464: The Many Benefits of Iodine with Dr. David Brownstein
Ashley James and Dr. David Brownstein
- Importance of iodine in the body
- Halide elements
- Why fluoride causes more harm than good
- Why do we need salt in the body
- Refined salt vs. unrefined salt
In this episode, Dr. Brownstein is back on the show to talk about the importance of iodine in the body. He shares some stories of how two of his patients with breast problems got better after taking iodine. Salt goes hand in hand with iodine, so he recommends taking in unrefined salt with iodine.
Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I'm excited for you to learn from today's guest. He was recently on the show sharing some mind-blowing information, and now he's back because I wanted to dive deeper and explore thyroid and iodine and how we can use iodine to detox certain chemicals in the body that are wreaking havoc. I'm really looking forward to you listening to this and deepening your knowledge of how you can support your body's ability to heal itself.
Another way that I support my body's ability to heal myself, and I would love for you to also do the same, is by using Sunlighten Sauna Technology. I had a heavy metal issue for many years and I didn't know it. I finally figured out that the cause of a lot of my health issues came from my body not being able to get rid of all the heavy metals that I had accumulated. I was having liver problems. I was having an array of hormonal issues. And as I did the heavy metal detox and this is actually doing the show.
Since I started the show five years ago, I got a Sunlighten Sauna and I used it regularly almost every day, I would say about five times a week. I would sit in that sauna for about half an hour, sometimes 45 minutes. I feel amazing after I get out of a sauna. The Sunlighten Sauna especially because it uses a different kind of technology than the other saunas out there. It uses full-spectrum, and I had a whole episode with a cardiologist on this. Light is a nutrient that our cells have receptors for, which just blows my mind. And when you are in artificial light, you're not receiving it so we become deplete. We end up missing out on, the cells are lacking this key component.
When we are in a Sunlighten Sauna, we're getting full-spectrum, it’s actually nutrition, the sunlight nutrition. We're getting the mid, near, and far-infrared spectrum. So, there are receptors on our cells that receive this information.
What's great about the Sunlighten is it decreases inflammation, decreases pain, helps the body to lose weight. You burn about 500 calories every time you do sauna therapy. The sweat that comes out of you contains toxins that now your liver doesn't have to process, your kidneys don't have to process. There are heavy metals in that sweat, so now you're removing, you're eliminating things, not only chemicals but also heavy metals. And it opens up the blood flow in the body, it helps to balance and stabilize blood pressure. People have deeper sleep because they've decreased the stress levels in the body, the stress hormones go down. There's this cascade of events that happen when we use sauna therapy.
I also did an interview with the man who regularly, once a year—and he has a degree in traditional Chinese medicine. Every year he does a 30-day fast and he spent thousands of his own dollars doing lab tests to show that long-term fasting helps the body to eliminate forever chemicals and the chemicals that's in our food supply now that disrupt hormones. What he noticed is when he did a fast and incorporated sauna therapy as well, he had way greater results than if he just did a fast alone. That's because sauna therapy allows the body to bypass the liver, bypass the kidneys when it comes to detoxing certain heavy metals and certain toxins, and just everything I explained earlier about all the other things that it can do.
I've had several interviews about saunas. If you want to dive into it and learn more about sauna therapy, just go to learntruehealth.com and search sauna. Or you can go to learntruehealth.com and search Sunlighten. I remember five guests off the top of my head that all told me they own a Sunlighten as well and absolutely love it. Now Sunlighten has these big wooden saunas that you can fit into a corner of your room, or if you're like me and now live in a smaller space, you can get what's called the Solo System.
The Solo System is something that you lie on, you put on top of you, and then you have a nice good sweat like a cocoon. Then you are able to pack it up and put it away when you are done. The Solo System is so compact because it telescopes into itself that it fits in a closet or under the bed, which is so fantastic. What I also love about it is it's ultra-low EMF, meaning you won't have negative reactions like a lot of cheap saunas out there. Unfortunately, if you go to just buy a cheap one, you're ultimately going to be exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation, which is damaging to the body—not good at all.
And then another thing that I love about the Solo System, and all of the Sunlighten products but especially the Solo System, is it is non-toxic. The padding they use for you to lie down on is made of non-toxic bamboo memory foam, which I did not know you could make memory from bamboo, but isn't that neat? So it's non-toxic, it's low EMF. This is what I love about Sunlighten is they truly are thinking about how you can support your body's ability to heal itself and detoxify.
I know several cancer patients as well who use Sunlighten’s Sauna Technology to support their body's ability to fight their own cancer and live to tell the tale. So many reasons why I recommend Sunlighten, and I know right now they're doing a special. They often do specials at least once a quarter for our listeners. So you can give them a call just to ask questions like what size fits in my house, what's the pricing like, and what's the payment plan like if you want to do a payment plan? Then be sure to mention my name, Ashley James, and the Learn True Health podcast when you do call Sunlighten so that you get the special listener discount. They're always putting specials on especially for our listeners.
I sat down and had a talk with the founder of Sunlighten and interviewed her, and she gave us a great deal like free shipping, which saves you about $500, as well as $100 off of accessories. My favorite accessory is the bamboo cushion and it has a bamboo cover. The reason you want to use things like bamboo or organic cotton when you’re in a sauna—if you're not going to be naked, you want to use all-natural fibers because synthetic fibers will block the rays of the frequency of the light. So the mid, near, and far-infrared will be interrupted and you don't want that.
Excellent. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing my podcasts with those that you love and care about. If you're interested in learning more about detoxifying and using sauna therapy for healthy hormones, for healthy hormone function, for weight loss, for lowering blood pressure, for supporting the body's ability to fight cancer, and also supporting the body's immune system, decreasing inflammation, decreasing pain—all these topics are explored in the podcast at learntruehealth.com. Search sauna or search Sunlighten.
I have at least six episodes where we talk about how great it is, and multiple doctors that help their patients detoxify and absolutely love Sunlighten, and I have loved it. It has really, really helped me tremendously and measurably to remove heavy metals from my body.
Thank you so much for you, listeners. Continue to share this podcast with those you care about. If you want to come and discuss what you learn today or if you have more questions, join the Facebook group. Go to learntruehealth.com/group, or you can search Learn True Health on Facebook.
[00:08:33] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 464. I am so excited to have back on the show Dr. David Brownstein. Man, when we had you on the show that was just a recent episode, 462. You shared with us how you've been successfully treating all of your patients who are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. You treat it much like all the other upper respiratory infections you've treated for decades with amazing success, just outstanding success. Is it the FTC that came after you because you were sharing for free all this information on your website, and they don't want anything that could possibly be considered a treatment, a cure, or therapy that is effective to be publicly posted, which just blew my mind? So listeners got to go back to episode 462 for that information.
What's cool though is that you're able to publish a book and it's still protected under your freedom of speech rights. We have had several listeners who've read your book since having you on the show in episode 462, and they've reported in the Learn True Health Facebook group that your book on basically supporting the structure and function of the body's ability to fight off viruses and respiratory infections with holistic medicine. How your book’s amazing and they loved it. So I definitely recommend listeners check out all of Dr. Brownstein’s books. You can go to drbrownstein.com. He has so many books that's why I'm really excited to have him back on the show today.
Today we're going to talk about something I think is really interesting because there's a lot of doctors that say we have too much iodine. There are doctors who say we have too little iodine. Some doctors say, don't worry about it, you’re just got to get enough in your food or just eat fortified salt or whatever. Is it the right kind of iodine? Are we getting too much or too little? What parts of the body use it other than for just creating thyroid hormone? So this is very interesting, we're going to dive into this because you have some information about preventing cancer as well, which I'm really excited about. Welcome back to the show.
[00:11:06] Dr. David Brownstein: Thank you for having me on, Ashley.
[00:11:08] Ashley James: Yeah, absolutely. I hope to have you on again and again because you have so many amazing topics and you're such a fantastic doctor. You know what really blew my mind—not only blew my mind but many of my listeners also shared with me how you helped your dad reverse his heart issues by looking at his nutritional levels and balancing his hormones, and that was so cool. That was kind of like your wake-up moment, introduction to seeing how much we're missing in the allopathic world. The world would be a different place if every doctor had the education that you've earned through your clinical experience through the years. I really wish that more doctors would read your books, learn from you, and continue the curiosity of what we can do with nutrition to support the body's ability to fight off disease and maintain optimal health.
Having said that, let's dive right in. Tell me, what happened along your journey as a doctor that made you interested in wanting to explore the topic of iodine? Do we need more of it, do we need less of it? What's going on with iodine?
[00:12:27] Dr. David Brownstein: Well, my journey with iodine began when I started holistic medicine. I talked about that story of my father in that previous episode, right?
[00:12:40] Ashley James: Yes, that was mind-blowing.
[00:12:43] Dr. David Brownstein: Let me give the Cliff Notes version of that because that'll sort of segue into iodine. My dad had his first heart attack at age 40 and his second heart attack at 42, and he suffered from severe coronary artery disease after that. He had continuous angina for 20 years. I was a conventional doctor at that time, I thought he was dying, and I think he was dying. He was on 12 medications to treat hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. He looked awful and was doing awful.
I was given a book by a chiropractor who told me I should look at this, and it was really my first anything holistic given to me or anything shown to me. It's called Healing with Nutrition by Jonathan Wright who's an allopathic physician. I read that chapter on heart disease first and drew a few blood tests on my father and treated him with two natural therapies: natural testosterone and natural thyroid hormone. Within seven days of that, he made a dramatic improvement. His pale and pasty color went pink and healthy-looking. His 20-year history of using nitroglycerin daily for angina for anything he did go away, never to return. His cholesterol in the 300s fell below 200 without changing any of his bad dietary habits, and he looked and acted much better.
When I saw the changes in my father, I knew that's what I want to do, doing holistic medicine. Because I used two natural hormones in my father—natural thyroid hormone and natural testosterone—every single new patient I've seen since then gets a whole hormonal workup. Because part of that hormonal workup is checking thyroid hormones, ovarian hormones, testicular hormones, adrenal hormones, pituitary hormones, and trying to balance the hormonal system and see why the hormonal system is imbalanced if it is.
After I started doing this and using bioidentical natural hormones, I was seeing great results, practice was growing, I was happy. I thought I was doing good in medicine and helping people, which is what I was tasked to do in life. But it was bothering me, why was I having to use so much thyroid hormone? I had the first ten years or so of my holistic practice, I would say I had about 75% of my patients on thyroid hormone, little amounts. They were feeling better, their physiology was better, and their biochemistry looked better on blood testing, and most importantly they felt better, they reported. But it was bothering me, why are there so many people who need to take thyroid hormone? Why is the thyroid gland so screwed up?
I would look at the ins and outs of the thyroid, what makes the thyroid work, what doesn't make it work well? When you read about the thyroid, you read about iodine. Iodine is an essential element that the thyroid utilizes to make thyroid hormones. Without iodine, the thyroid can’t make thyroid hormone. But it's not just the thyroid, all the glands in the body need iodine. In fact, every cell in the body needs iodine. But if we're going to focus on the glands right now, that includes the thyroid, ovaries, uterus, breast, prostate, and pancreas. These glands all make hormones, prostaglandins, and other things. There's not a hormone in the body that can be produced without iodine.
The highest concentration of iodine in the bodies of the thyroid gland, and the active and inactive thyroid hormones T3 and T4, the four and three refer to how many iodine atoms are attached to the thyroglobulin molecule. The thyroid gland, it's made of iodine so important that it can concentrate iodine against the gradient, meaning the highest concentration of iodine in the human body is in the thyroid gland. There are very low concentrations in the bloodstream, and the body has developed an intricate mechanism to take iodine from a low concentrated area like the blood and put it into a higher concentrated area of the thyroid.
It's an ATP-dependent process, so it's an energy-dependent process. We use up energy to do that. The body doesn't like the use of energy, it likes to conserve energy, and the reason it utilizes energy is because it's so important. We can't live without thyroid hormone. I would look at what makes the thyroid hormone go and think about why this patient needs thyroid hormone, why all these patients need thyroid hormone.
[00:17:30] Ashley James: So many people are on thyroid medication and it's just amazing. It blows my mind that they'll be on it for years and years and there's no question. Okay, well, what's the root cause, what's behind it, or why is the body not especially women, and a lot of men don't go for the tests, or the doctors don't test men, but men too. Why are they deplete? Why are they having thyroid disruption? And why are there so much Hashimoto’s right now? It's way more than we had 30, 40 years ago.
[00:18:09] Dr. David Brownstein: Oh, it's at epidemic rates right now. Hashimoto’s is in epidemic rates. All those conditions I write in my book, and in my newsletters and stuff. I say it's all related to iodine deficiency. The iodine deficiency causes problems with the thyroid, causes problems with the breast, prostate, pancreas, ovaries, uterus. What do we see in problems of all those tissues? As you mentioned, there's epidemic rates of thyroid problems from thyroid cancer to autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease, as well as hypothyroidism. The fastest-growing cancer in America right now is thyroid cancer, meaning the most diagnosed cancer.
And then we have one in seven women with breast cancer. We have one in three men with prostate. cancer. We have epidemic increases of pancreatic, ovarian, uterine, and it's cancers and it's all related to I think the same thing. Iodine deficiency is a big part of that.
You mentioned that so many people are on thyroid hormone. People are on hormones and the other problem with people being on thyroid hormone and so many people on thyroid hormone and they still feel lousy, they still feel tired, they still feel achy. What many of these people need is iodine. If you put someone on thyroid hormone who's lacking iodine, you make the iodine deficiency worse. When you put someone on thyroid hormone which increases the metabolic needs of the thyroid gland, it increases the body's needs for iodine. You make iodine deficiency worse if you put them on thyroid hormone and they're deficient in iodine.
There are studies, there have been three of them over the last 20 years, that show the longer women take thyroid hormone, the increase in risk of breast cancer goes up over time. After ten years, women who take thyroid hormone for ten years have a 50% increased risk of breast cancer compared to women who don't take thyroid hormone. How can that be? I struggled with that when these articles came out. I didn't have a great answer, and I think the answer is they're iodine deficient.
As I wrote in my book, if you put a woman on thyroid hormone who is iodine deficient, you're going to make the iodine deficiency worse. And you're going to make it worse in other tissues besides the thyroid like the breast, the ovaries, uterus, and that's why you're seeing these cancers go up with that.
[00:20:49] Ashley James: So, are there receptors for iodine in other places in the body other than the thyroid hormone?
[00:20:57] Dr. David Brownstein: Every single cell in the body needs and requires iodine. The white blood cells need iodine to fight infections. Iodine is needed in fat cells, muscle cells, and immune system cells. Everything needs iodine. The problem is iodine levels have fallen over 50% across the United States over the last 40 years. Iodine is part of the halide family in the periodic table of elements. The halides consist of fluoride, bromide, iodine, and chloride.
[00:21:32] Ashley James: This was my next question. I'm so glad you're segueing into this, please continue.
[00:21:37] Dr. David Brownstein: So, of those halides, two are toxic and two are essential. Iodine and chloride are essential, we can't live without them. We need lots of it in our bodies. Bromide and fluoride are both toxic items that are non-essential. We can live and we can thrive without them, we don't need them because they're both poison enzymes and they're not good for our body. The problem is, over the last 40 to 50 years we've gotten way more fluoride and bromide from fluoridated water to brominated drink in bromine and flour. It's a fire retardant used in so many consumer items such as phones, computers, mattresses, carpets, curtains, and things that we become over-fluoridated, over-brominated, and at the same time more iodine deficient.
The halides are very interesting to study because they can competitively inhibit one another, which means that if you get too much of the toxic halides—fluoride and bromide—it'll kick the body out of the essential halides—chloride and particularly iodine. Conversely, if you get enough iodine in and you're toxic on the other ones, you'll be able to release those. We've had a double whammy going on for the last 40 or 50 years. Iodine levels have fallen over 40% to 50%. At the same time, our exposure to toxic halides has increased.
That is the main reason I think we're seeing this rapid rise in thyroid disorders such as autoimmune thyroid disease, Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease, hypothyroidism, and thyroid cancer, as well as all the other iodine deficiency disorders—breast cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and so on and so on.
[00:23:30] Ashley James: So, to put it in a way that we can visualize, the thyroid, like you had mentioned, takes and concentrates iodine tremendously. When we consume fluoride in tap water or bromide in baked goods, for example, that competes with iodine. Is the thyroid, then concentrating the fluoride, does it also then uptake and concentrate that as well?
[00:24:03] Dr. David Brownstein: Well, we know the thyroid can concentrate bromide, and we know if there's not enough iodine and excess of bromide that the thyroid hormones can be brominated instead of iodinated. We were designed by our maker to have iodinated thyroid hormones, not brominated thyroid hormones. We don't quite know what the significance of that is because it hasn't been studied, but I can tell you, I think the significance of that is increased risk of thyroid cancer, Hashimoto’s, Graves’ disease, and hypothyroidism, and that's exactly what we're seeing.
As far as fluoride goes, the conventional mantra is that fluoride helps prevent cavities. If it does, it's a minimal improvement, but almost every Western country except two, us being one of them, have removed fluoride from the water supply because we realized that if it does decrease cavities, it's minuscule. The only way that fluoride has been shown to decrease cavities is topically applying it like in toothpaste, not by drinking water.
[00:25:11] Ashley James: I do have a question about that. Sodium fluoride, which isn't that a byproduct of aluminum production and that's what we've been drinking basically in tap water? I've read this so I don't know if this is true or if this is just something that was published online. But didn't they put sodium fluoride in certain prisons and certain concentration camps in the water in order to sedate the prison population? Fluoride, in certain amounts, kind of makes a more lazy or less aggressive society. Is that true?
[00:25:53] Dr. David Brownstein: The Germans used it in their concentration camps to do exactly that. Fluoride also has been shown to lower the IQ of newborns, mothers who have high fluoride levels. There have been studies that show the IQ declines in newborns in women who drink fluoridated water at levels like what's fluoridated in the US.
[00:26:17] Ashley James: So we're creating a population that is less likely to rise up, rebel, and is also stupid. That's quite fascinating, and this is why I really believe that we should question everything. Don't ever trust what's in your food, what's in your water, what's in your medicine. Always, always, always do your own research and never trust anyone with your own health. Always filter your water. Don't just trust that your water is safe, the air is safe to breathe, or the water is safe to eat, to drink, or the food is safe. We have to be more diligent because there are over 80,000 new man made chemicals in the last 40 years that are in the food supply that we're now seeing are forever chemicals. And that they enter our body and block our receptors from absorbing certain nutrients and from interacting with hormones. It's quite scary.
Fluoride is an essential nutrient in small amounts in the soil. It's in the soil along with all other trace elements and minerals. We're probably getting enough if we eat enough fruits and vegetables and like you said, you could brush your teeth. But then, there are populations that don't have any fluoride whatsoever added to their water, and that their teeth are wonderful. So when the body concentrates fluoride, do you think that also is a contributor to other hormone dysregulation and cancer creation?
[00:28:12] Dr. David Brownstein: Well, studies have shown increased fluoride content results in certain bone cancers in young boys. We know fluoride poisons hundreds of different enzymes in the body. It's a known carcinogenic agent. I think it's ludicrous to put fluoride in the water. If you can't afford an expensive filtration system, then you don't have a choice. You're just getting fluoridated water. Personal choice comes into play here. Remember, the World Health Organization has done studies with cavity rates and fluoridated non-fluoridated countries, there's no difference at all. It has been shown for over 40 to 50 years.
The decline in cavity rates that have occurred over the last 50, 60 years has occurred in countries that don't fluoridate their water as well. There's really no business in fluoridating water. There's really no business in our health of doing that.
[00:29:16] Ashley James: I can't remember the exact information, but I read an article years ago. They did this in rural parts of Canada. I'm originally from Canada but I live in the states now. They gave tablets of fluoride to children because everyone was on well water. One of my friends was part of this experiment—governments like to do that thinking that it's healthy. It actually had the reverse effect and all the children end up with rotten teeth. There was something about too much fluoride or high concentrations of fluoride actually led to the opposite effect, that led to teeth that decayed rapidly. Maybe because it just threw the body so out of balance, I don't know.
When I was pregnant, I really looked into everything I could do to ensure my baby was healthy and that his or her IQ would be optimal. I did see that iodine was one of the needed essential nutrients along with essential fatty acids. There were studies that showed that mothers that consumed iodine had smarter children. So, that makes sense that fluoride, since it competes with iodine, would dumb down the IQ, so it's like that's the opposite. What you're saying is we need more iodine. Now, you did mention that iodine helps to almost detox fluoride. So can you discuss that, how to use iodine as a detox agent?
[00:30:58] Dr. David Brownstein: Like I said with competitive inhibition, if you get one of the toxic halides that's a little too much, you're going to kick out iodine from the body. Conversely, if you get enough iodine, you can kick out those toxic halides and detoxify the body. Now, one of the problems is if you're full of bromide and fluoride when you take iodine, you can create what's called a Herxheimer reaction where you get an overload of detoxification and people don't feel good. Now, if you're working with a holistic doctor who is knowledgeable about this can help you avoid that. I don't find that happens very much in my office, but it can happen. It just needs to be done appropriately.
One of the ways to avoid that happen is when you take iodine, take salt with it. Salt is the second major constituent in the body next to water, and we need adequate amounts of salt. We need over 100 grams of sodium and chlorine at any one time in our body, we’re supposed to have that. Most people are deficient in salt. I've been checking people for 28 years on salt levels and recommending salt intake go up for many of my patients because you need a lot of cells in the body. And salt can help usher out the bromide that's in there.
In years past where medicines with bromide such as Bromo-Seltzer were used and people would get bromide toxic. So one of the ways conventional medicine dealt with it when they got bromide toxic, when they get delirious, very tired, and the brain wouldn't work very well is they would salt the bromide out with a salt solution IV. But you can do that naturally, which is taking more salt in your diet. I wrote a book about this called Salt Your Way to Health, which is one companion book to the iodine book.
[00:32:48] Ashley James: I love that you're bringing up salt. So many doctors say that salt is the contributor to high blood pressure and that we should reduce salt or eliminate it completely. We do actually consume more calories when something has salt in it, that's true. So we still have to manage our food intake, but know that when we add salt—think about a bowl of rice. If it's just a plain bowl of rice and no salt on it you're going to eat to satiety. But with a bowl that is salted, we can overeat it because it tastes good. So we still need to be more conscious when we salt things that it does taste good and we might eat past satiety.
But what's interesting about salt is the body uses chloride and sodium chloride to make hydrochloric acid. There's an epidemic of heartburn out there and indigestion. Of course, if you're not digesting your food you're not absorbing your nutrition, and then everything cascades from there. I'm sure you have a book on that.
[00:33:50] Dr. David Brownstein: I talk about that in my salt book.
[00:33:52] Ashley James: There you go. I knew it. I knew you'd have a book on that, but it's fascinating. You recommend that people use salt along with iodine. Where should they get their salt? I know you're not going to say basic table salt or are you?
[00:34:09] Dr. David Brownstein: Well, there are two types of salt that are available—refined salt and unrefined salt. Refined salt is made by food companies because they refine food products to take out things that degrade. The reason they do that is the refined food products can stay on the shelf forever. It has a longer shelf life and then they make more money because they don’t have to throw products out. So, just as they refined flour to take out some natural things because the natural things will go bad, they refined salt. Refined salt is that thin white stuff that's pretty much in every restaurant across the United States. It's the girl with the umbrella on the side of the salt container, I can’t think of the name of it as an example of refined salt.
[00:35:02] Ashley James: Morton’s?
[00:35:03] Dr. David Brownstein: Yeah. It's just got sodium and chloride plus some other toxic ingredients that shouldn't be in salts such as ferrocyanide and aluminum silicate in it. That's compared to unrefined salt, which has a full complement of minerals in it that come with wherever the salt is mined from. Celtic brand sea salt, Redmond Real Salt, and Himalayan salt all have over 80 minerals in them. Now, the minerals are in small amounts, but the minerals are essential and utilized.
I did a little study with my daughter Jessie when she was in middle school. She did it, and we did a study for her science class where we looked at what's the difference in pH of refined salt and unrefined salts. Refined salt creates an acidic pH environment, unrefined salt helps alkalize tissues, and the minerals help alkalize it. If you eat a bunch of refined foods, you're going to be too acidic, and that can lead to degenerative problems in the body. You want to have a neutral pH, which is generally 7.2 or so. Unrefined salt can be part of maintaining that neutral pH because we all tend to be acidic if we eat lousy food, we're stressed, and we become nutrient deficient. So, salt’s really an important substance that's why I wrote a whole book on that.
[00:36:35] Ashley James: That is fascinating that refined salt versus unrefined salt acts completely different in the body. One is acidic, one is more supportive and alkalizing. One has toxic ingredients, as far as I'm concerned. I've even seen certain refined salts where one of the ingredients was sugar. I kid you not, I just laughed. Because so many people don't read labels.
When I go to a grocery store, my husband gets so frustrated. He calls me the label reader. I will read all the labels, but when we go to a restaurant, you just trust that they're going to use good ingredients and they don't. They use the cheapest ingredients. So we really have to be diligent to eat as much as we can at home and to use the healthy salt at home that has those trace minerals that don’t have all those weird agents in it that are very toxic for the body if eaten over time.
I always think about what our health was like 100 years ago versus now. Heart disease, cancer—these things are so much higher than 100 years ago, and we have to look at what we put in our mouth. What we put in our mouth every day is either hurting us or healing us.
So we've got our salt, that's something that we can easily switch to because you've given us some good advice on how to find it. What about iodine, how should we take iodine? And we want to avoid that thyroid storm that might occur by consuming too high of a level of iodine because from my understanding if you consume too much, the thyroid shuts down in a protective manner if you consume too much at once. So, how to know how much iodine our body needs every day?
I've heard some Naturopaths like to use the skin test where you put some iodine on the skin and watch if acid absorbs, whereas others say that's really not an accurate way to measure if you need iodine or not. How do we figure out how much we need to take and in what form?
[00:38:54] Dr. David Brownstein: So, the skin test is not an accurate way. There was a study that showed that 80% or so of the iodine placed on the skin sublimates into a gaseous phase and leaves the skin. So there's no reason to do that. That's not an accurate measure. A large percentage of the body's iodine is in the skin so I don't know if it’s just you're measuring that.
The best measure of iodine status is a urinary excretion test. A holistic doctor can help you with that one, but the iodine loading test is by far the best test. I was involved in developing that test and working with my mentor, an iodine doctor, Guy Abraham, who developed a test. But we worked together on it, refining it. I got to help refine it. Urinary testing of iodine is the best way to go by far. The skin test doesn't show you much. What was the other part of your question, Ashley?
[00:39:56] Ashley James: So, what form of iodine should we take and how do we know how much we should be taking?
[00:40:03] Dr. David Brownstein: We should get your levels checked to work with a doctor who's literate in iodine, so that's number one. I wouldn’t suggest doing it alone, but I have 30 years of working with iodine. In my first ten years, I couldn't get it to work clinically in my practice because I was using the wrong form of iodine. I know now what I did wrong and I don't make that mistake anymore. But with iodine, I think the best form is using a combination of iodide and iodine. What that means is that it's a reduced and oxidized form of iodine.
For the chemistry people out there, if all the electrons in the outer shower are paired, that's a reduced element. And if there's one electron missing, that's an oxidized element. It's looking for an electron. The reduced and oxidized forms of iodine are used in different tissues of the body. The thyroid uses iodide, a reduced form. The breast uses iodine, the oxidized form. So, for a whole-body effect for iodine, it's best to use a combination of the two. So, I use Lugol’s solution, which was first made in the 1800s. It's a solution of potassium iodide and iodine in water. There are pills of this Lugol’s solution available too. I find it very effective, and by far it’s the best form of iodine out there.
[00:41:44] Ashley James: Oh, fascinating. Now, of course, listeners can buy your book on iodine to get way more information. This was just the tip of the iceberg. How can we find a holistic doctor that is proficient in iodine? Can listeners work with you? Do you do telemedicine, or is there an organization they can look up where they can find a roster of doctors that are proficient with this?
[00:42:20] Dr. David Brownstein: Well, I don't have a roster of doctors. My book describes where you can do the testing and all that stuff. The labs know who's sending in tests, so the best advice I can give people is to call a lab that’s doing an iodine loading test, and there's a few of them out there, and they'll tell you who's sending in tests in your area. That's one way to look for who's doing the iodine testing out there.
Unfortunately, there's still a lot of misinformation about iodine even in the holistic world. I call it medical iota phobia. They're afraid to use iodine—it's been successfully used for over four generations of clinicians—for their own unnatural fears and not looking at the science, and not looking at what's really true with iodine out there.
[00:43:12] Ashley James: Could you share a few stories of success you've had with your patients? How has iodine changed their lives?
[00:43:25] Dr. David Brownstein: I've had so many patients whose first ten years I have 3/4 of them on iodine, and then now, I have less than 1/4 of my patients on thyroid hormone because they're all on iodine. When people are diagnosed with a thyroid problem, I also do hormonal nutritional workups at the same time. So if they're iodine deficient, what I always teach doctors when I want to teach them about iodine is to correct iodine deficiency first or concurrently with thyroid hormone. Don't put them on thyroid hormone first because you’ll make the iodine deficiency problem worse as I said earlier.
I have a patient who had a bad fibrocystic breast disease who came to me with a bilateral mastectomy scheduled for three weeks after that visit. I was the last resort for her. She's a nurse at the University of Michigan and she was miserable. She couldn't wear a bra. She couldn't not even wear tight clothes but just form-fitting clothes or something like that. She couldn't stand anything tight. She was wearing this baggy stuff, which was still hurting her. And if anyone rubbed up against her breast, she’d bumped into anything, she'd start crying.
She'd been to the University of Michigan Cystic Breast Clinic and they told her to come off caffeine and chocolate and clean up her diet. She was eating a bad diet and she tried all that. It helped a little bit, but then symptoms got worse over time. Really, they told her, the only thing you can do is have a mastectomy. She sees a lady in her late 30s scheduling a bilateral mastectomy. She had had enough.
So she came to me as a last resort, read my book on iodine, and read about fibrocystic breast disease. I do an iodine loading test on her. The iodine loading test is where you take 50 milligrams of iodine at time zero, collect 24 hours of urine after that, and measure how much iodine comes out in the urine over the 24 hours.
When you take iodine orally, 98% or so is excreted in the urine. You can measure the amount in and the amount out, subtract the numbers, and know how much the body has hung on to. Generally, when the body hangs on to more iodine, it's more deficient. So once people get iodine sufficient, they have enough iodine in their body and they take 50 milligrams, they'll pee out about 45 milligrams or 90%. They'll hang on to 5% of it or so. That's iodine sufficiency.
So, in her case, this patient peed out 50% of the iodine and held on to 50% because she was very deficient. So I told her to move her surgery back three months. I said, let's give this a try. I said it won't be gone in three months, but it should be markedly better. If it's not better, it's too late. I didn't know if it was too late. Tissue sometimes gets so disorganized and such a mess that you can't get them to come back sometimes in the body.
So, she called me up after two weeks into it and said she’s starting to feel better. And I saw her a month later, she had moved the surgery back two more months. And she said she's 50% better. When I did an exam on the first visit, her breast felt like the best description I can give you is when I used to take Taekwondo in my younger days, like that punching bag feel. Like a hard-punching bag with bumps on it. It felt like alien tissue on her chest. I could barely even touch it because she was wincing and in pain.
I didn't do an exam during the one-month visit, but I asked her to come back in another month. She came back another month and said she's 80% better. I examined her breasts at that point. It felt like she had a breast transplant. The punching bag feeling was gone. She still had lumps but they were much smaller. Now I could do almost a full exam with very minimal discomfort. She canceled her mastectomy surgery. I saw her back three-month visit, almost normal breast tissue, no bumps.
She went back to her fibrocystic breast clinic and had an exam. The doctor said, wow, what are you doing? It's way better. So she started to tell him and she said he's just glazed over his eyes. When she stopped talking, he said, all right, I'll see you in six months. That's a good story.
Another good story with iodine is a lady, I diagnosed her with inflammatory breast cancer—the worst kind of breast cancer. Usually, you're dead in three to six months from diagnosis. I was doing a study on iodine at that time with Dr. Abraham, and I put her in the study group of breast cancer diagnoses. She had very low iodine testing. I put her on iodine at 50 milligrams.
She called me up about two weeks into it and said, I’m having a problem with the iodine. I said, what's the problem? She goes, my nightshirt is yellow over where my breasts are when I wake up in the morning. I’m on the phone with her and I said oh, well, how do you feel? She goes, I never felt better. I'm able to babysit my grandkids now, my energy is coming back. She goes, I don't know what to do. I said, well, why don't you come in, bring your nightshirt with you.
So she brings in the nightshirt and you can clearly see this yellow stain on the inside of her nightshirt. I asked her if I could keep the nightshirt and analyze what the yellow stain was. She had yellow nails. There are not many things that cause yellow nails except for maybe if you got jaundice, but it wasn't a jaundiced yellow, it was a little different yellow.
[00:49:46] Ashley James: And her eyes weren't yellow?
[00:49:48] Dr. David Brownstein: Her eyes were not yellow. She’s not jaundiced there, but her nails were this particular yellow color to it. It was not a jaundice yellow but a different shade. It's hard to describe it. So, I said to her, bromide has a yellow color to it, you're probably detoxing from bromide. She said, what do I do? And I said, well, I'm going to put my head together with a friend of mine and we're going to analyze this t-shirt. And I said, since you're feeling good, up your salt intake to another teaspoon a day. I put her in a teaspoon of salt with it, increase your water intake, and start bathing in Epsom salts and we'll get this bromide out of you.
She kept on the 50 milligrams of iodine. She was part of a study, so when I tested her, we did a bromide check on day one. When she took out 50 milligrams of iodine, her bromide levels were the highest I've ever seen. Thirty days later, I checked her iodine and bromide levels again. Her iodine now was coming up and her bromide was starting to come down. Sixty days later, she didn't have a lot of bromide and her iodine levels were stabilizing at high levels, and she felt much better.
