The Iodine Deficiency Epidemic — How to Reverse It for Your Health

Iodine deficiency - Dr. Axe

Did you know that iodine deficiency is now regarded by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most prevalent and easily preventable case of impaired cognitive development in children in the world? There are at least 30 million suffering from this preventable condition.

Iodine is a trace mineral and an essential component of the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones regulate the metabolic activities of most cells and play a vital role in the process of early growth and development of most organs, especially the brain. Inadequate intake of iodine-rich foods leads to insufficient production of these hormones, which adversely affect the muscle, heart, liver, kidney and the developing brain. (1)


 Here are iodine deficiency statistics that may surprise you:


    • The National Health Nutritional Examination Survey reported that iodine levels have decreased by 50 percent in the last 30 years. 
    • More than 96 percent of over 5,000 patients tested were iodine-deficient in a clinical study conducted by thyroid expert Dr. David Brownstein. (2)
    • According to the WHO, iodine deficiency affects 72 percent of the world’s population. 
    • In 2011, 70 percent of households globally had access to iodized salt (3)

The term iodine deficiency disorders has been coined to represent the different array of disorder that result from iodine deficiency in a population. (4) These disorders are all preventable if the appropriate dose of iodine is administered. Common disorders that result from iodine deficiency are hypothyroidism, increased cholesterol levels, endemic goiter, cretinism, decreased fertility rate, increased infant mortality, fibrocystic breast disease, atherosclerosis and breast cancer. (5)