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Fluoride, Bromide, and Thyroid Health

I’ve spoken numerous times in the past about the benefits of iodine, and how many people are deficient in iodine.  In this post I’m going to discuss some of the other halides, and how they can actually harm your health, and especially have a negative impact on the thyroid gland. I’m also going to discuss how you can minimize your exposure to these toxins.

So let’s take a look at three common halides that can affect your thyroid health:

Bromide: Many people have a bromide toxicity, and a big reason for this is because bromide is found in many bakery products, including most of the bread people eat.  In the past, iodine was used in  bread dough conditioners, but for numerous reasons they replaced it with bromide.  One reason for this is due to the lower cost of bromide.  A second reason is because they thought that the iodine in these dough conditioners would interfere with the thyroid gland. 

The problem is that bromide toxicity results in many health issues, including headaches and severe depression.  It also has an impact on thyroid health, as bromide is considered a goitrogen, which means that it inhibits thyroid function.  According to the book “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It”, Dr. David Brownstein tells us that “Bromine interferes with iodine uptake and utilization in the thyroid gland.”  He also tells us that every single one of his patients he has evaluated for a bromide toxicity has tested positive for this.  So once again, we’re not talking about a small percentage of people who are affected by this, but many, many people.

So how can we minimize our exposure to bromide, and at the same time correct an existing bromide toxicity?  In order to minimize your exposure, one obvious thing people need to do is to reduce their consumption of bakery goods.  This is a good idea anyway, as most people eat too much bread and bakery products.  As for correcting an existing bromide toxicity problem, beginning an iodine supplementation protocol can help correct this toxicity.  For someone who already has a iodine deficiency issue, bromide will only worsen this problem.  But if you minimize your consumption of bromide and at the same time correct the iodine deficiency, this will help to correct a bromide toxicity.

Fluoride: Unlike the problems with bromide, many people are already aware of the health issues related with fluoride.  As a result, it’s not uncommon to see people purchase fluoride-free toothpaste, avoid drinking tap water, etc.  There is a lot of controversy regarding the use of fluoride, but while it continues to be recommended by most dentists and is put into our water supply, many healthcare professionals and other experts argue that fluoride is toxic to the body.

With regards to using fluoride in the water to prevent tooth decay, there are some countries which don’t fluoridate their water, yet show virtually no difference in tooth decay rates when compared to the United States.  Whether you stop using fluoride-based toothpaste is of course up to you, but I would make an effort to do some of your own research before just taking the word of your dentist.  This isn’t meant to criticize the dental profession, as I have a lot of respect for what they do.  But it’s not as if most dentists have performed research on the effectiveness of fluoride, as they are simply taught in dental school that fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay.  It’s similar to what the medical doctors are taught in medical school regarding drugs and surgery.  It’s not as if most of these doctors do any research, as they simply go to school and incorporate what they are taught into their practice.

If you’re wondering how fluoride affects thyroid health, Dr. David Brownstein also sheds some light on this, stating that “fluoride has been shown to inhibit the ability of the thyroid gland to concentrate iodine”.  Since most people already have an iodine deficiency, then you can probably understand how this can be harmful to those who already have an existing thyroid condition, and it potentially can lead to the development of a thyroid disorder, or exacerbate an existing thyroid disorder.  He also mentions in his book how many medications which contain fluoride were pulled from the market because they were shown to have some serious side effects. 

As for how you can minimize your exposure to fluoride, one way is to begin brushing your teeth with toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride.  Some mouthwashes also contain fluoride, so make sure you don’t use a brand that contains fluoride.  And as mentioned before, since fluoride is added to many water supplies, it is best to drink purified water.

Chloride: In addition to drinking purified water to avoid exposure to fluoride, the same concept applies with chloride.  This halide also can cause many health issues, yet people are constantly being exposed to chloride when drinking tap water, taking a shower, going in swimming pools, etc.  So the obvious methods of minimizing exposure to chloride involves drinking purified water, having a shower filter, and to not spend too much time in swimming pools.

The latter could be challenging, as I know that many families enjoy spending their leisure time in swimming pools.  I’m not telling you that you should never go into a swimming pool again, as I’d be lying if I told you that my family and I never swim in swimming pools (although it has been quite awhile since I’ve been in one).  But if this is something that you do on a regular basis, then you might want to try to reduce the frequency.

Certain cleaning products also contain chloride, and so you also will want to try to avoid buying such products.  This is yet another reason why you should try to purchase natural household cleaners and cosmetics, as there are so many different toxins typical cleaning agents can contain, and chloride is just one of them.

Another big issue regarding bromide, fluoride, and chloride is that they are chemically related to iodine.  As a result, they can compete with iodine and bind to their receptors, causing or contributing to an iodine deficiency.  This is why beginning an iodine supplementation problem can help people who already have these toxicities. 

In summary, these three halides can cause a lot of health problems, and therefore you should make every effort to minimize your exposure to them.  Doing so will help your thyroid condition a great deal, and for those who follow a natural thyroid treatment protocol it will improve your chances of responding well to it.


 

13 Comments

  1. Lisa Reddrop says:

    Hi do you have any suggestions for thyroid eye disease please.
    Thank you

  2. cynthia says:

    I recently swam in a pool with bromine – not realizing the potential toxicity I could have until immediately following the swim sessions – I went twice. I immediately felt so incredibly exhausted that it was amazing. I have had several sessions with different people including radionics and the consensus is that I have been poisoned. My diet is paleo, and extremely clean. My question is what labs do you do to determine toxicity and what do you recommend needs to be done to detox?

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Cynthia,

      The company Hakala Labs has a urine test for bromide. It probably would be a good idea to test for iodine as well, as elevated bromine will frequently result in depleted iodine levels. If this is the case then taking iodine can help to detoxify the body of the bromine. Unfortunately not everyone does well when taking iodine, although if someone has too much bromine along with an iodine deficiency, supplementing with iodine is the best method of eliminating the bromine. With any type of toxicity it is important to do things to help increase the production of glutathione, which plays an important role in detoxification.

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