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Iodine Research

Resource Network of The Iodine Movement

                          Iodine and the Body



Although the role of iodine in thyroid disease has been extensively researched, there is presently
significant conflict.  In general, the Orthoiodosupplementation perspective emphasizes the
benefits of inorganic iodine (e.g., iodide and molecular iodine).  The traditional researchers and
clinicians emphasize the dangers of inorganic iodine and the benefits of radioactive iodine and
iodine drugs.  

It is prudent to monitor thyroid function (e.g., TSH, fT4, fT3) when supplementing with iodine.  
There seem to be significant differences in individual response to iodine.  Therefore, consulting
with a qualified health practitioner who knows your individual circumstances is strongly

There are six major categories of common thyroid problems:

1.  Hypothyroidism -- when there is too little thyroid hormone
How does iodine deficiency or iodine excess contribute to hypothyroidism?  How important are
other factors, such as selenium and goitrogens?  What are the best therapies for hypothyroid

2.  Hyperthyroidism -- when there is too much thyroid hormone
How does iodine deficiency or excess contribute to hyperthyroidism?  What are the most effective
therapies for hyperthyroidism?

3.  Goiter -- when the thyroid gland gets too big
What causes the thyroid to grow?    What are the best therapies for goiter?

4. Nodules -- when lumps develop within the thyroid
What are "autonomous nodules" and why are they important?

5.  Thyroid Cancer -- when malignant tumors develop
What role does iodine play in the development of the major types of thyroid cancer?  Can iodine
be helpful in the prevention or treatment of thyroid cancer?  What are "Tg" levels, how are they
related to iodine, and why are they important in thyroid cancer?

6.  Autoimmune Issues -- when the body starts attacking itself
What are Hashimoto's and Graves disease?  Is supplemental iodine helpful or harmful?

7.  Various Diseases -- articles on more than one thyroid disease
Some research articles discuss more than one type of thyroid disease, or different thyroid
complications than the five above.  These articles can be found here.

To understand these diseases better, it is useful to understand how iodine operates in the
thyroid.  The section on iodine physiology discusses a number of related issues.  For example,
what is the nature of T3 and T4 and how are they synthesized?  How does iodide get into the
thyroid?  How is the thyroid regulated by TSH and iodide?  What happens with iodine deficiency
and excess?