Dear Dr. Northrup,
I am an acupuncturist specializing in infertility. I have a 35-year-old patient who has a sluggish thyroid and tender breasts three weeks out of the month. After reading your “Top Ten Women’s Health Tips of the Decade” on the Huffington Post, I recommended she take 6 mg of iodine a day. Almost immediately, her breast tenderness cleared up. She also ovulated on day 14 and reported that it was the most powerful ovulation (with lots of cervical mucus) that she has felt in years. My question is this: How much iodine is safe for her to take in pregnancy? I suspect the iodine is actually helping her thyroid, and I don’t want her to go off of it, but I also don’t want to cause problems with a future pregnancy.
Thank you – R. B.
Dear R. B.,
Many, many women do not get anywhere near the optimal dose of iodine, which many experts suggest is 12.5 mg per day or even higher. There is very good research suggesting that optimal iodine in pregnancy is very neuroprotective for the fetus. A dose of 6 mg per day is absolutely fine.
I’m so glad that your patient has done so well on this. It confirms the research and my own experience. By the way, the ovary, as well as the breast and thyroid, also has an active thyroid pump, hence the improved ovulation.
Most sincerely – C.N.