Evidence-Based, Simplified Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies


Why Supplementing With Lugol’s Iodine Is Essential

why lugols iodine is essential

Why Supplementing With Lugol’s Iodine Is Essential

why lugols iodine is essential

Written by Guest Author: Dr. Elizabeth Bright


Virtually every cell, fluid, and tissue in our body contains iodine due to its critical role in thyroid hormone synthesis, its antioxidant properties, and its evolutionary significance in biological systems. While not required for the primary function of all cells, the presence of iodine supports a range of protective and regulatory functions. Iodine is essential to sustain life in all vertebrate species. Besides the thyroid gland, iodine fills the tissues of the salivary glands, breast, uterus, ovaries, prostate, stomach, nasal, gut, bone, and extracellular fluids and connective tissue of almost all organs. Although it is easily absorbed in the intestines as any other essential nutrient in the form of iodine, it does not get the respect of vitamin D. No vitamin D, we die. No iodine, we die. 


Courtois discovered iodine in 1811. The vitamin D sterol was isolated in the 1920s. When it was discovered to prevent rickets, dietary vitamin D was born. Although it had always been present in foods with cholesterol, such as milk and meat, unless you were poor, like Dicken’s Tiny Tim in A Christmas Story, it is now one of the most recommended supplements, even though we synthesize it from animal fat. 


A tiny amount of iodine is found in rocks. It took the melting of glaciers and rain to pull the iodine from the stones and wash it into the oceans. It took the evolution of seaweed, which stored iodine taken from the ocean into its membranes, to create the first rich iodine environment and form multicell organisms and thyroxine, a thyroid hormone. All of these organisms needed iodine to survive. Organisms needed an iodine-trapping solution to escape the ocean, just as the seaweed did. The thyroid evolved to make this possible.1 However, not only thyroid tissue traps iodine from the bloodstream.


Discovered and isolated as an element in 1811 in France, the Swiss physician Coindet first successfully treated patients with goiter in the West with seaweed in 1813, which Tang physicians had been doing in 618 by burning sea sponges. 


In 1829, Jean Lugol created his recipe for Lugol’s solution, which rendered elemental iodine soluble by mixing it with potassium iodide and distilled water. With his solution, he cured sepsis and tuberculosis, and soon, many doctors were using it to treat other illnesses. Their success with Lugol’s solutions went beyond goiter because iodine molecules kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts, and single-celled parasites. 


Medicine’s interest in iodine remained focused on the enlarged thyroid. Boussingault, a French Chemist, was the first to use iodized salt in the 1830s to prevent goiter in the Andes mountains. Doctors knew it was known that iodine deficiency caused goiter; they had not yet made the connection between low iodine and hypothyroidism. 


Goiter comes in different forms. It can be diffuse, nodular, multinodular, and cystic, but a lack of iodine causes all forms. Nodules or cysts form to trap iodine in a bloodstream deficient in it. Nodules or cysts are made of the same vascularized follicular thyroid tissue that has expanded beyond the confines of the thyroid and secretes hormones as the rest of the thyroid tissue, so they can also produce hormones. 


More thyroid hormone secretion than the body is asking for can cause symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism, such as an acceleration in every function in the body. This could mean a higher heart rate, diarrhea, anxiety, tremors, sweating, and bulging eyeballs due to an accumulation of glycosaminoglycans, a sticky liquid like hyaluronic acid behind the eyes. The same accumulation of fluid can cause deafness. Yet, this is not different from edema found in hypothyroid patients.


Lack of iodine primarily causes hypothyroidism and goiter. Autoimmune conditions are usually the cause of hyperthyroidism while multiple factors can cause inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis).   However, this does not mean the person does not need iodine. When the thyroid is inflamed, it will produce extra thyroid hormone. 


Most cases of goiter were reported in mountainous areas, such as the Swiss Alps, the Andes, the Great Lakes, the Appalachians, and the Northwestern regions of the United States.  Historically, the first modern medical treatment for hyperthyroidism was cutting out the thyroid. Surgery was popular in the 1800s, and Theodor Kocher was one of Europe’s most famous surgeons. He performed 5000 thyroidectomies in Switzerland, but the mortality rate of his thyroid surgeries in 1872 was 75%. France banned the surgery. It took Kocher until 1883 to realize that total removal of the thyroid caused cretinism, a term no longer used to describe the damage to physical and mental faculties. Kocher removed thyroids from young children as well. 


