Important Articles on
Iodine Supplementation

The Great Iodine Debate --
(Weston A. Price Foundation)
Iodine & Your Thyroid
Preventing and treating
diseases with iodine

The Need for Iodine

Lugol’s solution and other
iodide preparations: perspec-
tives and research direc-
tions in Graves’ disease

Chlorine - with 17 electrons and atomic weight of 35.5
Cancer & Chlorine:
It Does More
Than Just
Displace Iodine

"We are quite convinced, based on our study, that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water."

Medical College of
Wisconsin Research

"Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine."

U.S. Council Of
Environmental Quality

"Putting chlorine in the water supplies is like starting a time bomb. Cancer, heart trouble, premature senility; both mental and physical, are conditions attributable to chlorine treated water supplies. It is making us grow old before our time by producing symptoms of aging, such as hardening of the arteries."

Dr. Herbert Schwarts
Biological Chemist

"Nothing can negate the incontrovertible fact, the basic cause of atherosclerosis and resulting entities such as heart attacks and stroke, is chlorine."

Joseph Price, M.D.
Coronaries, Cholesterol

"I deal extensively on several newsgroups that focus on animal cancers - particularly feline leukemia, mast cell tumors, etc. I am amazed by the upsurge in these kind of cases and the only common element I can find in all of it is water. That's right. I have 28 cats of my own and they all drink from a pond - none of them have ever developed any kind of cancer, nor have those of my friends who are committed to avoiding chlorinated water. The correlation is too widespread to ignore out of hand."

in corresondence
with AO's Jim Carr
May 13, 2002

There is a lot of good material supporting in the public domain supporting abstinence from chlorinated water - and even using pools and spas that use halogens (i.e. chlorine and bromine) to clean the water. (This is, in fact, the reason we created H3O for Spas & Pools.)
One of the best sources is, and there are plenty more on our H3O Spa page itself.
If you have any questions about the importance of avoiding chlorine, you owe it to yourself to do a little research ...

Harry Hoxsey
The Harry
Hoxsey Connection
Though we deal with the chronicles of 20th century cancer specialist and naturopath, Harry Hoxsey, N.D., on a separate page - no mention is made, in the book, movie, or subsequent web pages that have been devoted to him, of the real active ingredient in his internal tonic. An unassuming, forthright man, he didn't attempt to hide his formulas. In his signature work, You Don't Have To Die (1956), he reveals the ingredients in his internal product: potassium iodine, a potent antimicrobial and an ingredient in Lugol's. The other ingredients are all herbs, some of which, like Essiac Tea, are only mildly cancerolytic.

How Much Iodine
In a Drop . . . ?

Lugol's is now made in different strengths -- differing from the original formulation (see A History of Lugol's).
Using our formula (see sidebar at far right), you use the following calculation. Since the density of Lugol's is close to that of water, you can use the traditional equivalency of one "metric" drop = .05mL, or 20 drops per milliliter -- note that a metric drop differs from a medical drop (1/12 mL) or an Imperial drop. One ml. contains 2.913% iodine and iodine compound (potassium iodine -- you divide 4,120 ml. by 120 ml to get 2.913%).
Each bottle, therefore, contains about 47.3 teaspoons. (Divide 236.52 ml. in one 8 fl. oz. bottle by 47.3, as a check sum exercise, and you get 5 ml. per teaspoon.) Using the formula we provide on the right panel, 4,120 ml. (4 liters) contains roughly 120 grams of iodine. One 8 fl. oz. container contains 6.89 grams (6,890 mg.). Divide by 47.3 and you get 145.63 mg.
Thus, 2/3 of one teaspoon yields roughly 100 mg. of iodine.
The U.S. RDA for iodine is 80 to 150 µg; the European RDA is 150 µg). Thus, one teaspoon of Lugol's is roughly 1,000 times this amount !
If you are not using high therapeutic dosages and simply want a supplemental level, one metric drop per day (see "drop table" at right for alternative definitions) or roughly 1.45 mg. or 1,450 µg) is usually sufficient.

The drop dispenser sold by Alpha Omega Labs for $1.25 is a pharmaceutical-grade, plastic "metric drop" dropper. However, if you know your the dispensing volume of a clean dropper you already have -- (see chart at right) -- that will work, too.

