Iodine is extremely important for every human being. Iodine has been greatly maligned and misunderstood in conventional medicine. There are inorganic non-radioactive forms of iodine in which one finds the reduced form of iodine called iodide. Radioactive iodine is a different drug. This has an extra electron. Inorganic non-radioactive forms of iodine are safe. They have been used for many years. They continue to be used and have the amazing capacity of being antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer and are in every cell of the body.
One can supplement iodine by using either liquid Lugol’s solution (includes both iodine/iodide) or Iodoral which is a trade name for the combination in pill form. Determining the correct dose of iodine is the next issue to determine. This is an excellent question which initial studies that were done in Japan where there is the lowest incidence of breast cancer in the world, it was felt that their average intake was about 12.5mg per day.
Iodine helps prevent breast cancer and many other cancers in the body. It is essential for function of the thyroid. In David Brownstein’s book Iodine: Why you need it and why you cannot live without it, the use of iodine and its function is explained. Iodine is essential to help protect the thyroid. It is also extremely important for protecting breast and prostate gland. Breast and prostate tissue responds similarly to iodine and estrogen.
There are multiple physicians that would encourage one to take 12.5 to 25mg of iodine per day and some people feel this should even be increased to 50mg per day if one has cancer. Iodine can also be used to possibly influence the 2:16 ratio of oestrogen metabolic breakdown products. What this means is that consuming iodine you can get a more optimal ratio of the breakdown products of oestrogen, thus decreasing the instance of prostate and breast cancer. This is critical due to the fact that the countries that have the highest instance of iodine intake have the lowest instances of breast cancer. In the United States, where they have some of the lowest intake of iodine, they have the highest instances of breast cancer in the world, i.e. one in eight females develop breast cancer. Clearly it is important to get your iodine. Iodine is being used for treating fibrocystic breast disease and ovarian cysts as well as goitre. Goitres historically were very common until iodine was added to the salt and the bread which significantly decreased this condition.
Again, having an element that is both antiviral, antiparasitic, anticancer, antibacterial as well as the mucolytic agent is crucial to maintain health. Some of the conditions that can be treated with iodine include thyroid disorder, vaginal infections, prostate disorders, ovarian cysts, keloids, hypertension, haemorrhoids, fatigue, and Lyme disease.
Iodine is primarily found in the thyroid gland but is also located in the salivary glands, the cerebral spinal fluid in the brain, breast tissue, prostate tissue, ovaries and is often concentrated in the substantia nigra area of the brain.
The best test for iodine is the pre and post loading test which we can organise for you.
Iodine is a halide like chlorine, fluoride and bromine. Out of the halides three of them are toxic and one of them is nutritive: no prizes for guessing the one that is nutritive. What happens with these halides is that there is something called competitive inhibition that goes on, so when you have too higher levels of bromine or the other toxic halides, it pushes out iodine. Therefore, conversely, a good way of reducing these toxic halides is by using iodine supplementation. It is our opinion that out of these halides, although they are all very toxic, bromine is often the worst when it comes to replenishing iodine stores. Bromine (or its reduced form bromide) is used as an antibacterial agent for pools and hot tubs. It is still used as a fumigant for agriculture. Toxicity of bromine is also important for the ingestion of carbonated drinks, e.g. Mountain Dew and some Gatorade products contain brominated vegetable oils. Bromine used to be present in many common over-the-counter medications but it is still used today in many prescription medications.
Unfortunately, bromide toxicity is very common. In fact, every patient that we have ever tested for bromide levels has always been in the high range and there is a direct correlation between how ill a patient is and how high their bromide levels are. Incidentally, there is no known therapeutic value for bromine therefore any level of bromide can possibly cause problems.
As we are on the subject of the halides, any discussion needs to talk about fluoride as well. Fluoride, like bromide, is in the family of halogens. For over 50 years the American Dental Association advocated the addition of fluoride to drinking water as a preventative measure against dental caries. However, there is much evidence to suggest that fluoride added to the water supply is ineffective at preventing caries. A study in fact in New Zealand found there were no difference in tooth decay rates between the fluoride data and the non-fluoride data areas. This study has been repeated elsewhere. Many European countries have recognised the fallacy of adding fluoride to the water supply and have stopped the practice. The fluoridation of the water supply has been based on terrible science and it is causing much more harm than good.
Fluoride is known to be a toxic agent. Fluoride has been shown to inhibit the ability of the thyroid gland to concentrate iodine. Fluoride was first reported to cause thyroid problems in 1854 when fluoride was found to be a cause of goitre in dogs; and also research has shown that fluoride is much more toxic to the body when there is iodine deficiency present.
It should also be noted that many commonly prescribed medications contain fluoride, including the popular SSRI antidepressants such as Paxil and Prozac. Interestingly there has been reports of this class of antidepressant increasing the risk of breast cancer. Again interestingly, many medications that contain fluoride have been pulled from the market due to serious adverse effects such as Baycol, Posicor and Astemizole and many others. More information about the toxicity of fluoride can be found in the book The Devil’s Poison by Dean Murphy. This book is an excellent resource which details the hazards of fluoride exposure.
Finally, we turn to chloride. Like iodide, fluoride and bromide, it is from the family of halogens. Chloride is an important element in the extracellular fluid. There is a large amount of chloride found in the body; approximately 100gm. Chlorine (the oxidised form of chloride) is added to many products including the municipal water supply, as well to swimming pools and hot tubs as a disinfectant. It is also used as a whitener, however chlorine is a toxic element.
A by-product of chlorine use is the production of dioxin. Dioxin is one of the most toxic carcinogens known to mankind. It readily breakdown the environment, chlorine and its by-products have been linked to birth defects, cancer, reproductive disorders including stillbirth, and immune system breakdown.
We are exposed to high level of chlorine and chlorine by-products that are toxic to our health. This includes being exposed to the steam of the dishwasher when the door is opened after cleaning (chlorine superheated and combined with detergent). In addition, the widely used sugar substitute sucralose (Splenda) contains chlorinated table sugar.
No-one denies the important of having clean drinking and swimming pool water that is free of bacteria, however there are many safe alternatives of disinfecting water including the use of iodine, hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet light and ozone that could be substituted for chlorine.
The research is clear. Bromine and fluoride are toxic items for the body. In an iodine deficient state, the toxicity of bromide and fluoride is exacerbated.
The sebaceous gland - located in the dermis - is responsible for producing an oily substance called sebum. Sebum provides lubrication to the skin and helps to make it waterproof. In some people, the sebaceous glands can produce too much oil which leads oily skin. The most common condition caused by excessive sebum production is acne. The key the successful treatment of oily skin is to identify and address the following underlying causes:
- Genetic factors - a positive family history is often a good indicator.
- Imbalance of the skin’s and the gut’s microbiome (the gut-skin axis).
- Systemic inflammation.
- Insulin resistance - exacerbates oily and acne prone skin by increasing the proliferation of keratinocytes and it also stimulates the synthesis of androgens.
- High androgens - testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT, the more metabolically active form of testosterone) cause the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum in the skin.
- Changes in female hormone levels - before menstruation, oestrogen and progesterone levels fall and result in proportionally higher levels of testosterone.
- Stress and other environmental factors.
The best vitamins to consider when treating oily, acne prone skin:
Vitamin A is by far the most researched vitamin in relation to oily and acne prone skin. Vitamin A is well known for its role in supporting barrier function, it also heals the skin and modulates sebum production. Consuming dietary beta carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A, may be the most optimal option to achieve good levels of Vitamin A in the body.
Vitamin E stimulates skin regeneration and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a promising tool in the treatment of oily, acne prone skin.
Vitamin C has also been shown to improve oily skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties.Vitamin C may help to reduce redness and swelling and is good for accelerating the healing process of the skin.
Vitamin B3 and B5 regulate the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce and prevent them from going overdrive (9).
What vitamins are good for hair, nails and skin?
The skin, together with hair and nails, forms the integumentary system, a major protective barrier which guards us from chemicals, pathogens and other elements of our environment. Both hair and nails develop from the epidermis and are composed of (dead stratified squamous) epithelium cells which are rich in protein, especially keratin. Strong nails and glossy hair are considered great signs of health and vitality. From a naturopathic point of view, brittle nails and dry, lifeless hair can be a good indicator that some of the key vitamins and minerals are deficient.
The best vitamins for skin, hair and nails and their mechanisms discussed below:
Vitamin C and Vitamin E may be useful in supporting the integumentary system. There is growing evidence to suggest that oxidative stress is a pivotal mechanism behind hair graying and hair loss (10) thus ensuring these nutrients are adequate should be part of your intervention.
Biotin is one of the B vitamins and has many vital roles relating to the health of skin, hair and nails (11). It helps to protect your skin from water loss and regulates fatty acid metabolism and it has been shown to promote hair growth, particularly in people who are deficient (12). Brittle nails, scaly scalp, hair loss and dandruff can be signs of biotin deficiency.
Vitamin B12 and iron are essential for the production of red blood cells and haemoglobin and deficiency of these nutrients have been implicated in hair loss (13).
Nutrients that are essential in providing the building blocks for hair and nail growth: zinc, iron, copper, selenium, silicon, calcium and magnesium, silica. Proteins are also crucial for the health and vitality of our skin, hair and nails, especially the amino acids methionine, lysine, cysteine, glycine and proline.
What vitamins are good for skin elasticity?
Skin elasticity is the skin’s ability to return to its original shape after stretching. Your skin gets its stretchiness and resilience from two important proteins, collagen and elastin. The loss of elasticity, called elastosis, is a natural part of the ageing process which starts to appear in our 30s or in your 40s - if you’re one of the lucky ones (14). This ageing process is a result of both intrinsic (as with all internal organs) and extrinsic factors (sun exposure, stress, poor nutrition, high alcohol intake, smoking and air pollution) (15). Hormonal changes are also key factors, particularly the natural decline in oestrogen (16) and testosterone (17) production.
Here are the best vitamins essential for skin elasticity:
Vitamin A (retinol) is converted to retinoic acid in the skin and it has been shown to modulate gene expression and influence cellular processes in both the epidermis and dermis, thereby exerting potent anti-ageing effects on our skin. Vitamin A has a key role in the prevention and treatment of UV-induced skin damage (18), making it the most important vitamin in the prevention of wrinkles and loss of elasticity.
Vitamin C is vital for the formation of collagen and elastin. This great but humble vitamin is also a powerful antioxidant, which means that it can trap free radicals that contribute to many processes of ageing, including loss of elasticity of the skin.
Vitamin E is another skin-friendly antioxidant and has been extensively investigated for its role in UV damage protection (19). Vitamin E appears to improve skin elasticity and vitality.
B vitamins – contribute to the production of collagen in the human body. Studies have shown that deficiency of Vitamin B2 & B6 is directly correlated with low collagen content of the skin so including a good B complex may be beneficial.
Get in touch and find out more about our Skin and beauty IV therapy, available here at our clinic in London.
What vitamins are good for skin with eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition, characterised by red, dry and itchy patches. It’s commonly found on the skin of our neck, hands, feet, elbows and the back of the legs. Atopic eczema (atopic means ‘with a genetic predisposition’) is the most common form affecting 1 in 5 children and 1 in 12 adults in the UK (20).
Usually, healthy skin cells are tightly packed together creating a good natural barrier for immune defence. When you have eczema this barrier function is impaired and the skin’s delicate balance of beneficial bacteria is disrupted. This disruption allows toxins and pathogens to enter the skin (a process similar to leaky gut), which leads to an immune response and ultimately to an inflamed, irritated skin.
The best vitamins and nutrients for the management of eczema:
Vitamin D has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of eczema through its immune-regulatory, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities in the skin. Vitamin D deficiency is very common in eczema (21) and supplementation of at least 1000IU daily has been shown to reduce symptoms. Your practitioner will be able to assess your vitamin D levels through a simple finger prick test.
Vitamin A - the great ‘skin-vitamin’ - strengthens the skin’s protective layer and supports healing (22) and has been implicated in the treatment of eczema.
