Does iodine kill good gut bacteria?

Does iodine kill gut bacteria? If iodine is antibacterial and anti-fungal, how does it improve gut flora? Iodine is a basic element with strong antimicrobial properties. Your body has many specific uses for iodine and so it doesn’t want to waste it. However, taking high doses at one time may mean more iodine is exposed to flora and fauna. Killing them on contact.

Iodine is usually absorbed before it reaches the majority of the beneficial flora and fauna that are in your small intestine where they work to digest our food. Populations of beneficial flora and fauna (fungal and bacterial) in normal guts have offsetting negative properties. This allows for a fluid balance. Iodine can also play the role of limiting overgrowth of bacteria and fungal.

Graphic of blue bacteria floating or flowing with a white background

The different forms of iodine also matter. Pure iodine kills all kinds of bacteria but it also gets changed to iodide as it interacts with things in the gut. This severely limits the ‘damage’ it can do. Though, taking too much pure iodine would be very bad for your stomach as it would simply kill as much bacteria as it comes into contact with. Pure iodine helps control bacteria and prevent overgrowth but it has the potential to also do damage.

This is partly why we use a higher amount of potassium iodide in our formula as compared to Lugol’s. It is safer and more gentle while still delivering the iodine your body can use. The Iodine Symporters (NIS) converts the iodide into the forms used by various tissues and glands. Read Iodine and Iodides in Seaweeds and Supplements to know more about the different forms of iodine found in traditional diets.

2d seaweed print for iodides and iodides in seaweeds and supplements

Antibiotics kill beneficial bacteria indiscriminately in your small and large intestine, leaving the flora (fungals) to grow and upset their natural balance with bacteria. Such imbalance can cause impaired digestion leading to discomfort and diarrhea.

For high doses iodine users, the damage caused can be compensated for by taking pre- and probiotics. Yogurt and fermented vegetables like kimchi are examples of foods with high probiotic content. Include pre- and probiotics in the diet to keep your digestion as healthy and normal as possible.

Kimchi in a bowl on a wooden table with chopsticks

Some experts suggest anyone taking high dose Iodine should eat extra pro-biotic foods or supplements. We see iodine as being a natural part of our diet and so we recommend eating these foods regardless. Both iodine and pro-biotics are incredibly beneficial, independently and also when taken together.

Iodine Supplement Complex with Selenium (lugol's iodine, iodine pills, potassium iodide)
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