Lugol's Iodine

Code #564 (2.2%) -- 8 Fl. Oz. -- $14.65
Code #565 (3%) -- 8 Fl. Oz. --- $18.95
Code #566 (7%) -- 8 Fl. Oz. -- $24.95
Code #567 (7%) -- 1 Fl. Oz. --- $9.75
Code #568 (15%) -- 1 Fl. Oz. -- $16.25
Code #569 -- Dropper -- $1.25
(Pharma-plastic, "metric drop" dropper)

Supplemental serving size:
1 drop (1.45 mg. iodine if using #565),
(serving size / dosage).
Formulas We Use Order

"Where does your iodine come from?"
(For those concerned about Fukushima and the nuclear contamination of our oceans)

How we've managed to weaken one of the body's
primary mechanisms of defense and how it can be restored
with iodine supplementation --- easily and cheaply

The role of iodine in human nutrition is well-established - as are its deficiency diseases and the conditions to which its deficiency can contribute (i.e. goiter, cretinism, hypothyroidism, etc.) The amount of iodine necessary to void diagnosable deficiency is quite small. Below, for example, we provide the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance for iodine in mcg.'s.
Ages 1—370
Ages 4—690
Ages 7—10120
Age 11 older150
Pregnant women175
Lactating women200
Optimally, people would get all their iodine from dietary sources: kelp, seaweed, certain types of ocean fish, and vegetables grown in iodine-rich soil -- while watching their intake of iodine-inhibiting foods and drugs (see goitrogen). But many ocean-bearing iodine-rich foods are now unavailable, and agricultural farmland is increasingly iodine-deficient, leading to reduced levels of iodine in foods. Other areas, such as the Great Lakes region in the U.S., are naturally deficient in iodine -- a fact that lead to the massive goiter in the 1930's, when 40% of the people living in Michigan suffered from goiter.
In 1924, iodine was first added to table salt as a preventative measure, and by 1940, the practice was in general consumer use. Using iodized salt has, no doubt, been effective: it contains about 76 mcg. of iodine per gram. The average person consumes at least 3 grams of iodized salt daily, exceeding the RDA for iodine by 150 mcg. However, iodized salt has many other drawbacks: it contains aluminum and processing chemical residues, its overuse creates the well-documented conditions associates with high sodium intake and sodium-potassium imbalance, etc.
With treated salt's convenient little addition to the Western diet - its integration accelerated by the explosive expansion of fast food outlets, at which table salt's cup doth overflow, one might think we have seen the last of iodine deficiency. Hardly.
Enter "halogen displacement" and the effects of chlorine intake on the body's small reserve of iodine. Table salt, by definition, is mostly "sodium chloride" (what chemists call a "halide" - or a halogen tied to a mineral, making it a "salt" of a halogen). Although bound to sodium, the use of table salt as a delivery vehicle for iodine ironically presents a situation where you ingest far more chlorine, which displaces iodine (as we will see in a moment) than you do the iodine itself.
You see, chlorine, which has been used extensively since 1904 to control microbes in public drinking water, belongs to the same class of elements as iodine: the "halogens" - or elements that are one step removed from the "inert elements" (or gases) because they have just one electron missing from their outer shell to make it inert (non-reactive). This makes them quite readily reactive.
Halogens - position on Periodic Table
The mechanism behind "halogen displacement" was probably best described by J.C. Jarvis, M.D. (Folk Medicine, Henry Holt & Co., 1958, HB, p. 136), who wrote: "The clinical activity of any one of these four halogens is in inverse proportion to its atomic weight. This means that any one of the four can displace the element with a higher atomic weight, but cannot displace an element with a lower atomic weight. For example, flourine can displace chlorine, bromine and iodine because flourine has a lower atomic weight than the other three. Similarly, chlorine can displace bromine and iodine because they both have a higher atomic weight. Likewise, bromine can displace iodine from the body because iodine has a higher atomic weight. But a reverse order is not possible. A knowledge of this well-known chemical law brings us to a consideration of the addition of chlorine to our drinking water as a purifying agent. We secure a drinking water that is harmful to the body not because of its harmful germ content but because the chlorine content now causes the body to lose the much-needed iodine..."
To counter the effects of iodine loss, Dr. Jarvis recommended various methods including: (1) Eating foods rich in iodine: food from the ocean, radishes, asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, rhubarb, potatoes, peas, strawberries, mushrooms, lettuce, bananas, cabbage, egg yolk, and onions; (2) Painting a small area of the body with tincture of iodine; and (3) taking preparations known to be rich in iodine, including cod liver oil, kelp tablets ...
But he was particularly keen on the power of Lugol's iodine, for treating various illnesses, including colds and flu, and for countering the effects of stress: "Supposing you do follow the suggestions outlined above and find that some weeks the pressures of your private and your business life are causing you to lose the ability to bounce back. Then you should add a drop of Lugol's solution of iodine to your glass of apple or grape juice at breakfast, or you may take it in the mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. The point is that the potassium in the solution blocks off the body mechanism that organizes for aggressive action, releasing its hold on the body when opportunity for rest and relaxation arises. The iodine swings into action the body and the building up and storing of body reserves. When working under pressure, include the Lugol's solution dose each day until the period of pressure passes. If it should happen that your body becomes saturated with iodine, you will find that there is an increase of moisture in the nose. If this occurs, omit the iodine until the nose is normal."
Read directions thoroughly before use.

