frightened. She has well water, not municipal water, and feels too weak to leave her home. She has read your article here on your website, and has asked me to write this for her because she feels too sick to get out of bed. Should I go out and get some municipal tap water for her to drink? She's afraid to do anything without asking around first. Any ideas for how to help someone with Hashimoto's who finds themselves in this situation, while they wait for a doctor's appt.?"

This is an emergency and conventional medicine does emergencies best. She is at an extremely high risk of having a heart attack.

In the meantime, lots of fluoridated tap water would probably help to neutralize the excess iodine. You need to get some cayenne and taurine (L-taurine) in her too, in order to help stabilize her blood pressure and her pulse. Remove all salt except for a daily pinch of pure unrefined sea salt. Also give L-arginine to relax the blood vessels. Vitamin E will help to thin the blood, so you may want to supplement in high doses with that, too. Three standard 400 I.U. vitamin E capsules will probably be ideal.

Put her on a high carbohydrate diet (lots of bread and pasta). Carbohydrates are sometimes used to neutralize iodine, and they might still help. You can worry about safer and more natural therapies after the high risk of a heart attack passes. Until then, go with the doctors and treat this like the emergency that it is.


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Lorie Blaine
# Lorie Blaine 2009-11-25 22:25
If iodine is poisonous, how do you explain the Japanese population consuming more than 12 mg of iodine in their daily diet of sea veggies? If iodine were poisonous, then why is salt iodized? Why don't people die from eating seafood??

Curious minds want to know.
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# RE: Iodine SupplementationSarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2010-01-01 08:30
As this article points out, most people are deficient in iodine, and should get more of it. However, they should not ingest synthetic iodine that was created in a lab. The Japanese are not drinking bottles of synthetic iodine. They are eating a natural product.

Iodized salt is made with potassium iodide, not iodine. I hope this helps to clear things up.
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Marilyn Johnson
# Marilyn Johnson 2015-03-25 14:27
Thanks Sarah,Very well explained. I think Lorie Blaine needs to reread article. Good information. It's important to read article first before commenting so you don't confuse others.
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2010-10-09 21:55
Fluoride and iodine neutralize one another in the human body, so start drinking lots of tap water. You will be fine soon.

By the way, this can also happen with iodine applied to the skin, but it would take an extreme amount, and a person who is not accustomed to it.
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Sarah Carragher
# testSarah Carragher 2011-03-03 23:12
Hi okay so I got the iodine and applied it. Does it have to be on the abdomen? or can you just apply it anywhere on the body? It absorbed in less than 5 mins? Its itchy.... by obsorb does that mean that you can no longer see the stain?
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2011-03-05 15:46
You only need to apply it to the abdomen for the iodine test. You can apply it anywhere. Absorb does mean that there is no longer any sign of iodine on that area (no stain).
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June Shelton
# June Shelton 2013-04-13 15:33
I take RX for hypothyroid. I am also allergic to shrimp, are the two related?
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Kenneth Quinn
# Nascent IodineKenneth Quinn 2013-08-11 21:09
Thanks for the informative article. I greatly appreciate the information. I didn't see anything about ingesting Nascent Iodine and I was wondering it this was just another scam. This is an excerpt from the article: Nascent Iodine is recognized by the body as the same iodine that is produced by the thyroid and is absorbed effortlessly by the body.
Is this true, or just another scam to sell some crap?
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2013-08-12 13:54
It's just another scam. Nascent iodine sellers tend to use even more buzz-words than Lugol's sellers, but it's just a fraud. For example, one of their claims is that it is "atomic iodine", which actually means nothing. According to atomic theory, everything is made from atoms.
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Andrea Lyle
# Andrea Lyle 2013-08-31 18:00
My iodine is clear so how would I know If I absorbed it through my skin. I guess I just wouldn't.
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2013-09-01 14:23
If your iodine is clear, it is not normal iodine. It may be potassium iodide, or a bogus homeopathic product. In any case, we recommend using regular iodine, so that you can properly gauge how much you need.
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Ben Ginsberg
# another product, and anotherBen Ginsberg 2013-09-27 03:18
First of all, I am new to your website, and I must say that I'm overwhelmed by and deeply appreciative of the thoroughness of your research. Thank you! (I'm also looking forward to purchasing your book, probably in both forms!)

So to the point...

Someone I know and care about wants to use

(1) "Survival Shield" brand iodine supplement, which -- apart from their generic marketing assertions about Iodine's importance in the body -- claims to be (a) a stringently standardized (USP), colloidal form of "nascient iodine", and (b) much more bioavailable than other "nascent iodine" products which are cytotoxic (paraphrase from infowarsshop.com).

My impression from reading your article is that it would be too easy to overdose if taking this orally. Any comments on this product, or on other products from their shop, such as the one below, would be greatly appreciated.

(2) Their Propur Big water filter with ProOne-D filters -- which appears to be comparable to the Berkey Light (2.75 gallons).

More generally, I suppose the point of product (1)'s claim to use USP iodine is that it has acceptable (natural) proportions of radioactive isotopes. Would this be a correct assumption? I'm sorry to belabor the point, I just want to know if, and why, red marine algae is safer (the safest).

Lastly, I must admit I'm a bit bummed that other seaweed is inadvisable in another protocol you recommend (article 148 on Celiac Disease), but what can I say to such well researched facts and well-thought out argumentation? I must merely adapt and face the music. And be excited about possibly reversing -- rather than coping with -- some of the effects I've been experiencing.

