Why care about thyroid cancer? It’s about iodine.

Or more importantly about the lack of iodine and the excess availability of bromide, fluoride and perchlorate – all halides – all chemically similar enough so that the body may build thyroid hormone with them if there is a deficiency of iodine. Bromide replaced iodine in baked goods some point in time around the 1950s as an anti-caking agent in flour. Fluoride was added to water supplies and to toothpaste around the same time. Both fluoride and bromide may be used in medicines to help make a natural product able to be patented as chemically unique. They also may increase the active life of a medicine if the combination can be made to be able to enter cells with a molecule of bromide or fluoride attached then it tends to stay there longer because the molecule of the halide is so big that it is difficult for the cell to excrete  – which may make accumulation to toxic levels more of a long-term risk.

Iodine deficiency makes the risk of radioactive iodine more of a risk but it makes the use of X-ray machines with radioactive iodine more effective. Or the radioactive iodine to kill the thyroid cancer treatment more effective (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27856930). I prefer health. Iodine deficiency can make hypothyroid symptoms more likely which may include depression, easy weight gain and a reduced sex drive.

Will we ever be allowed to discuss underlying natural causes of chronic illness and cancer or do we have to simply trust that prescription pads can cure everything no matter how high the cost to individuals or society – and the problem with that plan is they can’t cure everything and the side effects of cancer treatments can be severe and may include cognitive deficits – loss of thinking ability.

Do we as a people have to be ashamed of a desire for health or for a healthy sex drive or is it now the norm to expect looking good to not be associated with feeling good? Shaming women over wanting to feel better or to wonder why they’ve lost interest in life, let alone sexual relations, is something I’ve experienced as a patient. If the standard lab test for hypothyroidism shows the presence of thyroid hormone then any symptoms are ‘crazy’ – ask for an autoimmune antibody lab test to be done. Hypothyroid symptoms may occur during autoimmune hypothyroidism while the thyroid hormone lab test shows the presence of thyroid hormone. It may be present but if it is loaded with bromide, chloride or fluoride atoms then it may simply be adding to long term cancer risk instead of performing the normal functions of regulating metabolism. Feeling cold and having easily thinning hair are also symptoms of hypothyroidism. Constipation and being sensitive to gluten containing foods may also be associated problems with hypothyroidism.

Shaming patients has not been found to be effective at helping them in the area of drug or alcohol problems:

“The results add to a body of literature suggesting that widely used shaming and humiliating methods of treating alcohol and other drug problems — such as those seen on shows like Celebrity Rehab — are not only ineffective but also may be counterproductive.” (9.156)

Patients with problems with chronic obesity or overweight issues that are actually due to hypothyroidism may try very hard to lose weight and may exercise a lot and eat very little and still not lose weight or even gain it. A severe hypothyroid problem can make a person’s metabolic needs drop far below average. An average diet for a person is recommended to not go below 1200 calories per day. Someone with hypothyroidism may be eating 800 calories per day and still not be losing weight – are they shameful over-eaters? or are they starving for iodine? I vote the latter. But society tends to look at anyone who is overweight as someone who eats too much – no it might be someone whose body gains weight too easily.

It has been made clear to me that sexual health is not to be discussed unless it is regarding men’s sexual health. Women don’t sweat, they just glow, or something like that. If men want sexual health it seems like they would want healthy partners too. We really aren’t talking about men’s sexual health either though, just take a pill and don’t worry about potential underlying cardiovascular risks that may be associated with ED (Erectile Dysfunction – yes, actually we don’t talk about that much either.)

Babies come from under cabbage leaves still I guess. Unfortunately they need iodine too. Rhubarb is a good source of iodine so maybe start looking for babies under rhubarb leaves. Or maybe just eat more rhubarb because it would not only be providing iodine, it also has a phytonutrient, parietin, that has been shown to be effective against cancer cells. A concentrated amount of the parietin was used however: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/613194/Cancer-killing-drug-rhubarb-ready-within-years

Parietin is an orange pigment found in the rhubarb and in many types of lichen. I don’t happen to have an image of rhubarb handy but here’s some pretty lichen on a rock in a desert area:

Colorful lichen on a rock in the desert during early winter, with colored pieces of glass, found nearby.

