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Iodine Research

Resource Network of The Iodine Movement

Iodine belongs to a class of elements called "halogens".

In addition to Iodine, the common halogens are fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), and bromine (Br).
Halogens form a single column of the periodic chart and all require exactly one additional
electron to fill their outer electron shells.

The halogens are diatomic molecules in their natural form; e.g., molecular iodine (I2), fluorine
(F2), chlorine (Cl2), and bromine (Br2).

Halogens are often found in salts.  A salt is a compound that forms positive and negative ions
when dissolved in water. The halogens have a tendency to form single negative ions when
dissolved. The negative ion is called a halide ion; e.g., iodide (I-), fluoride (Fl-), chloride (Cl-),
and bromide (Br-).

Halogens share many characteristics.  For example, they are highly reactive and can be harmful
or lethal in sufficient quantities.  Fluorine is said to be the most reactive element in existence.

Similarly, chlorine and iodine are both used as disinfectants for such things as drinking water,
swimming pools, wounds, and medical equipment. They kill bacteria and other potentially harmful

Halogens can combine with a variety of elements.  Many synthetic organic compounds contain
halogen atoms.

Chlorine is by far the most abundant of the halogens, and the only one needed in relatively
large amounts (as chloride ions) by humans.

Iodine is needed in trace amounts for the production of thyroid hormones and for other
purposes presently being discovered.

On the other hand, it appears that neither fluorine nor bromine is essential for humans.

In the body, the various halogens often seem to compete or affect each other.  For example,
Abraham and Brownstein have discussed how iodine is effective in detoxing fluorine and

Similarly, perchlorate (a chlorine compound) blocks the
NIS receptor for iodide.

  • Pavelka, et al, have studied the metabolism of bromide and its interference with the
    metabolism of iodine, by a decrease in iodide accumulation in the thyroid and skin (and in
    the mammary glands in lactating dams) and by a rise in iodide excretion by kidneys. They
    have also established the biological half-life of bromide in rats.
  • Van Leeuwen, et al, have focused on the toxicology of the bromide ion and its effects on
    the thyroid, skin, endocrine system, reproduction, and central nervous system.
  • Rauws has studied the pharmacokinetics of the bromide ion.
  • Simchowitz has studied the interactions of bromide, iodide, fluoride, and chloride in
    human neutrophils.
  • Zhang looks at the effects of dietary intake of cereals and marine products on urinary
    bromide levels.
  • Buchberger focuses on the effects of bromide on thyroid hormones.
  • INCHEM discusses the toxicology of the bromide ion.

  • Blount, et al, report on the 2006 study of effects of environmental perchlorate  on thyroid
    hormones of US men and women.
  • De Groef has compared the effects of perchlorate vs. other environmental NIS inhibitors
    (nitrate and thiocyanate), concluding that perchlorate is not the biggest problem.
  • Wolff has written a review article on the effects of perchlorate on the thyroid gland.
  • Crohn has written an article for Vegetarian Times on perchlorates and how vegetarians
    can get adequate iodine.

  • Susheela shows that excess fluoride results in thyroid hormone derangements, possibly
    through effects on deiodinases.
  • Takahashi demonstrates the link between fluoride and Down's Syndrome.
  • Xiang discusses the relationship between fluoride excess and intelligence.
  • BEST (Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology) discusses the effects of fluoride
    on the endocrine system, as well as the health effects of perchlorate.
  • Durrant-Peatfield has written a very thought-provoking article on the effects of fluoride
    on the thyroid gland.
  • Derry writes about how fluoride competes with iodine in the teeth and bones.
  • Krueger writes a letter to his representative about fluoride and explains why fluoridation
    of water is not a good idea.


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