A doctor familiar with the family from whom Kocher had removed the thyroid of one young girl told him of the enormous change in his former patient since he’d removed her thyroid. 


“I was astonished to a great extent by the conspicuous looks of the individual in question [his patient]. In order to fix your views right away, I will pass around among you photographs of the girl with her younger sister before and after the operation. According to the mother, the two sisters were said to have resembled each other so much at the time of the operation that they were frequently confused for each other. Whilst the younger sister has now grown up to a blossoming young woman of very pretty looks, the sister operated on has remained small and exhibits the ugly looks of a semi-idiot. This having been ascertained … I immediately sent invitations to all my [patients on whom I had] operated for goiter [asking them] to present themselves for examination.”1


It wasn’t until 1883 that Kocher realized the thyroid served a purpose. He had been removing the whole gland because it was easier technically. From thereon, he made sure to leave part of the gland. Still, those thousands of patients who had had goiter were now hypothyroid. Any removal of the thyroid gland will reduce its ability to secrete hormones. 


In 1897, E. Baumann discovered that animal and human (cadavers from suicides) thyroids contained a substantial amount of iodine. His discovery explained the results of Jean-Francois Coindet’s iodine treatment for goiter presented to the Société Helvétique des Sciences Naturelles in Geneva on July 21, 1820. From this point on, Lugol’s iodine became the treatment for hyperthyroidism. Kocher knew of iodine, but many other physicians were reducing goiter by treating it with Lugol’s. Physicians used Lugol’s iodine reat both goiter with hypothyroid symptoms and goiter with hyperthyroid symptoms. Two camps evolved—physicians who treated it with surgery and physicians who treated it with iodine.


It continued to be the treatment for hyperthyroidism until Theodor Kocher had a bad experience with potassium iodide (not Lugol’s). He’d won the Nobel Prize in 1909 because fewer of his patients died when he performed thyroidectomies. Kocher performed numerous thyroidectomies and significantly improved surgical outcomes over time. While early thyroid surgeries had high mortality rates, Kocher’s techniques eventually reduced the mortality rate to much lower levels. It was his personal experience and not based on any research. Still, his statement influenced the rest of the medical world to abandon using iodine to treat hyperthyroidism. Kocher decreed the use of iodine as dangerous for patients with Graves disease. 


When the thyroid becomes enlarged, its hormone production increases, indicating a state of inflammation. We know goiter leads to both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Thyroid hormone production is essential to human life. The gland’s inflamed state makes it function irregularly. Since a lack of iodine can cause goiter, it seems nonsensical to cut it out and not treat it with iodine. While iodine deficiency is a common cause of goiter, other causes can also include autoimmune conditions, genetic factors, and certain medications. 


I have seen photos of goiters that had grown beyond the ability of iodine to heal the hyperplastic tissue. Yet the thyroid was still making some hormones. Until George Murray started using thyroid hormone extract from sheep as a treatment for hypothyroidism, then still called Myxedema, in 1891, every person who had had their thyroid surgically removed died from hypothyroidism. If the surgeon, like Kocher, learned his lesson and left some of one of the thyroid tissue, it could secrete some thyroid hormone. That little would never be enough for the optimum function of that person’s body’s needs.


“The conception that Graves disease is primarily surgical is widespread despite the fact that America, as well as European literature, contains numerous accounts of satisfactory results with non-surgical treatment in selected cases.”2 wrote Redisch and Perloff in 1940. They also concluded that since so many subtotal thyroidectomies to treat hyperthyroidism were unsuccessful, this was reason enough to search for a better way of treatment. They were puzzled that in Central Europe, sending hyperthyroid patients up to the freezing mountains cured them of their symptoms while they were up there. We now know that thyroid hormone regulates body temperature. Since a cold climate requires more thyroid hormones, the remission of hyperthyroid symptoms is due to excess hormones getting used up in a cold.


This opinion from a Nobel prize winner practically stopped physicians from using iodine to treat thyroid conditions. Sodium phosphate, sodium chloride, ergot, belladonna, morphia, and bromides became the only non-surgical protocol. How much bromide did Theodor Kocher have in his system? Doctors commonly used and treated patients with bromide compounds as sedatives in the 19th century. If he had bromide in his system, it would undoubtedly have caused Kocher to have a transient reaction to potassium iodide. 


Most medical solutions had become surgical by this time. Medicine preferred a surgical solution for hyperthyroidism. Dr. Thomas Peel Dunhill, an Australian surgeon, said the only treatment for hyperthyroidism was thyroidectomy. They were interested in “broadening their practice scope while enhancing their professional position,” stated an article about Listerism. The surgical removal of the appendix, uterus, and thyroid became common at the end of the 19th century.


This situation continued until 1921 when Dr. Henry Stanley Plummer and William M. Boothby decided to break the rules and began researching using Lugol’s solution (not potassium iodide) in preparation for surgery. Surgery was still the outcome, but Plummer and Boothby used large doses (90 mg) of Lugol’s to reduce the patient’s heart rate long enough to perform surgery. Lugol’s solution was again accepted as a treatment for hyperthyroidism. 


Plummer and Boothby’s treatment started with 100 to 300 mg of 5% Lugol’s solution 3x a day. Boothby reported that hyperthyroid symptoms showed remarkable improvement after two days—nervousness, basal metabolic rate, and diarrhea—all improved. However, they also saw that symptoms returned if the Lugol’s was suspended. 


In 1927, Biedl’s clinic in Vienna used only Lugol’s iodine to treat hyperthyroidism, and it was reported to have had great success. Reidisch and Perloff remarked in 1940 that “the fact that the percentage of cases treated by iodine in (J.H.) Means’ clinic has increased remarkably during the last 3 years, shows that the pendulum may be once swinging again towards the medical treatment of hyperthyroidism in this country.”3


Previous thyroidologists did not consider iodine deficiency the cause of enlarged or inflamed thyroid tissue. They also did not consider that iodine is crucial for thyroid function and many other tissues in the human body. 


Every study on goiter states that it is more prevalent in females, yet no one ever investigated this. Means, a prominent thyroidologist in the 1940s and 1950s at Harvard, wrote, “The thyroid merely traps what it needs and lets the rest go to the kidneys for excretion.”4 But all other tissues needed some of that iodine.


In his book The Endocrine Function of Iodine, Salter inserts a 1938 diagram by A.W. Elmer illustrating the many different tissues that use iodine, including the liver, testicles, and ovaries. However, the diagram leaves out breasts. Breast tissue needs the most iodine after the thyroid. Competition for iodine between the breasts and the thyroid in a state of deficiency leads to low thyroid function and fibrocystic breast disease.


Another problem is the interchangeable use of iodine in treatment. Elemental molecular iodine is not soluble in water. It has to be ionically bonded to something, usually potassium or sodium, to be absorbed. The genius of Jean Lugol’s solution is that by mixing potassium iodine with elemental iodine and water, he created a composition more potent with iodine and that included organic iodine, which the breast tissue seems to prefer than regular potassium iodide, which contains a minimal quantity of iodine. The first Lugol’s solution was a 15% solution (5% in the U.S., as they only count the elemental iodine in the solution). 


Papers describing iodine treatment for hyperthyroid goiter use either Lugol’s Solution or potassium iodide interchangeably as if they were the same thing. They are not. Potassium iodide or sodium iodide provides enough iodine to prevent goiter but not enough to prevent thyroiditis, fibrocystic breast disease, or uterine and ovarian fibroids,


To add to the confusion, Wolff-Chaikoff published a paper in 1948 supposedly proving that iodine suspended thyroid hormone production. Wolff and Chaikoff injected five times the quantity of all the iodine in the rat thyroid with potassium iodide with a radioactive tracer, supposedly inhibiting the organification of iodide by rats’ thyroid glands. Number one, the tracer was radioactive, and the thyroid gland would have taken up radioactivity. 


Despite this claim, the rats did not become hypothyroid. Wolff-Chaikoff never measured the rats.’ thyroid hormone levels and admitted 20 years later that the effect had been transitory. Even so, the supposed Wolff-Chaikoff effect was extrapolated to humans despite no study on humans to induce this effect. No other research was able to recreate their supposed results. What happened was that the thyroid absorbed the iodine, and on achieving sufficiency, the rats’ thyroid glands temporarily stopped trapping iodine from the bloodstream. The rest went to other tissues. The medical industry, physicians, associations, and publications accepted this W-C effect as proven and demonized iodine yet again.


In 1969, Wolff-Chaikoff published Iodide, Goiter and the Pharmacologic Effects of Excess Iodine in the American Journal of Medicine. The mere publication of the paper made other doctors assume the research was substantiated. In this paper, Wolff claimed any iodine excess to be more than 200 micrograms.


That’s five cans of sardines. They also implied that iodine was only essential to the thyroid gland. Currently, hyperthyroidism is treated with radioactive iodine and antithyroid drugs to block its function. Physicians used Levothyroxine to treat the subsequent hypothyroidism. People fear natural organic iodine supplements, such as Lugol’s solution, due to years of misinformation and downright lies. 


Women are more prone to thyroid issues which may be attributed to iodine deficiency as well as other significant factors such as autoimmune disease. Women also need more iodine than men due to the massive need for iodine and thyroid hormones in adolescence and pregnancy. This fact was and is still now wholly overlooked.


In 1966, Russian scientists gave 200 women suffering from breast pain 10-20 mg of elemental iodine. Their theory was that excess estrogens caused by ovarian cysts due to iodine deficiency had created “dyshormonal hyperplasia of the mammary glands.”5 After three months, there was no more breast pain, and the ovarian cysts started to shrink.


What about Hashimoto’s or inflamed thyroiditis? What is the cause of goiter, nodules, and cysts on thyroid tissue? We know that lack of iodine causes damage to thyroid tissue. Damage to thyroid tissue will cause thyroid cells’ peroxisomes to eliminate toxic waste into the bloodstream. The immune system will respond to these toxins and make antibodies to these toxic proteins that will attack healthy thyroid tissue. Did iodine cause this situation? No. The lack of it did.


An inflamed thyroid may over or underproduce, causing hyperthyroid symptoms. Even one drop of iodine added to an inflamed thyroid will make it try to make hormones even though it is already struggling with inflammation. 


Not only will an iodine-deficient soil lead to iodine deficiency, but the days of goiter being found chiefly in mountainous areas are long gone. Not only because of the introduction of a tiny amount of iodide added to salt but also because so many substances prevent the thyroid from absorbing the iodine it needs, you can be hypothyroid everywhere in the world. 


Today, it is practically impossible to get adequate iodine from food sources because of the countless substances that interfere with its absorption. It used to be more common in some geographic regions where the soil was low in iodine. Switzerland is one of those places, which is why there are so many incidences of goiter. Bromide, chloride, iodine, and then fluoride were discovered in the 1800s by the French. All halides and all substances that scientists subsequently found uses for.


These are the substances whose molecular structure is identical to iodine. These halides can block the receptors in the body that need iodine and pollute the bloodstream to make the system sensitive to even one drop of iodine or, as in Kocher’s case, a small amount of potassium iodide. There is no allergy to iodine. How can you be allergic to an essential nutrient? A body that is too deficient and inflamed to synthesize it causes the symptoms. 


Goiter rates have indeed decreased with the iodized salt. However, rates of autoimmune thyroiditis, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, breast fibroids, breast cysts, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and PCOS have risen since the demonization of Lugol’s solution and the implementation of iodized salt. 


Many communities, not just in the U.S., have reported an increase in autoimmune thyroiditis since sodium iodide was added to salt. Weaver studied this phenomenon from 1966 to 1968 in the Great Lakes Region, part of the U.S. goiter belt. He studied the change in thyroid glands removed during surgery from 1915 to 1920, which showed no swollen lymph tissue, the usual sign of inflammation caused by autoimmune thyroiditis. Yet the thyroids studied after introducing iodized salt in 1924 were riddled with nodules and lymphocytes. There was minimal autoimmune thyroiditis before adding potassium iodide to salt. However,  Lugol’s solution and potassium iodide were used more in medical practice.


Why does iodized salt cause thyroid inflammation? Because there is hardly any iodine in iodized salt. Its iodine is only iodide, and salt provides such a low quantity of iodide that it is not even enough to prevent goiter. The body needs both elemental, organic iodine and potassium iodide.  The potassium iodide makes the elemental iodine soluble. 10% of iodide evaporates when you open the salt container. There are only 45 mcg of potassium iodide in a quarter teaspoon. 45 mcg! The traditional 5% or 15% (if in Europe) Lugol’s solution provided 6.25 mg of iodine per drop. 


Marine’s studies with thousands of adolescents in Akron, Ohio, demonstrated that an average daily amount of iodine equals 12 mg of Lugol’s solution to prevent goiter—but only goiter, in iodine-deficient areas. This amount is insufficient to prevent fibroids in breast, ovarian, uterine, and prostate tissue. 12 mg certainly is not enough iodine to support cortisol secretion. The public was discouraged from using Lugol’s solution and began to depend on iodized salt for their iodine needs. 


C.L. Harstock, a physician from Cleveland, Ohio, wrote in 1926, “iodized salt is now being very much more extensively used by the public than other forms of iodine, such as sodium iodide, iodostarine, and compound solution of iodine (Lugol solution) probably because of the propaganda to insure its use..”6


When Lugol first developed his 15% Lugol solution, the recommended daily intake was 12.5 mg, two drops of the 5% solution. Berson and Yalo demonstrated that the total exchangeable pool of iodine in the body ranged from 7 to 13 mg daily. They divided it into two parts: the thyroid gland and extra-thyroidal tissues. The thyroid requires 6 mg of iodide, and the mammary glands need 5 mg of elemental iodine. The adrenal glands need it, as do all other tissues.


More stress, more iodine. The breasts can compete with the thyroid for iodine. Breast and thyroid glands have the exact iodine-trapping mechanism. If there is insufficient circulation, either or both tissues will be deficient. For this reason, thyroid issues are more common in women. 


It is also why iodine deficiency causes breast cancer. To get the recommended 12.5 mg of elemental iodine from iodized salt, you must consume 165 grams of iodized salt. 5 oz of sardines provides 35 mcg of iodine. To reach 12.5 mg or 12,500 mcg, you must eat 357 cans of sardines daily.


Not only is iodine necessary for many tissues in the body, but it also induces apoptosis and inhibits abnormal cell formation that can lead to cancer in not only breast and thyroid tissue but all tissues. Iodine kills viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. In 2018 Quintero-Garacia and Delgado-Gonzàlez demonstrated that iodine not only prevents prostate cancer due to its apoptotic effects in prostate cancer cells but also reduces oxidative stress in rat prostate tissue.


What else prevents iodine absorption? Cruciferous vegetables from which the antithyroid drug propylthiouracil was isolated. They figured that out when farmers saw that the rabbits eating cabbage leaves developed goiter. Consuming goitrogenic substances such as cassava, sweet potato, oat, millet, sorghum, brassica vegetables, tea, soy, quinoa, and flaxseed, among many others, has made iodine deficiency almost inevitable.  Bromide is the halide used to make electronics, mattresses, couches, electrical wires, cables, car seats, curtains, and airplane seats flame retardant. Chlorine has been a disinfectant since the 1900s, and fluoride was added to water and dental products in the 1930s, even though doctors knew it rotted teeth. These substances are halides with a molecular structure similar to iodine. Their presence in the environment prevents the absorption of essential iodine. The exposure to newer pollutants such as PFAs, phthalates, PCBs, and pesticides makes iodine sufficiency nearly impossible.  If iodized salt, with its minute quantity of iodide, was barely enough to prevent goiter in the 1920s, how about now?


These are only the substances that interfere with iodine assimilation. Plenty of regularly prescribed medicines prevent thyroid function. Cortisone, dopamine agonists, somatostatin analogs, and retinoids inhibit TSH secretion. Lithium, tricyclic antidepressants, antiepileptics, metformin, beta-blockers, and amiodarone directly affect thyroid function. Interferon-α and antiretroviral drugs can induce thyroid autoimmunity. Ironically, irregular thyroid function causes the symptoms and illnesses many of these drugs are prescribed for.


A recent paper illustrates the confusion in medicine about iodine. “Our data indicate that, apart from a reduction in non-toxic goitre, a reduction in hyperthyroidism may be expected in the long run among the oldest part of the population following an increase in the iodine intake of a population as reported from other countries, though a temporary increase in the incidence of thyrotoxicosis has been reported from most studies after the initiation of iodization programmes.”7


Someone with an inflamed thyroid who supplements with iodine may experience temporary hyperthyroid symptoms. Thyroid inflammation has to be addressed with a detox protocol so the iodine will be properly absorbed. This does not mean the person does not need iodine. 


Iodine is essential and supplementation should be tailored to individual needs. Needs vary, but 12.5 for adults and 6.25 mg for children is an excellent place to start. Some people may be more sensitive and may need to go more slowly. If you have symptoms such as a raised heart rate, your thyroid tells you it needs care. Don’t be afraid of iodine. It’s an essential nutrient. Are you afraid of Vitamin D? 



1. Tröhler U. Towards endocrinology: Theodor Kocher’s 1883 account of the unexpected effects of total ablation of the thyroid. J R Soc Med. 2011 Mar;104(3):129-32.


2. Redisch, W. Perloff, W.H., The Medical Treatment of Hyperthyroidism. Endocrinology, 26:221-228, 1940.


3. Ibid


4. Means J.H., Lectures on Thyroid,  Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1954.


5. Vishnyakova VV and Murav’yeva NL. “On the treatment of dyshormonal hyperplasia of mammary glands.” Vestn Akad Med Nauk SSSR, 1966; 21:19-22.


6. C.L. Hartsock, Iodized Salt in the Prevention of Goiter: Is it a Safe Measure General Use? Journal ofAmerican Medical Association Journal :1334, 1926


7. Knudsen N, Bu ̈low I, Jørgensen T, Laurberg P, Ovesen L, Perrild H. Comparative study of thyroid function and types of thyroid dysfunction in two areas in Denmark with slightly different iodine status. Eur J Endocrinol 2000;143:485–91. 



Derry, D. M.,Breast Cancer and Iodine. United States, Trafford Publishing, 2001.


https://www.nytimes.com/1998/12/01/science/neanderthal-or-cretin-a-debate-over-iodine.html. accessed may 21 2024.


Crockford SJ. Rhythms of Life: Thyroid Hormone & the Origin of Species.


Trafford, 2006, p 171.


Chiesa, F.; Kocher, ET. (December 2009). “The 100 years Anniversary of the Nobel Prize Award winner Emil Theodor Kocher, a brilliant far-sighted surgeon”. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 29 (6): 289.


Tröhler U. Towards endocrinology: Theodor Kocher’s 1883 account of the unexpected effects of total ablation of the thyroid. J R Soc Med. 2011 Mar;104(3):129-32.


Redisch, W. Perloff, W.H., The Medical Treatment of Hyper- thyroidism. Endocrinology, 26:221-228, 1940.


Kocher ET , Concerning pathological manifestations in low-grade thyroid diseases, Nobel Lecture,  1909.


https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/1909/summary/ Accessed February 21, 2023.


Ghent WR, Eskin BA, Low DA, Hill LP. Iodine replacement in fibrocystic disease of the breast. Can J Surg. 1993 Oct;36(5):453-60. PMID: 8221402.


Rappaport J. Changes in Dietary Iodine Explains Increasing Incidence of Breast Cancer with Distant Involvement in Young Women. J Cancer. 2017 Jan 13;8(2):174-177. 


Nolan LA, Windle RJ, Wood SA, Kershaw YM, Lunness HR, Lightman SL, Ingram CD, Levy A. Chronic iodine deprivation attenuates stress-induced and diurnal variation in corticosterone secretion in female Wistar rats. J Neuroendocrinol. 2000 Dec;12(12):1149-59.


Gull WW. “On a cretinoid state supervening in adult life in women.” Trans Clin Soc Lond, 1874; 7:180-185.


Pearce JM. Myxoedema and Sir William Withey Gull (1816-1890). J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2006 May;77(5):639. 


Quintero-Garcìa M, Delgado-Gonzàlez E.


Iodine prevents the increase of testosterone-induced oxidative stress in a model of rat prostatic hyperplasia.


Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Volume 115, 2018, Pages 298-308.


Wolff J. “Iodide goiter and the pharmacologic effects of excess iodide.” Am J Med, 1969; 47:101-124.


Marine D., Prevention and Treatment of Simple Goiter, Atl. Med. J., 26:437-442, 1923.


Means J.H., Thomas C.C. , The Function of the Thyroid Gland. American Lecture Series. Publication Number 40., 1949.


Means J.H., Lectures on Thyroid,  Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1954.


Furszyfer, J., et al, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1935 through 1967. Mayo Clin. Proc.


Salter, W.T., The Endocrine Function of Iodine. Harvard University Press, 1940, Cambridge, Mass., pg 254-255, 261, 268-269.


Murray, G.R., Note on the treatment of myxoedema by hypodermic injections of an extract of the thyroid gland of a sheep. Brit. Med. J., 2:796-797, 1891.


Abraham, G.E., The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect: Crying Wolf? The Original Internist, 12(3):112-118, 2005.


Vishnyakova VV and Murav’yeva NL. “On the treatment of dyshormonal hyperplasia of mammary glands.” Vestn Akad Med Nauk SSSR, 1966; 21:19-22.


C.L. Hartsock, Iodized Salt in the Prevention of Goiter: Is it a Safe Measure General Use? Journal ofAmerican Medical Association Journal :1334, 1926.


Boothby W.M. , The Use of Iodin in Exophthalmic Goiter, Clinical Metabolism, Mayo Clinic. 1924.


Barr, Justin; Podolsky, Scott H (2017). Listerism then and now. The Lancet, 389(10073), 1002–1003.


Abraham, G.E., Flechas, J.D., Hakala, J.C., Orthoiodosupplementation: Iodine Sufficiency Of The Whole Human Body. The Original Internist, 9:30-41,2002.


Flechas, J.D., Orthoiodosupplementation in a primary care practice. The Original Internist, 12(2):89-96, 2005.


Abraham, G.E., Flechas, J.D., Hakala, J.C., Optimum Levels of Iodine for Greatest Mental and Physical Health. The Original Internist, 9:5-20, 2002.

http://www.endocrinesurgery.net.au/thyroid-history/. Accessed February 28, 2023.


Knudsen N, Bu ̈low I, Jørgensen T, Laurberg P, Ovesen L, Perrild H. Comparative study of thyroid function and types of thyroid dysfunction in two areas in Denmark with slightly different iodine status. Eur J Endocrinol 2000;143:485–91. 

Nutrition with Judy


  • Leia Duer
    May 30, 2024 at 6:28 pm

    Excellent article by an excellent doctor! Thank you Dr. Bright

  • Veronika van Straten
    June 2, 2024 at 2:52 am

    Thank you Dr. Bright for this thorough article! What I still can’t grasp is, how did our ancestors thrive without Lugols and how do today’s hunter gather still thrive?

    • Russ
      June 14, 2024 at 7:13 am

      She just talked about this in a recent podcast. It’s primarily our food system. It’s become so processed and manufactured that there’s no iodine left in the ground or in the foods we eat.

  • Terri Mitchell
    June 15, 2024 at 8:54 am

    I have Graves Disease. All of my doctors say to stay away from iodine. I feel as though I’m doomed to a life of illnesses because of it. I’m so afraid of going against their advise.

  • Marcia Butler
    June 15, 2024 at 11:50 am

    I appreciate this article, but how do I know I need to supplement? I have none of what I read are symptoms of deficiency, yet I used lugols for a year, and now have not used lugols for a year. Shouldn’t I feel a difference? Thank you.

  • Mark C
    June 16, 2024 at 2:17 pm

    How much of the Lugol’s 5% iodine should I take per day? I put one drop in my water. is that enough?

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