Bread, Bromines, Iodine Deficiency, and your Thyroid all have a connection that affects human health in a significant way.
Have you noticed a huge increase in folks who are having issues with their thyroid? Years ago, I learned about Bromines and other Halogens and the havoc it causes to our endocrine system and, more specifically, your Thyroid and immune system. We quickly eliminated all wheat products and food sources that contained this chemical, and years later, I am glad we did.
When Bromines are ingested or absorbed into the body, it displaces the trace mineral, iodine which can cause health issues. Potassium Bromate has been banned for use in Europe, China, and other countries, but not in the US. Potassium bromate is a powerful oxidizing agent or dough conditioner that chemically changes flour to give it that doughy texture. It ages the flour much faster than open air. Potassium bromate bleaches dough and enhances its elasticity.
Table of Contents
Why Are Bromines So Dangerous?
Bromines are known as common endocrine disruptors and are part of the halide family. These are a group of elements that includes fluorine, chlorine, and iodine. What makes it so dangerous and a huge problem for the human body is that it competes for the same receptors used to capture iodine. Iodine is a necessary trace mineral that our body needs to function properly and prevent cancer. Bromines interfere with your thyroid function.
To combat the iodine deficiency in the US, our government added Iodine to our table salt. Iodized salt was introduced to the American diet, and many in the medical community believed no one could be deficient. We now know that is not true. We also now know white iodized salt is not the best thing to be ingesting.
How Do I Know Which Products Have Bromines?
Unless a bread or wheat product specifically states it has un-bromated flour, you are at risk in the US. Potassium bromate is an unnecessary and potentially harmful food additive and should be avoided. Fortunately, California has required labeling when it comes to the use of this dangerous chemical. But other states do not require this labeling. You will have to make sure the products you are ingesting are clean. Fortunately, there are many more products on the market today that are organic, so you will have a much easier time finding healthy alternatives.
Bromines are not just in wheat. They are also in the plastics and fabrics we use every day. Many pesticides used in modern agriculture are known to contain methyl bromide. The major source of human bromide exposure comes from the bread, pasta, and baked goods we eat. Potassium bromate has been used as a food additive for over 80 years. When added to the dough, it stiffens the bread and helps the bread to be more squishy. Some supermarket chains do not use bromate, so it is best to call their corporate offices and check. Or you can usually submit a form online and ask.
Products With Bromine
Bromine is extensively used in the manufacturing of plastic, computer boards, and upholstery. Here is a more comprehensive list of what to avoid if you want to avoid Bromide. Many foods might not contain bromine anymore. However, they are still treated with pesticides that contain Bromines.
- Agricultural Chemicals
- Methyl Bromide found in insecticides
- Flame retardants or fire retardants
- Furniture foam
- Plastic casings for electronics
- Processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, and vegetable oil
Flame Retardant Chemicals are found in a wide variety of products:
- Upholstered furniture
- Baby products
- Building insulation
- Carpet padding
Other products use Bromine in their ingredients. You must be diligent only to eat a whole foods diet to avoid these dangerous chemicals in your diet. If not, you will need to research which brands have bromines in them. After consumer pressure, major soda brands like Coke and Pepsi finally removed Bromines from Gatorade and Mountain Dew products. There were many more on the list of food sources that are affected by Bromide. You never know, so you must do your own research.
Affect of Bromines on Humans
Unfortunately, Americans have seen an increased risk for cancer of the breast, thyroid gland, ovary, and prostate that we see at alarmingly high rates today. This phenomenon is significant enough to have been given its own name, the Bromide Dominance Theory.
Bromine Toxicity can also show up as:
- Skin rashes and severe acne
- Psychological conditions
- Loss of appetite and abdominal pain
- Metallic taste
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Acute Paranoia
Physician Jorge Flechas reported that between 1920 and 1960, at least 20 percent of all hospital admissions for “acute paranoid schizophrenia” were a result of ingesting bromine-containing products.
Symptoms of Low Thyroid Levels
The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary, depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency. I read somewhere that it can take 10 years for a person to get diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Below are the symptoms associated with low thyroid hormone production from the Mayo Clinic. Many people associate these symptoms with aging. However, as your metabolism slows, you may experience worsening symptoms.