Label Information
The following information is taken directly from our Lugol's label. Please keep in mind that your dosage is dependent on whether you are using Lugol's as a supplement, or for therapeutic purposes and/or at the advice of a medical practitioner:
Supplemental Dosage (2.2%): One drop (roughly 1.45 mg: see panel at left for calculation).
Directions: Take one drop per daily for general health. In times of bacterial or viral infection, take one-half tsp. (about 72 mg.) three times per week (i.e Monday, Wednesday, Friday), or as recommended by your health care practitioner. Take Lugol’s on an empty stomach about 20 minutes before eating in an 8 oz. (236 ml.) glass of distilled or purified water with one teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar added for slight acidification. Also see:

* For U.S. Users: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. SHAKE WELL BEFORE USING.
Supplement Facts: Serving size: one (1) drop. Servings per container: 5,676. Ingredients: Distilled water, potassium iodine, iodine crystal.
Warning: All iodine products can be toxic, or even deadly, if taken in excessive amounts. Follow the directions precisely and keep out of reach of children.

See Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

Serving Size / Dosage Information
(Updated Oct. 20, 2008 -- this section refers to 3%: ):
Our Lugol's dosage and serving size information has undergone considerable revision since we upgraded from our original 4 fl. oz. bottle to the current 8 fl. oz. (236.5 ml.) bottle. The confusion was compounded by a lack of differentiation between supplemental and therapeutic dosages, plus a couple typos of our own . . . So . . . to clarify:
Each bottle contains about 47.3 teaspoons (see "How Much Iodine in a Drop?" at left). The current label indicates 6,240 drops to a bottle ("Servings per Container"). This calculation was made by multiplying 130 drops/tsp. (which is what we measured in the lab) by our earlier calculation of 48 (rounded) teaspoons per container.
But what is a "drop" ? (See Wiki article if you're not confused enough already.) In our calculation at left, we use the "metric drop" to arrive at 1.45 mg. of iodine per drop.
So -- in the name of accuracy, since for strictly supplemental purposes, most people will find one drop per day adequate. We provide the following table as an errata addendum:

Unit of Measure /
Yielding drops
per . . .
ml. Tsp. 8 Fl.
Per 3%
Per 7%
Per 15%
Original AO Drop 26 130 6,240 0.91 mg 2.12 mg 4.54 mg
"Metric" Drop 20 100 4,730 1.46 mg 3.40 mg 7.29 mg
Medical or
"U.S. Drop"
12 60 2,838 2.43 mg 5.66 mg 12.13 mg
Imperial Drop 9.7 48.7 2,304 2.99 mg 7.95 mg 17.04 mg
U.S. Drop
(alternative definition)
15.2 76 3,594 1.92 mg 4.47 mg 9.58 mg

* -- Calculation is approximate. Physicians wanting an exact measure should plan on a deviation factor of + / - 2%. Our current dropper provides about 18 drops per milligram, thus yielding approximately 10% more than what is indicated above for a "metric drop."

Sold in convenient 1 oz.
pharma-plastic bottles
(Dropper sold separately)

The 7 and 15% Lugol's solutions now come in break-resistant pharmaceutical-grade, plastic bottles. The medical-grade dropper (available separately for $1.25) is optional. In fact, if you have your own clean dropper, there's no need to purchase another.

