Iodine Deficiency And Fat Loss (The Iodine Thyroid Connection)

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So here’s the deal, as a community (bodybuilding) we’re ALWAYS looking for methods to increase our muscle mass and drop bodyfat. Some go to the extreme and choose illegal substances, others use with various supplements on the market and some choose to rely on whole foods. Regardless of which path you choose, we’re all trying to manipulate our bodies to attain a better level of conditioning.


What most don’t realize is that when we’re dieting, training hard and trying to deal with daily stress, our body takes a beating. We stop losing fat so we try numerous other avenues in order to burn bodyfat. We do more cardio, we eat less calories, we rotate carbohydrates, we eat more protein.

Unfortunately, our thyroid hormone can take a pretty nasty beating with all of this. Have you ever dieted so hard and so right only to wonder why you don’t have your ideal results? That could be due to a thyroid issue, which doesn’t directly come from the thyroid.

Confused? Yea, I can see how it would be that way. See our thyroid is made up the mineral iodine and if iodine isn’t present, our body can’t get it from anywhere, so our thyroid has to slow down.


So why is iodine low in our bodies to begin with?

  1. Environmental toxins. From everything to heating your food in plastic, drinking from plastic bottles or being around people that smoke.
  2. Lack of fresh sea salted vegetables. Unless you live in the middle east, there’s nothing you can do about it except eat more Kelp and Kale.
  3. Failure to alkaline your body. Protein, we eat of alot of it, decreases your pH so you need to make sure you consume large amounts of green vegetables in addition to supplements like glutamine to combat this.

There’s a few more reason as to why iodine is depleted from our body but those are the main ones for “us”.

The problem is further compounded when people confuse table salt (sodium chloride) with sea salt (sodium phosphate). Mass media tells us to stay away from “salt” but that’s a very general statement and depending on certain circumstances could be damaging to your health and could also aid in helping your body add or hold onto fat. But I digress, that’ll be another article at another time.

Basically, no  or low iodine means no active conversion of T3 to T4 and none of the beautiful fat loss benefits of a healthy thyroid.

Now I’m not saying that increasing iodine leads to greater fat loss but just look at it this way, why would anyone want to have any of their natural hormones down? Considering that the thyroid is essential for many factors, including raising body temperate and therefore liberating stored fat, I think we can put it together.

So what can you do?

First, you can actually test yourself for a iodine issues. There’s some who argue that this test is unreliable but for the average individual, does it really matter? Purchase a iodine tincture at a local pharmacy  and rub some onto your arm or stomach  until it forms about a 3 inch circle. The spot should go away within 48 hours but the faster it disappears, the greater the need for iodine in your diet.


After you’ve done that the next step is two fold. Consume more foods high in iodine such as kelp and kale (heck even sushi nori is good due to its outerwrapping). Another option is to purchase some sea salt and salt your vegetables two to three times per day. Don’t worry about the number of shakes, just do it to taste. Lastly, you can purchase some iodine (as potassium iodide) from a reputable company and use as direct. Be warned, over 1 gram of iodine a day can some nasuea and stomach pain so stick to less than 1 gram per day.

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Leave A Reply (4 comments so far)

  1. Eddy
    9 years ago

    Thanks for this post Jimmy,

    I’ve been diagnosed with low Thyroid which has been confusing to me since I’m more of a typical “hargainer” then the typical person with hypothyroidism who is trying to lose fat.

    Anyway this is a great tip. I’ve been using sea salt for a while not realizing its healthy effects for the thyroid. I’m also waiting to get some results back for adrenal-cortisol levels (thanks to your T-Nation article) and then maybe with your help I’ll have this whole Thyroid issue straightened out.

    Thanks for the advice,

  2. Mary Ellen
    9 years ago

    Get Dr. David Brownstein’s book “Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It” … good book.

    Also, not all “seasalt” is alike… stick to Celtic brand… it’s pricey but worth it. I also like the brand “Real Salt” which also has nutrients but is a little better priced.

  3. Lucy Bullo
    9 years ago

    The prize belongs to you! Just legendary! Your authorship manner is delightful and the way you dealt the topic with grace is noteworthy.Since i am fascinated, I take for granted you are an master on this issue. I am subscribing to your future updates from now on.

  4. Leo
    8 years ago

    I do not usually reply to posts but I am going to in this situation, great post

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