- Increased sensitivity to cold or low body temperature
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
The Effects of Low Iodine Levels in Humans
Many folks are being diagnosed with Thyroid conditions due to an iodine deficiency. Being deficient can cause uncomfortable and even severe symptoms. They include swelling in the neck, pregnancy-related issues, weight gain, and learning difficulties. Its symptoms are very similar to those of hypothyroidism or low thyroid hormones.
There are some common signs of Iodine Deficiency.
- Dry Mouth
- Difficulty digesting your food
- Swollen salivary glands
- Skin problems
- Poor concentration
- Memory retention
- Muscle pains and weakness
I have been adding iodine to my diet for years, and last year, I went on a 12-day cruise and forgot it. My neck had started to swell by the time we were returning to Miami. I am also on groups and forums online where I have heard countless stories of people getting away from their thyroid prescriptions because they added more iodine and minerals to their diet. Changing any prescriptions should be done under a doctor’s supervision as there can be serious consequences to stopping any prescribed medication. Also, too much iodine can be bad for you as well. Iodine supplements are not all the same. However, if you can find a naturopath or medical doctor who is open to Iodine Therapy, it is something that many are doing to repair the damage that has been done.
Doctors and patients have begun to realize the importance of supplementing iodine into our diets. In fact, due to the popular book, The Iodine Crisis, there is a grassroots movement to ensure people can get the information they need to remedy the many medical conditions caused by iodine deficiency.
Over the last two decades, people in the US have been eating bread that used to have iodine, which has now been replaced with bromine. Bromine blocks the production of thyroid hormones so thyroid dysfunction is at an all-time high in the US. Bromine also may interfere with iodine’s ability to prevent breast cancer. Most Americans are not getting enough iodine in their diet and are suffering from bromine exposure.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. Currently, the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer. Breast cancer rates are rising about 1% a year.
Between 2007 and 2016, the largest increases in new thyroid cancer cases occurred in adolescents age 15 to 19, with an almost 4% increase in females and an almost 5% increase in males. It is estimated that 2,180 deaths (1,040 men and 1,140 women) from this disease will occur this year.
When starting any protocol, you should consult your health care practitioner. The amount of iodine you ingest can be different depending on your situation.
Detoxing From Bromines
Detoxing from Bromine is also something you should consider doing under a doctor’s supervision if you have health issues. The thyroid gland becomes toxic from bromine and/or fluoride. When you are deficient in iodine, the thyroid starts putting out more antibodies to combat the toxins in your thyroid.
There are several symptoms you can experience when you start supplementing with Iodine. They are typical of any detox and can include brain fog, agitation, palpitations, muscle aches and weakness, headaches, gastrointestinal discomfort. However, in the long run, the health benefits outweigh a couple of days of discomfort. Also, it means you are displacing the toxins, which is a good thing.
Drinking plenty of water and taking a healthy unrefined salt will help to restore your mineral balance and detox the halides while providing help with these symptoms. Your salt should always have color. We always keep Redmond’s Sea Salt and Himalayan Salt on hand for our food and cooking.
There are other co-factors that should be considered when you are ready to help your body heal. Iodine should not be taken until certain mineral levels are up to par.
You should take Selenium, vitamin C, and B Vitamins for about two weeks before supplementing Iodine. We like to keep Organic Bee Pollen on hand for the B- Vitamins. Vitamin C derived from food is best. You should use products like Camu Camu, or freshly squeezed citrus juice can be a great source, as well. I like to use the adrenal cocktail to support my thyroid as well. Your adrenal glands directly affect your thyroid gland.
What Products Can I Eat?
The good news is there is some hope.
Commercial bread makers, Best Foods, Inc. (Arnold, Entenmann’s, and Orowheat brand bread and rolls), Pepperidge Farm, and Pillsbury have switched to bromate-free processes. Due to my disdain for baking, my family usually only ate Pepperidge Farm or local bakery bread that was unbleached. Making my own bread felt like torture! Today we have access to so many great organic bread that are bromine-free like, Killer Dave’s. Just making the right choices and buying organic can help you avoid much of the Bromides in our food.
Just remember, even if there is no bromine in your bread, the wheat and high fructose corn syrup used to make it was treated with pesticides that have bromines.
Avoiding soda or other soft drinks, vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup, commercially baked products, swimming pools, hot tubs, and only drink water that has been purified from fluoride and chlorine will go a long way in the healing process. Once you are healed, you will feel so much better, and you can go in a hot tub or pool in moderation. Knowing the iodine you are providing your thyroid will help to protect you from potassium bromide.
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