Many relate the trace mineral iodine to thyroid health, but believe it or not, iodine is needed by the entire body and is necessary for your entire body to function properly.
Something that many do not know is that iodine is greatly concentrated in female breast tissue. Because of this, when iodine levels in the breasts are low, health issues may present themselves.
Are you deficient in iodine?
More than 70% of the world’s population is iodine deficient and one of the biggest causes of this is a lack of iodine consumption in our diet. Because your body does not produce its own iodine, it is essential that you ensure you are absorbing adequate amounts of iodine either through your diet or by supplementation. You could be deficient in iodine if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty losing weight
- Dry skin
- Difficulty remembering
- Recurrent infections
- Cold sensitivity
- Brain fog
- Thinning hair and nails
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
Why does breast tissue require iodine?
Every cell in the body needs iodine, and this is especially true in women. Breast tissue has a much greater concentration of iodine than the thyroid gland. In healthy breasts, iodine provides a host of antioxidant benefits and on the flip side, iodine deficiency can make the breast tissue more vulnerable to disease and cancer, specifically breast cancer.
Iodine & Fibrocystic Breast Disease
All too common and frequently underdiagnosed, fibrocystic breast disease is typically caused by an imbalance of hormones and may cause cysts to form in the breasts. These cysts are known to cause quite a bit of pain and tenderness in women, and are very easy to detect during a self-examination. While many women fear the worst when they feel a cyst formed in their breast, and often fibrocystic breast disease is often benign, the New England Journal of Medicine reports that fibrocystic breast disease is a risk factor for breast cancer.
Without adequate amounts of iodine, breast tissue may be at a higher risk to developing microcysts, and eventually, fibrocystic breast disease.
Iodine for Breast Health
In recent studies, iodine supplementation has reduced indications of fibrocystic breast disease. Additionally, another study finds that more than half of all women who experience breast tenderness from fibrocystic breast disease had lessened symptoms once they began supplementing with iodine.
Iodine and Cancer
Iodine plays a huge role in boosting your immune system, as well as inducing apoptosis, the body’s natural way of destroying dangerous, cancerous cells. In a recent study, iodine-rich seaweed was shown to inhibit the growth of breast tumor development. Iodine helps to scavenge free radicals, as well as provides strong defensive measures against various diseases, including cancer.
How Can You Get Sufficient Iodine?
Getting enough iodine can be achieved by eating foods that contain iodine, such as shrimp, yogurt, navy beans, strawberries, potatoes and cheese, or by supplementing with a highly absorbable medical-grade iodine supplement, such as Advanced Iodine. Advanced Iodine contains potassium iodide coupled with the mineral selenium for optimal absorption and is a quick and easy way you can achieve optimal iodine levels for both breast and thyroid health.
As a board certified Ob/Gyn, I have more than 20 years of experience in women’s breast and hormonal health and would love to help you get on a path to natural health and wellness. For any questions or to discuss your breast and/or hormonal health, request your complimentary consultation today.