Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It with Dr. Brownstein

Picture of podcast cover art with Christa Biegler and Dr. Brownstein: Episode 291 Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It with Dr. Brownstein

On our next thyroid episode this week, I am joined by Dr. David Brownstein.  I would say one of my favorite things about him is that he is a storyteller. He uses a lot of case studies in his books, which I love. He tells us his personal story, then we dig into iodine and it's relationship to the thyroid.


  • Iodine & the thyroid
  • Iodine deficiency epidemic
  • Iodine supplementation 
  • Salt & iodine relationship


Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., is a board-certified family physician who utilizes the best of conventional and alternative therapies. He is the Medical Director for the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Dr. Brownstein is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and serves on the board for the International College of Integrative Medicine. He is the father of two beautiful physicians, Hailey and Jessica, and is a retired soccer coach. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally about his success using natural therapies. He has also authored sixteen books: on iodine, Vit B12, hormones, thyroid, arthritis, salt, foods, ozone and more.

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[00:00:00] Dr. Brownstein: Is an essential element. We can't live without it. We can't manufacture it, so we have to get it from our diet or we supplement with it. 

[00:00:07] Christa: Stress is the inflammation that robs us of life, energy, and happiness. Our typical solutions for gut health and hormone balance have let a lot of us down we're overmedicated and underserved at the less trusts life.

[00:00:23] Christa: We're a community of health savvy women exploring solutions outside of our traditional Western medicine toolbox and training to raise the bar and change our stories. Each week, our hope is that you leave our sessions inspired to learn, grow, and share these stories to raise the bar in your life and home.

[00:00:50] Christa: All right. Today on the Last Trust Life, I have Dr. David Brownstein, md, who's a board certified family physician who utilizes the best of conventional and alternative therapies. He is the medical director for the Center Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and serves in the Board of International College of Integrated Medicine.

[00:01:09] Christa: He's the father of two beautiful physicians, which I think is such an accomplishment for both of your daughters to become physicians. Haley and Jessica and is a retired soccer coach. So now we know he is also a human and Dr. Because sometimes when you write 16 books on the topics of iodine and b12, hormones, thyroid, arthritis, salt foods, ozone and more, you wonder how does this guy get it all done?

[00:01:29] Christa: But he has lectured internationally about the his success using these natural therapies. And I would say one of my favorite things about him is that he is a storyteller. He uses a lot of case studies in the books, which I love, and I am a case study. Fied if it hasn't worked for people. Like what works for people is what I care most about.

[00:01:47] Christa: So maybe that's why I like him so much. So welcome Dr. Brownstein. Well, 

[00:01:51] Dr. Brownstein: thank you for having me, Krista. 

[00:01:52] Christa: Yeah. So you gave me one prompt. I went ahead and filled in like 20 more questions, but this is actually my favorite first question. And I think it's the one that kind of tells us if someone isn't familiar with you yet, it gives us a little background, you know, makes you really human because we all have these things.

[00:02:09] Christa: Tell us about how this all started for you. How did you get into holistic medicine? It's especially fun, you know, everyone comes. I just had a woman tell me this morning, she's like, well, why doesn't my doctor know this? I'm like, well, no. We only know what we know, right? And we're usually moved to change because we get frustrated.

[00:02:23] Christa: I have a personal experience. So tell us about your foray from being an MD into more holistic medicine. How did that all start? 

[00:02:31] Dr. Brownstein: You're right. Well, as as physicians, you know, I could ask the question, you know, why doesn't my doctor know this stuff? And you're right, they only know what they know. And it usually takes, say healthcare professional.

[00:02:43] Dr. Brownstein: An an illness in themselves or an illness in a close family member or friend for them to start looking for alternatives if things aren't working out well. And then that's what happened to me. But, so my story begins, I wanted to be a doctor since I was little. I wanted to model myself after my family doctor.

[00:02:59] Dr. Brownstein: And I grew up with a severe case of asthma with fair number of ER visits and I was on medications and back then asthma wasn't really well controlled. Well, it's not well controlled either now, but it was less well controlled then than it is now. So I, you know, I was at my family doctor a fairmount for that.

[00:03:15] Dr. Brownstein: And we didn't grow up in a holistic household. We had a conventional household. We went to the doctor when we were sick, we. Took whatever they prescribed. We never, I don't recall questioning anything from any doctor and, you know, I didn't take any vitamins growing up. I didn't know about nutrition. It wasn't concerned with my diet or anything.

[00:03:33] Dr. Brownstein: So I just grew up in a, what I would call a conventional, traditional household and mm-hmm um, wanted to model myself after my family doctor and went to Uni University of Michigan for undergrad and Wayne State University School of Medicine for medical school, and then got into a family practice residency in my area in the Detroit metropolitan area and began doing what I wanted to do since I was, what I recall, five years old.

[00:03:58] Dr. Brownstein: And I liked my residency. I didn't deviate from what I was taught at any point in med school or residency. And I used to tell people back then, don't take supplements or a waste of money. The, you know, you get enough from food and nutritional deficiency. Diseases were a thing of the past. And so I, I finished my residency.

[00:04:17] Dr. Brownstein: I joined a busy family practice office in my area and I start practicing, you know, what I was taught and I did it for about six months. And first few months I was happy and I was, you know, didn't ask for anything more. And I was looking to buy in for a partnership in the practice and got a lawyer and around six months we started.

[00:04:35] Dr. Brownstein: Negotiating the buy-in. And then right around that time I had the lawyer we're negotiating a buy-in. I just stopped sleeping, I remember it. And sleep was hard to come by. I, I became anxious for really the first time. And, you know, after a couple of nights of not sleeping we're, you know, I'm getting up and getting ready to go to work and I alert out to my wife Alison, I don't wanna be a doctor anymore.

[00:04:57] Dr. Brownstein: And we met at 18 years old at, at Michigan. And since she's known me, that's all I talked about was being a doctor. That, that was my sole focus in life. And being a family doctor was my sole focus in life. And, you know, she looks at me incredulously, we had a hundred thousand dollars in student loans at the time, and they were mostly mine.

[00:05:15] Dr. Brownstein: And she said, well, what's wrong? And I'm like, I don't know, but I'm not helping. She goes, what do you mean? I'm like, I'm just prescribing drugs that most of 'em don't even need, you know, we, we were seeing, I don't know, 50 patients a day or something like that. Mm-hmm. And within 30, or actually a long visit, within 15, 20 seconds of a patient talking to me, I was already writing the prescription out for what they needed and the rest of the visit didn't really matter.

[00:05:41] Dr. Brownstein: And I was out of that door and I have five or seven minutes, you know, or less. And I said to her, I don't think I'm helping anyone. I'm just prescribing drugs, aren't treating the underlying cause of their illness. And then I'm having to prescribe more drugs to treat problems from the first drugs. And she goes, well, what are you gonna do?

[00:05:56] Dr. Brownstein: And I'm like, I don't know, but I can't do this for the next three or four decades. And she said, why don't you do another residency? And I'm like, nah, I'm not doing that. One was enough of that. So, you know, I was floundering a little bit. And when I go to work that day and that day, I see this patient. It's been bothering me for a while to meet his chiropractor.

[00:06:14] Dr. Brownstein: And at that point in my career, I never referred to chiropractors. I used to tell people, don't go. I never met one, never talked to one, never knew what the philosophy was, never knew what they did. I just knew they were dangerous. At least that's what I was taught. Hmm. And he had been bugging me for a while.

[00:06:28] Dr. Brownstein: His wife and my wife worked together and drove in a car to work together, and we'd done some things socially with him. So in that lack of sleep and anxiety time at that time, I put him off before when he told me to meet this chiropractor. I said, okay, fine. Gimme his number. So he gives me the number. I make a phone call from work that day and you know, we set a dinner date for the following Tuesday and the, I get home from work on that Tuesday and I remember telling Alison, I'm gonna cancel this funeral.

[00:06:56] Dr. Brownstein: I'm tired. I worked all day and this is a waste of time. And she said, you can't do that. It's too late. That would be rude. Go to dinner. And I'm walking out the door. She told me to be nice and I go to dinner. His name was Dr. Robert Redkey. Mm-hmm. He was 10 years older than me and he, first off, we hit it off very well, very easily.

[00:07:14] Dr. Brownstein: It was just an easy friendship that we hit off right off the bat. Second off, he was talking about functional biochemistry, which I knew literally nothing about. I took mm-hmm. Biochemistry and my undergrad at the University of Michigan. I took it again in med school and then we had reminders of it and lectures about it and residency.

[00:07:31] Dr. Brownstein: And it was nothing functional about that biochemistry. It was all just rope memory and mm-hmm. You could never correlate it with a patient in front of you. You're just trying to get through the tests. They were giving you on it. So Dr. Rake's talking to me about functional biochemistry and what it means in the individual patient he's seeing and how he's trying to, you know, work with the patient's biochemistry.

[00:07:51] Dr. Brownstein: And either he starts telling me stories of his patients and either he's lying to me or there's another method of treatment or modality of treatment that I wasn't aware of. So he brought me a book at that meeting called Healing with Nutrition by Jonathan Wright, who's an allopathic physician and had about a two or three hour dinner that night.

[00:08:10] Dr. Brownstein: And you know, we became good friends after that and we referred patients back and forth and very good long-term friendship after that came home and I read that book till the middle of the night. I remember reading till two in the morning and I was really focused on the section on cardiovascular diseases cuz.

[00:08:25] Dr. Brownstein: Father was very ill at that time. He suffered his first heart attack at age 40, his second heart attack at 42. Over the next 20 years, he had two bypass surgeries and he was on 12 medications to control blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension. My dad was overweight. He smoked, never exercised a day in his life, looked awful, looked like he was gonna die at any moment.

[00:08:46] Dr. Brownstein: He had like a pale bluish color in his face, like he was, wasn't oxygenating. And you know, he was having continual angina for over 20 years where he was popping nitroglycerin pills like they were candy. And we were all waiting for the phone call that he, you know, that he died at that time. So I read that chapter till late at night.

[00:09:04] Dr. Brownstein: I get up to go to work and I'm energized that morning and I called my dad when I got to work and I said, can you stop at my office before or after work? I wanna draw some blood work on you. So based on what I learned from Dr. Raki, what I read in that book, I drew two blood tests on him. Uh, the blood tests were thyroid levels and I drew a whole panel of thyroid levels that I wasn't drawing before, just drawing one thyroid test.

[00:09:25] Dr. Brownstein: And I drew his testosterone level. Now he was seeing the best actors in the Detroit metropolitan area, and like I said, he was on 12 different medications, but no one had bothered to check his testosterone levels ever. When I got the results back, they were less than detectable limits, so near zero and no one had bothered to check a full thyroid panel ever.

[00:09:42] Dr. Brownstein: And his thyroid levels though in the reference range, if this is the reference range, they were in the lower part of the reference range. So I put him on two things. I put him on natural thyroid hormone and natural testosterone, and within seven days, his 20 year history of angina melted away. I got a phone call that night at home, said, Hey, I didn't have to use any nitro pills today.

[00:10:04] Dr. Brownstein: And I said, well, I'm gonna using a day. He goes anywhere from four to four to eight and said, I had no chest pain today. It's the first time. And he goes, I think I'm feeling better from the stuff you're giving me. So he felt better and better. He never used another nitro pill the rest of his life. At that point, 30 days later, he looks better.

[00:10:20] Dr. Brownstein: He is losing weight for the first time without changing any of his bad dietary habits. My dad could eat like the best of them. And he looked pink, now, pink, healthy color, instead of this pale, pasty, bluish changed, you know, face. And he was doing things, he was, you know, no chest pain. And, and I drew his blood work.

[00:10:39] Dr. Brownstein: 30 days later, his cholesterol in the 300 s on medication fell below 200 without changing any of his dietary and, you know, without exercising, changing his dietary habits. Mm-hmm. And in a short period from then on, I was able to decrease his medication from 12 to six a day. And of those six, he was on much lower doses, you know, half or more of whatever he was taking before.

[00:11:01] Dr. Brownstein: And once I saw that 30 days later, you know, I was starting to read in that time period too. I knew that's what I wanted to do in medicine. I went to the partners in my practice and said to them, I'm not gonna buy in. I, I need to leave. How much time do you need from me? And they said, well, what's wrong? And I'm like, nothing's wrong.

[00:11:18] Dr. Brownstein: I wanna go do holistic medicine. And they said, What's that? And I, at that point I said, I don't know, but I'm gonna have to figure it out. And they said, why don't you do it here? And I'm like, no, I can't do it here. I need, I need a holistic medicine office to do it where I have nurses and front desk people and other colleagues who were all sort of working in the same paradigm and have the same energy.

[00:11:39] Dr. Brownstein: And so, you know, I got rid of a lawyer, I left. And I remember as I was leaving, my dad said to me, what are you doing? He goes, you're gonna be a partner in that practice. You can't leave. I'm like, he goes, what are you gonna do? And I'm like, I'm gonna do holistic medicine. And he asked me the same thing, you know, what's that?

[00:11:54] Dr. Brownstein: I'm like, I don't know, but I'm gonna figure it out. He goes, I think you should stay there and do it there. I'm like, you know, I'm doing this because I see the changes in you. And he goes, well, don't not be a partner because of me. And I'm like, dad, I'm gonna get this to work. And we, Allison was pregnant with our first, when I did all this.

[00:12:09] Dr. Brownstein: And you know, I went to my wife first and said to her, I wanna leave at practice. And she. She was fine right off the bat. She said, what are you gonna do? And I told her and she goes, sounds good. And I, she goes, are you gonna have enough patience? And I said, not at first. She said, well, how are we gonna do this?

[00:12:25] Dr. Brownstein: Cause she was working and then she wanted, she was quitting as she was getting near the, it was near the end of her pregnancy. And I said to her, I'll work in the emergency room at nights, or if I have to weekends, we'll have enough money. I said, I gotta give this a go. And she was all for it. And um, I started off seeing one or two patients a day.

[00:12:42] Dr. Brownstein: And now we have six practitioners in our office, including one of my daughters and, uh, my other one's coming in a year. She finishes her residency. So we'll have seven practitioners and we got a big office building and I don't know how many exam rooms, 14, 16, something like that. And as you said before, you know, I've written 16 books and very happy and very, very good way to practice.

[00:13:03] Christa: Yeah. Oh, that's so much fun. You know what people will wanna know? They'll say, uh, can we see one of Dr. Brownstein's physicians? If we live in X, Y, Z state, what's the, we'll just go ahead and answer the question for them before we move into anything 

[00:13:16] Dr. Brownstein: else. So there are some laws about that. Mm-hmm. And we have to see them once in person.

[00:13:21] Dr. Brownstein: Then we can do telemedicine. And I don't like telemedicine that much. I wanna see people, and I wanna touch people and I wanna be in front of them, but I still do it. And I do it for my patients who move outta states. You know, I, I do do it occasionally, but we do need to see people once and then we can establish a relationship and you know, move on from there.

[00:13:39] Christa: Well, there were so many things that I resonated with in your story and I'm sure other people do because I think when you get into anything in health, right, you just wanna help people. And so you had this early midlife crisis and the support from the most important person, which is great. So that was all you really needed.

[00:13:55] Christa: One more thing, cuz I know we're gonna talk about most of my questions today are gonna focus on thyroid and iodine. I'm gonna go down that rabbit hole, which I feel like is definitely one of your big rabbit holes. But since you had asthma, I don't see asthma and I've got half of your books, but I don't think there's an asthma book.

[00:14:11] Christa: But you had asthma. No, no asthma book for me. You know, that 

[00:14:14] Dr. Brownstein: actually could be a book. I never thought about that. Oh 

[00:14:16] Christa: well time, time to get it. We're busy. 

[00:14:19] Dr. Brownstein: You know what people ask me about, how do you write all those books or how does it come to you to write those books? It comes to me, just comes to me like I don't have any master plan and you know, I have to, when I'm writing a book, it's either.

[00:14:29] Dr. Brownstein: I am excited about something or I'm irritated about something as one of those two things that it gives me the passion to write a book. So I never thought about writing book about asthma. And you know, one of the reasons I don't think about it is my asthma's gone, maybe not a hundred percent gone, but it is 99.99% gone.

[00:14:45] Dr. Brownstein: And I used to be on medicine and inhalers and ER visits and it was serious. I, I really, I thought for the beginning part of my life, that's how I was gonna die. I, I was sure I was gonna, From, uh, strangulation, from asthma and man, I was really bad. You know, it was a severe case 

[00:15:01] Christa: of asthma. Don't leave us hanging like that.

[00:15:03] Christa: You know, we had this really lovely story about your dad, which was great cuz I'm also waiting for that call. But since your asthma's gone, why don't you tell us about how, why your asthma's gone and then we'll jump into thyroid and 

[00:15:14] Dr. Brownstein: iodine. I think there's a book in there. So my asthma's gone. So I, I was an athlete.

[00:15:18] Dr. Brownstein: I played tennis and I swam, you know, in high school. And then I, I had offers with me everywhere and steroids and all this stuff. I mean, it was, so I started getting into holistic medicine after my dad. And you know, from that moment on, every person gets a hormonal and nutritional evaluation, a whole hormonal evaluation and, uh, nutritional evaluation.

[00:15:37] Dr. Brownstein: So I started looking at. And I start drawing blood tests on myself. And I find, you know, the same thing as my dad. I've got this low thyroid hormone level, I had all these nutritional deficits, and lo and behold, through blood testing and IgG G analysis, I find I got a casing sensitivity. Mm-hmm. Casing is the major protein and dairy products not, I never really like dairy products.

[00:15:59] Dr. Brownstein: You know, I, I always, I hated drinking milk and I hated cheese and I just hate dairy products. But, you know, growing up in the seventies, I started my day with cereal and milk and I pro I got dairy I'm sure in many sources that I just, just didn't actively go for it. Mm-hmm. So really once I cleaned up my diet, and it wasn't just dairy, you know, once I up my diet of that and we find sugars and eating better and then correcting nutritional imbalances and asthma, much has melted away.

[00:16:27] Dr. Brownstein: And I still find today if I indulge in something that I shouldn't, I start wheezing a little bit and that's where maybe it's not a hundred percent gone, but it's. You know, I don't have inhalers at the handy anymore, and I don't, I play tennis, active vigorous tennis three or four days a week. I don't use inhalers for that.

[00:16:46] Dr. Brownstein: So it's, it's nearly gone from just cleaning up my environment, cleaning up, you know, detoxing and just doing the, what I call the basic things, eating better. Drinking water is a big part of asthma, you know, hydrating. I mean that, that was my story with it. 

[00:16:58] Christa: Yeah. Cool. So you have a thyroid story. Part of the reason you are here is because I was getting really frustrated with people that felt like they had thyroid issues and they looked like they had thyroid issues, but their blood test didn't look like they had thyroid issues or their doctor didn't say that they had thyroid issues.

[00:17:13] Christa: So we'll get into that, but since we're talking about asthma and you did this testing, et cetera, Have your thyroid book right here where it says fibromyalgia and other conditions as well as just thyroid. How often? Because I see, I like to look at common denominators of how everything is working and we usually just put like kind of a label on the top, but what's actually happening underneath.

[00:17:35] Christa: How often do you see thyroid issues as co-factors or as root causes of other diagnoses or labels that people have? Would you say? That's a 

[00:17:43] Dr. Brownstein: good question, Krista. So let's take the first 10 years of my practice. So here I treat my dad, I leave that conventional practice, get in my own office, and I start just practicing holistic medicine and learning.

[00:17:53] Dr. Brownstein: Learning the craft. So I find 10 years later, got a busy practice. At that point, I'm happy, think I'm helping people, I'm doing what I'm doing and doing, treating the underlying causes of their problems, and so on and so on. And I would estimate at that time, I had two-thirds of my practice on thyroid hormone.

[00:18:10] Dr. Brownstein: And in med school I was taught to check a thyroid stimulating hormone level. The tssh level, tssh is a hormone from the pituitary clan of the brain. Is released and goes into the bloodstream and stimulates the thyroid gland, the pituitary gland up here, thyroid gland here to produce thyroid hormone. So when you don't have enough thyroid circulating in your body, your body sends a signal to the pituitary to release more tssh.

[00:18:36] Dr. Brownstein: So T s H will go up. So you're really looking for an elevated tssh. That's how I was taught it. Then any thyroid hormone. So it's a simplistic way to do it, but you know, and it's not a comprehensive way to do it. So what I do now is I check tssh levels. I sort still do that, but I check three T3 and free t4, the inactive and active thyroid hormone levels produced here and the thyroid gland.

[00:18:59] Dr. Brownstein: And I check reverse T3 levels and I do thyroid antibody levels on everybody. And so with doing that comprehensive panel, you pick up many. Patients who have low thyroid function that you can help. And so hypothyroidism, you know I wrote a book on it. It's called Hypothyroidism, overcoming Thyroid Disorders.

[00:19:16] Dr. Brownstein: Is that what you're talking about? That's it. Overcoming thyroid disorders. And I don't just rely on blood tests. I'm treating people instead of blood tests. So you, one of the other things, you can check our basal body with our first morning temperature before you get up. And if those are low, that's indicative perhaps of not producing enough thyroid hormone.

[00:19:31] Dr. Brownstein: So you put that whole picture together with doing a good history and a good physical exam and the lab test, a comprehensive lab test, and then you know, you can make a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. So in the first 10 years of my practice, I probably, I would estimate I had 75% of my patients on thyroid hormone.

[00:19:46] Dr. Brownstein: And I would also estimate my average thyroid hormone dose was two grains or 120 milligrams of natural thyroid hormone. At that point in my career, you know, I'm reading and I'm learning. I'm going to conference after conference, and it was bothering me why. So many of my patients were on thyroid hormone to feel good, cuz most patients when they went on thyroid hormone felt better.

[00:20:06] Dr. Brownstein: You know, they had aches and pains and fibromyalgia or brain fog or something, or cold or fatigue, and you give 'em a little thyroid hormone, those symptoms get better. So they were feeling better. I thought I was doing the right thing for 'em. And really there was two sort of trains that collided at once there.

[00:20:24] Dr. Brownstein: There were, in this 10 year period, there were two studies that came out that showed the longer that women took thyroid hormone, the higher the risk of breast cancer was. Hmm. So the one of the studies compared women never on thyroid hormone, was women who took thyroid hormone. And the breast cancer risk was I, I don't have the exact numbers in my head, but it was like 30% higher chance of breast cancer if you were taking thyroid hormone.

[00:20:46] Dr. Brownstein: The other study looked at the length of time you were in thyroid hormone, and if you were in thyroid hormone over 10, Your risk of breast cancer went up 50% over those who didn't take thyroid. Now I'm pretty good at looking at studies, and I'm pretty good about dissecting them. I'm pretty good about statistics and I teach doctors how to do functional medical statistics, and those were two good studies.

[00:21:07] Dr. Brownstein: And I, you know, so it was bugging me like what's I was taught holistically that, and in conventional worlds that breast cancer goes up if you're hypothyroid, if you're not in, so here, one thing that being hypothyroid increases risk of breast cancer. And, and remember, breast cancer affects one in seven women across the United States.

[00:21:25] Dr. Brownstein: And, you know, it's a, it's a national disaster. So on one hand, I'm being taught that hypothyroidism increases risk for breast cancer. On the other hand, you treat hypothyroidism with thyroid hormone and that increases your risk of breast cancer. And the longer you take it, risk goes up 50%. Well, those two studies were out there before this 10 year period was up.

[00:21:44] Dr. Brownstein: It always bothered me. I tried to dissect those studies. In, in a negative way and tear 'em apart and I couldn't do it. And then over that 10 year period, I, you know, I'm prescribing thyroid hormone if for thyroid or for thyroid hormone. People were getting better. There were very little side effects, you know, couldn't be managed by adjusting the dosage.

[00:22:02] Dr. Brownstein: But I, you know, I thought, come on, it can't be designed by our maker, just cuz we're getting a little bit older, that we all need thyroid hormone. Three quarter, three quarters of us need thyroid hormone to feel good. Mm-hmm. So I would look at the co-factors and one of the things I learned from Dr. Radkey and functional biochemistry was, how do you support the human physiology, the human biochemical pathways, you give 'em the right nutrients they need and you give it the right fuel.

[00:22:26] Dr. Brownstein: And we were designed pretty well to function in healthy and good brain function, good energy, and to old age, really old age if the body has the basic raw materials and needs. So the biochemical pathways need raw materials. Vitamins and minerals and fatty acids and things. So I would look at the thyroid biochemical pathways and, and those pathways would be things like selenium and magnesium and zinc.

[00:22:50] Dr. Brownstein: And, you know, I was checking those levels on people as well. And then I really started focusing on how does the thyroid make thyroid hormone and how do you optimize that? So I would describe all those co-factors. And one of the major co-factor was iodine. The highest concentration of iodine in the human bodies in the thyroid gland.

[00:23:07] Dr. Brownstein: The second highest concentration of women is in their breast tissue, the next highest concentrations in the ovaries and the prostate, and the uterus, all the glandular tissues. So that includes the breast, ovaries, uterus, prostate, pancreas, thyroid, all contains huge amounts of iodine. In fact, we're, we're so well set up to get iodine.

[00:23:25] Dr. Brownstein: We have this really unique mechanism where we have a, uh, it's called a sim porter that can transport iodine from the bloodstream into these glands. Against a gradient. So it takes an energy molecule, a t p to do that. And the reason for that is because humans have learned to adapt and survive in low iodine environments.

[00:23:45] Dr. Brownstein: You know, I would look at selenium, I'd look at zinc, I'd look at vitamin A or whatever for the thyroid. And I would really look at iodine because the highest concentration of iodine's body is in the throid gland. And you can't make thyroid hormone without iodine. And I knew where I lived in the Great Lakes area, those Board of the Great Lakes, which is Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Ontario Province in Canada.

[00:24:06] Dr. Brownstein: You know, on the other side of the Great Lakes, our soils one of the most iodine defic areas of the entire world. It's been known for over a hundred years. So I would try these cofactors and I would try iodine. Nothing worked great. Now, people didn't get sick from any of this stuff. And in regards to iodine, I would try low doses.

[00:24:23] Dr. Brownstein: I'd tried medium doses. I'd try high doses. I didn't see any big negative effects from any of this stuff, and negative effects from my iodine, but I still had to use thyroid hormone. They just. I, they couldn't feel as good as when they were in thyroid hormone. So in one of my medical journals, a researcher wrote an article about how he developed an iodine loading test.

[00:24:41] Dr. Brownstein: Mm-hmm. Now, at that point in my career, this is 10 years now into holistic medicine, there was no good iodine testing at any lab and across the us and so I was just guessing that people were low on iodine. So I called him after that. His name was Dr. Guy Abraham. He was a researcher in California. He developed his iodine loading test.

[00:24:59] Dr. Brownstein: He sent me some research articles. He explained the test to me. I started, I read his research articles, thought he was really onto something with his testing, and he became interested in my practice. Because I was in the Great Lakes area with low iodine in the soil, and he knew that. And so he said, let's do a study together.

[00:25:15] Dr. Brownstein: And so I sent him, I started collecting urine samples for my patients and collated them and kept them and, you know, sent 'em over to California. And then I was flying out to California once a month, and him and I would get in the lab, his lab, and do the measurements. And Dr. Abraham taught me more about iodine than he'll ever know.

[00:25:34] Dr. Brownstein: He, he was one of the smartest doctors I've ever, smartest human beings ever met in my life. And low and behold, you know, over 95% of my patients are low in iodine. They're not only low, they are miserably low. And it was consistent patient in a patient. The only people that weren't low on iodine were the ones taking it on their own.

[00:25:52] Dr. Brownstein: So, Dr. Abraham taught me about iodine. I was prescribing the wrong kind of iodine once I learned about iodine, you know, um, and prescribed the right kind of iodine, which is a mixture of iodine and iodine, the oxidized and reduced form of iodine. Everything started to gel and everything worked. And what I found was when I started using the right form of iodine, now all of a sudden patients who were on thyroid hormone, about half of 'em didn't even need it or more, and the other half needed less.

[00:26:19] Dr. Brownstein: So I went from having 75% of my patients, I mean, on thyroid hormone the first 10 years of my practice to maybe a quarter. It's less than that. It's a, it's a third of patients to a quarter patients who are in thyroid hormone. And of those still in thyroid hormone. My average dose now is 30 milligrams instead of 120.

[00:26:36] Dr. Brownstein: And they're all an iodide. Mm-hmm. So I wrote a book on that. I think I have that. 

[00:26:40] Christa: I didn't know that was the second one. Second book, yeah. That was my first book of yours. That was the third book. 

[00:26:45] Dr. Brownstein: Okay. Third book. The third book. So I not irritated, I, I was excited about IDA out there and you know, it's transformed my practice.

[00:26:55] Dr. Brownstein: So if, you know, I always say if the government came to me, and unfortunately they have come to me since Covid has started, and they said to me, you know, we don't like your practice, let's. That kind of happened. Mm-hmm. Or it was hinted at. But if they said to me, you know what? We're not gonna let you do what you were doing before, but we'll give you one thing to take with you from the holistic world.

[00:27:15] Dr. Brownstein: You pick one. This is what I would pick out of everything. This, that iodine is the biggest bang for the buck. It's helped so many people and it's really the neatest thing I've seen in 30 years of practicing holistic medicine. I've 

[00:27:28] Christa: got a lot of iodine questions coming at you, but first, since you had to change the form of iodine to iodine and iodide, did you also have to change the dose?

[00:27:37] Christa: Cuz you had said you were giving them iodine before, but you weren't seeing a difference. So you changed the type, but you also have to change the 

[00:27:42] Dr. Brownstein: dose. So what I was using first was iodide. Mm-hmm. The ID reduced form of iodine. Mm-hmm. And I was using small doses, medium doses, large doses. It never worked.

[00:27:53] Dr. Brownstein: Hmm. People didn't get, there was no side effects that I can recall, or, you know, maybe here and there everyone, everyone can have a side effect something, but there was no mass problems with it. Mm-hmm. In fact, it was very rare. There were side effects with it, but nobody felt better. And I wasn't lowering thyroid hormone levels.

[00:28:09] Dr. Brownstein: When I used a combination of iodine and iodide and when this was really, Dr. Abraham introduced me to this work, there was some old literature that showed different tissues of the body, primarily buying different forms of iodine. The thyroid gland iodide died, the reduced form. Now that's the kind I was using.

[00:28:25] Dr. Brownstein: And you would think that would help the thyroid. It just didn't work till there was iodine. Iodine. The oxidized form binds to the breast tissue and systemic the thyroid, the overage uterus, different tissues binding different forms of iodine. But when I lecture to doctors, I always say to them, if you want a whole body effect for iodine, it's best to use a common.

[00:28:44] Dr. Brownstein: What I do is I present a series of slides showing these different tissues of the body and what they preferentially take up. And then I said, well, what's the best form of iodine? And the next slide is, it's a combination of iodine and iodide to take care of the whole body. That's a whole body weight to to supplement with.

[00:28:58] Dr. Brownstein: Since I was using small, medium, and large doses of iodide, I would say I would do the same thing with iodine and iodide. And these are milligram doses, so they're considered large by maybe conventional medicine. But in the holistic world, these are the physiologic doses that are needed to help people. And you know, I talked to a lady earlier today who's got this breast lump that we're dealing with that we're not sure you know what it is.

[00:29:21] Dr. Brownstein: I told her there's an iodine deficiency continuum out there where if I call this normal iodine, so if you have normal iodine, You have normal architecture of the gland, joint tissue, the thyroid, over uterus, breast, prostate, pancreas. And think about it, one in seven women have breast cancer across the us.

[00:29:37] Dr. Brownstein: One in three men have prostate cancer. We all know people with pancreatic cancer these days. When I was in residency 30 years ago, the only people that got pancreatic cancer were alcoholics and old people. And we all know young people now dying or dead or sick or diagnosed recently with pancreatic cancer, ovarian, uterine, thyroid over uterus's, breast, prostate, pancreas.

[00:29:59] Dr. Brownstein: I think I got 'em all, all going at at increased rates. You know, epidemic rates right now, and I say it's in large part from MyoD dine deficiency. So if this is normal architecture of the clans, then there's no cysts, there's no nodules, there's no disruption of the architecture. It's normal how we want.

[00:30:16] Dr. Brownstein: How are we designed by our maker to have and iodine deficiency? The first thing that happens is you get CYS in these tissues. If it goes on longer, the CST become heart and nodular. If it goes on longer, they take a hyperplastic appearance. If you biopsy them, look at them under a microscope, that's the precursor to cancer.

[00:30:31] Dr. Brownstein: This continuum has been shown in the animal test tube in humans for iodine deficiency and in animal test tube. In human studies, they've shown iodine has been able to halt and many times reverse this back to normal. So I've treated lots of people. Cyst and nodules and hyperplasia and even cancer of thyroid over uterus, breast, prostate, pancreas with iodine.

[00:30:53] Dr. Brownstein: And you gotta use higher dose therapies in this. And I talk about that in my book, that it helps their situation dramatically, sometimes dramatically. 

[00:31:01] Christa: Maybe there's cancer book here too. If you weren't on the old spot list, you would be after that. Anyway, we'll keep going. This would be a good thing to make sure we throw in here, because if people listen to this and say, I'm gonna try iodine, let's talk about why iodine increases T S H and how long someone has to go off of iodine so it doesn't influence T S H serum 

[00:31:21] Dr. Brownstein: testing.

[00:31:22] Dr. Brownstein: So when someone's iodine deficient, the thyroid gland will slow itself down cause it's unable to make thyroid omal. So it still might be in the reference range if this is the upper and lower limit of the reference range, but in the lower part. And they, you know, physiologically won't feel well, you know, they're tired or fatigued or brain fog or achy or fibromyalgia diagnosis or something like that.

[00:31:42] Dr. Brownstein: Mm-hmm. So this is a whole biochemical mechanism. I have a whole, I have two chapters on this in the iodine book, and this is an hour lecture to healthcare professionals on this. But when you give someone iodine who's low on iodine, They don't have these importers. And these importers are, they're like taxi cabs to take iodine from the bloodstream and move it into the thyroid gland, or the breasts, or the ovaries or the prostate or pancreas or the uterus or wherever it's supposed to go.

