If you have cardiovascular disease, there's a good chance it's due to an overlooked mineral deficiency. You might guess that this mineral is magnesium. And you'd be partially correct. Magnesium deficiency is definitely a contributor to heart issues. But there's another mineral that most people don't consider when they're trying to fix their cardiovascular disease.
To show you how big of a problem this is, just look at how fast the deficiency has spread. Back in the 1970s, only 1 in 40 people were low. By the 1990s, 1 in 9 people had a moderate to severe deficiency. Today, just about everyone is deficient. Most doctors I know don't even test for the deficiency anymore — they just assume everyone with a health problem is low. That's because the tests almost always show a deficiency. Why waste money on the test when you're almost 100% sure you know what it's going to say?
This deficiency is iodine. And while most people realize an iodine deficiency can lead to thyroid issues, they don't consider it a threat to their heart. But it is.
What's incredible is that the medical world has known about this association for over 80 years – and yet most doctors don't do anything about it. Back in 1933, a study on rabbits at Harvard Medical School found a clear association between iodine deficiency and atherosclerosis. Actually, the lead researcher, Dr. Kenneth Turner, and his colleagues conducted a series of tests on the rabbits to prove the relationship between thyroid health and heart disease.
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In these studies, the researchers fed all the rabbits a terrible diet. It was rich in unhealthy fats. Within months, the result of the diet on the placebo group was clear atherosclerosis in the aorta (the large artery of the chest and abdomen).
But something happened with 12 of the rabbits. The researchers gave these 12 rabbits an iodine supplement. And guess what happened? Only one of the 12 developed atherosclerosis! That's a 92% reduction in your risk of cardiovascular disease simply by taking one mineral supplement.
While this study was in rabbits, other studies have shown a direct connection between thyroid issues (often caused by an iodine deficiency) and heart disease. One study in 2000 found that people with low thyroid activity but still within the conventional "normal" range had a 230% greater risk of having a heart attack.
There are many other studies on low thyroid function causing heart problems, which I will tell you about soon. There was a time when the medical profession recognized thyroid issues, and iodine deficiency in particular, as critical risk factors for heart disease and heart attacks. It's time we re-recognize this risk. It's quite likely we could save the lives of thousands of people simply by adding this one supplement into their daily regimen.
If you're not taking iodine, you probably should be. If you have any health condition, the likelihood that you have a deficiency is quite high. You can have your doctor test you if that will make you feel better about taking the supplement. But most people with chronic health conditions, particularly heart issues, will need to take it. The best brand on the market is Iodoral. It's been around for decades and is the brand used in most studies. You also can use Lugol's Solution if you prefer drops.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.