Why did the USDA remove iodine from its Food Composition Database?

If you wait for someone else or for your government to hand you a survival kit, then you may be waiting a while and sometimes people are already too sick to be able to wait much longer. For some hard to understand reason a life saving tool was taken away from the U.S. public that had been available for a long time.

We in the U.S. used to have life saving information available to us which was removed – if that happened in North Korea would we be concerned? Food sources of iodine were included in the USDA Food Composition Database in 2010 and 2011 and now the information is no longer included even though many, many other chemicals are included that aren’t even considered essential vitamins or minerals. Iodine is a trace mineral that is considered essential and it helps prevent neurological deficits in children, may have to do with risk of autism, obesity and apathy. (ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/index)

The current nutrient guideline for iodine is based on a goal to prevent goiter which is a physical symptom of very severe iodine deficiency. Patients who are treated with a short term loading dose of extra iodine, a dose that would be too much if continued long term, report on average a significant reduction in symptoms including pain from Fibrocystic Breast Disease, migraines and fibromyalgia. http://www.jpands.org/vol11no4/millerd.pdf Fibrocystic Breast Disease – painful breasts that may cycle with the monthly hormonal changes, used to be very uncommon for U.S. women and is now very common:

“The incidence of fibrocystic breast disease in American women
was 3 percent in the 1920s. Today, 90 percent of women have this
disorder…” http://www.jpands.org/vol11no4/millerd.pdf

I am familiar with the condition, it hurt, taking a high dose iodine supplement did help relieve me of the cyclic breast pain and coincidentally also may have helped resolve a severe migraine problem that I had and undiagnosed fibromyalgia type pain – the insurance requirements for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia are very specific and my set of muscle knots didn’t match the criteria at the time I was having pain. A gluten free diet seemed to help me feel better so I just followed that on my own initiative. I have since learned that chemically the gluten molecule is quite similar to the thyroid hormone and for some people an autoimmune reaction may be causing the body to become over-sensitized to both gluten and the thyroid hormone. Strictly avoiding the dietary allergen (gluten in this example) can help the body to become less over-reactive to the body’s natural chemicals (thyroid hormone in this example). Molecular mimicry is the term used to describe this phenomenon if interested in reading more about it.

A randomized clinical trial with patients reporting breast pain also termed Benign Breast Disease or cyclic mastalglia or Fibrocystic Breast Disease found that pain was reduced for patients treated with double the current RDA of iodine or greater but that relief was not provided for the group who received a dose equal to the current U.S. nutrient guideline. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15239792

Benign Breast Disease or Fibrocystic Breast Disease has not generally been found to be directly a risk for later breast cancer however for some patients (~ 5%-20%) it may be an early indicator of later risk.  Abstract available, full text paywall, so I’m not sure of the details regarding the results: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25970956

An overview of a variety of research on the topic of breast health and iodine and halide toxicity, bromine, perchlorates, and fluoride, is available here: https://kathleenbarnes.com/iodine-and-fibrocystic-breasts-and-breast-cancer/

Excess perchlorate, especially in combination with low iodine, may increase risk to fetal brain development. https://scienmag.com/mothers-exposed-to-common-toxin-have-lower-levels-of-hormone-crucial-for-brain-development/

PTSD outbursts is about a domino pattern of behavior that is triggered by the first domino being bumped. Being offended is something that has nothing to do with PTSD. A few tips for helping reduce symptoms of PTSD, a physical brain issue involving overactive fear response, is available here: https://www.organicfacts.net/post-traumatic-stress.html

Prenatal care is important to think about once the infant is conceived but it can be even better to think about before trying to conceive. An evaluation for iodine level and thyroid antibodies can be a good idea for anyone but may also be helpful for a future infant’s brain development.

This image has nothing to do with being offended or being triggered – it is about potentially health and life saving information being withheld from the U.S. population. Why withhold it? What is the USDA goal in removing a large amount of data from a health professional’s and individual’s toolkit for providing accurate preventative health education? Why take away information from a toolkit when it had been available?

Where’s the iodine?

Iodine food sources include:

  • anything made with iodized salt,
  • many types of seaweed including kelp and nori, (used in sushi rolls),
  • coconut and any other produce that is grown very near to ocean waters (Iodine is released into the air by coastal water microbes – so killing coral reeves may affect our nutrient supply – that is also how we get selenium.)
  • cranberries, organic yogurt, and navy beans and other types of dry beans are also mentioned as good sources of iodine in this article: (globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/iodine-foods/).

It is good to have adequate selenium when increasing intake of iodine as occasionally the body can overreact and start over producing thyroid hormone and selenium is necessary for the enzyme that is needed to breakdown excess amounts of thyroid hormone. It is involved in metabolism and too little can cause depression and feeling cold and too much can cause a racing heart and feeling jittery and manic.

Two hundred micrograms per day is the recommended amount and is generally available in a one-a-day type supplement, otherwise approximately two Brazil nuts per day is a good natural source – there aren’t many natural sources because it is released into the atmosphere by coastal ocean water microbes and the rainforest Brazil nut trees seem to be good at collecting the mineral – we live in a miracle – we should treat it like a miracle – I like to call the miracle Mother Earth – she birthed us all.

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.

Wardrobe extenders may help health

Wearing undergarments like bras that fit too tightly or for most of the day and night may increase risk of breast cancer and can increase pain from fibrocystic breast disease. Bra extenders are very inexpensive solutions to tight garment bands and are available in different sizes and colors. Band extenders that add one to three inches can be purchased for a few dollars. The search term ‘bra extenders’ will provide many examples of the product.

Research has not been performed regarding their use against breast cancer but a better fitting bra may reduce pain associated with fibrocystic disease. Women who did not wear bras regularly had half the rate of breast cancer compared to other women in a study published in 1991. The focus of that study had been on a different topic than clothing habits [1]. A 1991-1993 Bra and Breast Cancer Study found a similar correlation [2]. Mainstream sources do not list the amount of time that bras are worn as a cause of cancer [3].  Further research to substantiate or disprove the correlation from the 1991 studies is needed.

However too tight garment bands can be painful and they may reduce detoxification of blood by the lymphatic system. Lymphatic fluid helps remove toxins from the body at the lymph nodes. The lymphatic system has a series of vessels that are similar to arteries and veins. The lymph fluid interacts most directly with blood flow at the lymph nodes. Blood is pumped through the arteries and veins by the power of the heart.  Only the activity of the surrounding muscles moves lymphatic fluid. Regular movement during exercise or an active lifestyle may help health by increasing the removal of toxins at the lymph nodes. White blood cells that can fight infection and cancer are also active at lymph nodes.

The tightness or over-tightness of the band is likely to be the main issue, but how far the underwire extends under the arm could also affect fluid movement. Lymphatic flow moves sideways towards the underarm area more than downward. [4]

Excess heat of the constricted tissue may also be a concern. [5 and 6]

A study and television documentary, “Bras – Bare Facts,” (2000) found not wearing a bra to greatly reduce fibrocystic breast pain on average for a group of 100 women. – partial transcript on a site with a few anatomical pictures: [6] Excerpt from the documentary about fibrocystic pain:

“It may be that the bra is producing a heating effect on the breast resulting in the breast secreting more fluid. At the moment we don’t know, but it is possible that a cooler is a healthier breast from the point of view of producing less fluid, producing less cysts and producing less pain.” [6]

Iodine deficiency has also been associated with fibrocystic breast disease so complete elimination of bras is probably not necessary. [7] Adequate iodine and selenium intake early in life and elimination of excess bromide might help though.

Men may need to check the fit of their clothing for a different reason. Wearing tight jeans for many hours may reduce male fertility. Increased body temperature seems to be the issue rather than reduced lymphatic flow. A laptop used directly on the male lap has also been associated with reduced male fertility. [9] Carrying a cell phone in a pants pocket for hours may also be a concern to fertility due to the radiofrequency electromagnetic waves [8]

This article is based on a shorter comment and reply that was previously posted elsewhere.

/Disclaimer: Information presented on this site is not intended as a substitute for medical care and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by your physician./

  1. Hsieh CC, Trichopoulos D.,  “Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk.” Eur J Cancer. 1991;27(2):131-5. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  2. Singer S.R., Grismaijer S., “Bras Still Cause Breast Cancer: Are Your Patients Dressed To Kill?” ANMA Journal pdf [isisboston.com]
  3. Stephan P., “Bras Cause Breast Cancer: Myth or Fact?” (3/17/2010), about.com [breastcancer.about.com]
  4. Mitchell A., “Tight Bra Syndrome; Or, why you might want to skip the  underwire and take your bra off when you get home.” pdf [ameliamitchell.com]
  5. Kumar A., “Burn the bra! (and men’s tight underpants too): compromised ‘chaotic’ cooling by constrictive clothing in the causation of testicular and breast cancers. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Dec;73(6):1079-80. Epub 2009 Oct 14. [link to a Medical Hypothesis article, no abstract available.]
  6. The British study on bra wearing and breast pain.” -includes a partial transcript of the “Bras – Bare Facts” documentary (2000) [007b.com]
  7. Jones A., “Fibrocystic Breast Disease.” Women’s Health Institute of Texas [1-thyroid.com]
  8. Mann D., “Cell Phone Use Linked to Male Infertility.” (9/19/2008) webmd.com [webmd.com]
  9. Sinha K., “Tight jeans reduce fertility,” Times of India, (April 12, 2007) [articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com]

Binding of body parts is also likely to cause health problems, reduce lymphatic flow, increase heat and sweat which may promote yeast overgrowth, and possibly restrict motion. If society could just accept people as people instead of focusing so much on appearance and body parts more of us might create wonders with all the energy not being wasted on trying to fit in or on feeling a need to fit gender norms.

“Violence is both a social construct and a (painfully) lived experience –
domestic violence can be viewed as an extension of rigid gender roles that
are socially constructed and involve the sets of traditions, habits and beliefs
which permit some men to assume dominance and control over women, and
thus, to assume the right to use violence as a means of exercising that
control. “

Women and girls are hypersexualized while boys and men tend to be portrayed as people with varied characteristics. Advertising showing girls and women for products may be very sexualized while the same product for men or boys may be presented as normal clothing, a couple examples: https://twitter.com/PepiteSexiste/status/1062805463115407360

Why are girls shown to wear very little clothing in cold weather and risk getting overchilled? It sets a role model for other girls to also ignore health over societal expectations.

Trans activists send free breast binders to 13 year olds.

Love the body you’re in and the mind – health is something that difficult to recover if harmed.

Self harm can occur with physical and mental problems, therapy and health care both may help.  See this post for more about a physical problem associated with self harm urges, and a link to a book written for counselors from which I adapted the list below: