Question: I have heard the substance bromine can be toxic. Can you explain what it is and how I can avoid it?
Dr. Brownstein's Answer:
Of all the toxic agents I have tested for, bromine is the most widespread. In fact, I have found bromine toxicity in 100 percent of the patients I have tested.
Bromine is part of the halogen family, the same class of elements that contains fluoride, chloride, and iodine. Each of these halogens can competitively inhibit the others. What that means is that too much of one halogen will cause the body to eliminate the others.
Within the halogen family, iodine and chloride are essential nutrients; we cannot live without them. However, both fluoride and bromine are known to cause problems in the body. In fact, there is no known therapeutic use for bromine.
Excess bromine exposure has been shown to result in iodine elimination from the body. This, in turn, can cause problems for glands, including the thyroid and breast.
Unfortunately, modern life exposes us to a large amount of bromine. It is used in pools and hot tubs as a disinfectant. It is used as fumigant for termites and other pests. It is also used as a fire retardant and is found in many common consumer items, such as computers, electronic gadgets, carpeting, mattresses, clothing, and furniture.
If that weren’t enough, it is also found in our food supply, particularly in products made from brominated flour such as bread, pasta, and cereal. I have tested over 500 patients for bromine toxicity. So far, every single patient has shown high levels of this dangerous substance, whether the patient was healthy or not.
How do you detoxify from bromine? By reversing the competitive inhibition of the halogens — iodine supplementation will help the body excrete excess bromine. Salt, which provides a large amount of the chloride, can also help the body eliminate bromine.
I have found the combination of unrefined salt and iodine invaluable in helping my patients detoxify from bromine. You should take one-half to one teaspoon of unrefined salt each day. Iodine supplementation of 12 to 50 mg per day is adequate for most patients.
However, I do not suggest you begin to take any detoxification-based supplement without first consulting with your healthcare provider.