Scrutinizing the evidence for breast
cancer procedures and treatments
Supplement Strategy - Iodine
Research Alert

Accumulating data has
inspired several
researchers to call for
immediate study of
iodine as an adjuvant
therapy for breast
cancer (comparable
to the current use of
Tamoxifen or Arimidex).

       Iodine and the Breast
 From The Iodine Crisis by Lynne Farrow © 2007-2020 by the author. All rights reserved.

    What if there was one nutrient which...?

    1. Desensitized estrogen receptors in the breast.

    2. Reduced estrogen production in overactive ovaries.

    3. Reduced fibrocystic breast disease which often precedes
    breast cancer.

    4. Caused cancer cell death, slowed down cell division and
    reduced blood vessel growth to tumors.

    5. Caused more cell death than the chemo drug, Fluorouracil .

    6. Prevented rats from getting cancer when they were fed the breast
    cancer causing toxin DMBA.

    Research suggests that some breast cancers may be an
    iodine deficiency disease.

    As iodine consumption has gone down, breast cancer rates have gone up. But
    the research goes far deeper, exploring the effects of iodine supplementation on
    breast disease and breast cancer. This important breakthrough has been in the
    research pipeline for years but only recently found momentum.  After sifting
    through 50 years of iodine research and corresponding with researchers around
    the world, the editors report that abnormal iodine metabolism, due either to
    bromide dominance in the environment or a dietary deficiency of iodine, must be
    addressed as part of a preventive and or a therapeutic strategy.  

                                    Iodine Deficiency Growing Worse

  • Iodine consumption by Americans has dropped 50% since the 1970s as breast
    cancer rates have risen (1).  In the US Goiter Belt,  where iodine in the soil is
    lower, breast  cancer is higher (2).

  • By contrast, the incidence and severity of breast cancer are less in Japan than
    in Europe and the US, attributable to the diet (3).  Japanese women consume 25
    times more dietary iodine than North American women and have lower breast
    cancer rates (4).

  • Meanwhile, since the 1970s, in the US and several other countries, iodine-
    blocking bromides have been added to flour,  some sodas, and medications,
    exacerbating the iodine deficiency.

  • Fluoridated drinking water also depletes iodine absorption. Thus, as women
    consume less iodine and excrete more due to toxic elements, our risk for breast
    cancer grows(5).

                        Iodine and Benign Breast Disease

  • Blocking iodine in rats' food supply led to progressive human-like fibrocystic
    disease (atypia, sclerosing, calcifications, dysplastic changes) as the rats aged
    (6). Supplementing patients with fibrocystic disease with iodine helped to resolve
    fibrosis and reduced breast size (7).

  • For women with painful breasts accompanying fibrocystic disease, iodine  
    improved symptoms in more than 50% of the women who took 6.0 mg. of iodine for
    6 months (8), and brown sea alga improved pain and nodularity in 94% of the
    women (9).  From the editors' observations of the Iodine Investigation Project
    participants, depending on the kind of iodine agent used, painful breast
    symptoms have resolved in from 24 hours to two months.

  • Since benign breast disease increases the risk of breast cancer (10), and iodine
    improves fibrocystic disease, we at Breast Cancer Choices propose studies to
    see if iodine supplementation decreases the risk of getting breast cancer and
    the risk of recurrence.

                                           Iodine and Breast Cancer         

  • For breast patients, iodine's therapeutic mechanisms of action may be at least
    three-pronged:  Hormonal (11),  Biochemical (12-18), Genetic (19).

    That is, iodine desensitizes the estrogen receptors, alters the chemical pathways
    as well effects on the genes, resulting in less cell growth, and causing anti-tumor
    effect by causing apoptosis (programmed cell death) of malignant cells.

  • Iodine-rich seaweed exhibits an anti-cancer effect in rats and in the lab on human
    breast cancer cells.

    Adding seaweed to rats' food delays the onset and number of rat mammary
    tumors (20,21). And in the lab, mekabu seaweed plant induced cell death in three
    kinds of human breast cancer cells. Mekabu had a stronger effect on the cells
    than the chemo drug, 5-fluorouracil (22).