The chemical left healthy cells unharmed which is unlike typical chemotherapy treatments. The parietin may be stopping cancer cell growth by blocking anaerobic metabolism – the burning of energy without oxygen. Our bodies preferentially use metabolic pathways that use oxygen (and cause oxidative stress as a byproduct). This article is longer and contains a list of many other beneficial phytonutrients and vitamins found in whole rhubarb. It contains antioxidants and a variety of beneficial things in addition to iodine:  https://www.naturalhealth365.com/rhubarb-cancer-enzyme-1820.html

While I don’t have a picture I do have a recipe for Blueberry Rhubarb Jam – the two fruits work well together in a sauce, cobbler, or jam because rhubarb is fairly tart – acidic, and blueberries are fairly mild – more alkaline. They balance each other nicely in this low sugar recipe: http://transcendingsquare.com/2012/07/21/blueberry-rhubarb-jam/

If you happen to have a patch of rhubarb or know someone who does you’ll know that when it is season there is lots and then it is out of season, the leaves get large and the usuable part – the celery like stalks become too large, less tender, less colorful and the parietin at least is in the colorful pinkish pigments on the exterior of the rhubarb leaf stalks.

A simpler recipe that I made to use up a lot of rhubarb all at once was a Rhubarb Ginger Sauce which I would freeze in batches which turned into a sorbet like frozen treat. I also would use the sauce thawed in baked goods as a substitution for part of the liquid in a recipe similar to substituting applesauce.

The recipe was roughly 12 cups of washed and chopped rhubarb stalks, about 1/2 inch long sections, simmered with 3 cups of sugar and an inch or two section of ginger root, peeled and minced fine. Some might prefer less ginger or no ginger, that amount made a fairly zingy sauce. The stalks make their own sauce as they simmer and the chunks become soft and lose their form. Simmer for about 20 minutes. I would need to try it again to check the recipe but that is the way I remember making it. Once frozen the sugary treat was easy to eat like a fruit sorbet rather than freezing into a more solid ice cube. The sugar content would be necessary for that effect, I think a sugar free sauce would freeze more solid.

So plan ahead, eat healthy now and prevent precancerous cells the natural way – with a healthy immune system and active metabolic rate. It is difficult to have a normal lifestyle let alone exercise regularly when the body is coasting on 800 calories a day due to hypothyroidism.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Maps of the United States & mental illness

A map of the rate of mental illness in the United States suggests some geographic patterns however the reason for the pattern is not speculated about in the following article: http://www.newsweek.com/nearly-1-5-americans-suffer-mental-illness-each-year-230608

For comparison purposes consider this map of the locations of fracking sites, not an exact overlap but similar regions are highlighted: https://earthjustice.org/features/campaigns/fracking-across-the-united-states

And then add in the many decade struggle with radioactive waste in Hanford Washington. The article doesn’t have a map but Washington state is in the upper left corner of the contiguous United States:  https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/washington/articles/2017-05-09/history-of-hanford-nuclear-waste-site-in-washington-state

Radiation exposure has been associated with an increase in PTSD, depression and anxiety but that was when the exposure was known and could be worried about. https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2015/aug/09/nagasaki-anniversary-radiation-nuclear-mental-health

Residents of the Washington State and surrounding regions have not been warned about any potential for increased radiation exposure or potential benefit of assuring adequate iodine intake to protect their thyroid and other glands from radioactive iodine. More of the opposite reaction has occurred in the U.S. health care system. Radioactive iodine is considered a therapy and scanning tests that use radioactive iodine do not work as well when the individual has plenty of iodine.

A simple search of the Pub Med site for “radioactive iodine” gives 13,171 search results: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=radioactive+iodine  “radioactive iodine therapy” gave 5307 results: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=radioactive+iodine+therapy

iodine nutrient therapy” gave 1403 results that include radioactive iodine, I’m not familiar with whether I can exclude terms from the results. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=iodine%20nutrient%20therapy

Coincidentally, or not, depression is a symptom of hypothyroidism and irritability is also mentioned here: https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid/hypothyroidism-too-little-thyroid-hormone

Both hypo- and hyperthyroidism is associated in psychiatric circles with panic levels of anxiety including PTSD. Other psychiatric conditions found more often in patients who also have thyroid conditions include bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and psychotic disorder/paranoid psychosis: http://www.mdedge.com/currentpsychiatry/article/62439/identifying-hypothyroidisms-psychiatric-presentations

Iodine is an essential nutrient that helps prevent or treat congenital and other types of hypothyroidism and the main U.S. medical database has fewer than 1403 entries using non-radioactive iodine in therapeutic ways – it can’t be patented.

