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Iodine Deficiency, Breast Health, and Hormone Balance

Posted by Manuela Boyle on 25 May 2021
Iodine Deficiency, Breast Health, and Hormone Balance

Iodine Deficiency, Breast Health, and Hormone Balance

I recently came across an article from Women's International Pharmacy on the powerful role of iodine in women's health and immediately thought I've got to get them to share this with my readers! Iodine has been a hot and controversial topic for many years. In the past, clinicians were giving mega doses (50 mg) and doing iodine loading urine tests, while the daily value was only 150 mcg with much debate about the optimum therapeutic dose.

Today, we don't hear as much about iodine; for a nutrient that has such a well-established role in human health (think goiter and thyroid health), it's easy to overlook it in the hunt for more elusive root causes. Lest we miss iodine insufficiency right in front of our noses, take a moment to review iodine's fascinating history shared here, what tissues depend on it for health, and what factors could place a person at risk. Not just for the thyroid gland, iodine is critical for healthy breast tissue, immune health, and may be protective against certain forms of cancer. 

Iodine is an essential trace element necessary for the production of all hormones in the body and proper function in the immune system.

It plays a vital role in several aspects of health, including:

Aiding hormone production, particularly in the thyroid gland
Promoting and regulating physical and mental growth
Promoting healthy hair, nails, skin, and teeth
Regulating functions in the nervous and muscular systems
Regulating circulation
Metabolizing nutrients
Neutralizing carcinogens and toxins
Removing abnormal cells
Killing viruses
On average, the human body contains 20-30 milligrams of iodine, which is primarily concentrated in the glandular system.

Iodine receptors are found throughout the body, with a high concentration in the thyroid gland; approximately three-quarters of the body's iodine supply is found in the thyroid gland. The remainder is distributed throughout the body, primarily in the breasts, ovaries, muscles, and blood.

There is so much more to know about iodine. Stay tuned!



Leung A, Braverman LE, Pearce EN. History of U.S. Iodine Fortification and Supplementation. Nutrients. 2012 Nov; 4(11): 17401746. Published online 2012 Nov 13. doi: 3390/nu4111740.
Brownstein D.Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It. Medical Alternatives Press, West Bloomfield, MI; 2004.
Mindell EL, Hopkins VL. What You Should Know About Trace Minerals. New Canaan, CT; Keats Publishing, Inc.: 1997: 51-52.


Author:Manuela Boyle
Tags:NewsPrevention & RecoveryCancerBreast CancerIodine


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
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  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
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  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia