– Part IV –
In Part III we considered the evidence for which form of iodine the stomach and prostate prefer. In this section we will look at the elemental iodine amounts in the different forms, discuss some common responses to supplementing with KI, and provide a summary for the whole article.
Two Correct Answers
We have only provided some of the reasons for KI being the superior form for iodine supplementation. KI is a safe and effective form for ingesting iodine. We would also like to point out that Lugol’s form can also be effective. However, high amounts of I2 should not be ingested and certainly not on an ongoing basis. The body has the ability to absorb I2 from the air and from topical application.
Lugol’s Iodine Is Also Effective
Lugol’s form also contains KI and so it almost has the same benefits. Remember that Lugol’s is 60% KI and 40% I2. Also, I2 is converted to the body’s usable form of I- in the stomach36,37,38. There a greater chance of having negative side effects, especially as you increase the dosage. The body still gets a good dose of iodine from Lugol’s but not as much because some I2 may not be converted to I- and is not absorbed by the gut. I2 can interact with good and bad stomach bacteria. The net effect is positive for some and negative for others. In Part II we looked at a Canadian study using Lugol’s to treat abnormal breast tissue where some negative side effects were observed. Some users of Lugol’s tablets have complained of digestive issues. When they switched to an KI supplement there were no such issues. On the other hand some users prefer to have some I2 because they believe it helps maintain a good balance of stomach bacteria. Some users believe I2 is more effective for displacing the higher amounts of halides we have been accumulating in modern times. These claims are difficult to prove and it is not clear how they work. It is left as matter of consumer preference. However, we can say for certain that there are small amounts of I2 present in seaweed. In brown seaweeds, such as kelp, the I2 amounts are about 11% of the I- amount. The I2 amounts in green seaweeds are about 25% of the I- amount. The ratio of I2 to I- is much lower in these seaweeds when compared to 67% in Lugol’s tablets. While seaweeds do contain some I2, a relatively high amount of I2 is present in Lugol’s tablets. More information about iodine forms in seaweeds is available in Iodine and Iodides in Seaweeds and Supplements.
The Zen Haus Iodine Supplement Delivers More Iodine
There is less elemental iodine available in a 12.5 mg Lugol’s tablet which contain 7.5 mg of KI and 5 mg of I2. That is because KI is 75% iodine.
Each Zen Haus Iodine Supplement (ZHIS) pill contains 12.5 mg of elemental iodine by way of 16.7 mg of KI. 75% of 16.7 mg is 12.5 mg. The amount of iodine provided by KI in a Lugol’s tablet is 5.6 mg or (75% of 7.5 mg). I2 provides 100% elemental iodine so the whole 5 mg can be added. Adding 5.6 mg and 5 mg gets us to 10.6 mg of elemental iodine in the Lugol’s tablet.
Update: Zen Haus now also offers a Dual Form Iodine Supplement that includes 3 mg of I2 and 12.7 mg of KI which delivers a total of 12.5 mg of elemental iodine.
How the Body Uses Molecular Iodine (I2)
We established that 12.5 mg of iodine is the lower end of the maintenance range. The ZHIS provides this in the form of I-. It is generally accepted as safe and the body will pass any excess I- primarily through the urine.
Being closer to the sea means you automatically get more iodine. The body naturally takes up I2 from the air through the skin and the lungs. If you swim in the ocean your skin will absorb iodine from the seawater. In the same way, you can absorb iodine by painting an iodine solution, whether it has I-, I2, or both, onto the skin.
Though the Zen Haus Iodine Supplement and Lugol’s tablets share some common properties, the ZHIS delivers more elemental iodine per 12.5 mg pill using the safe and effective formulations. While high amounts of I2 may not be ideal for ingestion, the body can still absorb it from the air and also when applied topically.
Some Responses to the Potassium Iodide Position
Some who prefer to use Lugol’s form hold strong views that it is the only way to properly supplement with iodine. There is simply not enough research available to justify these positions. Here are some responses you may come across.
KI is Useless.
Some will suggest that if you own KI you should throw it away because it is useless. This is obviously illogical given the far-reaching positive effects of KI in the body. Especially since KI is the main ingredient in Lugol’s tablets. We have provided science-based evidence showing that KI is very useful.
KI is Dangerous.
Sometimes KI is confused with Super Saturated KI (SSKI ). SSKI, as you may have guessed, includes KI. Some SSKI solutions contain other ingredients to help it hold more KI, making it more concentrated. These additional ingredients may be dangerous to take on an ongoing basis. The ZHIS is not SSKI and certainly does not contain these other ingredients. The ZHIS been designed to be a safe and effective iodine supplement to be taken regularly. We have provided science-based evidence showing that KI is safe to use and it is certainly more safe to supplement with than Lugol’s.
Use Lugol’s Iodine Because It Works.
Yes it does. What about an alternative that is safe and more effective? KI works as well. Not only does KI work, but we also understand how the body uses it by taking the iodine up through the NIS at local sites. There is a good amount of scientific research available that explain these processes. If you take Lugol’s to also help with stomach bacteria then considering using our Dual Form product. It is based on the balance of iodine and iodides found in edible seaweeds.
Now you have more information on a specific iodine issue. We hope you will engage with others on the subject and keep an open mind. New research and information will continue to trickle in. To make good use of it we will need to keep our minds nimble and, of course, have the cognitive benefits of supplementing with iodine.
In Part I we considered that KI benefits almost every part of the body. Cells and tissues known to concentrate I- include the thyroid, white blood cells, salivary glands, eye glands and muscles, kidney cells, the pancreas, lungs, liver, nasal passage, cerebral brain fluid, blood vessels in the brain, skin, adrenals, testicles, thymus gland, ovaries, placenta and uterus.
In Part II we looked at human clinical studies and observed that KI was more effective for breast tissue while also being safer to use. The Lugol’s form iodine dosage had to be about three times higher to get an improvement rate that was almost as good as the KI study. Even a much lower dosage of the KI form proved to be more effective. There were no negative side effects in the KI study. The Lugol’s form study had 7% of patients exhibiting negative side effects which included adverse thyroid function.
In Part III we questioned the argument that the stomach prefers I2 and highlighted that the reasoning was also based on rat studies. We showed that the stomach uses KI and there is an additional antioxidant benefits when it is absorbed in the intestinal tract. There was no argument provided for the prostate having preference for I2 however we can relate the lower rate of prostate cancer in Japanese men to their consumption of foods with high amounts iodide.
In this section we looked at the amounts of elemental iodine available in different forms of iodine. We considered how the body absorbs and uses trace amounts of I2, and discussed some responses given when making the case for KI.
In the breasts, the stomach and the prostate, KI has been shown to be utilized and used effectively for treating disorders. We know there are specific mechanisms in place throughout the body that take up I- and make iodine available for local tissues. For these reasons we recommend using ZHIS or Dual Form to correct iodine deficiencies and maintain healthy levels of iodine in the body. Lugol’s form, having a similar make-up as the ZHIS, is still an effective form for iodine supplementation because it contains mostly KI and I2 is converted to I- in the stomach. However it has been known to cause stomach problems for some. I2 is naturally taken up by the body through the air, via the lungs and skin. I2 solutions can also be absorbed through the skin. Dr. Jorge D. Flechas, a prominent iodine doctor, writes “iodide is an essential nutrient that is absorbed by all cell lines.”39 This is very much in line with what we have presented in this article.
There is a great community of iodine users in the Iodine Protocols Facebook Group and the Iodine Truth Group. We thank the administrators for allowing open and diverse discussions on iodine supplementation. Group members can feel safe to ask questions and share their experiences in a respectful forum. These groups do not endorse any particular form of iodine and have no commercial interest in iodine products.
Your Feedback Is Always Welcomed
This subject can be tricky navigate with clarity. Keeping it short was a challenge. How well did we present it? Is the language clear and simple? Did you follow all the arguments? We would love to hear from you. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Especially if it has to do with:
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36) Miot, F., Dupuy, C., Dumont, J., Rousset, B. (2015). Thyroid Hormone Synthesis and Secretion. In L.J. De Groot (Ed.), Thyroid Disease Manager. Retrieved from http://www.thyroidmanager.org/chapter/chapter-2-thyroid-hormone-synthesis-and-secretion/
37) Risher, J.F., Samuel Keith, L. (2009). Iodine and Inorganic Iodides: Human Health Aspects. (Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 72). Retrieved from World Health Organization website: apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/43579
38) Cohn, B. (1932). Absorption of compound solution of iodine from the gastro-intestinal tract. Archives of Internal Medicine, 49(6), 950-956. doi:10.1001/archinte
39) Flechas, J.D. (2005). Orthoiodosupplementation in a primary care practice. The Original Internist, 12(2), 89-96.