A New Illness Strikes: Media-Iodophobia

Recently by Dr. David Brownstein: Time To Detoxify

Folks, a new illness is rampaging the country. It causes extreme anxiety and fear. What is the name of this illness? Media-iodophobia. Media-iodophobia occurs when the news media erroneously reports the results of a medical article which causes anxiety and fear in the lay public.

I knew when I saw the headline in the Reuters article yesterday that I would be busy answering questions about the study. The headline read, “How much iodine is too much?” Even my publisher (whom I enjoy writing for) reported on the study today with the headline, “Too much iodine hurts thyroid function.” Does too much iodine hurt thyroid function?

To answer the question, I pulled the article and dissected it. The scientists studied 256 normal-thyroid adults in a four week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized controlled trial. The patients were randomly assigned to 12 intervention groups with iodine supplemented at doses ranging from 0-2mg/day. The researchers studied the effects of the differing doses of iodine by measuring thyroid function, thyroid size, and urinary iodine.

The authors found that, as compared with the placebo group, all the iodine- supplemented groups responded with significantly increased urinary iodine excretion. Furthermore, the thyroid size decreased in the iodine-supplemented groups. These effects are exactly what you would expect when supplementing with iodine. In fact, a decreased thyroid size is a good sign as iodine helps improve the architecture of the thyroid gland.

The scientists also studied the thyroid function in the different treatment groups. They found that the subjects treated with higher amounts of iodine had slightly elevated TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels. They termed the subjects who had increased TSH levels as suffering from subclinical hypothyroidism. They concluded, “This study showed that subclinical hypothyroidism appeared in the participants who {ingested 800ug iodine per day}… Thus we caution against a total daily iodine intake that exceeds 800ug/day…” This conclusion is the genesis of media-iodophobia as most people do not read research articles and just read the summary.

The conclusion of the article makes it clear that the researchers were also suffering from iodophobia – medical iodophobia. Medical iodophobia is a term coined by my mentor, Dr. Guy Abraham. Unfortunately, in this case, medical iodophobia leads to media-iodophobia. How did I come up with these diagnoses?

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David Brownstein, M.D. is a Board-Certified family physician and is one of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is the Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success in using natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice.