I began the study of iodine because I believe it has benefits to human health. As a breast cancer researcher I believe that iodine protects the breasts and uterus against toxic and mutagenic estrogen metabolites that form in some people more than others. Thus, choosing the most reliable test to a) determine iodine status, and, b) supplementation to maintain levels seen in populations with lowest rates of breast cancer (ie. the Japanese), is a key health consideration with or without breast cancer risk factors.
That leads us to the all-important discussion of iodine testing methods. Have you ever had your levels evaluated with a 24-hour iodine loading test and been found to be deficient? If so, you are not alone. This is a test where 98-99% of people who take it will be deemed “whole body iodine deficient”. On the basis of this test result, you may be advised to take iodine supplements at a dose that makes some people ill, and raises iodine to hundreds of times the levels recommended by health organizations around the world. In the most serious cases, the dosing recommended to get you to “whole body iodine sufficiency” may cause your thyroid to stop working normally, producing either too much (hyperthyroid) or too little (hypothyroid) thyroid hormone.