283: Dr. Jorge Flechas On Iodine Therapy For Thyroid, Fibromyalgia And More!


Hello and welcome back to The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore!

Today Jimmy is joined by Dr. Jorge Flechas, a specialist in treating thyroid disorders and the man behind the web site HelpMyThyroid.com. Did you realize that despite iodine being added to our table salt, many Americans still do not receive enough? What can a deficit of iodine do to your health, and how much is enough? Can you get it from foods other than salt?

If you or someone you know suffers from diagnosed diseases like fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism or any of the other conditions Dr. Felchas discusses with Jimmy in this interview, you simply cannot miss today’s fact-filled episode! And listen in to check out a sneak peek of some of the fabulous guests coming up in the next six months on “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show!”

Podcast schedule from September 2009 through February 2010
Dr. Jorge Flechas bio
Published studies conducted by Dr. Flechas
Dr. Flechas speaking on Iodine Insufficiency and Cancer at the 16th annual A4M conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in February 2009
Breast Cancer and Iodine by Dr. David Derry
Iodine: Why you need it Why you can’t live without it by Dr. David Brownstein

13 Responses to 283: Dr. Jorge Flechas On Iodine Therapy For Thyroid, Fibromyalgia And More!
  1. Andy
    August 28, 2009 | 9:29 am

    Thank you Dr. Flechas,

    Does it matter if one takes it on an empty or full stomach?

    I was reading the reviews on Amazon, and people really love it.


  2. Sue
    August 29, 2009 | 8:48 pm

    Thank you Dr Flechas – that was great.
    I had a 24-hr urine loading test that came back as 85.3% excretion. Less than 90% excretion indicates an iodine deficient state. My doc put me on iodorol but suggested only half a tablet as I am not that deficient.

    I have read Dr Brownstein’s book – it was excellent and easy to understand.
    My question is about people with hypothyroidism and auto-immune antibodies against the thyroid. I’ve read that iodine should not be taken as it can make the thyroid more under-active. What are your thoughts:

    Book by Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield
    Here’s an excerpt (pg 86-87 chapter 7):
    “A deficiency of iodine intake increases the secretion of TSH from the pituitary, and lessens the manufacture of T4. The balance of T3 to the amount of T4 is disturbed, and the amount of T3 becomes relatively more in proportion to T4, even though both are reduced.”

    “Taking in excess of iodide has quite a different effect. The iodine now causes the biosynthetic enzymes in the thyroid to reduce their activity, with the effect of reducing thyroid output, though the TSH may be raised. Goitre formation may be induced and thus eventually hypothyroidism. Marine showed that 2 grams of potassium iodide twice a year was sufficient to prevent hypothyroidism due to low ingestion of iodine, and more recently, Larson in 1974 showed that patients on abnormal diets restricted in iodine salts, or on diuretics for an extended time, so reduced the iodine pool that hypothyroidism could result. Worth noting too is that pregnant women require extra iodine, but not too much or the baby may be rendered hypothyroid. Adult needs are thought to be no more than about 100-200mcg daily. It might be of further interest to note that in coastal regions of Japan where they eat a great deal of fish, the high levels of iodine raise the incidence of hypothyroidism to 2 or 3 times the average.

    The aspect of thyroid hormone and iodine that is extremely important to us is the effect on breast tissue. Broda Barnes showed four decades ago that if the thyroid status was normal, with thyroid supplementation if required, then his patients simply didn’t get breast cancer. Other workers, Venturi, Eskin, and Derry, showed that iodine had a similar effect; the iodine prevented the cystic hyperplasia (lumpy breast tissue), which may be a precursor to breast cancer. It may be that a high iodine intake largely prevents breast cancer, although the fatty acid derivative EPA in the fish may be playing a role. Japanese women, who, as we saw, eat a lot of fish and therefore iodine rarely get breast cancer;this was also true of Icelandic ladies, but they now enjoy a more European diet, and notably suffer increasingly from breast cancer. Most of these ladies had small thyroids due to the abundance of dietary iodine and now many of them have developed hypothyroidism.

    Careful research has shown that excess iodine may shut down the thyroid in people with marginal thyroid function;indeed, it can be used for a short period to reduce the activity of the over-active thyroid. This places us in something of a quandary. Iodine has a number of beneficial effects in the body as a whole, and protects against breast cancer. Dr Derry, in Cananda, believes that 2-3mg of Lugol’s Iodine daily will prevent breast cancer, though the recommended standard daily dose is much less then this (100mcg-200mcg daily). Clearly then, this higher dose of iodine may lower thyroid activity; and if substantial dose of iodine is to be used, the thyroid activity must be carefully monitored.

    It is clear that patients with pre-existing thyroid disease (notably Hashimoto’s disease by ironic coincidence) are abnormally sensitive to excess iodine, and even a small excess may cause a small but significant reduction in thyroid output. ”

    This discussion on iodine took place on the a pinch of health site.

  3. Jimmy Moore
    August 30, 2009 | 12:48 pm

    He didn’t say in the interview, Andy, but I wouldn’t think it would make a difference one way or the other. Sue, I’m sure most of us fall well below that 90% threshold. THANKS for your comments!

  4. Elenor
    August 31, 2009 | 7:06 am

    I started Iodoral 3-4 years ago and want to share two effects I really noticed (there are a HOST of other lesser-but-wonderful effects too).

    First, when I began taking Iodoral, (on the dosing schedule worked out and tested by hundreds of folks on the Stop the Thyroid Madness forum — which has a HUGE section dedicated to adrenal fatigue as well…), I found, within just a day or two that this huge fog — of which I had been unaware! — lifted! Suddenly the skies got brighter, the flowers got brighter, the birds got brighter, *I* got brighter… I had not realized I was … running on slow… till the Iodoral kicked in!

    The more interesting effect was this: generally, you have to order Iodoral online (unless your MD sells it — which most don’t!). When I ran out just before xmas a couple years ago, I didn’t want to chance the package getting lost in the postal crush, so I thought, “no biggie, I’ll order it after the New Year.” Within a couple of days, I was hot-flashing like crazy (I’m 53 now, was 50-51 then). I immediately ordered it. The day after I restarted taking it — not a *single* hot flash, and not one since! When I mentioned it to my M.D., he said, “You know, lots more tissues in the body use iodine than just the thyroid!” (Well yeah, I KNEW that — I just didn’t think it through!)

    I haven’t even listened to this podcast yet (thank you SO much Jimmie for your fantastic work!), but let me add — oh my YES! Start getting your iodine!


  5. Peter Silverman
    September 1, 2009 | 10:50 am

    One of your guests, Dr. Wm. Davis, recommends kelp pills. He also says the iodine in iodized table salt has a very short shelf life, so he thinks that salt you have in the cupboard probably has lost it’s iodine.

  6. Jimmy Moore
    September 3, 2009 | 9:35 am

    Interesting info, Peter! THANKS for sharing.

  7. James Morrisson
    September 19, 2009 | 2:43 am

    I have also read Dr Brownstein’s book, it was excellent, a very interesting read. I am looking forward to listening to the next podcast.

  8. Idelle
    September 27, 2009 | 4:05 pm

    I have Hashimoto thyroid disease. I have read MANY studies that have shown excess iodine can significantly worsen the disease (which is not caused by iodine deficiency). However I also am at high risk for breast cancer plus, pre diabetic and have slightly high cholesterol( conditions are helped by iodine ). So I don’t know what to do! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Ed
    October 1, 2009 | 2:13 pm

    I just listened to the podcast, and Dr Flecha says some strong things about iodine.

    If I recall correctly:

    – One symptom of iodine deficiency is the inability to sweat
    – Iodine supplements prevent rabbits from developing atherosclerosis under a high-cholesterol diet
    – High levels of iodine prevent humans from developing atherosclerosis
    – Iodine causes all cells to become more sensitive to all hormones, and this is a good thing
    – Iodine deficiency causes cancers of the sex organs, and iodine supplementation prevents those cancers
    – Iodine deficiency can cause premature menopause, iodine supplementation can delay menopause
    – Japanese consume 13mg iodine/day on average, American RDA is 150 micrograms (my math says that Japanese consume almost 90 million times the US RDA, if those numbers are correct)
    – Japanese men have virtually no incidence of fatal prostate cancer

    I don’t recall hearing any real downside to iodine supplementation, and I’m really curious if any/all of the above statements are generally recognized as being true, or what of those are “fringe”, and what sort of studies or evidence support those statements.

    When I hear bold statements about the impact of any particular substance on human health, I don’t really want to repeat those statements to friends & family unless I can sort-of independently validate the information. I’d really like to come at the above from multiple angles to get comfortable with it. Who else is writing about this?

  10. kelly
    October 6, 2009 | 10:55 pm

    The dumbest thing that the food industry has ever done was to replace iodine with some toxic anti-cakeing agents! Iodine is needed in every cell, tissue and bone joint.

  11. Grok
    November 3, 2009 | 9:08 pm

    I’ve been interested in iodine ever since I dropped the table salts for sea salts (not that I used much table salt anyway). I’m convinced it’s probably something that I should be supplementing.

    Thanks for having Dr Flechas on the show Jimmy.

  12. Matthew
    August 27, 2010 | 3:49 pm

    Has anyone considered that doctor Flechas has had numerous complaints about him to the NC medical board and has a number of public Board orders against him.

    Dr. Flechas is a quack. Don’t listen to anything he says.

    Search the NC Medical Board web site for orders against him or look here…


    • Slohil72
      September 26, 2011 | 2:06 pm

      Because the medical board is against him makes him more believable.  They are the bad guys and are perpetrating a lot of bad medicine on people. 

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