Breast cancer is diagnosed in 1 in every 8 cases of women in the United States, so it is leading cancer for in America. Even though the rates of breast cancer have been reduced, every year, it leads to the death of 40,000 women in the U.S. only.
Apparently, this cancer type is caused by the deficiency of one important mineral-iodine.
This mineral is essential for the thyroid function and about 60% of it in the body is stored in the thyroid gland. In this way, it helps the production and release of hormones which regulate the base metabolic rate of your body.
Therefore, if there is enough iodine in the body, the consumed calories will produce energy and will not be stored as body fat. Iodine helps the utilization of various minerals, like silicon and calcium, and aids digestion.
Iodine can be extremely beneficial in the case of pregnancy, and it also regulates the body weight and provides energy.
According to research, women with reduced levels of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with developmental delays.
The reason for this is that in the first 10 weeks after conception, the fetus is completely dependent on the mother for the supply of thyroid hormones.
This period is also critical for the development of the brain, so pregnant mothers should have enough iodine in their body in order to ensure thyroid health and production of hormones.
Moreover, deficiency in iodine in the body has been found to raise the risk of breast cancer.
Namely, research has shown that the cancer-preventative properties of iodine are the result of the indirect or direct interaction with estrogen pathways.
This natural and vital hormone has been related to the higher risk of breast cancer. This should be obvious if we regard the fact that this cancer type is much more dominant in women than men.
It is believed to contribute to the development of breast cancer since it stimulates the division of breast cells, and it also helps the growth of tumors which are responsive to estrogen.
Numerous experts believe that iodine can prevent breast cancer by reducing the proliferation of breast cells. Namely, it reduces the estrogen-induced growth of breast cells via inhibiting the response of estrogen to those cells.
It obstructs estrogen’s response by regulating the proteins included in its metabolism and lowering the inhibition of an estrogen response inhibitor.
A Japanese study has found that a commonly eaten seaweed food that is high in iodine successfully suppressed breast cancer tumors in rats which consumed them. Namely, rats which were induced with breast cancer, but previously ate seaweed rich iodine had no breast cancer tumors.
On the other hand, tumors were found in those rats who did not consume seaweed. Namely, it is a common snack in Japan, so its regular consumption may explain the low rate of breast cancer, which is almost half as much as the U.S.
The American Thyroid Association claims that around 40% of all people in the world are at risk of not having sufficient amounts of iodine in the body. Despite all health issues, the lack of iodine increases the risk of breast cancer.
These are the common symptoms of iodine deficiency:
- Coarse skin
- Abnormal weight gain
- Reduced fertility
- Constant frustration
- Poor levels of perception
In some severe cases, if the mother has been iodine deficient during the pregnancy, the child can be born with numerous health issues, physical malformations, and mental disabilities.
Increase Iodine Intake
Due to the salty environment in which they live in, iodine can be found in high amounts in marine animals and plants. Some of the natural iodine sources include:
- Herring perch
- Deep-water Whitefish
- Sea bass
When it comes to plant-based sources of iodine, you should consume the following:
- Swiss chard
- Lima beans
- Turnip greens
- Summer squash
- Brown seaweed kelp
- Sesame seeds
In order to increase iodine amounts, you should not only consume certain foods, but you should avoid some as well. Namely, it is a halogen, so it follows the law of halogen displacement, that is, any halogen that weighs more than iodine will replace the lighter halogen.
Most common natural halogens are bromine, chlorine, and fluorine. This, in order to increase your iodine intake, you should not consume foods and compounds which include these three.
Bromine is present in various foods, from baked goods and flours which include “dough conditioners”, to soft drinks like Fresca, Mountain Dew, and Gatorade in the form of brominated vegetable oils.
It is also used as a pesticide (methyl bromide), mainly used on strawberries in California.
Chlorine is found in various foods and water supplies (especially pool water). The members of the radish and cabbage family are especially high in chlorine, like pepper, eggplant, cabbages, Brussels sprout, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes.
However, even though many iodine sources are rich in chlorine, like sea salt, the chlorine from these sources is not as bioavailable, so it does not obstruct the digestion of iodine.
It is a well-known fact that the government puts fluorine (fluoride) into the public water supplies. Therefore, it is difficult to avoid its consumption.
Yet, it is not impossible, as you can drink spring water as most spring water brands are low in fluoride.
Moreover, you can buy a water distillation unit, which will eliminate most or all fluoride in the water. Yet, note that these units can be expensive, ranging from $200 to $1000. Thus, a cheap option is to use a Brita filter, or you can boil water before consumption.
To sum it all up, your health will be significantly improved if you increase your iodine intake. One of the most important benefits is that you will lower your breast cancer risk.