It is easy to tell which the most common form of cancer in American women is. Its breast cancer and it causes the death of a staggering 40,000 American women every year. In fact, one out of every 8 women in the country get diagnosed with it.
Wouldn’t you be surprised if you learn about a mineral that can help in significantly reducing your risk of developing breast cancer? All you have to do is to ensure that you are getting enough of it.
How Iodine Helps You?
The thyroid gland requires iodine for its proper functioning. You would be amazed to know that almost 60 percent of the iodine in your body gets stored in the thyroid gland. It helps with the production and release of hormones controlling the base metabolic rate in your body.
So when you take adequate amounts of iodine, your calorie intake converts into energy production and not in getting stored as body fat. Another benefit of iodine is that it helps with the digestion and use of a wide range of minerals. These minerals include silicon and calcium.
Iodine benefits the average person with both energy levels and weight management. But it’s extremely essential for pregnant women.
Research shows developmental delays are highly likely in the babies of women who have low levels of thyroid gland-produced hormones.
The reason is that the fetus is fully dependent on the mother, for the first 10 weeks after conception, for supplying the thyroid hormones. Another reason is that these initial 10 weeks are extremely critical for brain development. This makes it extremely crucial for a pregnant mother to get sufficient amounts of iodine in her system. It will help in promoting her thyroid health and the production of hormone.
Studies have also found that there’s enhanced risk of breast cancer due to low levels of iodine in the system.
How Iodine Deficiency Links to Breast Cancer?
According to researchers, there is a link between iodine’s direct/indirect interaction with estrogen pathways and its cancer preventative benefits.
It may come as a surprise that the natural and essential hormone estrogen has links to enhanced risk of breast cancer. But things become clearer when you consider that far more women suffer from breast cancer than men.
Estrogen causes stimulation of breast cell division. This is one reason how experts look at the contribution of estrogen to breast cancer development. Another reason is the affect of estrogen on other hormones which stimulate breast cell division.
It is also believed to support the growth of estrogen-responsive tumors.
According to researchers, iodine is one mineral that can help reduce this breast cell proliferation and prevention the risk of breast cancer. This is done by minimizing the estrogen-induced growth of breast cells through inhibition of estrogen’s response to the cells. Estrogen response is stopped through regulation of proteins linked with estrogen’s metabolism. It also does this by reducing inhibition of a specific estrogen response inhibitor.
According to a study in Japan, a seaweed food that’s widely eaten in the country has been found to have high levels of iodine. The study found that it helps in suppressing breast cancer tumors in rats which were given the seaweed food. There were 2 groups of rats in the study. Both the groups were induced with breast cancer. The first group that was previously given a diet rich in the iodine-loaded seaweed didn’t have any breast cancer tumors. The second group, the control group, which was given none of the seaweed were found to have tumors.
Seaweed is a commonly consumed snack in Japan. The high levels of seaweed consumption in the country is considered bring the low breast cancer prevalence. In fact, it is found to be only half as prevalent of what it is in the United States.
The American Thyroid Association reports that around 40% of the global population is at the risk of having iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency not only brings various other health problems along with it, it also significantly increase the risk of development of breast cancer, when compared to an average person.
Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency
You should take the following symptoms of iodine deficiency carefully:
– Poor perception levels
– Regular frustration
– Abnormal weight gain
– Coarse skin
– Decreased fertility
Studies show that mothers suffering from iodine deficiency in their pregnancy have very high risk of giving birth to children who have different health problems ranging from physical malformations to mental disabilities.
Increasing Your Iodine Intake
One of the best places you can look for iodine is in marine animals and plants. They have large amounts of the mineral, especially because of the salty environment all around them.
So here are the best natural sources of iodine that you should try to add to your diet as much as possible:
– Herring perch
– Deep-water whitefish
– Sea bass
If you prefer adding more plant-based iodine sources to your diet, you must consider the following options:
– Lima beans
– Brown seaweed kelp
– Summer squash
– Swiss chard
– Summer squash
– Sesame seeds
– Turnip greens
Just taking more iodine means much more than consuming these foods. You should start avoiding some foods too. Because this mineral is a halogen, it complies with the law of halogen displacement. In simple terms, this law means that a halogen weighing more than iodine will replace the lighter halogen.
There are 3 common halogens found in our food and you must avoid them if you want to get the best benefits of iodine. These 3 halogens are:
Iodine is lighter than all of them. You should avoid all foods and substances having these other halogens.
Chlorine – is sourced from water supplies and foods. It is specifically obtained from pool water. There are certain foods from the cabbage and radish family which contain high amounts of chlorine. Some of the examples include:
– Brussels sprout
There are many rich sources of iodine which also have high levels of chorine. This especially includes sea salt. But the chlorine found in such sources are fortunately not highly bioavailable. This helps ensure that the chorine doesn’t compete for iodine digestion.
Fluorine (fluoride) – is well known for being added to the public water supplies. Because it is added by the government, it is almost impossible to avoid its consumption. You can avoid it by buying spring water. Spring water brands usually have very low percentage of fluoride.
You could also get yourself a water distillation unit if you think it doesn’t make sense to pay for water. Distillation of water helps in removing most fluoride. But you will still have to spend anything in the range $200-1000 for the unit. You could however think of just buying a Brita filter or boiling your water.
Bromine – There are many food sources that have bromine. They can include flours and baked goods having “dough conditioners or various other foods including soft drinks like Gatorade, Fresca, and Mountain Dew which have brominated vegetable oils. It is also found in methyl bromide, which is a pesticide used primarily for strawberries in California.
So overall, when you take more iodine, you are able to boost your health in so many ways. The most important benefit is that it helps in minimizing the risk of developing breast cancer. When someone in the family gets diagnosed with this cancer, you should help increase their intake of iodine immediately.
Other included sources/references in Family Life Goals’s article: