Halogens have been a focus here at The Cellulite Investigation ever since I figured out the connection between fluoride and my cystic acne (see This is What Fluoroderma Looks Like). If fluoride can cause severe lymphatic congestion on my face and neck, what is it doing to my legs?
In a recent Cellulite Book-of-the-Month selection entitled Iodine: Why you need it, Why you can’t live without it by Dr. David Brownstein, we learned that toxic halogens such as fluoride and bromide are commonly stored in the fat cells. They also interfere with the body’s absorption of iodine, the only halogen required by the human body for optimal health. Iodine is essential for hormonal balance… We know there is a hormonal component to cellulite… Could there be a cellulite connection to these toxic halogens?
To gather more evidence for our investigation, I recently took the iodine-loading test from Hakala Research –the most accurate test available for measuring iodine deficiency. This is the same test Dr. Brownstein uses in his research. (It’s much more reliable than the iodine skin patch test. For more details, see The Iodine-Loading Test from Hakala Research.)
The iodine-loading test gauges iodine deficiency by measuring how much iodine the body releases after consuming a 50mg iodine supplement. The more iodine-deficient the body, the less iodine will be released in the urine.
It also measures bromide and fluoride levels. When the body absorbs iodine, it often displaces bromide and fluoride which can then be measured in the urine. Given my history of fluoroderma, I was particularly curious to find out my fluoride levels.
I took the test on two consecutive days. On the first day, I collected the urine sample without taking the iodine supplement. I wanted to establish a baseline for my normal iodine, bromide, and fluoride levels. I collected another sample the next day after taking the iodine supplement.
Here are the results of both tests:
24 Hour Urinary Halide Test: No Iodine Supplement
Total Iodine Excreted: .273 mg/24 hours
Total Bromide Excreted in 24 hours: 16.24 mg
Total Fluoride Excreted in 24 hours: .4 mg
24 Hour Urinary Halide Test: 50mg Iodine Load
Total Iodine Excreted: 46.4 mg (% Iodine Excreted: 93%)
Total Bromide Excreted in 24 hours: 15.99 mg
Total Fluoride Excreted in 24 hours: .36 mg
I was surprised by a few of the numbers above. I’ve been eating a nutrient-dense diet for a couple years now with occasional periods of iodine supplementation, but nothing close to the dosage Dr. Brownstein recommends in his book. I was not expecting my body to release 93% of the iodine supplement. This number indicates I am not iodine deficient. Anything over 90% is considered ideal.
I was also surprised my body did not release any extra bromide or fluoride after taking the iodine supplement. In fact, both statistics went down after taking the pill, although there was only a slight decrease in each.
Finally, because my skin is so sensitive to fluoride, I thought my fluoride levels would be particularly high compared to the national average. But the opposite was true. The lab technician said it was uncommon to see fluoride levels so low. What was going on here?
I called Charles Hakala, the lead pharmacist at Hakala Research Laboratories, to discuss my test results. Right away, Charles suspected that my high bromide levels were interfering with my body’s ability to absorb iodine. This would explain the 93% iodine excretion rate, and the steady levels of both bromide and fluoride after taking the iodine pill.
Sure enough, a note on the test results clearly states:
Serum bromide concentrations above 10mg/L may have adverse effects on Iodine utilization. Serum bromide levels are generally double urinary levels.
At that rate, my serum bromide level would be 32 mg, over three times the amount likely to interfere with iodine absorption.
I also asked Charles about the test result regarding fluoride. When I consume significant amounts of fluoride, my skin breaks out within a few hours. These deep, cystic outbreaks are now easy for me to recognize. I was concerned that the huge iodine pill would cause similar outbreaks, since it is known to release fluoride into the blood stream. However, my skin didn’t break out until two days later.
I asked Charles if it was possible that the 24 hour urine test was not long enough to accurately measure the amount of fluoride released by the iodine supplement. He said this is entirely possible. Since fluoride is stored in the bone, it could take more time for it to be released into circulation.
Then Charles told me an interesting story that supported my theory. A recent test subject had to submit two samples for his iodine-loading test because the volume of urine he collected over the 24 hour period exceeded the amount he could store in the container provided. The lab tested both samples separately. The fluoride level in the later sample was significantly higher than the urine collected earlier in the day.
Hakala Research is now experimenting with different time spans to more accurately measure iodine’s effect on fluoride excretion. Charles informed me they are also experimenting with boron supplements, since boron is another mineral known to displace fluoride from the body.
So while the iodine-loading test did not yield the results I was expecting, it certainly revealed a lot of new information about my body. I had no idea my bromide levels are so high. According to Charles, high bromide levels are not uncommon for American women.
I was pleased to see that I am succeeding with my effort to avoid fluoride. It might already be stored in my bones, but at least I’m not adding to the problem each day.
Most of all, I was excited to hear Charles’ thoughts on fluoride; he seems optimistic that fluoride can be released from the bone. If this is true, that means it is possible that I could cure my fluoroderma completely, instead of relying on my skill at avoiding fluoride to prevent another outbreak.
Rest assured, boron is now at the top of my list of hot leads to investigate in the new year. But for now, Happy Holidays, my fellow cellulite sleuths! I won’t be posting on our regular schedule for the next two weeks due to holiday traveling (to ensure you won’t miss a post, subscribe to the CI blog). But I am excited to see what our investigation turns up in the months ahead. I sense we are nearing a breakthrough!
I’m still figuring out how to set up our forum, but feel free to come over and say hi while I’m working on it. It’s always nice to hear from my fellow cellulite investigators!