Dr. David Brownstein has a US medical practice dealing primarily with thyroid patients. He has been quite successful treating hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism with the iodine/iodide supplement Iodoral that is available over the Internet without prescription. Dr. Brownstein believes that the usual thyroid medication prescribed by doctors is the wrong treatment because it does not deal with the underlying iodine deficiency problem. All cells in the body need iodine for proper functioning. All glands (thyroid, adrenal, etc.) especially need iodine for the production of hormones. Dr. Brownstein believes that iodine deficiency is a major cause of breast cancer and other diseases of the reproductive organs such as ovarian, uterine and prostrate cysts and cancers. Iodine levels in US soil have fallen 50 per cent over the past 50 years and soil in the US is deficient in iodine.
The Great Lakes region has some of lowest soil iodine levels in the world and this results in high levels of cancers related to iodine deficiency. Dr. Brownstein has been quite successful in treating fibrocystic breast disease (cysts in the breast) with iodine/iodine supplementation. In one case a 37 year-old woman with severe fibrocystic breast disease was completely cured after supplementing with 50 mgs of iodine a day for two months. Women with large breasts need more iodine than women with smaller breasts. Other medical authorities agree that iodine deficiency can lead to fibrocystic breast disease and/or ovarian cysts.    Iodine can similarly reduce uterine fibroids and one of the first conventional medical treatments for severe fibroids was to paint the uterus with iodine. 
Some other medical conditions associated with iodine deficiency are goiters, Graves' Disease, Hashimoto's Disease, fatigue and impaired immune system function. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can lead to miscarriages and reduced IQ in surviving offspring.  The World Health Organization says that iodine deficiency is the largest single cause of mental retardation. Iodine also detoxifies the body by removing mercury, fluorides, chlorides, and bromides. If iodine/iodide are so crucial in the body, why hasn't there been more research studies published? Dr. Brownstein believes that because iodine cannot be patented there is no incentive for the drug companies to perform the research.
Iodized salt and the iodine supplements usually found in health food stores contain the iodide form of iodine. Dr. Brownstein has had little success treating patients with only iodide. The supplement Iodoral contains both the iodide (reduced) and iodine (oxidized) forms of iodine because the body needs both forms. The US RDA for iodine is 150 mcg. Iodoral contains 100 times (12.5 mg) the RDA's requirement of iodine/iodide. It seems the conventional medical establishment again has grossly underestimated the amount of a nutrient needed for good health. According to Dr. G. E. Abraham, "Of all the elements known so far to be essential for health, iodine is the most misunderstood and the most feared.
Yet, it is by far the safest of all the trace elements known to be essential for human health. It is the only trace element that can be ingested safely in amounts up to 100,000 times the RDA. For example, potassium iodide has been prescribed safely to pulmonary patients in daily amounts of up to 6.0 g/day, in large groups of such patients for several years. It is important however to emphasize that this safety record only applies to inorganic nonradioactive iodine/iodide, not to organic iodine-containing drugs and to radioiodides."  Seafood and sea plants such as kelp (seaweed) are good dietary sources of iodine but few people in the US consume enough of these foods.
On a personal note, I found sellers of Iodoral on the Internet and purchased 180 tablets for $40. The usual dosage as a supplement is one tablet a day but up to four tablets a day can be taken for medical conditions under a knowledgeable MD's supervision. For those interested in knowing more about iodine's function in preventing and treating diseases, four of Dr. Brownstein's video clips located at http://vitamincfoundation.org/videos. Dr. Brownstein's home page and links to his books are located at http://www.drbrownstein.com/iodine.shtml. His books include "Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It", "Overcoming Thyroid Disorders" and "Salt: Your Way to Health" which encourages consumption of sea salt in order to obtain many trace minerals.
Informative research papers about iodine are at http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/opt_Research_I.shtml. Iodine deficiency may be a major contributor to the widespread arthritis problems in the US. A folk remedy for arthritis is consumption of two drops of Lugol's solution each day. Two drops of Lugol's solution contain the same amount of iodine as one Iodoral tablet. Lugol's solution is a water solution of 10 percent potassium iodide and 5 percent elemental iodine. Iodine deficiency may be a major contributor to the widespread emotional disorders in the US. A folk remedy for the treatment of some emotional disorders is consumption of two drops of Lugol's solution each day. Hormones control body weight. Malfunctioning glandular systems due to iodine deficiency may be a major cause of the overweight problem in the US.
- J. D. Fleches, MD, http://www.helpmythyroid.com/iodine.htm
- Abraham, G. E., Flechas, J. D., Hakala, J. C., "Orthoiodosupplementation: Iodine sufficiency of the whole human body", http://www.helpmythyroid.com/IOD-02.html
- James Howenstine, MD, "Iodine is vital for good health", http://www.newswithviews.com/Howenstine/james37.htm
- Herb and Supplement Encyclopedia, http://www.florahealth.com/flora/home/canada/healthinformation/encyclopedias/Iodine.asp
- Iodine Deficiency Disorder, http://indorgs.virginia.edu/iccidd/aboutidd.htm
- G. E. Abraham, MD, "The safe and effective implementation of orthoiodo supplementation in medical practice", http://www.helpmythyroid.com/IOD50.htm