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Messages - Torrential

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... there is enough evidence that it provides benefit, and the risks are low, that it at least deserves more credence than the quackaroo meanderings of the commercial interests behind Pauling therapy.

I stand by the analogy, but am open to persuasion. Are there controlled studies demonstrating that doses of 12.5 mg and higher produce better outcomes than more reasonable amounts, like 600 micrograms and less? Argument from authority is no better here than in the Pauling situation.

Fair enough, Cat. Thanks for being open minded. 

More food for thought.  You'll notice that many studies conclude that increasing iodine consumption causes hypothyroidism as evidenced by rising levels of TSH.  Case closed: Iodine is bad, right?  This is unfortunate, and stems from an incomplete understanding of the role of TSH.  As we know, high levels of TSH are considered to be an indicator of underactive thyroid.  Clinically, an underactive thyroid can only be diagnosed by direct measurement of actual thyroid hormones. T3, T4, and the like.  However, TSH has a second, less well known function, and that is to regulate the Sodium/Iodide Symporter, also known as NIS.  In the presence of available iodine, TSH is secreted to activate the NIS to transport the iodine where it needs to go.  The thyroid gland is not stimulated; T3 and T4 are unaffected, and the effect can last for up to six months.  There is no clinical hypothyroidism, only increased TSH.

By ruling out studies that conclude iodine induces hypothyroidism based simply or solely on TSH measurement, the universe of negative studies shrinks considerably.

Super interesting video on higher dise iodine supplementation from Dr. Brownstein:

Iodine: The Most Misunderstood Nutrient Presented by David Brownstein MD


Thanks PeakT.  Interesting material.  The information about direct correlation between maternal iodine insufficiency and significant changes in intelligence levels is stunning.  Ten point differences or more within identical populations.  He restated the WHO position that iodine insufficiency is the single greatest cause of mental retardation worldwide.  300 million children are affected.  That is truly tragic.

As with TRT (and TRT research), there are both skeptics and evangelists with agendas high and low. ...

The better analogy is to vitamin C and Pauling therapy: take a single essential nutrient and assume that because some is good a boatload must be better. Except iodine isn't nearly as safe.


I respect your views, the quality and efforts of the research you share with us, and all of the work you do as a moderator and contributing member of this forum. 
(wait for it...)

But I take umbrage at the comparison of the Brownstein iodine protocol and Pauling Vitamin C therapy.  This will probably tick off our member who is a proud proponent of Pauling, but the difference between the two is night and day. 

With Pauling, in effect it has been tested by tens or hundreds of thousands of hopeful people around the world to no effect. First, it started with the false premise that humans have a genetic defect that lost us the ability to synthesize our own Vit. C at the cost of our health.  Clearly this is not true: we are not defective, rather we are different.  We evolved to have other antioxidants beyond C and our bodies are remarkably efficient at conserving it.  Secondly, the metabolic processes promised by Pauling simply don't function as hoped. Yes, lysine and proline use Vit. C to bind arterial substrate, but high dosing those things has no or insignificant impact on health outcomes.  Period.  Finally, the two main web sites promoting it, both owned by the same guy, have clear commercial interest in stoking the flames of the fearful who grab on to the hope offered by the dead theory of one of the greatest minds the world has ever known, devised long past his days of glory.  <flame on, R>

With iodine the metabolisms are very well understood, function as expected in the presence of sufficient nutrients, and provide benefits that are clearly evident both subjectively and objectively.  None of the studies I've seen control for iodine in the forms, formats, doses, and supporting nutrients, as proscribed by Brownstein.  Yet the theory is sound, there is enough evidence that it provides benefit, and the risks are low, that it at least deserves more credence than the quackaroo meanderings of the commercial interests behind Pauling therapy.

Edit: One more thing.  Brownstein himself, a MD, DOES NOT MAKE extreme claims about the benefits of iodine.  He continues to treat his patients who use iodine as is expected of an MD. However, he treats them slightly differently because, according to him, their health picture improves for the better.  He states, and practices, that iodine is not a replacement for other medications. But if the condition the medicines are intended to treat go away, less and fewer medicines are needed.  Again, he's a doctor, can't take risks with his patients health, and uses iodine to good effect in an efficient and deliberate ways.  None of this, none of it, can be said about Pauling therapy.

So for now I am going to supplement with the rda od 150mcg and perhaps move up from there. Now I take a teaspoon of iodized salt most mornings so I do get some iodine there as well. The WHO says tolerable upper intake level is 1100 mcg So I am well within that range. Maybe I will increase it maybe not. I suppose it depends on how I feel right.... Thank you guys for sharing your advice. I think it is important to hear multiple viewpoints on a subject like this. I do have one last question. What are the co-factors? I know selenium is one but you should only take so much of that right? Can't it be toxic if you take too much? So how much of these other things should you take alongside the iodine?

Mr. L,

Are you consuming 1 teaspoon of table salt for the iodine content?  That's not a great way to get iodine and as mentioned earlier it provides uncertain quantities of only one of the two forms of iodine. And it's a lot of salt.

Please, please read up on Brownstein's protocol.  This forum is not the right place to research the benefits, risks, and methods of iodine supplementation.  Buy the book (it's worthwhile) or read about it on various sites where good information on the subject is provided.

Yes, the WHO tolerable upper intake is listed as 1.1mg.  Yet you've got first hand accounts right here (me, Crisler, and others) as well as thousands of other attestations of well tolerated daily doses of 50,000mcg and more over extended periods.  That's 50x to 100x over that WHO number. 

I'm making the same argument here we all use when discussing "normal" lab test ranges for Testosterone.  The intent of those ranges do not include "optimal health" or any diagnostic power beyond identification of grossly unusual highs or lows. With a greater understanding of the processes at work and the health effects seen at specific levels, we've agreed that individualized levels are more important than generalized ranges.  It's similar with iodine:  The metabolic processes are well understood, the risks are low (if the protocol is followed), the potentiality benefits are great, and it's easy to manage.  It's not clear to me why this particular supplement is so controversial and polarizing. 

The refute in the blog post from Integrated Health illustrates the very case highlighted in The Iodine Project and by Brownstein in his book that describe the high dose iodine protocol.  That is, to summarize, start very slow, titrate up deliberately and slowly, and utilize the cofactor nutrients as described. In the Integrated Health post, a single patient launched himself in to an unpiloted Iodoral fueled orbit to deleterious results. 

Obviously, before starting any iodine supplementation have the appropriate tests in hand including all three thyroid antibodies.  For the record, I had two of the thyroid antibodies at levels of concern for quite a while.  After careful dosing (under MD supervision) of selenium and a complete iodine protocol, all of that went away within about a year and has not returned.

For anyone interested in exploring iodine therapy, I suggest examining the updated Brownstein protocol.  If it looks like something that would benefit you, follow all of the directions:  selenium, the B vitamin stack, salt, vitamin C, lots of water.  Just as we see here with hormone modulation and replacement, there is a great variation of results and outcomes between those patients who educate themselves and/or affiliate with a skilled practitioner, and those who do neither. 

As with TRT (and TRT research), there are both skeptics and evangelists with agendas high and low.  Just like TRT, high dose iodine seems to work for many (keep in mind the modern-day definition of "high dose" is of sketchy provenance) with excellent results mainly when all related factors are taken in to consideration.

Kelp:  If kelp is part of your diet, rock on.  But don't take it as a supplement.  The problem with seawater, the source of the elemental profile of kelp, is that while it has good stuff like iodine it also carries the entire halide stack - bromine, chlorine, even fluorine - that interfere with the body's iodine metabolism.  Eliminating those substances from the diet and from the body is a big part of iodine therapy.  Similarly, sea salt is inferior to mined salt for the same reasons. 

Iodized salt:  Was designed to prevent cretinism (several prenatal retardation caused by extreme iodine deficiency) in industrial societies as cheaply as possible.  Couple of things to consider. 
  • It contains only KI, potassium iodide, which is not a complete source of the iodine we need (Iodoral is KI and I in an appropriate ratio). 
  • The KI is unstable in the presence of moisture, even from humidity. Insignificant quantities remain in the salt just weeks after opening the container.   
  • In conjunction with the ill-advised worldwide reduction in salt consumption, who actually uses enough table salt to reliably get any iodine from their rapidly spoiling iodized salt?
Mined salt (Pink Himalayan is all the rage): The iodine and other halides drop out of the crystal matrix over time, about 250 million years and counting.  Sea salt from evaporation isn't old enough and profiles just like seawater.  Mined salt is mostly just NaCl, which is all I want.   

Dr. Crisler attested to the benefits of iodine therapy.  Have you ever met the man?  I have. He's several years older than me and was in far better shape.  That may or may not have anything to do with iodine, but I respect the personal health choices he has shared with us over time.  At the very least, iodine therapy is worthy of consideration.

No history of any of this stuff. I'm honestly not even sure Niacin caused it, but the issue hit me so hard and so fast, I wanted to run down potential side effects from meds I was taking, and this is the only one that had been titrated up during the time period in question.

Niacin ER from Empower, 1,000mg taken in AM before breakfast (if I take it on a full stomach the flushing is bad) and 500mg in PM.

I use Slo-Niacin.  I take the whole dose at night, before bed.  I've gotten used to the flushing and it may be flushing that indicates it's working.  It can be intense but gets better within a few days or a week. 

It's my understanding that taking the whole dose at once, rather than throughout the day, reduces the risk of liver issues.  The length of exposure seems to be the relevant factor - high dose / short period is better than lower dose / longer period.

I'm reading a little more...Niacin can be used to treat reflux.

The biggest problem with long term, high dose Niacin is slightly elevated insulin resistance.  If an individual can manage that, the well known benefits of Niacin exceed the risks.

Lots here:

Helix, are you taking other meds? 

PeakT, do you happen to have a link to the study mentioned in the NBC news article? 

Niacin - nicotinic acid, not nicotinamide or inositol hexanicotinate - has a profoundly long track record of positive outcomes with minimal negative side effects. Some of these recent studies are linked to adjunctive statin therapy (bad idea) and new cholesterol lowering drugs (also bad ideas).

Helix, what else can you say about the reflux and the niacin. Do you have a history of reflux or digestion issues? What brand niacin, time of day, with or without food, etc.

Funny thing about A toxicity. It doesn’t occur when D levels are aligned.

Interesting.  Do they really have the dosages down though?  Seems like you have to be careful to carte blanch say non-deficient Vitamin D levels will protect against Vitamin A toxicity? 


PeakT, you went right to the source!  Masterjohn is the man.  So many of his hypotheses are being researched and proven.  The modern understanding of the relationship of A, D, and K appears to be one of his contributions to science. This article about how A protects from damage instigated by high levels of D causing the body to prepare for available K is amazing.  I may have seen it but somehow managed to forget.  Yet another reason to ensure adequate K2.

At physiological doses and at semi-supraphysiologic doses, as described A and D work together only when balanced.  But the takeaway from the linked article is that A, D, and K must be taken together and that the A all-sources dosage, in IU, should be approx. 2x the all-sources D dosage.  Egg yolks, pastured, are a near-perfect package here.

Funny thing about A toxicity. It doesn’t occur when D levels are aligned.


Much better to get your Vitamin A from betacarotene in foods.  One of the side benefits is getting a bunch of alpha carotene which seems to be powerfully linked to prostate cancer protection:


Not so fast.  Depending on vegetable sources for Vit. A is risky.  Beta carotene conversion to A varies a lot from person to person.  I've read that 45% of adults don't convert at all, and for others the ratio can be 10:1 or worse. 

I use a 30g. For years. No issues.


interesting snippets:

- They used a high quality store bought blackstrap molasses rather than the commercial stuff fed to animals. 
- Exposure of mice to molasses significantly increase LH induced testosterone production

- The testis of each mouse was finely minced...  :P  sorry dudes.  Science.

The dosing was continuous, which may be part of the cause of the immune system impairment:  sugar sugar sugar.  Molasses was added to the mouse drinking water.  They sipped on it day in, day out, for 40 days.  Humans don't consume it this way.  As a biohack we would probably choose a bolus dosing strategy. 

Interesting about the similarity with the mushroom.  The only reference on this forum to Cordyceps is in a post by K regarding his discussions with Mariano though I'm not sure it's the same variety as below.

"For many years, traditional healers have used plants, fungi and insects to enhance libido and improve fertility. The fungal parasite, Cordyceps sinensis has been used extensively by the Chinese as a tonic herb to improve and restore sexual performance. Studies have shown that Cordyceps sinensis exhibits an enhancing effect on testosterone secretion both in vitro and in vivo (27). It has been suggested that the stimulatory effect of C. sinensis on testosterone synthesis may prove to be beneficial in treating males that suffer from reproductive dysfunction as a result of inadequate testosterone synthesis (27). Since molasses displays a similar enhancing effect on testosterone secretion, the use of molasses may also be potentially favourable in improving reproductive function and sexual performance."

When reconstituting I use two 18g syringes, one for the liquid and one with the plunger out (actually it's a Luer lock, detached) to relieve the pressure.

My advice is to take your time.  You've seen a nice response to the initial protocol.  Let it run for a couple of months, for at least one lab test cycle.  A T level of 570 is good.  Right now, during this ramp-up period, your free testosterone % is higher than normal. This will stabilize after a while and help lock in the number for T and Estrogen. 

Again, let it run like this for as long as possible.  It's easy to forget but there is nothing magical about any specific T level. There is no reason to believe you'll do better at, say, 800, then you will at 570.  You now have  more than you had to start AND your body is creating it "naturally" with all of the beneficial effects of stimulating the related metabolisms.  For now, count yourself lucky:  HCG Monotherapy would be THE preferred hormone therapy for men but it doesn't work consistently for many of us. 

Regarding your question about best time of day to get tested, for me mornings are best, before breakfast.  Before coffee even.  The important thing is consistency. Choose a time and day, the same point in your injection cycle each time, for all lab work.

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