  • Adding  iodine to chemically-induced (DMBA) rat breast tumors stops the
    growth of the tumors.  Adding iodine plus medroxyprogesterone gave the
    highestlevel of response: the growth-suppressed tumors showed 100% times the
    iodine content than the full blown (nonsuppressed) tumors. The researchers
    suggest that the uptake of iodine was enhanced by medroxyprogesterone. (23).  
    As David Brownstein, MD, phrased it, "You cannot give breast cancer to rats that
    have sufficient iodine."

  • In small, preliminary patient studies, using the screening iodine-loading test,
    breast cancer patients excreted less urinary iodine than healthy people, implying
    iodine-deficiency (24,25).

              What to do about iodine deficiency?

  • The editors at Breast Cancer Choices recommend patients read as much as they
    can from the Iodine Related Links on the top left side of this page.

  • Secondly,  we recommend taking the Iodine Loading Test  which will provide a
    guideline to your current iodine sufficiency status. Next, consider finding an
    iodine-literate practioner (ILP)  from our directory or one willing to consider this
    non-toxic therapy. Join the Iodine Research Facebook Group.

  • Iodine Protocol. Depending upon the results of your screening iodine-loading
    test,  most doctors we are familiar with currently recommend iodine daily in the
    form of Lugol's Iodine Solution, Iodoral or Iodorx tablets. Our many years of
    following iodine patients suggests starting at a low dose and building up slowly
    offers the most reliable results. Consult the Facebook Iodine Workshop group
    for iodine takers' dosages.

  • Iodine Companion Nutrients. Many Iodine Literate Doctors suggest certain
    companion nutrients to enhance the therapeutic value of iodine. Niacin was also
    recommended at the February 07 Iodine Conference. Thyroid function should be
    closely monitored and may require an adjustment of thyroid medications.

  • For those experiencing uncommon detox side effects such as constipation, acne
    or rash, the Facebook Iodine Workshop group is an expert source of support and
    study on how to counter these effects.  

                                  What to Expect

    The Breast Cancer Choices Iodine Investigation Project is currently following
    patients taking iodine to prevent recurrence. Most patients report no side
    effects.  Some report a range of non-breast improvements such as change in
    thyroid status, need for less thyroid medication, weight loss, ovarian cysts
    resolving, fibroids shrinking, improved energy, mood and mental clarity.

    But be aware  some iodine takers report what we believe to be bromise
    detoxifying into the bloodstream causing symptoms of bromism.

    According to a Department of Defense commissioned report, , bromism symptoms
    can manifest as lethargy, depression, "dark" thoughts, "brain fog," constipation,
    leg and hip pain, acne, rashes and other symptoms. These side effects are
    usually reversible in 24-48 hours by discontinuing the iodine and allowing a short
    period of washout before restarting at a lower dose. Again, as stated above,
    Celtic salt in water has relieved detox symptoms quickly by speeding up bromide
    detox through the kidneys. See full iodine protocol.

Since bromide excretion seems to be higher in breast cancer patients than
undiagnosed persons (29), it is important that each patient develop a strategy
with her physician to clear the bromide. Ways of eliminating bromide detox
symptoms by taking 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic salt in water are currently being used.