She lived six more years. She died of inflammatory breast cancer and had a good six years. The only thing I would do differently with her now is I would have put her on more iodine from what I know now. I did have the shirt analyzed, it's a funny story with that. I lost her shirt. We were moving house.
I was consulting with Charles Hakala from Hakala Labs. We were developing a chemistry experiment to take a gram of the shirt from where over her breast where it's yellow, and a gram of the shirt from the back (not yellow), and analyze the halides—fluoride, chloride, iodine, and bromide. We know how to do that. We were planning it out and then I lose the shirt. I look all over the place, can't find it. I look at work, I look at home, and I had moved my home. We were packing stuff up and moving.
So we moved to our next home and I can't find the iodine, it's done. So I had some shelves in my office that maybe ten years later from this incident. It was just a couple of years ago. I was cleaning out and lo and behold in the back of the shelf is that shirt in a bag. I had sealed the bag. It was sealed. I couldn't believe it when I found it because I looked for it for years. I opened the bag and it's still got the yellow color to it. I called Charles, we pulled up our data, we did the experiments on it, her bromide levels were, I don't remember the numbers, but they were really high. On the back of the shirt, there was no bromide, and so she was excreting bromide. This was the first case that was ever reported of someone detoxifying from bromide in that way.
[00:53:04] Ashley James: From her breasts.
[00:53:06] Dr. David Brownstein: From her breasts.
[00:53:07] Ashley James: Where the cancer was.
[00:53:09] Dr. David Brownstein: And her nails.
[00:53:10] Ashley James: Yeah. Wow. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Brownstein. I know you have to go. Thank you so much for coming here today and sharing this information. I think it's so vital that we continue to seek out information to add to our nutritional protocol and also the idea that using certain things like iodine for detoxification as well is really critical.
It's always a pleasure speaking with you. Listeners can go to drbrownstein.com. They can also go to centerforholisticmedicine.com. And please, get Dr. Brownstein’s books, go to his website, lots of great information. Of course, listen to episode 462 where he shares his very fascinating story with very successful treatment of his patients over the last year plus that have had coronavirus infections. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. Is there anything you'd like to say to wrap up today's interview?
[00:54:16] Dr. David Brownstein: No, thanks for having me, Ashley. I would say that if you're not feeling good out there and you're sick and you're not getting answers, really try and find a good holistic doctor who can help work with you and work together with you to find out what's wrong and what's imbalanced. The human body is pretty well-designed when we give it what it needs, and we keep away from what it shouldn't be exposed to. It takes a little bit of work, but the work can be worth it because you should go through life feeling good with enough energy and be happy.
[00:54:50] Ashley James: Absolutely. That is my philosophy as well. Thank you so much and I look forward to having you back on the show.
[00:54:57] Dr. David Brownstein: Thanks, Ashley.
[00:54:57] Ashley James: Have a great day, thank you.
I hope you enjoyed today's interview with Dr. Brownstein. I just wanted to remind you, if you're interested in using the Sunlighten Technology to help your body detoxify and achieve your health goals, I highly recommend going to sunlighten.com, checking it out, listening to my interviews about sauna therapy, and specifically using the Sunlighten Technology, which you can find those by going to learntruehealth.com and using the search function there, or just give them a call. Just Google Sunlighten, Sunlighten Sauna, and give them a call.
Make sure you mention my name, Ashley James, and the Learn True Health podcast so that you get this special that they are giving our listeners this month. I want to make sure that you get the best discount and also get the best experience with them. If you have any questions about my experience with Sunlighten, feel free to reach out to me. You can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can also reach out to me in the Facebook group by going to learntruehealth.com/group to be redirected to the group, or just search Learn True Health on Facebook.
So again, that’s Sunlighten Sauna. Google them, give them a call. They're all wonderful to talk to, and then make sure you mention Learn True Health the podcast and Ashley James to get your special.
I am just so thrilled with the outpouring of information, the sharing from all the listeners these last five years. So many listeners have gotten a Sunlighten Sauna or done other practices that other guests have recommended and then they come back and they share with me, they email me, or they share in the Facebook group. And so many people have been thrilled with their experience using the Sunlighten Sauna, as have I.
This is one thing for me to say that I've had a great experience, I’ve had an amazing experience, and my guests to share that they and their patients have amazing experiences. But then when we see it in the Facebook group and listeners are sharing that they love their Solo System, they love their Sunlighten, and that it's made such a difference in their life, it's really cool.
As a community, we can come together in the Learn True Health Facebook group and we can share what's worked for us so that we can learn from each other. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day, and I look forward to you coming and joining the group and sharing with us what you've learned and loved learning from the Learn True Health podcast. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day.
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Books by Dr. David Brownstein
A Holistic Approach To Viruses
Drugs That Don't Work and Natural Therapies That Do! 2nd Edition
Iodine: Why You Need It. Why You Can't Live Without It. 5th Edition
The Guide to a Dairy-Free Diet
The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet
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Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing
Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.
Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.
In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!
The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine
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