[00:32:08] Dr. Brownstein: And we're not designed stupid. It's not a word stupidly. We're not designed poorly that we're gonna have these taxi cabs just idling for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, waiting for an iodine molecule to come. So it can move it across into the thyroid gland or the other G glenoid tissue. So we stop producing these taxi caps or these sim porter molecules when there's no iodine.

[00:32:30] Dr. Brownstein: And so when you give someone iodine, you need taxi caps. You need simp porter molecules to be able to move it into the cell and to be utilized. So the stimulus to make the taxi cabs to get the production going is tssh. So one of the first things that happens when you give someone's iodine, deficient iodine, your tssh goes up and it goes up above the reference range.

[00:32:51] Dr. Brownstein: You know the reference range for ts H on the upper part is. Four, four and a half, something like that. It, it goes up 6, 12, 15, occasionally in the twenties. You know, usually not higher than that. And what that tssh is doing is it's like you're stimulating porter factory to make sim porters. So you can move the iodine in.

[00:33:09] Dr. Brownstein: That takes about four to six months or the length of time till the tissues become saturated with iodine, which is three to six months, four to six months. And then once that happens, the tssh comes back down. So the answer to your question is one of the first things that happens when someone goes on iodine that can make somebody concerned, who doesn't understand this is tssh will go up.

[00:33:27] Dr. Brownstein: Now a conventional doctor who has no knowledge of this will say, oh, you're, you become hypothyroid. Th iodine induced hypothyroidism. I h hmm. If you check their T3 and T4 levels, they're normal. If you check a reverse T3 levels, those are pretty good. If you do a physical exam, they have normal reflexes, their heart rate's fine.

[00:33:46] Dr. Brownstein: They're not hypothyroid, they're not hyperthyroid. And if you ask them, how do you feel? Generally tell you, man, I feel better sleeping better. I'm thinking better. I'm exercising better. I'm, my potty feels better. And they just need time to get iodine into their G glenoid tissue before that tssh comes back down.

[00:34:04] Dr. Brownstein: And so when I tell people is, look, I don't suggest anyone, go take iodine alone. Just, you know, go buy it and take it. You should work with an iodine literate healthcare professional who can help guide you, and you should have your levels checked before and after, and you should just, you know, it's best not to be your own doctor and to to work with someone and educate yourself.

[00:34:23] Dr. Brownstein: Well, one of the main reasons I started writing my books, Was, I was spending too much time, especially since I was going against the grain, explaining why you need to use biodentical natural hormones, why the synthetic hormones aren't good, why the thyroid reference range is too large. It should be like this instead of like this.

[00:34:41] Dr. Brownstein: And so I would, I wrote the book really for my patients so they could understand, you know, my thought process of what I was doing. So I suggest educate yourself so you, so you understand the whole concept of it. And more knowledgeable the patients are the, the better outcomes they have. 

[00:34:57] Christa: Absolutely. Do you have them go off of iodine if they're gonna do a blood test for including t s h?

[00:35:03] Dr. Brownstein: No, I haven't take iodine. I'm gonna do T thyroid testing. I haven 'em go off iodine for two or three days if I'm gonna do iodine testing and see where they're at. Cuz there's a carryover effect and there's no conventional test for once you're taking iodine. The only test you have conventionally for iodine are iodine deficiencies since whole country's iodine deficient.

[00:35:20] Dr. Brownstein: Once you're taking iodine. And the iodine deficiency epidemics of our country has gotten worse over the last few decades. You know, cuz our food supply with iodine's gone down and our exposure to chemicals that knock iodine out of the body, they're known as elegance. You know, toxic allergens, bromide and fluoride in particular have gone way up over the last.

[00:35:40] Dr. Brownstein: 30, 40 years. And so our generation and our generations to our life now are much more iodine deficient than our predecessors. Were 30, 40 and and longer. You know, the iodine deficiency problems just gotten worse even though we iodized salt in the 1920s. Now that's, that's enough. Iodine and salts prevent swelling of the thyroid in the vast majority of people who are exposed to it, but it's not enough for a whole body.

[00:36:03] Dr. Brownstein: Iodine, sufficiency not even close. 

[00:36:05] Christa: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Speaking of iodine testing, is the iodine loading urine loading test 24 hour? Still your preference, because there are some people who talk about, well, you can get good information from doing a morning spot test. You 

[00:36:19] Dr. Brownstein: can get good information from a morning spot test if you're not taking iodine.

[00:36:23] Dr. Brownstein: Period. That's. So if you're taking iodine, the morning spot test doesn't work because we don't have reference ranges for that. And so if you're taking iodine, the only test available is Dr. Abraham's test, the iodine loading test. Mm-hmm. And he should get a Bel Prize for that. It was, it was really, you know, genius work.

[00:36:39] Dr. Brownstein: I spend a lot of them talking about that in my book. So the spot test is really just for people out who are now taking iodine. If you're taking iodine, it's use. When 

[00:36:48] Christa: I was doing a urine loading test on everyone, everyone was deficient. And you've said similar, similar statements in your book. Is there anyone who doesn't need iodine or you just have them all do an iodine loading test and or do people, I think we know the answer to this based on what you just said, but people ask this all the time.

[00:37:06] Christa: Do you ever go off iodine? Once they start reading your book, they say, I don't think you ever go 

[00:37:09] Dr. Brownstein: off iodine. So. So iodine's an essential element. We can't live without it. We can't manufacture it, so we have to get it from our diet, or we supplement with it. We don't, we're deficient now. Our maker must have designed us, or we've adapted either one of the two or both.

[00:37:24] Dr. Brownstein: Probably both in combination with one another that we have been able to adapt to low iodine environments and we can. We don't live very well. Low iodine environments. You know, we suffer with breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer. Pancreatic cancer and heart disease is part of this too.

[00:37:39] Dr. Brownstein: You know, all the big killers in the US So do you ever go off it? If you go off it and you don't get enough from your diet, you will be iodine deficient in 48 hours after you go off it. So the answer, the other part of that answer is our exposure to fluoride and bromide is ubiquitous and enormous and ongoing, and it never lets up.

[00:37:58] Dr. Brownstein: And that kicks out iodine in the body. And that's a constant pushback against getting iodine in the body. That effect will take effect if you stop iodine. So, you know, I don't like to say once you start a joining forever, but really in our world, our modern world, once you start a joining forever, our food supply test simply does not supply enough iodine to combat the amount of toxic collagens we get in our diet.

[00:38:21] Dr. Brownstein: We get in our environment and our diet. I had 

[00:38:24] Christa: the iodine urine loading test in my bathroom that I was kicking around for months before I did it. And then after I did it, you take a 50 milligram tab of iodine. And for the few days after, I was like, I am so smart and focused and able to concentrate and get so much work done.

[00:38:42] Christa: Like what the hell did I do? I gotta make sure I do that again. Oh my gosh. I took a 50 milligram tab of iodine and at that moment I had this aha moment that I thought that I must have just had like little bit of a D H D, but really I just had a sluggish thyroid and was low in iodine. And now I can't look around people that say they have a D H D without assessing all of their thyroid symptoms for it.

[00:39:06] Christa: It feels ridiculous. So that was my iodine story. 

[00:39:11] Dr. Brownstein: I just wanted, there's been a couple, there's been a couple 80 a d d studies showing. That there's a strong correlation of a d d and thyroid problems and low iodine. And you know, I had, I had that same effect you had when I did that 50 milligram loading test.

[00:39:23] Dr. Brownstein: I'm like, holy moly. Had all the energy in the world and I was dreaming again. And I remember I was so focused. And, you know, of course that excitement period settled down. I, I still have, I have more energy than I had I think when I was 18 years old. And I'm focused. I can, you know, I can see a load of patients during the day.

[00:39:42] Dr. Brownstein: I can come home and do two hours of work on the computer and catch up on my emails and listen to all the nonsense about covid that's out there and try and digest it and put it together and, you know, I still do it. And I think that, again, that's why I said to you at the beginning, the government said you only have one thing to take with you.

[00:39:59] Dr. Brownstein: Holistically, otherwise start prescribing all the drugs we taught you again in B iodine. Mm-hmm. 

[00:40:03] Christa: Well, let me ask you a few more questions about iodine in different situations and then we'll kind of get into some of these rapid fire questions that I got from different people. So since we just talked about a d D, it brought up the idea of kids and thyroid in kids and iodine in kids.

[00:40:18] Christa: Do you have anything you wanna say about that? 

