Tags: bromide | iodine | salt

Bromide and Iodine Deficiency

By Friday, 03 March 2017 04:34 PM Current | Bio | Archive

There are two main reasons why iodine deficiency may be making a comeback.

Until recently, about 25 percent of the iodine in the diet was from wheat, because iodine was used in the processing of flour.

Now, however, a lot of flour in the U.S. is processed with a chemical cousin of iodine, bromide (potassium bromate), which helps makes flour doughier, rise higher, and gives the loaf a better appearance.

But bromide is a double-edged sword: not only has it replaced iodine, it may block the activity of iodine. That's also true for two more of iodine's chemical cousins — chlorine and fluoride, both of which are common in drinking water.

There's another problem with bromide. The International Agency for Research on cancer classified potassium bromate as a Class 2B carcinogen, and it was banned in the U.K. in 1990 and in Canada in 1994.

It's still legal in the U.S., although in 1999 The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) petitioned the FDA to ban it, saying the agency "has known for years that bromate causes cancer in laboratory animals."

Iodine deficiency isn't only about our daily bread — it's also about our daily salt.

Most of the salt used in food processing isn't iodized. And people are using less and less iodized table salt at home, because of the misguided medical advice (except in those with heart failure) to avoid salt.

The end result is Americans who dine on less iodine. From 1971 to 2001 iodine intakes in the U.S. dropped by 50 percent(estimated by urine output).

Though it fortunately is not continuing to drop, we still have lost half our iodine.

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Bromide is a double-edged sword: not only has it replaced iodine, it may block the activity of iodine.
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Friday, 03 March 2017 04:34 PM
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