If iodine is so essential, does that mean we can freely supplement with it?
If you haven't checked out our first blog post all on why iodine is so important click here! If you have though, keep on reading, because this is important!
Did you know minerals all interact with one another? We have synergistic minerals and antagonistic. Synergists work to up level minerals and antagonists will have an opposite reaction to it. For example, zinc acts synergistic to retinol, meaning if it goes up, so will one's levels and requirements. Oppositely, zinc antagonizes copper, meaning if zinc goes up, copper can be downregulated. This goes for all nutrients in the body, there is always a dominoes effect.
Iodine in particular is a tricky mineral to evaluate- not because of the mineral itself, but because it is not commonly tested and we can't see it through a hair test. The best way to test one's iodine status is to either do an Iodine Loading Test, or an Iodine Patch Test which you can read all about here. Once you know your status you can then compare to other minerals and see if supplementation is required or not because it does affect 3 specific minerals.
One rule of thumb is to never supplement iodine unless one's selenium levels are up to par. The reason for this is not just because we need both iodine and selenium to help make thyroid hormone, but for the very reason iodine cannot be transformed into its bioavailable form in the body without selenium. Before iodine is even "iodine" it's in a form called "iodide" and can only be used by the thyroid if converted. This happens through a an oxidation reaction that is stimulated by an enzyme called TPO (thyroperoxidase) and hydrogen peroxide. This essentially helps adds iodine to a protein called thyroglobulin, which will then help make thyroid hormone. In the event there is too much hydrogen peroxide present, it can lead to Hashimoto's. This is when selenium comes in. It helps control the hydrogen peroxide through the production of glutathione peroxidase, a selenium dependent protein, which protects the body from reactive oxygen species like the hydrogen peroxide. Conversely, one cannot convert inactive thyroid hormone, also known as T4 (thyroxine) into active thyroid hormone T3 (triiodothyronine) without the presence of both minerals. If your selenium is low, lucky for you we have our Upgraded Selenium for that.
When we have high circulating unbound copper this can interfere with iodine and thyroid usage from our cells. Therefore, sometimes supplementing might not work because we have a problem to first regulate. The reason for this is because copper is an essential mineral our cells need to produce energy and function. In fact, most of our copper resides in the liver, and the liver is where we convert most of our thyroid hormones T4 to T3. Unbound copper is usually a result of poor liver and adrenal function, hence looking to issues there first prior to supplementing iodine is recommended. Conversely, low copper can also be an issue in helping our cells make enough thyroid hormone in the first place. Our soils are depleted in many minerals, including copper, so if you're copper deficient, our Upgraded Copper can definitely help out!
Did you know potassium is required to sensitize the mitochondria's receptors for iodine and thyroid hormone? Yep. Meaning, if we have low potassium, our cells are just not going to absorb iodine or utilize thyroid hormone appropriately. This is why so many people, even if diagnosed with "hypothyroidism", don't necessarily have an actual glandular issue with their thyroid gland per say, but rather it's a cellular issue where the cells cannot uptake things due to mineral imbalances like low tissue potassium. Thankfully, our Upgraded Potassium can be of service for these types of cases.
If you're interested in checking the levels of these three key minerals prior to supplementing iodine, click here to purchase your HTMA and book a consult today!
Chemical Engineer and Nutritionist
Founder of Upgraded Formulas