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OP-ED: The new abnormal
September 14, 2013, 05:00 AM By Barbara LaRaia

Barbara LaRaia

Our bodies have changed significantly over the last century. Puberty levels are five years earlier than before, and two-thirds of Americans are overweight. Astonishingly, our own government may be the culprit.

Recommended Daily Allowances of vitamins and minerals were established after World War II, but the U.S. RDAs have no optimal levels for physical and mental well-being. For example, the RDA for iodine was based on the amount needed to prevent goiter, mental retardation, hypothyroidism and death. Iodine is an essential trace mineral needed to make thyroid hormones which regulate our metabolism; it is critical for every cell function in the body. Iodine was used universally by most doctors 100 years ago. A 1911 French medical journal article even discusses asthma cured by iodine. Even mild iodine deficiency is a factor in CNS disorders; attention hyperactivity disorders; thyroid dysfunction and cardiac disease. Interestingly, Amiodarone, a major heart drug for arrhythmia, is full of iodine. And thyroid cancer is now the fastest growing cancer among women, having soared 240 percent over the past 20 years.

In the United States, iodine was considered so important that until 20 years ago it was routinely added to bread dough conditioner.

Then it was replaced by bromide, an “iodine antagonist.” The National Institute of Health states that urinary iodine levels have decreased by 50 percent, much of this caused by iodinated bread being replaced by bromine, which actually blocks the absorption of iodine in the body.

To make matters worse, our bodies’ iodine levels have been assaulted by government-mandated endocrine disrupters (which mimic estrogen in the body) and iodine disrupters such as fluoridation of our water supply. Sixty-six percent of the U.S. population receives artificially-fluoridated water, which many view as mass medication without informed consent. And there have been no safety studies of the synergistic effects of fluorides with water “purification” chemicals such as chlorine and chloramine, also mandated by our elected officials.

Interestingly, most European countries do not fluoridate water supplies, yet they have seen substantial declines (75 percent) in tooth decay due to the introduction of fluoridated toothpaste in the 1970s.

Another assault on our metabolism is government farming mandates. Soil formulas and farming methods, legislated and enforced by the state Departments of Agriculture, contain heavy metals and deplete soils of minerals, which can lead to degenerative metabolic diseases. North America has the highest soil mineral depletion, and the average U.S. soil depletion is 85 percent compared to 100 years ago — the highest in the world. In 1936, scientists warned Congress about this issue (Senate Document No. 264). Veterinarians have long known about our depleted soils, which is why 45 trace minerals are added to dog and livestock food.

So what can we do to assure optimal collective metabolisms? Ideally, government should stop messing with our hormones, especially without our consent. Most countries worldwide, and even a few U.S. water districts purify their water without the use of endocrine and iodine disrupting chemicals such as chloramine and chlorine. And most countries and some U.S. water agencies do not fluoridate their water to try to reduce dental cavities. We can get our fluoride from toothpaste, mouthwash and gels if we so desire.

Regarding our minerally-deficient soil, agriculture departments may do well to research and reassess large-scale farming methods and teach proper stewardship of our land. Soil nutrients can be thrown out of balance with high concentrations of the fertilizers currently used.

RDAs must be changed to ODRs — Optimal Daily Recommendations. Japanese consume 100 times our RDA of iodine, have the lowest cancer rates worldwide and are some of the healthiest people on Earth. RDAs are merely the “bare bones” of preventing death or major disease states. Also, government does not require food labeling of iodine content, and this should change as soon as possible.

Perhaps medical schools should consider training more doctors in the area of toxicology, due to all the chemicals we are exposed to daily. And laboratory test results will probably need to have a new “abnormal,” especially for endocrine disorders like thyroid diseases. American endocrinologists have discussed changing the “normal” range for thyroid blood test results. There is just too much iodine deficiency and endocrine disruption to keep test norms the same as they were 50 years ago.

Perhaps the implementors of Obamacare could save taxpayer money by having government recommend things that enhance our metabolism rather than disrupt it; the government recommended iodized salt and then fluoridated our water supplies. Fluoride disrupts the body’s assimilation of iodine.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue eating my eggs with the iodine-containing yolks, helped by the 45 nutrients added to livestock feed. And I’ll continue to get my produce at the local farmers’ market.

Barbara LaRaia has contributed guest perspectives to the Daily Journal for 10 years. She lives in San Bruno. She can be reached by phone at 615-9384 or by email at



Tags: iodine, water, years, government, which, percent,

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