Lugol's Bottle Opening Difficult Top
& Product Purity
Our current Lugol's bottles are designed to survive transoceanic deliveries at high altitude and potential physical abuse. We take extra precautions with Lugol's because it is a potent oxidizing agent. Occasionally, a customer will complain that the top is difficult to open. Simple solution: turn the bottle upside down. Let sit in a glass or cup of hot water for two minutes, covering the bottle top but none of the label. Problem solved.
The ingredients in our Lugol's (all variations) are pharmaceutical grade (BP / USP / EP). A new entry in this product's MSDS provides sourcing information. Email us if you have further questions.

Thyroid Gland
The Thyroid,
Iodine & Disease
The role of the thyroid gland has been understood for some time now. Although conventional medicine places emphasis on its contribution to regulating the body's metabolism, an equally important role is its contribution to the immunological health of the body.
This organ's thyroid cells are the only ones in the body capable of absorbing iodine, an important mineral nutrient and potent germ killer - (though 80% of the less than 25 mg. of iodine in the body is found elswhere, primarily in muscle and bone, extracellularly - the thyroid has a concentration of iodine that is over 1,000 times greater than that found in muscle tissue.) In terms of immunology, the thyroid gland acts as a gatekeeper: every 17 minutes all the blood in the body passes through the thyroid, where this gland's secretion of iodine kills germs that have come into the body (through absorption of food in the digestive tract, skin injury, respiratory intake, etc.) Pathogenic micro-organisms, the primary causative agent for disease in the body, are made weaker during their passage through the thyroid gland. With each "17 minute passage" they are made still weaker until most are killed, provided the thyroid has its normal supply of iodine.
We know from clinical study that few people have anywhere near enough iodine in their body for the thyroid to function optimally. Three disturbing trends initiated in the 20th century made this collective deficiency inevitable: (1) the introduction of chlorine - another halogen, like iodine - used in drinking water, pools, and as a ubiquitous cleaning agent in industry, etc. - which displaces iodine (see far left sidebar), (2) the alteration of the Western diet to reduce natural food sources of iodine, and (3) farming practices designed to increase crop yield which have lead to reduced iodine content in many foods. Aggravating this diminishing source issue is the fact that the body does not conserve iodine the way it does iron. We must receive a regular dietary or supplemental intake in order to maintain optimal health.

atomic structure of iodine

A History
of Lugol's
Lugol's Iodine (also called "Lugol's solution") was first developed by the French physician, Jean Lugol, in 1829. It is a transparent brown liquid consisting of 10 parts potassium iodide (KI) to 5 parts iodine to 85 parts of (distilled) water. It is an effective bactericide and fungicide and, in fact, was, for the better part of a century, a common antiseptic - (though it has laboratory uses separate and apart from any medical application). Lugol's and similar iodine solutions probably fell out of favor in the last half of the 20th century due to combination of economics and esthetics: first, it is so cheap to make that it cannot compare to "cleaner," value-added antiseptics with more marketing muscle; and secondly, it will stain clothes and will even temporarily stain skin when used topically to treat a wound. The internal applications of various iodine solutions have been published and discussed for well over a century.

Treating Candida
Mycoplasia &
The Aftermath
of Antibiotic Usage

Many alternative physicians will use Lugol's for these conditions -- just 6 drops, 4 times daily (24 drops per day). (Read Dr. Orian Truss). Precautions: Lugol's, like bio-oxidative preparations, is oxidative. You should avoid taking anti-oxidant vitamin supplements (particularly Vitamin C and E) for the duration of your "higher-than-normal" usage of Lugol's. You should also follow high usage of iodine products with Microflora Restoration - or similar products to replenish vital intestinal flora.

What Formula
Do You Use?
We are frequently asked what formula we us in making our Lugol's: 2% or 3% or 5%.
To make the original version, we use what amounts to a 3% (2.91%) formula (iodine and iodine compound). The formula is simple: 80 gm. of potassium iodine (KI) is added to 4,000 ml of distilled water (roughly 4,000 gm). After fully dissolving, 40 gm. of iodine crystal is added. After the iodine crystal fully dissolves (which takes several hours), the product is packaged and stored.
To make the newer 7% Lugol's version, using the same 4,000 ml. of distilled water, the amounts of iodine use are 200 gm. of KI, and 100 gm. of iodine crystal. For 15% Lugol's, to 4,000 ml. of distilled water we dissolve 480 gm. of KI and 240 gm. of iodine crystal.
Lugol's Iodine has an optimal shelf-life of approximately one year. Many web sites encourage you to "stock up," which does not take into account this fact. You should purchase just what you need, and annually rotate out older product.
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