Iodine supplements vital to nation's health

Letter to Sunday Times from professors at Cardiff , Birmingham and Surrey Uni's also BTF, Mark Van der pump, and British Thyroid Association about low Iodine levels and the fact that salt isn't iodised. In 4 areas of UK 50% or more of pregnant women are low in Iodine. The signatories support iodine supplements and hope it will be implemented rather sooner than folic acid supplements.

36 Replies

  • Interesting! It was suggested to me years ago by a science based Endo to take kelp tablets to kick start my thyroid. I was also advised not to tell my GP! (It wasn't my late husband and he didn't say it was bad advice) I can't remember now whether I thought it was beneficial though I don't think I was brave enough to take the recommended dose. What do others think?

  • Salt is iodinised in the netherlands where i grew up and i can remember one of my symptoms before diagnosis was craving salt so there could be some benefit to some i suppose

  • Salt used to be iodinated in this country when I was growing up. We are told to cut down on salt now. Life s getting very confusing. I must admit to sitting on the fence over this one. I'm interested in the artical and other peoples pionts of view.

  • Iodised salt has always (well certainly as far back as early twentieth century) been available. But few have chosen to buy it, so whilst it it still available, you often have to try more than one shop.


  • But is it good for us??

  • It seems feasible that in those who are short of iodine, iodised salt may be better than the equivalent salt that has not been iodised.

    And that is as far as I will go! Simple ignorance of what is the right amount of salt, of iodine, what form of iodine, and so on means I don't wish to write things which may not be true!

  • If it was someone other than mark van den pump I might have more belief in it :/

  • I was very interested about your comment on M van den pump?

    He sits in on my daughter’s endo appointments every six months. I find he so likes to perform with jokes and innuendos to the audience of junior registrars who also sit in for educational purposes. Basically, I find him absolutely useless and find he contributes nothing of any help to my daughter’s condition.

  • That is truly shocking. They just have no idea how desperate we may be feeling by the time we've got past the gatekeepers and how hopeful we are that they will help us, or maybe there would be less @rsing about like it was a joke.

    Mine had some biochemist sitting in on my appt and when I said something about how I felt or maybe about my meds (I can't remember what it was, but I frequently burst into tears during these appointments, so you can imagine my state of mind) and he immediately told me why it was nonsense and that he would have his biochemist mate explain it to me. And I would say by the sounds of it on this forum, his bedside manner was better than most.

  • I'd ask him to leave !

  • Might just do that next time

  • Where's the article?

  • It's a letter in the Sunday Times

  • Thanks Harry. A link to the letter would've been good.

  • Bit tricky when it's in a newspaper ;-)

  • Newspspers are digital these days, and have links to pages.

    However, the Times usually requires subscription. Would have been good if someone with the newspaper and a scanner could scan that letter and paste it here for us to read.

  • Iodine is essential in general but for people with Hashimotos and on T4 or T3 it can be very unhelpful. We get the iodine we need from the T4 and T3 and the resulting low TSH means the thyroid is resting. More iodine can mean more activity in the thyroid which can cause more damage (like pouring petrol on a fire). I avoid iodised salt.

  • Dr Peatfield has written an excellent article about iodine thats available online

  • I agree, iodine is essential. It's important to do your homework regarding autoimmune disease and the companion nutrients that ensure you don't exacerbate autoimmune illness - but a google of the Iodine Protocol will bring up some interesting results. Chris Kresser's article which talks about 'petrol on a fire' quoted above, talks about the issues with iodine that UNLESS you supplement with sufficient selenium, which is easy to do.

    Also, I have also had the misfortune to meet Dr VDP - what a patronising idiot that man is and I've met several of his patients who also say the same thing. However, I heard his lecture about iodine deficiency (one of the main reasons is we've stopped cleaning dairy equipment with iodine which got it into the milk supply) which was interesting, apart from his jokes in response to some worried parents asking about cretinism 'Worried your kid might not get into Eton and might only get into the local comprehensive??' - astonishing!!!!

    However I think processed SALT is very bad and anyone interested in this subject should google Dr David Brownstein on both salt and iodine, and also google Stephanie Buist.


