Iodine recommendations for pregnancy and lactation may be too low for mom and baby.

Iodine during the prenatal period is necessary for the mother and infant’s health. Prenatal and lactation needs for iodine are increased and current recommendations and screening may not be sufficient to provide both the baby and mom what they need for optimal health.

Many women may not get the iodine that they need for their own body and the growing fetus or may become depleted during lactation. (1) Each additional pregnancy can leave the woman even lower in iodine. Woman with many pregnancies may have more of a risk for having a child with congenital hypothyroidism at birth. Low iodine prenatally may also add to risk for autism or schizophrenia later in the child’s life. 

Current recommendations for iodine by international agencies may be too low for pregnancy, lactation and for newborns. (1) A review team has recommendations for an increase in iodine supplementation – 250-300 micrograms of iodine daily for pregnancy and lactation and 90 micrograms for newborns. The team also recommends increasing the screening range for urinary iodine considered optimal to 150-230 micrograms of iodine. (1) Less iodine is excreted in the urine when the body is depleted.

A study based in Hong Kong also suggests that urinary iodine levels may not be an accurate test for assessing adequacy of iodine intake by lactating women as an indicator suggesting their breast milk would supply recommended iodine levels for their infants. (3)

The most recent guidelines issued by the American Thyroid Association (73) suggested that all pregnant women should ingest ~250 μg iodine daily, and women who are planning pregnancy or are currently pregnant, should add to their diet a daily oral supplement that contains 150 μg of iodine.” May 21, 2020 (7)

*This was an unfinished older post, so I wanted to check if the recommendations have been updated.

Pregnancy and the neonatal period are higher risk stages for iodine deficiency t occur because the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine levels are modulated more than in other stages of the lifespan. TSH tends to be elevated more than normal and thyroxine decreased. Checking newborns for elevated TSH would be a biomarker for iodine deficiency. (1) When adequate iodine is provided promptly, the mental retardation associated with congenital hypothyroidism may be preventable. Treating with Synthroid alone would not help enough. All the glands of the body need iodine, not just the thyroid gland. If it is low, it means everything else in the body is even more depleted as the thyroid gets preferential use.

Re pregnant women and neonates: “…their serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine are increased and decreased, respectively, for degrees of ID that do not seem to affect thyroid function in the general population. Systematic neonatal thyroid screening using primary TSH could be the most sensitive indicator to monitor the process of ID control.” (1) *ID = iodine deficiency.

Conclusions from a study based in Thailand included the finding that heel prick blood at three days old was not as accurate as a sample from the umbilical cord sera for screening TSH levels in the newborn. (4)

Women become more depleted in iodine with each pregnancy and lactation stage of their lives. Infants seem to also get preferential use of iodine from the mother’s body stores. A study based in China found lower iodine levels in urban and rural prenatal and lactating women compared to the iodine levels of infants and school aged children living in the regions. The presence of goiter was low in all women (2.0%) but was more common in prenatal women (2.7%) than in lactating women or for all women combined. (2) Mammary glands also can use more iodine from maternal stores for breast milk production due to an increased activity of the iodine symporter/mineral channel. Low intake of iodine will lead to lower levels of iodine in the breast milk. (5)

In areas of iodine sufficiency breast milk iodine concentration should be in the range of 100-150 microg/dl. Studies from France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Thailand and Zaire have shown breast milk concentrations of < 100 microg/l. Adequate levels of iodine in breast milk have been reported from Iran, China, USA and some parts of Europe.” (5)

This information about maternal and neonatal preferential uptake of iodine suggests that iodine is VERY IMPORTANT for infant development. ←Noteworthy.

Being iodine deficient can equate to a drop in Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of up to 15 points. Supplementation can improve cognitive ability if started early for neonates or if the low iodine didn’t begin in infancy. (6)

The intelligence damage of children exposed to severe ID [iodine deficiency] was profound, demonstrated by 12.45 IQ points loss and they recovered 8.7 IQ points with iodine supplementation or IS [iodine sufficiency] before and during pregnancy. Iodine supplementation before and during pregnancy to women living in severe ID areas could prevent their children from intelligence deficit. This effect becomes evident in children born 3.5 years after the iodine supplementation program was introduced.” (6)

Infants who are born low in iodine tend to grow very slowly, in proportion, but tiny. Shorter, narrower, lighter, less muscle mass, than if they had been sufficient in iodine. The appearance has been described as elfin and can be very cute as a child, however what might their full potential have been if mom had had enough iodine? More to point – why are low iodine thyroid conditions only treated with Synthroid and rarely with extra iodine? That is standard for anyone with hypotthyroidism – totally ignore the need for iodine by every other gland in the body.

Buyer be very wary of “health care professionals” – they may just be following standard protocols and seeking more information may be life improving.

Food sources of iodine: Eating adequate seaweed and seafood is the traditional source of iodine in many areas of the world. Seaweed species vary in iodine content, and it can vary within species. Supplements of seaweed for iodine use should be tested batch by batch for iodine content of the seaweed if the company is reputable. Other crops grown near the ocean tend to have higher levels of iodine than crops grown inland, which makes coconut a fairly good iodine source.

Some plants uptake iodine preferentially such as rhubarb, making it a vegetable high in iodine. It also has other medicinal benefits. This person really loved Siberian rhubarb for perimenopause, so I will let her tell you about it: ( There may be a product for sale, I am not affiliated. It is a thorough article on the intricacies of estrogen receptors.

green-leafed plant
Young rhubarb stalks. The leaves and stalks can get quite large. Generally the leaves are not eaten, only the colorful stalks. Rhubarb is a tangy celergy like vegetable that can be used in place of celery in soup or is typically sweetened and thickened in the US to serve as a tangy “fruit” pie, possibly prepared with strawberries too. Photo by kaori nohara on Unsplash

The recommendations for iodine intake across the lifespan, may also be too low for everyone, when the competition of halides in the water and food supply is considered. Iodine can be replaced by bromide or fluoride or chloride in thyroid hormone, but the resulting hormone is then dysfunctional. Lab tests would show “normal” levels. Symptoms of hypothyroidism may be present while lab tests show the presence of a normal amount of T3 and T4 that may not have three atoms of iodine or four atoms of iodine. Instead, it might have some atoms of fluoride, bromide or chloride if the body was low in iodine and had plenty of the other halides present.

More information about iodine and selenium food sources, and the issue of halides in hypothyroidism is on page G9. Iodine & Thyroid. (

Selenium is also needed for the enzyme that breaks down excess thyroid hormone. Two Brazil nuts per day provides the typical goal used in alternative treatment – 200 micrograms of selenium per day. Selenium is not readily available in many foods and checking your one-a-day or Trace Mineral supplement mix for it would be a good idea as Brazil nuts can be expensive or hard to find.

**Addition, off-topic from iodine – I went back to the perimenopause article, (, and have found a biological difference between males and females – females may have – drumroll – more bliss – more of the THC equivalent endocannabinoid: anandamide.

“Despite these differences, FAAH inhibitors retain anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects in ovariectomized female rats [112]. Interestingly, however, anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects produced by estradiol administration are attenuated by CB1R blockade [112], whereas estradiol administration increases AEA levels [113] or AEA signaling [114], possibly via downregulation of FAAH* driven by an estrogen response element on the FAAH gene that suppresses FAAH transcription when bound by estrogen.”

Goodness, let’s decipher that.

Basically, estradiol exerts its antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects by boosting anandamide. [*FAAH is an enzyme that breaks down cannabinoids.] In fact, they were able to block estradiol’s effect on depression and anxiety by blocking CB (endocannabinoid) receptors!

This means, the key to estradiol’s control of mood is…the endocannabinoid system and anandamide in particular!

By the way, this was a sex dependent effect…only women used this pathway in other experiments: Remarkably, this effect of E2 [estradiol] is sex specific, occurring in females but not in males.

Can we all agree that irritability is the opposite of bliss? (

Yes, I can agree that irritability is the opposite of bliss – PMS history and genetic inability to make anandamide has left me familiar with irritability, also those around me – sorry. I would try to go to my office during PMS week and warn staff that I was having a cranky day – paperwork catch up day.

*In the modern era of trans gender hormone use, it is also interesting because the DNA male body might not be as blissful/peaceful even with estradiol use as someone with a DNA female body because the estrogen receptors would likely still respond as a male. If you paint a barn red, it doesn’t become a fire engine. Self-acceptance is a goal of maturing – we all have flaws and aging adds changes to those old familiar flaws.

Chocolate and Pregnancy – moderation/common sense – it is a nutrient rich food, hold the sugar and bad fats.

Chocolate is the richest commonly used food with some cannabinoid content – but not much for the calorie ratio. Bliss but not in a dose large enough for someone with a gene difference in ability to make endocannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are needed in pregnancy and lactation and chocolate is not that high in caffeine or theobromine that chocolate needs to be avoided (a frequent recommendation for pregnancy that I don’t agree with). Moderation on the calories, use of dark cocoa powder in a low sugar product would provide a variety of phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory benefits.

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.

Reference List

  1. Delange F., Iodine requirements during pregnancy, lactation and the neonatal period and indicators of optimal iodine nutrition. Public Health Nutr. 2007 Dec;10(12A):1571-80; discussion 1581-3. doi: 10.1017/S1368980007360941.
  2. Yan YQ, et al., Attention to the hiding iodine deficiency in pregnant and lactating women and lactating women after universal salt iodization: A multi-community study in China. J Endocrinol Invest. 2005 Jun;28(6):547-53.
  3. Kung AW., Iodine nutrition of pregnant and lactating women in Hong Kong, where intake is of borderline sufficiency. Public Health Nutr. 2007 Dec;10(12A):1600-1. doi: 10.1017/S1368980007360989.
  4. Rajatanavin R., Iodine deficiency in pregnant women and neonates in Thailand., Public Health Nutr. 2007 Dec;10(12A):1602-5. doi: 10.1017/S1368980007360990.
  5. Azizi F1, Smyth P., Breastfeeding and maternal and infant iodine nutrition. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2009 May;70(5):803-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2008.03442.x. Epub 2008 Oct 6.
  6. The effects of iodine on intelligence in children: a meta-analysis of studies conducted in China. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2005;14(1):32-42.
  7. Toloza FJK, Motahari H, Maraka S, Consequences of Severe Iodine Deficiency in Pregnancy: Evidence in Humans, MINI REVIEW article, Front. Endocrinol., 19 June 2020, Sec. Thyroid Endocrinology,,

S1 subunit found after infection or injection, many months later.

Spike protein 15-16 months post-acute infection? Patterson et al.: “Persistence of SARS CoV-2 S1 Protein in CD16+ Monocytes in Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) up to 15 Months Post-Infection” (

What this means is that my ongoing use of nicotine lozenges is helpful to me (but I do need to not overuse them) after having had a bad passive exposure illness in May 2021 with some relapses at other times of the year. Once sensitized it seemed that further exposures were more likely like an allergy getting worse. I did use KN95 masks when in medical settings or busy places. Confined with poor ventilation is highest risk, along with a setting where many jabbed people might be at (medical office or business giving jabs, for example).

The S1 subunit of the jabs seems even more of a nAChR inhibitor/paralytic than the infection, having had that in early 2020.

Brief post because I am busy on a part 2 to this Substack post: Addition: #23 – B1 – thiamine.

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.

Treatments vs ‘a cure’ – flashback to 2020

Vitamin C and Intravenous Vitamin C/Thiamine therapy for cytokine storm are treatments that have a long history of safe and effective use. In early 2020 even vitamin C was getting discredited by the media and FDA as helpful and allowed treatments for Covid19. The post Treatments vs ‘a cure’ was a response to online bickering about there being no ‘cure’ for Covid19 – the implication being it is wrong to talk about how vitamin C can help then.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for vascular health and most everything else in a functioning body, indirectly if not directly.

Treatment is about providing all of the care a person needs when their health function is over stressed and possibly dysfunctional in some ways due to inflammation or infection effects. Treatment is well rounded to support various needs and reduce various symptoms.

Looking for a single ‘cure’ is a medical model viewpoint, based on the success of antibiotics, but also the success in early research days when finding and providing vitamin C was a fairly quick “cure” for scurvy – a deadly disease that was found to be “Vitamin C deficiency“. In that case the treatment was the cure. Vitamin D for rickets was also an early wonder cure that helped children grow up with straight and strong leg bones. Vitamin D fortification of milk and infant formula helped reverse that trend. Sadly scurvy is still occurring occasionally and medical professionals miss the diagnosis and simple cure – provide vitamin C.

Scurvy – severe vitamin C deficiency: “The modern doctor must keep this ancient disease in mind, as it presents insidiously with debilitating repercussions, particularly in older people who are at a higher risk. It is easily treatable once detected.” (1)

In the post Treatments vs ‘a cure’, I took a close look at a molecular docking study (3) that had grouped potential inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 infection or replication into seven categories. I found that my selfcare treatments covered six of the seven categories, and citrus peel alone was potentially helping my infection selfcare in five of the seven ways. In total though I was using many items included in six of the seven categories. (3) SARS-CoV-2 can enter cells in many ways and spreads by exosomes – making many strategies necessary to block it or stop infected cells from remaining a latent infection.

The seven categories:

  1. PLpro inhibitors: “hesperidin and neohesperidin…might be the potential 3CLpro inhibitors and could probably be used for treating SARS-CoV-2.” (3) Citrus peel is a source of hesperidin and neohesperidin and vitamin C – L(+)-Ascorbic acid, quercetinoids, and other bioflavonoids like rutin. (13); Riboflavin-vitamin B2; Silybin – Milk Thistle; “epigallocatechin gallate, [EGCG]…exhibited high binding affinity to PLpro protein, suggesting the potential utility of these compounds in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2.” (3) EGCG – pomegranate peel and/or green tea. EGCG also acts as a zinc ionophore when zinc is available. (11); (–)- Rosmarinic acid – rosemary.
  2. 3C-like main protease (3CLpro) inhibitors: metabolite of riboflavin, Flavin mononucleotide, which a high dose vitamin B2 supplement might provide as the metabolite; Lutein – kale and other vegetables; and also hesperidin, neohesperidin, and rosmarinic acid.
  3. RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) inhibitors: silybin – Milk Thistle.
  4. Helicase (Nsp13) inhibitors: hesperidin, neohesperidin and other flavonoids. “The natural products, such as many flavanoids from different sources (α-glucosyl hesperidin, hesperidin, rutin, quercetagetin 6-O-β-D-glucopyranoside and homovitexin), …showed high binding affinity to this target.” (3) Rutin is found in green and black tea and a few other foods. Quercetagetin… seems to be a form of quercetin, which also can act as a zinc ionophore, (11) and is in citrus and pomegranate peel and many plants. Homovitexin is also called isovitexin and is found in cannabis and flaxseed and in a few other foods. (4)
  5. Targets inhibiting virus structural proteins: hesperidin, and “licoflavonol from Glycyrrhiza uralensis” -non DGL licorice root. “By superimposing the ACE2–RBD complex to the hesperidin–RBD complex, a distinct overlap of hesperidin with the interface of ACE2 could be observed (Fig. 6C), suggesting hesperidin may disrupt the interaction of ACE2 with RBD [the RBD section of the SPIKE protein]. ” (3)
  6. Targets inhibiting virulence factor: did not include any that I was taking.
  7. Targets blocking host specific receptor or enzymesneohesperidin and hesperidin from Citrus aurantium again, the two phytonutrients are also in the peel of other citrus species. (5) “The natural products, such as phyllaemblicin G7 from Phyllanthus emblica, xanthones from the plants of Swertiagenus, neohesperidin and hesperidin from Citrus aurantium, exhibited potentially high binding affinity to ACE2 protein. ” (3

Hesperidin is in five of the seven categories; neohesperidin in four; and riboflavin, silybin and rosmarinic acid might help in two ways. Pomegranate peel phytonutrients likely also can help in numerous ways.

Treatments are needed for multifactorial problems, and SARS-CoV-2 or chimeric spike effects include multiple routes of possible harm. To ‘cure’ this – we need many treatments.

Disclaimer: 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.

Reference List

  1. Callus CA, Vella S, Ferry P. Scurvy is Back. Nutr Metab Insights. 2018 Nov 21;11:1178638818809097. doi: 10.1177/1178638818809097. PMID: 30479485; PMCID: PMC6249652.
  2. J Depew, Treatments vs ‘a cure’, April 3, 2020,,
  3. Canrong Wu, Yang Liu, Yueying Yang, et al., Analysis of therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and discovery of potential drugs by computational methods. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, 27 February 2020, * the genetic structure of the SARS-CoV(2) virus more closely matches the first, 2003, SARS-CoV virus in the way it can enter at ACE2 Receptors than it resembles the genetic structure of the coronavirus from bats native to China. There has also not been research support of the theory that the bat virus can infect humans as the shape does not fit the human ACE2 receptor: “…4 among the 5 most important amino acids (L465, L495, Y502, D510, and H514) that bind to ACE2 12 in Bat-CoV RaTG13 differ from SARS-CoV-2 (Fig. 3C). And there is no related research literature about whether Bat-CoV RaTG13 can infect human yet.”
  4. The other numbered references are on the original post. See 2 above.

Falseness of research – JPA Ioannidis, 2015

Dr. Robert Malone more recently published an article summarizing how media and research have added to wrong information being spread and believed about Covid19.

Phil Harper, of The Digger Substack & new podcast, did an interview with Pierre Kory, MD, a doctor with the Frontline doctors working to help CoV patients. He uses Ivermectin successfully and discusses the difficulties and biased or false research that has been used to discredit use of a medication with a long and safe history – including a Nobel Prize. Towards the end of the interview he also points out that all effective treatments and dietary supports have been suppressed or discredited. He goes further to say it is a long history of the same fraud to support pharmaceuticals and suppression of effective low budget care. The suppression of side effects of psychiatric and other medications was also mentioned. To listen you do need to be a paid or free trial subscriber. (Phil Harper/Substack/The Digger)

John P.A. Ioannidis reviews research about bias and other effects that seem to do with competitiveness in a field of study – who will be first? Larger group numbers and larger effects tend to be more accurate than studies with small group size which found minimally significant effects. Financial interest in the outcome of the study also seems to impact reliability of the results of the funded research.

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False – Abstract, Summary

There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance.

Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.

In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.

Citation: Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS Med 2(8): e124.

Published: August 30, 2005, Copyright: © 2005 John P. A. Ioannidis. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Meme shared by Dr. Malone recently in an email newsletter.

Regarding manipulation in media in Germany/Europe, a file from Wikileaks is in German, papers about or by Gunter Wallraff, German author and undercover journalist (

Disclaimer: 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.