Leading-edge natural solutions…   always inspired by nature
2022 April

Serious Monkey Business: The Search for Iodine

16th April 2022

Luisa Carugati, BA, DipCNM 

Along with Chimps, Bonobos are our closest relative. And they use their wild instincts and high intelligence to find sources of iodine, a vital nutrient that is challenging to find away from coastal regions.

Iodine is essential for the production of our thyroid hormones, which control metabolism, body temperature and the functioning of the brain and muscles, including the heart. In fact, iodine is essential for proper brain development, and so the diets of apes and humanoids must contain enough of this essential mineral for their brains to develop properly.

Iodine is found naturally in seawater and some soils. Animals and plants that grow in iodine-rich seawater or soil contain the iodine needed for healthy development. Examples of iodine-rich foods might include fish, seaweed and other seafoods, as well as eggs Apart from eggs, these are not easy to find away from coastal regions, so it has always been a mystery how our ancestors found enough iodine for their brain development and other iodine needs.

Researchers studying bonobo apes in the iodine-deficient basin of the Congo have always wondered how these intelligent apes get enough iodine in their diets to support their large brains. But now they have observed them foraging for specific aquatic plants growing in swampy regions. And it turns out that these plants are their source of iodine. They instinctively know the importance of adding them to their diet and so spend copious time searching them out, more so than if they were just using them as a calorific food source.

This type of inland aquatic herb foraging is likely to be how our original ancestors survived where there is no access to seafood. Like the bonobo, we must have instinctively known which aquatic plants were good sources.

Nowadays, however, we do have access to seafood, even when we live very far away from the sea, and so our iodine needs are more likely met. That said, some health experts believe that we should be having the same iodine intake as the Japanese, who eat the most seafood, as they have the lowest instances of several chronic diseases -- a fact believed to be due to their relatively high iodine intake.

The problem with increasing our seafood intake is that we also increase our toxin intake as sea becomes increasingly polluted. And at the same time, because of the increasing popularity of healthy plant foods like flax, soy, and cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli) -- which can interfere with thyroid function if iodine levels are marginal -- iodine intake has never been more important.

One of the best and least toxic ways to increase iodine is to take Lugol's Iodine solution. It can be done sublingually, or, under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner, orally. This way we can experience the full benefits of adequate iodine intake. And we can do this, unlike our ancestors, without having to eat more seafood or visit the closest swamp.

Please note, if you are unwell, we do advise that you get a tailored treatment program from your healthcare practitioner.




< Return to Index