  • The Chris Kresser article is very interesting but it seems the jury's still out for me as it seems too risky to go it alone on this one :-(

  • You need to read more than one article before making up your mind. I recommend the references I quoted above. And I hear what you are saying about going it alone but I'm going it alone on everything with my health now, I've had to ... scary at first but it gets easier. Not saying iodine is for you, but going it alone is no bad thing xx

  • I've read loads of stuff on it, and have probably read the CK one in the past to be honest! I was very tempted at one point but I think it was reading the "fuel on the fire" comment that put me off. I am hypo and according to my GP I'm borderline Hashimotos (even with antibodies which started out at 1600+) and she's remarked that she's surprised my thyroid isn't functioning a lot worse than it is so I feel like I'm balancing on a tightrope a bit and am loath to do anything risky!

  • Thanks for the link. I have CK's book on the paleo diet so will bear in mind Iodine and selenium along with gluten and lactose free!

  • All you need is unrefined sea salt. It contains all minerals, etc we need. You need very little in your diet as it is quite strong and doesn't harm you.

  • Trouble is, shaws, that in relation to this thread, sea salt contains very little iodine. All the things that live in the sea, most especially seaweeds like kelp, are phenomenally capable of absorbing almost all the iodine that gets dissolved in the water - leaving precious little in the salt extracted.

    Further, much sea salt is exposed to sun and wind, which results in further diminishment of any iodine that might once have been there.


  • Thanks Rod. I still prefer it to refined salt.

  • So do I. :-)

  • The only kind of salt you should be consuming is Sea salt or Rock salt from a recognised source - they are natural salts which are unadulterated and contain all minerals; incluidng iodine (sea salt).

    Table salt is the one which was Iodised and this is not actually salt but a chemical manufactured version of it - iodising it was helpful but actually this salt is the one which should be avoided especially with high blood pressure, etc. Personally this is the one I use to melt the snow on my path and nothing else.

    An interesting thing about Iodine; mainly necessary for thyroid gland function and formation of thyroid hormone but also in breast tissue.

    I have for years complained of painful breasts and each time am told its nothing; but the pain continues. Although I take thyroid medication (pigs and synthetic T3), I experimented with Lugols Iodine, taking a small amount in water - tastes like disinfectant. however, my breast pain has disappeared.

    I dont take Iodine daily but every couple of weeks. There is a dispute about using Iodine if you're Hypothyroidism is treated and especially with Hashimoto's but it works for me.

  • Please tell me how much iodine is in any of the salts you refer to?


  • My private doc said to use iodised salt but I couldn't find iodised sea salt so never went that route. I had some kelp tablets which I used to cut into quarters and take every so often.

    Just today I had a phone appt with my gp about a painful area on my left breast, so if they don't manage to do anything about it I may try a bit of iodine.

  • Are these the same professors and organisations which have, so far, done effectively nothing and actually allowed the current situation to come about? Did they really see iodine-based teat disinfectant disappearing and not say anything? It has even taken them quite a long time since MVDP's paper about teenage girls showing iodine deficiency.

    (On the animal welfare front, chlorine-based disinfectants are apparently more gentle on the teats, at least of goats.)

    There are many questions about the best route for iodine and some suggestions that salt may not be the best option.

    I thought eggs an interesting approach:


    I have noticed iodised salt being used in many more processed foods nowadays. I suspect that this most often happens in factories producing largely for Germany, maybe Poland, where low iodine has long been a problem. Perhaps those who shop at Lidl and Aldi have higher iodine intakes!

    I repeat what I have many time said, ordinary levels of iodine such as might be obtained from diet never worries me. But I do have concerns that someone reading a letter like this might go out and buy high dose iodine, and suffer from taking them. Anything higher than modest levels should, in my view, be backed up by iodine tests.


  • I have just read a response from DWP that says that people with hypothyroidism are not eligible for ESA because it is a dietary deficiency caused by and cured by iodine. Oh and elseware they say Hashimoto's is not eligible either,because it can be cured by radiation. So I just don't believe anything anymore. x

  • Oh for god's sake!!!

  • Just a warning note, decades before diagnosis (have Hashimoto's) I had a craving for seaweed & thought I needed kelp (iodine) supplement. Taking iodine definitely worsened hypothyroid symptoms - I think if you have autoimmune thyroid problems it is unwise to take iodine. I think someone below mentioned idea of stimulating the thyroid with iodine thus causing more autoimmune attacks!

  • This link (which is pretty rubbishy but mentions the Guildford connection:

    also links to this:

    Posted for interest - not as an endorsement - I have not spent long enough reading them to make any more comments.


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