Author: Dr. Gary Huber
Prostate cancer is a concern for all men. Simple iodine intake can greatly alter your risk.
Breast, prostate and thyroid tissue all preferentially absorb iodine in good amounts to facilitate proper function. It has been shown in other studies that adequate presence of iodine reduces the ability for cancer cells originate and also reduces their ability to grow.
Iodine has several healthy mechanisms that reduce cancer potential. Iodine increase normal natural cell death, call apoptosis. So normal cells should die as they get older and be replaced by new cells. If old cells don't die then the risk for these cells to become cancerous increases. Iodine increases this natural apoptosis (cell death). Iodine also inhibits tumor progression and proliferation.
In this study the authors took different cellular forms of prostate cancer and grew them in petri dishes as well as inoculating mice with the cancer. They then added iodine in differing amounts and documented various changes. The study showed clearly that as the cells absorbed increasing amounts of iodine that cancer cells were damaged and growth was reduced while healthy cells incurred no adverse effects.
Here is a simple graph from the study showing what happened when they injected mice with the cancer and then simply fed them water that contained iodine.
So how does this affect YOU??
Most of us get very little iodine in our diet. Iodine is found in sea vegetables like seaweed and also in fish. See the article on Iodine for a listing of how much iodine is in our food. The RDA (which really stands for Really Dumb Advice) for iodine is only 150 mcg daily. Japanese and other Asian cultures that eat seaweed and seafood more regularly are estimated to get around 2000 to 3000 mcg of iodine per day and we know that they have much lower rates of prostate cancer death and breast cancer occurrence. Its diet and lifestyle, not genetics, that is resulting in this difference. If we want to reduce prostate cancer risk and improve general health than my personal recommendation is that most of us should be increasing our iodine intake thru proper food and if needed then proper supplementation under the direction of someone truly knowledgeable in these matters such as Dr. Newbold, Chelsea Caito our dietitian or myself.
Iodine is inexpensive but be careful buying random iodine supplements as there are many poorly made products at scary high doses in the marketplace and these can be dangerous.