[00:40:20] Dr. Brownstein: If we're deficient in iodine, our kids are deficient in iodine. There are multiple studies showing if a woman who delivers a baby is deficient in iodine, baby's IQ can drop 'em five to 15 points. We think that's a permanent drop. So you, you could have a kid that him or her can't meet their potential in life because they were in an idem deficient incubator, you know, and, and their mother.

[00:40:44] Dr. Brownstein: So this, this issue needs to be addressed before women are pregnant. However, that's not the case with a lot of people. And what I found is that kids with a d d kids who have concentration problems, which Lord knows man, that's way out, that wasn't there when I was a kid. But it's certainly there now. They do improve when they correct nutritional.

[00:41:05] Dr. Brownstein: Iodine shouldn't be used as a sole treatment for everything, shouldn't be part of a holistic treatment regimen, diet and nutrition and detox and, you know, rehydration and things. But iodine itself has, has really dramatic effects on both young people and, and old people and middle people as well. And I've seen kids with a adt, they're, they're markedly better.

[00:41:25] Dr. Brownstein: You know, it's a holistic treatment regimen, but you know, markedly better really when iodine added in. 

[00:41:31] Christa: You talk about, there's another subset of the population, which is pregnant women. And you briefly talk about this in the book and you talk about what happens in Japan, but people ask this question all the time.

[00:41:40] Christa: Talk to us about iodine supplementation during pregnancy. 

[00:41:43] Dr. Brownstein: So in Japan, Dr. Abraham and I did that work. It's estimated they ingest a hundred times the iodine daily than we do in the. And the US R D A for iodine is set on, you know, what's the minimum amount of iodine in the diet to prevent goer swelling of the thyroid.

[00:41:58] Dr. Brownstein: It's not the optimal amount of iodine. It's not what's the best amount of iodine to prevent thyroid cancer or breast cancer. Ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, to help with a d d or whatever iq, you know, for it's to prevent gorder of the thyroid. So that minimal amount, the, the is 150 micrograms, the, the doses I'm talking about for people are generally 25 to 50 m.

[00:42:19] Dr. Brownstein: If you don't have glandular problems and if you have glandular problems more than that. So I'm talking at least a hundred times the r d for iodine and the Japanese ingest on a daily basis cuz they use seaweed and in a large part of their diet and they also fertile their crops with seaweed. And the major source of iodine on the planet earth is in the oceans Now that iodine level's gone down because of our pollution of the oceans, but it's still there.

[00:42:44] Dr. Brownstein: So it's estimated that Japanese have, you know, a hundred times more just in their diet than we do. And that could be the explanation of why the Japanese have markedly lower rates of breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, you, you know, down the line compared to us. 

[00:43:00] Christa: I recommend clients adjust iodine levels based on symptom assessment primarily.

[00:43:07] Christa: Do you have any thoughts about when you start people and how you adjust or come back down 

[00:43:13] Dr. Brownstein: again? I would say work with a literate healthcare practitioner with iodine who can just help you with this. And look, I have a lot of patients I do that with too. I'm not, certainly not gonna lie about that. I would tell you I start most of my patients with 25 milligrams and I'm very liberal with my patients about, particularly if they have cystic breasts or cystic ovaries or prostate enlargements or pancreatic problems or you know, same glandular problems I've been harping on, um, very liberal about, Hey, you know, if you wanna try more, let's see how you do with it.

[00:43:42] Dr. Brownstein: If they have cancer of those tissues, I'll generally start at more than 50 milligrams and, you know, I follow 'em. And, you know, iodine, there are some people that get side effects from taking iodine. There's some people that get side effects from taking vitamin C. There's. I got people complain about drinking water when you tell 'em to drink more water, so you can have a side effect from anything, but those are rare when it's used appropriately.

[00:44:02] Dr. Brownstein: I've 

[00:44:03] Christa: only had a couple people out react pretty negatively. Otherwise it's like a few days of fatigue. I had one person recently who said, I've been fatigued ever since I started this, so then we just reevaluate co-factor, salt loading, et cetera. Mm-hmm. The one person who was my daughter, which was fun, but she's just like, Ugh, I feel like I got hit by a car.

[00:44:22] Christa: Like whatever. I said, you could start this topically. Any other comments about negative reactions? That's kind of my approach is like, go back to co-factor, go back to salt loading, all 


[00:44:30] Dr. Brownstein: things. There's no more negative reactions than any single patient, than doctors, family members, particularly their wives or their husbands.

[00:44:36] Dr. Brownstein: If they're female or male, doesn't matter. You know? Of course they're the worst. Yeah. I do this whole part of my item lecture on this, so my friend who's. I went to med school with, calls me up and says, you gotta see so-and-so. She's diagnosed with Graves disease. She's miserable. They're gonna, they're gonna give her radioactive iodine and I don't want her to take that, but I don't know what to give her.

[00:44:57] Dr. Brownstein: And, you know, can you see her? And I hadn't heard from him since med school. So I see her, she's got a goer and she's got the big graves eyes and she's, uh, I check her iodine levels. They're near zero. And, you know, put her on iodine. And that's how I treat Graves disease and Hashimoto's disease. And I was taught in med school that iodine can make those iodine.

[00:45:16] Dr. Brownstein: What causes those situations? Well, that's not true. Mm-hmm. Iodine levels have fallen over 50% over the last 50 years across the US and Graves and Hashimotos has gone through the roof that disproves that. And anyone who says that is talking nonsense. So I put her on iodine as part of a hosted treatment regimen.

[00:45:31] Dr. Brownstein: And you never use iodine alone without. Salt has a huge positive effect with iodine and can sometimes get rid of those negative reactions like what your daughter has cuz salt helps you to keate and bind those, helps those highlights, those toxic halide, fluoride and bromide come out. So maybe you're, she's feeling lousy cuz she mobilized bromite fluoride when she took iodine.

[00:45:50] Dr. Brownstein: Salto helped minimize that. So I see her put on iodine. He calls me up and goes, oh, I don't want, she's already sick from Grave's disease. Isn't that gonna make her worse? I'm like, trust me. So I put her on iodine and she's scheduled for this eye surgery cuz her eyes were bulging out of her head. When happens in Grave's disease and she feels better immediately, her thyroid calms down.

[00:46:13] Dr. Brownstein: She cancels the radioactive iodine treatment, she cancels the thyroid eye surgery she's gonna have done. And I get a letter from the ophthalmologist and I, when I lecture about this, I have the letter in there and in the letter he says something, You know, what I originally thought was, uh, proptosis from, from Grave's Disease is not, cuz she's better.

[00:46:32] Dr. Brownstein: And I think it was from Grave's Disease. So her Grave's disease was better, which is what happened. Mm-hmm. And he goes, right now she doesn't need surgery and if things go this way, she'll never need surgery for eyes. And I, he wrote it a little more medically than that, but, I show the letter, and at the end of the letter I always say, especially when I'm lecturing to healthcare practitioners, this was a doctor's wife.

[00:46:51] Dr. Brownstein: And if this can work on a doctor's wife, it can work on anybody because they're the worst patients and they, the problems they have the side effects. Nothing works for 'em. And so anyways, try the salt with your daughter and see if that helps. Yeah, yeah. 


[00:47:03] Christa: right. Here's some questions that have come up for people.

[00:47:06] Christa: So these are kind of interesting ones. Let me start with the breast cancer and iodine status. One. Can you discuss or cover iodine deficiencies connection to an increase in estrogen production, an increased sensitivity of breast tissue to estrogen In your book, you noted? Yes. Okay. In your book you noted iodine iodide therapy could enhance the efficacy of tamoxifen therapy that's preventing or slowing the development of tamoxifen resistance.

[00:47:29] Christa: So what do you wanna say 

[00:47:30] Dr. Brownstein: about this? So iodine has has, has intricate mechanisms to help with estrogen metabolism and an iodine deficiency. Estrogens may hang around a lot longer and stimulate and stimulate and stimulate. Perhaps that's one of the reasons, especially with our exposure to Xenoestrogens, which are estrogen mimics in the environment that hang around forever.

[00:47:48] Dr. Brownstein: Cuz people, I don't have enough iodine to get their detox pathways going to get rid of it. And maybe that's what's causing, I mean, I don't have to tell you, and I don't tell any of the listeners here, rest size has increased dramatically over the last few decades and younger girls now are larger than their mothers.

[00:48:05] Dr. Brownstein: And mothers are larger than their grandmother, than their mothers. And you know, girls are developing breasts at earlier age and larger breasts and it's. It's a problem. I mean, it's too much breast tissue and you've got more breast tissue and less iodine. You got more problems for hyperplasia and, and you know, abnormal cells to grow and things like that.

[00:48:24] Dr. Brownstein: So our predecessors had iodine levels and lesser exposure to the toxicologists than we do now. And I think that's what's in part driving, you know, this larger breast size in women, which I don't think is a good thing in the, and so Adine does help with estrogen metabolism and the answer was yes to both parts of those question.

[00:48:42] Dr. Brownstein: I remember the second. 

[00:48:44] Christa: It was just, can you talk about iodine deficiency connection and increased to estrogen production and increased sensitivity in breast tissue to 

[00:48:50] Dr. Brownstein: estrogens? Yeah, basically it's the same basically what I just said. Mm-hmm. 

[00:48:53] Christa: On this note, I think this might actually cover this one. I had someone with perimenopause rubbing iodine on her breast.

[00:49:00] Christa: She hadn't had a menstrual cycle for several months and two days later she had a menstrual cycle. So in perimenopause, we're having a decrease of both of those hormones. And so I'm wondering if it's really the same mechanism that would be possibly happening where you would be able to have a cycle if you're using iodine either topically or orally.

[00:49:19] Christa: Can 

[00:49:19] Dr. Brownstein: can iodine in the skin and absorb a topically, although it's not an efficient mechanism, the most efficient way to take iodine is orally. So you know, I have had women rub it on, um, for men. There's an old iodine test where you rub iodine, the oxidized or in your skin, and it's brown, and you look for how long it takes the brown color to go away, and you assume the brown color goes away.

[00:49:39] Dr. Brownstein: Within 24 hours, it's a really deficient in iodine. Well, there was another study that showed 80% of that rub on the skin sublimates into a gas and just goes into the environment. Mm. So that's not the best way to test for iodine, but you can get some iodine in through the skin and you will get some effect.

[00:49:55] Dr. Brownstein: Let, let me tell you, if someone is super low on iodine, you put some on the skin, they're going to, their hormones will shift and they will feel it and you know, that certainly can bring out a period. Hmm. 

[00:50:05] Christa: Alright. Here's one, kind of moving a little bit away from iodine. Can you talk about what happened with Nature Thyroid or Nature Throid?

[00:50:13] Christa: And I'm gonna give a little more context because people will say, I was on Nature Thyroid, it felt really good. Then I went on armor and didn't feel good and now I'm on Synthroid and Levothyroxine, I feel really terrible is, there's some version of this story that's really common in a lot of people, anyone who's medicated and this makes it a little more complex.

[00:50:29] Christa: Can you talk to us about, I'm guessing this is in the Natural Hormones book that's on my shelf a little bit, but do you wanna talk a little bit about why medication for thyroid issues gets really convoluted for people? 

[00:50:42] Dr. Brownstein: So I got the same issues in my practice and so let's go back to the first 10 years of my practice.

[00:50:46] Dr. Brownstein: No one's an iodine and three quarters are on thyroid hormone. The second 10 years and beyond, I'm onto the Just Finished, or I'm in my 30th year right now. I have less than 25% on thyroid hormone and they're on a, a dose of, uh, a quarter of what they were on average of what they were on before. And that's the iodine effect of that.

[00:51:04] Dr. Brownstein: So Nature Thyroid was a natural desiccated thyroid hormone. We also found really effective in our practice, and we were using a lot of it. And just as the F D A has done to all the other thyroid manufacturers from the synthetic ones like Synthroid, Levothroid, all of them, including Arm Thyroid, they found a batch, I don't remember how many batches.

[00:51:25] Dr. Brownstein: It was one or two batches of Nature. Thyroid were just below the lower limits of the 95% confidence interval, lower limit. So I talked to the owners who manufacture Nature Thyroid. I mean, I talked to 'em about this when this happened. This is my take on the story with it. The FDA mandated them. Recall those batches and.

[00:51:47] Dr. Brownstein: It was a voluntary recall. I could tell you from seeing enough patients, and we checked thyroid hormone levels and everyone we know in our practice when there's a problem, I know when there's a problem with a lab test and I know when there's a problem. With thyroid hormone or D H A or pregnant alone, or those are two adrenal hormones, things that I can test for.

[00:52:04] Dr. Brownstein: I know when there's a problem. I know it really early. My partners see it really early. We've commented on this for years. Something's wrong with either the testing or the medication. And over the years, every thyroid manufacturer had recalls of their thyroid products because they've been suboptimal of falling below this 95% level that the FDA a says they shouldn't fall below.

[00:52:25] Dr. Brownstein: And I'm not a biochemist making thyroid hormones, so I'm, I'm, but there must be some stability problem with thyroid hormone. Doesn't matter, synthetic, doesn't matter if it's natural desiccated thyroid hormone that's there. Cause I've seen it for 30 years. So somehow the f FDA and the makers of nature thyroid, R L c, got into a, I'll say a nice word, an argument, you know, they were disagreeing with one another.

[00:52:48] Dr. Brownstein: And I heard about this from the R L C side of things. And the F D A basically shut 'em down where they didn't shut down the other manufacturers. And I think this was, I don't know, I kind of felt like it was more of just a, they got pissed, for lack of a better word, over this and shut 'em down and. We haven't had Nature Thyroid for, I don't know, two or three years now.

[00:53:09] Dr. Brownstein: I don't remember when they did it. And patients have suffered no question. Patients have suffered know, interestingly in those batches that that the F D A said were suboptimal. We never saw the changes in the lab test, never saw it. And the R L C people told me they had independently, cuz you have to keep a certain amount of a batch separated if this happens where you're, the FDA can test them.

[00:53:31] Dr. Brownstein: They send some samples for testing and they didn't find that was the. They didn't believe it was suboptimal, but they were shut down. And the other interesting thing was, at the time they were shut down. They were the cheapest thyroid manufacturer out there. By far. Their products were, I don't know, a third of the price.

[00:53:46] Dr. Brownstein: I'm not, I don't know exactly, but they were really cheap thyroid hormone products. As soon as they shut down the thyroid products checked up and it's ridiculous Now how much thyroid hormone costs, 

[00:53:56] Christa: how have you managed without this for the last three years? 

[00:53:59] Dr. Brownstein: Well, okay, so I was hoping you were gonna ask that.

[00:54:02] Dr. Brownstein: Cause I was gonna say, whether you answered, asked it or not. Good. First 10 years of my practice, no iodine. You're on 120 milligrams of thyroid hormone the next 20 years. 30 milligrams of thyroid hormone with iodine. What I found in the last 20 years, if you read my thyroid book and even my iodine book, I write in there that the natural thyroid hormone is genuine better choice than the synthetic thyroid hormone.

[00:54:24] Dr. Brownstein: And I give a biochemical explanation why? Cuz it's more closely mimics the human physiology. That's all true. However, what I found when I started using iodine, it didn't seem to matter so much what brand of thyroid hormone they were on, or it seemed to matter first 10 years a lot. And so whether they were on synthetic thyroid hormone like Synthroid or Levothroid or they were on desiccated thyroid hormone, the difference in the how people felt and how they responded to it was much less once they were on iodine.

[00:54:50] Dr. Brownstein: And I really couldn't see the difference in the vast majority of people. So how did I get around it? They were already on iodine. For most of my patients. It wasn't that big of a deal to shift them to whatever. And I think that's why we didn't really run into huge problems with it. I had the occasional patient, certainly did better on the naturey than anything else out there.

[00:55:08] Dr. Brownstein: They were few and far between. 

[00:55:10] Christa: That's really reassuring. So this is good. Thanks for sharing that. I think this is probably a pretty good one to talk about before we, I'll see how many more questions you really wanna answer here. So you say in the book, increasing the metabolism of the body with thyroid hormone.

[00:55:24] Christa: So basically if the thyroid hormone gets stimulated or the the metabolism upregulates, that can really overload poorly functioning adrenal glands and just make things worse. I think that, I talk to people about this all the time. How important that your thyroid will never work well if your adrenals are not wanting to work well.

[00:55:44] Christa: Is this a factor in, Hey, I gave someone iodine and I gave someone thyroid stuff and they're still not in good shape. Do you then go look at adrenal function? Well, you do off the bat. I know you do. Cuz you're looking at their hormone 

[00:55:55] Dr. Brownstein: levels. Yeah, but I look at 'em more. That's, that's a good question. I always say the thyroid and adrenals are like a teeter-totter.

[00:56:01] Dr. Brownstein: Mm-hmm. You want 'em in balance. So thyroid is kind of like you're in a car and you step on the gas and the, you know, the gas is the. Giving the engine more gas to burn is the thyroid and the car moves down the road. The adrenals are kind of like the, um, transmission. So if the transmission doesn't engage, you can step on the gas, give 'em more thyroid hormone.

[00:56:21] Dr. Brownstein: The engine will rev, rev, rev, rev, rev. But the car won't move until the car burns out. Same thing happens with people. If you give 'em thyroid hormone, the adrenals aren't balanced. They, they don't like it. Mm-hmm. They get palpitations, fast heart rate, headaches. Mm-hmm. You know, they, they don't feel good. So if they're not doing well on it, I do absolutely what you just said.

[00:56:38] Dr. Brownstein: I step back, re-look at the adrenal glands and make sure. They have enough adrenal hormone to help this situation work appropriately. And 

[00:56:46] Christa: unfortunately, what you just said is not commonplace. We don't really recognize adrenal issues unless you're basically dead. I talk about that 

[00:56:52] Dr. Brownstein: a lot. Challenge, you know, the reason, here's the reason I started writing books in 1998.

[00:56:57] Dr. Brownstein: First book I wrote was a miracle called Natural Hormones for this very thing we're talking about. Cause I would've to sit and explain this to patients and they just couldn't get adrenal and thyroid. They didn't know the words. And, you know, so I wrote chapters on all this and how it all works together.

[00:57:10] Dr. Brownstein: And I tell, you know, I wanted them to be on board with me. But once they understand it, once they can talk about it, they're better patients. They, and they have a better, they have a better outcome. There's no question. Once you understand it. That's why this topic is why I wrote, started writing books. 

[00:57:24] Christa: Right.

[00:57:24] Christa: And probably now you and for sure this is my clientele. They're pretty much not gonna work with me if they don't wanna understand everything anyway. But unfortunately that leave people, that leaves everyone else out. You know, you have to decide that you wanna understand everything. Alright, here's a couple quick questions.

[00:57:40] Christa: We'll see, and I, you can just cut me off whenever you are ready here. Someone asked, is there any risks of the iodine loading test or the 50 milligrams? 

[00:57:46] Dr. Brownstein: There's always a risk. I mean, you know, who can predict some kind of anaphylactic reaction? Having said that, I haven't had that happen. Mm-hmm. I've had people react negatively with iodine.

[00:57:56] Dr. Brownstein: It's not a hundred percent restricted, but it's mostly restricted people with what's called an autonomously functioning nodule. They have a nodule in their thyroid gland that's, the body can't control it anymore. So when you give a iodine, they take it up no fast and make a lot of thyroid hormone. When they become hyperthyroid, nervous, jittery, palpitations, tachycardia, fast heart rate, and they don't like it had only a handful of cases over 20 years of doing that.

[00:58:19] Dr. Brownstein: So it's not very common. You know, an allergic reaction can happen to anything but that common with iodine, it can happen and you know, I see, like I said before, I've, people tell me they can't water they or they get vitamin C gives 'em a headache or something. And so, you know, you, but it's, it's rare. Rare.

[00:58:36] Dr. Brownstein: I haven't seen any terrible ex with iodine and I, I've had a lot of people be able to take iodine who tell me they get anaphylaxis with, uh, CAT scan, radioactive iodine. And they can take inorganic, nano radioactive iodine very fine without any reaction to it. Mm-hmm. 

[00:58:51] Christa: That's good that you threw that in there.

[00:58:52] Christa: Those are two different things. Mm-hmm. I get this question occasionally people will say, I don't have my thyroid gland anymore. Does all of this information change for me? 

[00:59:01] Dr. Brownstein: The thyroid gland holds. It has the highest concentration of iodine in the body, but a very small amount of iodine. I, you know, the numbers in my book, and of course I should have that memorized, but I don't, but it, it holds less than 2% of the body's iodine in the, so you got 98, 90 9% of iodine in the skin, the muscles, uh, pancreas, the brain, you know, everywhere else in the body.

[00:59:23] Dr. Brownstein: So just cuz you don't have a thyroid, you have skin, you have breasts, you have prostate, you have ovaries, you have uterus, whatever those tissues need iodine as well. Every cell in the body needs and requires iodine for optimal function. You 

[00:59:35] Christa: said something earlier that I didn't underline that I wanted to, so many people talk about when they go into the ocean, but it's really, it varies a lot of people, but not everyone.

[00:59:44] Christa: They talk about when they go in the ocean, oh, sometimes my skin gets better, my rashes or my eczema. But you brought up that the ocean is a good source of iodine. So it's possible that they're getting some sources and maybe seeing some changes from that, which I had not really considered or thought about that that could be a 

[00:59:59] Dr. Brownstein: co-factor before.

[01:00:00] Dr. Brownstein: Absolutely. It's absolutely, it's true. 

[01:00:02] Christa: Yeah. Okay. So I get asked about food all the time. My approach is don't restrict things that you don't need to restrict, but there's a lot of discussion about gluten, soy, dairy, and you have books about each one of those. So do you have anything you wanna say about food avoidance in most cases of thyroid issues?

[01:00:17] Christa: Or do you think it just depends on the person and how they're responding? I think this comes up mostly in Hashimotos. 

[01:00:22] Dr. Brownstein: I think everyone's a unique biochemical individual and needs to be treated as such. But I can tell you most Hashimotos patients do well without gluten. They, they do better without gluten.

[01:00:31] Dr. Brownstein: The um, Hashimotos is an autoimmune problem of a thyroid gland. That's really common in our, wasn't common 30 years ago. It's really common now, and it's common now because of iodine deficiency. You'll see some in the holistic world say iodine's causing Hashimoto's disease. Absolutely not true. What do you say?

[01:00:47] Dr. Brownstein: Fake news, misinformation, whatever terms you wanna use there. I talk about that in my iodine book, in my thyroid book. But you know, the number one food allergy I see in patients is dairy. Number two was gluten and then it varies, you know, beyond that, I'm not so sure if it's really, I mean, where were these allergies?

[01:01:03] Dr. Brownstein: 30 years ago when I was young, 50 years ago when I was in school, you know, elementary school. They weren't there. Why are they there now? So I think it's probably more associated with how we're treating the food. Yeah, there's several, several how it gives to us. There's several reasons for that, such as glyphosate over every grain that's on the market and you know, ultra pasteurizing dairy and distorting the proteins in dairy, probably causing us all these dairy problems and you know, so whatever.

[01:01:32] Dr. Brownstein: But whatever that is. People with Hashimotos generally do better, I know without gluten as part of it, whether it's glyphosate or gluten, you know, whatever. They'll lower it without gluten and people with asthma and eczema and you know, some other things. I check blood levels of these so I can see 'em on people.

[01:01:49] Dr. Brownstein: 75, 80% are, have casing antibodies that are through the roof. They do better without casing from cow's milk. 

[01:01:55] Christa: I think I just have one more question cause the rest of these are honestly covered by, you know, when someone says, I have Hashimotos and tick Synthroid daily, what are your recommendations for improving hair loss?

[01:02:04] Christa: I feel like there's a lot of good information in both of those books. And we talked about a lot of good stuff there already. And when people say, Hey, my doctor says my, my thyroid lab tests are fine. I think you have to go back to, did you actually check everything? And what about what's, you know, you can trust your symptoms.

[01:02:19] Christa: But this one popped up about sluggish thyroid and fungal overgrowth. Any comments of the interplay you see with these two? 

[01:02:26] Dr. Brownstein: Absolutely. There's a big interplay with that. And there's big interplay with fungus and candida and mold with low and, mm-hmm. Big. It just allows them to thrive. 

[01:02:36] Christa: Yes. Yeah. Low basal body temperature.

[01:02:39] Christa: Yep. Alright, Dr. Brownstein, thanks for telling us so many good little nuggets today and going through things that I think we needed to try to share with more people. Where can people find you 

[01:02:50] Dr. Brownstein: online? So you can go to my website, www dot dr Brownstein, B R O W N S T E I, and all the books are there and my office is center for holistic in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

[01:03:03] Dr. Brownstein: I'm not really seeing new patients right now, but I have a daughter, Haley, who is, and my other daughter Jesse, will be there in July seeing new patients. So we've still got room to grow in our practice, although we're we're getting there. Mm-hmm. And you know, we'll, We all like what we do, we're all on the same page of that office.

[01:03:18] Dr. Brownstein: And I got what I wanted 30 years ago, which was secretaries, the, and action. It's funny, I got electrician who's our patient, I got a plumber as my patient, I got all these, the water filter guys, my patient, you know, they're, we're all on the same page. We're all trying to do the same thing and you know, it's a pretty cool office to work in.

[01:03:35] Dr. Brownstein: Yeah, 

[01:03:35] Christa: that sounds wonderful. Well, I would highly recommend as someone who's got a lot of these books, go get them. They're great. They've changed the way I think and practice and I really appreciate it. And thank you so much for coming on today. Thanks for having me. Sharing and reviewing this podcast is the best way to help us succeed with our mission.

[01:03:53] Christa: To help integrate the best of East and West and empower you to raise the bar on your health story, just go to review this stressed life. That's review this stressed life, and you'll be taken directly to a page where you can insert your review and hit post.


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