So, sincerely, thanks for your commitment and all your hard work!
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alan dietrich
# alan dietrich 2013-10-30 02:42
I just ordered a bottle of iodine solution ratio 5%10%. I saw a demonstration online the paint test. I saw my spot disappear in less than 3 hours..I was going to take it orally, so I am pleased I found your site. Can I use the iodine I ordered? I did not know some iodine was synthetic..Is Crown?
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Irena Ocasio
# Irena Ocasio 2013-11-21 14:12
I'm considered hypothyroid because my TSH was measured at 20. I decided to see if I was iodine deficient so I applied pure iodine from my uncle in Russia directly on my stomach. Sure enough it was absorbed within three or four hours. I continued doing it for a few weeks here and there and eventually it takes at least 12 hours to absorb. Does that mean I am not deficient anymore? Should I completely discontinue applying it? Also, will it effect my thyroid hormone positively?
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Ann Karis
# IodineAnn Karis 2014-01-22 12:07
My doc told me I was slightly hypothyroid and suggested iodine supplements. I thought, "now that sounds harmless." I had a bottle of Iosol drops and took one drop in a cup of water for about 4 to 5 days. On day five, while shopping, I had a really scary wave of dizziness. I managed to make it out of the store. The next day, the dizziness was still there, with heart palpitations and waves of panic. Needless to say, I didn't take anymore iodine! I've been drinking lots of water with lemon, no salt, vitamin C, magnesium, and am still dizzy. It has been five days since my last drop of iodine and I still have waves of dizziness. Do you think all of this could have come from the iodine? A lady at the health food store said that when you reach a place of saturation, the body struggles to get rid of the iodine. Any help or suggestions are appreciated. Thank you so much!!
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Janis Jenkins
# Me Too!Janis Jenkins 2014-04-06 17:20
Ann, I've been taking the exact same iodine and I'm began to experience headaches, fatigue and a bit of dizziness also! I started doing some research today and found all this. Going to back off on using any iodine product.. thank God I found this web site!!!
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Craig Hilles
# What do I do if I'm deficient?Craig Hilles 2014-01-26 10:26
What if I take the spot test and I'm deficient. I read the whole article and all comments but I can't find what the suggested solution is.

Is it, just keep applying the standard iodine tincture externally? Or apply something ELSE externally. Or maybe it's just that marine algae thing?
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2014-01-30 08:55
You may continue to either supplement externally, or use red marine algae supplements. External application gives more indication as to the correct quantity, however.
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Karen Forloines
# Karen Forloines 2014-01-27 07:24
I am hesitant to ingest an iodine supplement. I completely agree with the skin absorption method over ingesting. I just want to know if the kind you suggested as the test can be used as a supplement?
Thank you
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Jimmie Miller
# Oops taking internally already...Jimmie Miller 2014-03-02 22:22
My husband and I started checking into thyroid treatments because we both have symptoms and no insurance. I had read a lot of controversy about iodine supplements but we found some very good reviews from people online with symptoms similar to ours so decided to try it. (I'm aware some reviews are fake I always research in multiple places.) We ordered a product called Atomidine from Amazon and I told him to start with a very low dose and go slow and see how we feel because I was a little concerned about possible effects. We did both notice benefits quickly although we also had to work through detox symptoms. We started a spring water system to stop fluoride and have tried to get additional supplements from food; brazil nuts for selenium, oranges for vit c, etc. I found your article now searching because I noticed my urine is much darker today than normal and wondered if this may be more detox symptoms. We have been on it about 5 or 6 weeks probably and still only 2 drops or so per day in water. Now, I'm wondering should we stop and get the external type to use instead. I was planning actually to do a patch test soon anyway to check deficiency level. Thanks for the info.
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Eduardo huerta
# a general thank you!!Eduardo huerta 2014-03-13 22:22
Don't know if this is the right forum.. but here it goes... I came across the Health Wyze podcast by accident, it was the most divine accident! I am so appreciative of all the work you do for the public-- The research... the wealth of information has changed the way I view mainstream information(it is empowering) and I find myself questioning all of the medical advice given to us by the establishment--- The only medication I have ever taken is for hypothyroid-- it's been two weeks since I stopped taking it... and with careful monitoring of my diet, i'm feeling healthier and happier than I ever did while I was on synthroid--- deep gratitude and I will recommend the Health Wyze community to all who will listen. Thank you for caring :-)
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Barbara Tent
# Elemental Idoine - Horse Hoof InfectionBarbara Tent 2014-03-26 14:31
Thank you for the extensive article regarding iodine types and usage. My horse has an infection in her right hoof. My farrier suggested using two cc's of 7% iodine daily in the hoof to clear up the bacterial infection. The infection isn't in the blood stream. Your article mentioned that elemental iodine is quite useful as a topical antiseptic, and topical applications eliminate a plethora of health issues wrought by iodine deficiencies. Would appreciate any comments you might have on this recommendation.
Thanks for your assistance.
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James Rosen
# James Rosen 2014-07-18 19:52
I just joined your' website today. I got some iodine and painted my stomach w/ the recommended amount. This transdermal method of supplimentation should replenish my bodys needs, right? I hope that I am reading this right. It's regular iodine as you say. Or is this method used only for test purposes? Thank you in advance for your' response.
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2014-07-31 13:34
Transdermal application of iodine can be used as a safe method of supplementation. We use it ourselves, in fact.
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Robert Pettersen
# Ludols and TransdermalRobert Pettersen 2015-09-20 07:56
I have a tincture left of the strong ludols (5/10 elem/pot) and have ingested half the bottle over the course of the last couple months (oops).

Anyway, I just wanted to make sure that I can apply this transdermally, or should I throw it out and buy the regular stormbought stuff.

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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2015-09-20 18:18
You can use Lugol's iodine transdermally. However, iodine tincture is better, because the alcohol helps to break through the oils on the skin.
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The Claimer: The information provided herein is intended to be a truthful and corrective alternative to the advice that is provided by physicians and other medical professionals. It is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, and prevent disease.