Vitamin E accumulates in the mitochondria within skin cells and promotes collagen and fibroblast synthesis. In a recent study, 400iu of vitamin E significantly improved the severity of eczema symptoms, including itching (23).
Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a natural antihistamine and due to its effect on collagen production it’s a really useful vitamin for the treatment of eczema. Vitamin C might also help alleviate redness, itchiness and long-term damage to the skin.
Eczema is a multifactorial condition and its development often starts as early as birth so it’s important to approach it with a holistic, in-depth and comprehensive support. Read more about our expert practitioners who can offer more personalised support and advice.
Which is the best vitamin for skin complexion and makes your skin glow?
I’m sure we’ve all met someone who has a beautiful, blemish-free skin with an inner glow and luminance to it. Great skin is a true reflection of our inner wellbeing and you can achieve it by having good nutrition and looking after your physical and mental health.
The best vitamins for a healthy glow and great complexion:
Vitamin C, as mentioned above, is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates collagen production (24) making it your number one ticket to a luminescent skin. When applied topically Vitamin C has been shown to brighten the skin by reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin A again. Vitamin A has the ability to even skin tone and to give your skin a beautiful, healthy glow.
Biotin, helps to protect your skin from water loss and regulates fatty acid metabolism, giving your skin a healthy complexion.
Vitamin B3 is known to increase keratin, a protein that keeps your skin firm and healthy.
IV- nutrient therapy with glutathione can give your skin a natural ‘refreshed’ glow and may even reduce pigmentation and redness of the skin.
Do Multivitamins help skin?
A well-balanced multivitamin that contains the key nutrients discussed above can be a great tool to support your skin health and your overall wellbeing. Choose a carefully formulated complex that is effective, pure, ethical and contains therapeutic doses of vitamins and minerals in their most bioavailable and easily absorbed from. Look for Vitamin D3 vs D2, methylfolate vs folic acid, iron citrate vs iron sulphate and so on. For the best skin support, choose a good multi that contains the most important nutrients: vitamins A, C, D, E, B complex, zinc, iron, selenium and chromium. Any plant derived antioxidants like green tea, rosehip, blueberry, turmeric is a bonus!
Have you tried IV nutrient therapy before? Here, at the London Clinic of Nutrition, we offer a range of conventional and bespoke infusions to revitalise our clients’ health and help them reverse chronic disease. Find out more here.
Dietary and lifestyle considerations for a healthy and glowing skin
- If your skin complaints continue to persist, consider eliminating allergens such as wheat, dairy and eggs.
- Include probiotic rich foods such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented tofu and kefir to support the skin’s (and gut) microbiome.
- Take a good quality and pure omega 3 supplement to support skin hydration and regulate inflammatory response of the skin (26).
- Consider supplementing with marine collagen, a natural source of type 1 collagen that is easily absorbed.
- Support methylation and detoxification with vitamins and minerals like methylfolate, methylcobalamine, vitamin B6, zinc and copper.
- Consume organic produce wherever possible.
- Although sun exposure is vital for vitamin D production and our circadian rhythm, a sensible approach is recommended to avoid sun damage.
- Protect your skin from damage with antioxidants. Eat plenty of vegetables and (some) fruits of rainbow of colours. Particularly green and orange ones for their carotenoid and polyphenol content.
- Include protein rich foods - protein supports the growth and maintenance of collagen and elastin fibres. Amino acids proline and lysine work together with vitamin C to enhance the formation of collagen.
- Choose more natural household products to minimise exposure to environmental toxins.
- Manage stress through mindfulness, meditation and yoga. Improve sleep hygiene by reducing blue light in the evenings.
Consult one of our expert team members to discuss functional tests to assess gut issues, liver function, hormonal irregularities and genetic predisposition for vitamin inefficiencies (for example MTHFR and VDR).
Call us today on 020 3332 0030 and a member of the team will be available to answer any queries you have.
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The London Clinic of Nutrition is a multi-disciplined health practice offering personalised nutritional medicine and naturopathy using the functional medicine approach.
100 Seymour Place
020 3332 0030