We often worry about our thyroid when we change up our dietary theory, especially on keto or carnivore. I mean where is our iodine coming from on a carnivore diet? I’m glad you asked! Beef, shrimp, cheese, and fish all contain iodine, phew! Ok well so do egg yolks so we’ve definitely got you covered. Actually, about 30% of the iodine in egg yolks is bioavailable so do yourself a favor and keep those eggs intact ok.
Our thyroid needs iodine, but iodine deficiency isn’t the issue – it’s the binders. Chloride, fluoride, and bromide all compete for the same thyroid receptors. These are known as halide ions. It’s a problem because we are exposed to the competing binders in the water we drink, the water we shower in, toothpaste, hot tubs, etc. So not only do we need to ensure we are getting adequate iodine, we need to make sure we aren’t exposing ourselves to excessive amounts of these competing binders.
Something else to consider is getting your DNA checked to see how well you detox, both your phase one and phase two detox pathways are crucial for this as well as playing a role in how well you utilize iodine. They can use a little help though so I like to add in a little zeolite every now and then to shake things up. What are zeolites? Click here for info.
Back to thyroid chat, T4 = 4 iodine molecules T3 (our active form) = 3 iodine molecules, but if we have too many competing binders that are going to be an issue. Think of it this way – we are drinking chlorinated/fluoridated water, we aren’t typically getting enough iodine, and now boom we have thyroid issues because the competing halogen compounds are binding to our thyroid receptors first. We absolutely need iodine for things like our breast tissue (prevents polycystic breasts) not just for thyroid function.
The conclusion is to eat steak, eat eggs and drink filtered water. Pretty freaking simple folks. Oh, and if you want to test for halogen compounds to see what your status is check out Hakala Labs, they use urine samples to test so it’s pretty easy (no affiliation). Before you go out supplementing with iodine you need to know if your body can tolerate it, start low and go slow. Taking too much can cause heart palpitations and choosing a poor quality can be an issue as well so you need to know what you are getting.
A few commonly recommended brands are Lugols and Iodoral which has 2 forms of iodine. But like I said be careful self-administering, it’s always best to see your healthcare provider first.