Seaweed Body Wraps: The Iodine-Cellulite Connection Revisited

It was over a year ago that we featured a book by Dr. David Brownstein called Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It.  We uncovered several clues about a possible connection between cellulite and inadequate iodine intake, but we were never able to draw firm conclusions about the connection.

Now that we are investigating GUAM Beauty Mud, an algae-based body wrap made from nutrient-dense seaweed harvested from the coast of France, I wanted to revisit the evidence we uncovered earlier about cellulite and iodine deficiency.

Seaweed is a naturally rich source of iodine.  Last year we focused on iodine foods or supplements taken internally.  But we know the body absorbs iodine through the skin (see 3 Tests for Iodine Deficiency You Can Take from Home).  GUAM is basically a way to apply iodine externally.   Could this beauty mud be the Italian way of applying iodine topically?

Also, fluoride and iodine have a similar chemical makeup and iodine is known to displace fluoride from the body.   Could GUAM be an effective way to “unlock” fluoride stored under the skin?  These are some of the questions I wonder as I’m wearing my plastic pants in the evening, waiting for GUAM to do its thing.

**Enter to win a jar of GUAM Beauty Mud and GUAM Anti-Cellulite Cream on our giveaway post.  We haven’t had many entries so far, so your chances of winning are really good right now!  The prize is worth $130 and we’re giving it away absolutely FREE to one lucky cellulite investigator.  To enter, simply leave a comment at the following link:  GUAM Beauty Mud Giveaway

Here is a round-up of posts from last year about iodine and cellulite.  Do they add anything new to the case in light of the GUAM discovery?

Why Is Dr. Brownstein’s Book Important for an Investigation on Cellulite?
Toxic Halogens: The Suspect List Grows
Iodine Supplements and the Cellulite Connection
My Experience with the Skin Patch Test for Iodine Deficiency
3 Tests for Iodine Deficiency You Can Take from Home
The Iodine Loading Test from Hakala Research
Results of my Iodine Loading Test from Hakala Research

*Please note: The connection between iodine, cellulite, and GUAM Beauty Mud is based purely on my musings on the topic.  GUAM Beauty Mud is not advertised as an iodine supplement in any way.

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Ellen says:

Interesting you mention this. I do detox baths (1c vinegar, 1c epsom salt, 1c dead sea salt) and recently I started dissolving some of my mineral supplements in the vinegar and soaking in it for 30-45min. I use zinc, copper, and iodine. I’ve only done it a couple times, but I’m curious to see the results! My skin often breaks out in detox rashes if I take supplements orally, which is why I’ve switched to this method. Gentler and bypasses digestion right into the tissues. So far so good!

Soli @ I Believe In Butter says:

I need to start doing epsom salt baths again. Things have just been so crazy in my life that a lot of things just fell to the side and got forgotten.


We do what we can, right? I always wish I had more time for my cellulite investigating experiments. But I figure even if I go slowly, I’ll still get there someday. 🙂


This is a creative idea, Ellen. Have you noticed any reactions at all from the supplements? I wonder what percentage is absorbed during the bath. What kind of iodine supplement are you using? I have a whole bottle of povidone iodine left over from the skin patch test. What are your thoughts on using that?

Ellen says:

I haven’t noticed a skin reaction, but after a few of them I could “feel” my thyroid. It gets a bit tender (and sometimes really painful) with supplementing iodine or boron. There is probably trace amounts of iodine in the sea salt too, so that probably contributes. Interestingly enough, according to Wikipedia, dead sea salts are only 12-18% sodium chloride with the rest being made up of chloride and bromide, and other minerals. I know they can be very helpful though because I’ve seen it first hand. My dad totally cured himself of psoriasis using only dead sea salt and vinegar baths. No diet change, no medication. Here’s some more info:

I’ve been using iodorol. It might not be the best choice but I already had it and wanted to put it to good use. I bet the povidone would work too!


It’s funny you mention this, Ellen. Just last night, I took an Epsom salt bath after I did my cupping massage. I usually sit in the tub and read for a few minutes before I use my strigil, but this time I sunk into the tub and soaked all the way up to neck (I usually just get me legs). I can’t be sure if this was related, but my throat felt a little sore before I went to bed. It’s the same soreness I get when I have too much iodine, so it seemed pretty clear it was related to my thyroid. I woke up in the middle of the night dripping sweat and with a few unexplained stomach cramps. They went away in a few minutes and I slept soundly the rest of the night. I felt fabulous in the morning, like I always so after a good soak in the tub.

It could have been caused by something I ate or a supplement. I didn’t have any new supplements last night but I usually don’t take that combo of supplements at the same time. I also had some acv which I haven’t has in a long time. But the sore through definitely makes me think it was a thyroid issue. Perhaps a “healing crisis” of some sort? I didn’t remember to add the povidone to the tub. I wonder if it would stain it! Maybe I’ll try Iodoral instead.

Have you used the Bokek bath salts you linked to? I want to try them! They’re not a bad price and I love the free shipping. Did your dad put vinegar with the salt or did he use them separately? Amazing story!

Ellen says:

Hi Melissa,
I think detox baths are really key. I can really tell when I miss them. I’m not sure what it could have been in your case. Mine is usually pretty direct. I sometimes will notice it when I take selenium too (which should also be supplemented if you are taking iodine; see:

I haven’t tried the Bokek bath salts but they have a great website, and I’m sure they’re good. My dad orders 100+lbs of dead sea salt from the San Fransisco salt company and distributes it among family. The woman who answers the phone there knows my dad by name! He always used the vinegar and salt together. I do as well. One interesting anecdote is that my dad will get a flare up if he goes too long without a bath. Something about its detoxing capabilities, antifungal qualities, and high mineral content do the trick for him!


Thanks for the fantastic link, Ellen. I have to try adding selenium supplements and see if that makes a difference with the iodine. I’m going to try the baths, too. If there are any specific instructions you can provide, please let me know (how much salt/vinegar to use, how long to soak, etc). It sounds like he’s got this figured out so I’m curious to hear more.

Ellen says:

I just want to clarify: to be truly healed from psoriasis, I think he would have to change his diet and address the internal causes. Since he gets it back when he stops the baths, I should say that he is just in “remission.” Anyway, he isn’t interested in that approach but I am on GAPS to heal my gut. The Perfect Health Diet website is my go-to resource for supplementation advice. It’s great, and very reliable.

As far as the baths go, I do 1 c dead sea salts, 1 c epsom salts, 1 c vinegar (raw apple cider is best, but I often use white vinegar because of cost). My dad does 2 c dead sea salts, 1 c ACV. I usually soak 30-45 min, but 20 min at a minimum. There’s not really a right or wrong way to do them, just gauge your body’s response.


Good point, Ellen. That makes total sense about healing psoriasis from the inside out. That’s my approach to cellulite, too. I’m trying to address my cellulite at the root cause by detoxing all this fluoride in my body, and then the detox baths and other external treatments are just to help the process along.

Thanks for the basic recipe for the detox baths. I’m excited to try it. I’m looking forward to reading more on The Perfect Health website, too.

Leah Noel says:

The often sited statistic is that 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed. The issue is certainly more complex then that. However, we do know from the topical iodine test, that iodine is absorbed by the skin and quite rapidly by those that are deficient in it. I look forward to hearing more of your personal experiences with this.


Good point, Leah. Some substances are absorbed through the skin more than others. And we know iodine is absorbed topically, at least to some degree.


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