Quick Thyroid Fix

It was one of the worst cases of nutritional deficiency ever recorded in modern history…

More than 10 million Chinese children were born mentally retarded because they were missing one simple mineral in their diet.

For decades, whole villages in China were populated with mentally stunted people. A shocking number of children were born with I.Q.s only in the low 50s or 60s.

This whole catastrophe was caused because they lacked iodine — or simple salt.

And today, I worry that the U.S. is going down the same path that China did when it comes to this important nutrient.

You see, iodine is critical to brain health. It helps your thyroid gland produce thyroxine. This hormone is essential for every step of brain development. Without it, the brain just does not wire correctly in babies — leading to severe mental challenges.

Now iodine deficiency is on the upswing in the U.S. It’s a big reason why thyroid issues are becoming more and more common. About 10% of Americans already have low thyroid function.

And a major study in the Archives of Internal Medicine says another 13 million people are undiagnosed.1 They don’t even know they have iodine deficiency and thyroid issues.

On top of cognitive impairment, low iodine levels are linked to obesity, psychiatric disorders, fibromyalgia and a variety of cancers. It can also trigger cardiac arrhythmias, osteoporosis and muscle wasting.

The U.S. daily recommendation for iodine is only 150 mcg per day.

But even if you’re only getting that, you’re not getting enough. And sadly, many people aren’t even getting that paltry amount any more.

You see, in the past the U.S. prevented iodine deficiency with iodized table salt.

But in the 1970s, our misguided government told everyone to put down the salt shaker. By cutting back on salt, most people eliminated their only source of iodine.

In fact, since the 1970s Americans quadrupled their rates of iodine deficiency.2

Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t recommend table salt. It’s usually bleached and has residual chemicals from processing. It can also contain MSG, sugar and aluminum.

Instead, get iodine from your food. These are the top 7 foods I rely on for iodine:

Iodine (mcg)


3 tablespoons



4 ounces



1 cup



4 ounces



3.5 ounces



1 ounce



3 ounces


As you can see, the best food for iodine is seaweed. But if you’re not a seaweed lover, you can take kelp tablets instead. Start with 325 mcg per day and increase it slowly. You can gradually go as high as 3,000 mcg to 6,000 mcg (3 mg to 6 mg) per day.

You can also take iodine supplements. But make sure you’re getting the right kind. The iodide form is what your thyroid uses. I recommend Iodoral tablets. They contain 5 mg of iodine and 7.5 mg of potassium iodide. Take one or two tablets per day.

Don’t Forget to Also Include These 2 Important Nutrients

And if you do take iodine tablets, make sure you also get enough of these two other nutrients…

  1. Selenium. This trace element supports normal levels of thyroxine. And your body needs it to use iodine. Taking too much iodine without selenium can lead to goiter and other thyroid problems.

    I recommend getting at least 200 mcg of selenium every day. A good source is Brazil nuts. You can eat two Brazil nuts every day. Each has around 100 mcg of selenium.

    Wild-caught salmon or sardines will give you about 65 mcg per three-ounce serving. You would have to eat about 9 oz. to get the selenium benefits.

  1. Guggul. Guggul (Commiphora mukul) is a natural extract of the sap from the Indian myrrh tree. It has powerful compounds called guggulsterones. Studies show these compounds significantly increase the amount of iodine the thyroid absorbs.3

    Guggul is available as tablets, capsules, powders and liquid extracts. Look for a supplement standardized to at least 6% guggulsterones. I recommend a dose of 300 mg to 400 mg of guggul two to three times a day.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

1. Thyroid Info. Thyroid Disease Endocrine Resource Center. http://www.thyroid-info.com/endocrine/thyroid.htm Updated June 30, 2018. Accessed August 3, 2018..

2. Hollowell JG, et al. “Iodine nutrition in the United States. Trends and public health implications: Iodine excretion data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys I and III (1971-1974 and 1988-1994).” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998;83(10):3401-3408.
3. Panda S and Kar A. “Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) potentially ameliorates hypothyroidism in female mice.” Phytother Res. 2005;19(1):78-80.[