Prior to its reinvention as a dental savior, fluoride was regarded as toxic industrial waste. That is, until Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud and author of the book “Propaganda,” entered the picture in the late 1940s. Previously, his biggest marketing “success” had been in convincing women that it was fashionable rather than a social taboo to smoke cigarettes, thus doubling the market for tobacco cigarettes (Reference 1).

As detailed in the excellent book “The Fluoride Deception,” by Christopher Bryson, Bernays took a job with the Aluminum Company of America, not because he needed an income or believed in their product, rather because this sociopath wondered that, if manipulated enough with skillful propaganda, could the American populace actually be convinced to vote contrary to their own health interests? The fact that most of us now drink fluorinated water and use fluorinated toothpaste and mouthwash, attest that the answer was a resounding “YES (Reference 2).”

I won’t bore you with all the data showing how ineffective fluoride is at preventing cavities, or its many health harms; suffice it to say I will be transitioning to a fluoride-free source of water and toothpaste as soon as possible. The real object of this blog was to let everyone know the importance of getting their iodine levels up. Which is tied to fluoride (and bromide, but we’ll get to that) intake, and I will explain why below.

In traditional medical training we are not taught that Americans are low in iodine, as we all know that our salt is fortified with this. However, Dr. Brownstein, author of the book “Iodine, Why you need it, and Why You Can’t Live Without It,” found a 96% deficiency in his group practice of 6,000 patients (Reference 3). There is a recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iodine which varies by age, but for adults is 150mcg (Reference 4). However, this RDA was intended only for goiter prevention, not for optimal thyroid function, which may require a much higher level. Despite the puny, purported goiter-preventing RDA, a wide swath of the USA has soil so deficient in iodine that it is known as “The Goiter Belt (Reference 5).” Worse yet, most people trust in their iodized salt to deliver sufficient quantities of iodine, however research has shown that the iodine in salt is only 10% bioavailable (available to be absorbed, Reference 6).

Iodine bears a large role in many more conditions for which it is commonly associated. It has an inverse relationship with both breast and prostate cancer – where iodide levels are lowest, cancer rates are highest, and vice-versa. Iodine deficiency predisposes one to an increased risk of breast, prostate, endometrial and ovarian cancer (Reference 7). Other conditions that may result from low iodine are sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), multiple sclerosis, autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (References 8,9).

Interestingly, all members of the halide family (which include fluoride, bromide, chloride) compete with each other to displace iodine in the body, preventing its absorption by inhibiting its entry into the cell Reference 10).

Bromide use has been skyrocketing, as has the incidence of iodine deficiency and both autism and ADHD diagnoses (references 11,12). It has many uses, being used as both a pesticide and as an anti-caking agent IN OUR FOOD, specifically baked products! In fact, several countries including Brazil and the entirety of the UK have banned its use (Reference 13)! Small changes in iodine levels are demonstrated to have serious impacts on the thyroid gland (Reference 14), so if only 10% is bioavailable, and much of our pitiful amounts of iodine are being displaced by the increasing use of bromide, is it any wonder why so many are so deficient in this? We all need to become aware that like chronic lyme disease and fluoride toxicity, iodine deficiency is a real and omnipresent threat to our health, and we need to supplement. I recommend you check with your physician about what type and dosage of iodine supplement to consider.

Noah Gudel, D.O. is an Internal Medicine Physician specializing in Lifestyle Medicine. She is currently accepting patients in AL, FL and TN and is available for in person or telehealth visits. Visit to learn more and schedule a consult.




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13. v/(Accessed 10/4/22).
14. F Jameson JL, DeGroot LJ. Endocrinology adult and pediatric: The thyroid gland. 6th Ed. Philadelphia; Saunders, 2013.

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