    1. NHANES.  National Health and Nutrition Survey showed iodine levels have declined 50% in the
    US. CDC National Center for Health Statistics.  CDC. gov 2000.
    2. Eskin BA., Iodine and Mammary Cancer, Tans NY, Academy of Sciences 1970.
    3. Kurihara M., "Cancer Statistics in the World," Nagoya Univ. Press, Nagoya, pp. 80-81 1984.
    4. Aceves C., et al., Is Iodine a Gatekeeper of the Integrity of the Mammary Gland?, Journal of
    Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia, 2005.  
    5. 30. Vega-Riveroll L, Mondragón P, Rojas-Aguirre J rt al.,The antineoplasic effect of molecular iodine on human
    mammary cancer involves the activation of apoptotic pathways and the inhibition of angiogenesis. 2008
    6. Krouse TB et al., Age-Related Changes Resembling Fibrocystic Disease in Iodine-Blocked Rat
    Breasts, Arch Pathol Lab Med, 1979
    7. Ghent WR et al., Iodine Replacement in Fibrocystic Disease of the Breast, Can J Surg 1993.
    8.  Kessler J, The Effect of Supraphysiologic Levels of Iodine in Patients with Cyclic Mastalgia, The
    Breast Journal 2004.
    9. Bezpalov VG et al., Investigation of the Drug "Mamoclam" for the Treatment of Patients with
    Fibroadenomatosis of the Breast, Vopr Onkol, 2005.
    10. Hartmann LC et al., Benign Breast Disease and the Risk of Breast Cancer, N Engl J Med 2005.
    11. Shah NM et al., Iodoprotein Formation by Rat Mammary Glands During Pregnancy and Early
    Postpartum Period, Proc Soc Exp 1986
    12.Venturi S., Is There a Role for Iodine in Breast Disease?, The Breast  2001.
    13.Cann SA., et al., Hypothesis:  Iodine, Selenium, and the Development of Breast Cancer, Cancer
    Causes control 2000.
    14.Smyth PP., Role of Iodine in Antioxidant Defence in Thyroid and Breast Disease, Biofactors 2003.
    15.Coochi M. et al., A New Hypothesis of Bio-Chemical Cooperation?, Prog Nutr 2000.
    16.Thrall KD., Differences in the Distribution of Iodine and Iodide in the Sprague-Dawley Rats, J
    Toxicol Environ Health 1992.
    17. Eskin BA.,et al., Different Tissue Responses for Iodine and Iodide in Rat Thyroid and Mammary
    Glands, Biol Trace Elem Res 1995.
    18.Ghent WR. et al., IBID.
    19. Eskin BA. et al., Microarray Characterization of Iodine Metabolic Pathways in Breast Cancer, p.
    379 2006.
    20. Teas J. et al., Dietary Seaweed (Laminaria) and Mammary Carcinogens in Rats, Cancer Res
    21. Funahashi H. et al., Wakame Seaweed Suppresses the Proliferation of 7,12-Dimethybenz(a)-
    Anthracene-Induced Mammary Tumors in Rats, Jpn J Cancer Res 1999.
    22. Funahashi H. et al., Seaweed Preventing Breast Cancer?, Jpn J Cancer Res 2001.
    23. Funahashi H. et al., Suppressive Effect of Iodine on DMBA-Induced Breast Tumor Growth in the
    Rat, J Surg Oncol 1996.
    24. Eskin BA. et al., Identification of Breast Cancer by Differences in Urinary Iodine, Abstract Number
    2150, Presentation AACR Conference 2005.
    25. 30. Vega-Riveroll L, Mondragón P, Rojas-Aguirre J et al.,The antineoplasic effect of molecular iodine on human
    mammary cancer involves the activation of apoptotic pathways and the inhibition of angiogenesis. 2008
    26. Cann SA., et al., Hypothesis:  Iodine, Selenium, and the Development of Breast Cancer, Cancer
    Causes control 2000.
    27. Abraham GE., et al., Evidence that the Administration of Vitamin C Improves a Defective
    Cellular Transport Mechanism for Iodine:  A Case Report, The Original Internist 2005.
    28. Abraham GE., The Safe and Effective Implementation of Orthoiodosupplementation in Medical
    Practice, The Orginal Internist 2004.
    29. Vega-Riveroll L, Mondragón P, Rojas-Aguirre J rt al.,The antineoplasic effect of molecular iodine on human
    mammary cancer involves the activation of apoptotic pathways and the inhibition of angiogenesis. 2008
    30  Frederick R. Stoddard II,1,2 Ari D. Brooks,1 Bernard A. Eskin,3 and Gregg J. Johannes2  Iodine Alters Gene
    Expression in the MCF7 Breast Cancer Cell Line: Evidence for an Anti-Estrogen Effect of Iodine, Int J Med Sci.


Meet Jeffrey Dach, MD

Iodine Against Breast
Cancer: The
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