A general search engine gave 9,210,000 results for “patent for radioactive iodine” https://www.bing.com/search?q=patent+on+radioactive+iodine&form=EDGTCT&qs=PF&cvid=46f8b85d9f214ee7873433434493b545&cc=US&setlang=en-US&PC=HCTS

I’m only slightly surprised by the vast number of results for patents on a poison that is produced as a waste product of nuclear reactions.

A for-profit health care system is an oxymoron that may be harming more than helping our population and likely is harming our ground water supply as well, in my opinion at least.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

BVO, Brominated vegetable oil is in the same chemical family as PBDE, a flame retardant

Good news about the food additive brominated vegetable oil — the Coca Cola and Pepsi companies are phasing out use of the flavoring agent in order to have a product line that is consistent across global food markets — the food additive has been prohibited from use as a food additive in Japan, India and the European Union.

BVO is in some citrus soft drinks including Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fresca, and Fanta. It’s also in sports drinks like Powerade and some pre-mixed cocktails.”  It is a food additive that is in the “same chemical family as flame-retardants like polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE).” “Early studies suggest that flame-retardant chemicals disrupt normal hormone function, leading to problems with brain development in children, fertility, thyroid function, and possibly cancer.” [http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/20130129/brominated-vegetable-oil-qa?page=2]

A study in 2012 found that in the U.S. on average we take in more BVO than PBDEs, 4000 times more for adults and 1000 times more for children. BVO was approved for general use in 1958 in the U.S. and then in the 1970s it was modified to approval for use in beverages for an “interim” time period awaiting further research — but we’re still waiting. Use of BVO as a food additive has been banned in Japan, India, and the European Union. In the U.S. it is approved for use in beverages at a level up to 15 parts per million and on average it is added at a level of 8 parts per million. There is some concern that consumers who drink larger portions of the beverages containing BVO on a more frequent basis may be receiving too much of the chemical.    Read More:  [http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/20130129/brominated-vegetable-oil-qa?page=2]

So how much soda per day might be enough to cause acute bromide toxicity? — Snopes.com (March 16, 2015) write-up on BVO includes two medical reports of bromide toxicity where one patient reported drinking 2 to 4 liters of BVO containing soda per day and the other reported drinking up to 8 liters per day. According to the Snopes report both the PepsiCo and Coca Cola beverage companies have been actively working to phase out use of BVO in all of their beverages. Use of BVO in the Gatorade line of beverages by PepsiCo has already been phased out. The Coca Cola company plans to have the ingredient phased out of all of their beverages by the end of 2015. The companies stand by the safety of the ingredient but also respect the individual consumer’s desire for more natural products and the value of having a product that is consistent across global markets.

Non carbonated fruit flavored beverages also may contain BVO, (citrus flavors more typically). If an adult male can develop bromide toxicity by consuming 2 to 8 liters of a beverage containing BVO per day then a child or toddler, roughly, might get sick by regularly consuming half or a quarter of that amount — or 1/4 liter to 4 liters per day (or approximately 8 ounces to 4 quarts of ‘juice drink’ per day) — however an infant or toddler may be more at risk than adults due to their having less well developed liver function and due to their brains and thyroids still being in developmental stages, so the infant or toddler drinking a BVO containing ‘juice’ drink may be more at risk than adults for having neurotoxin damage or thyroid dysfunction occur. A developing fetus may also be more at risk than adults so avoiding BVO containing beverages during pregnancy and the perinatal time period may help protect the developing infant’s brain and thyroid.

Over the long term any use of brominated products may be adding to the risk of eventually developing hypothyroidism later in life for men, women or children, so while it might be a very good idea to avoid brominated vegetable oil while pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it  might also be a good idea for everyone to avoid it for the sake of their own thyroid’s health. Bromide is chemically very similar to iodine and it may be incorporated into the thyroid hormone instead of iodine in cases of long term iodine deficiency — but the molecule of bromide (or fluoride or chloride) may be making the larger molecule of the thyroid hormone no longer able to function properly — the bromide might be used to produce thyroid hormone that seems like thyroid hormone to a lab test but might not be as functional as a thyroid hormone within the body.

For more information about iodine, and the other halides/halogens: bromide, chloride and fluoride, see Dr. Brownstein’s book:

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./