While the film short (below) is based on the US, friends “in the know” in Australia tell me this is not so far from the truth for Australians too.
There’s a commotion in the news media at the moment generating fear in people’s minds about iodine supplements. If you’ve been under a rock, it’s due to a class action suit against Spiral Food’s Bonsoy soy milk because of how much iodine they added to the product. This follows in the heels of similar suits against Vitasoy for the same thing a few years ago.
“Journalism is the investigation and reporting of events, issues, and trends to a broad audience.”
And hoopla is what the media seems to do best these days – hype and hysteria without much eye on keeping to the facts.
Instead of “informing the public” journalists are violating their core principle of investigating and reporting. They are doing the opposite – misinforming the public.
The problem lies not in the simple argument of “to iodine or not to iodine supplement”. It comes down to how much we tamper with our food. It comes down to so-called improving our food by adding things that don’t naturally together. It comes down to tinkering with our food for the sake of shelf life and product sales….read profit.
Kombu or Kelp is the ingredient added to the soy milk that has caused the fuss. But they are not the bad guys here. The Japanese have centuries of generations to show that sea vegetables are good food. Seaweed is a key ingredient in Asian diets.
And to be clear, Iodine supplements are not the bad guy here either.
The real problem is that during the manufacturing process allowed too much of an ingredient to be part of a formula. And that creates havoc in any food manufacturing process.
When we go away from eating whole foods and eat highly processed foods, or foods made to substitute for another food, we open the door for mistakes.
The media presents this as a case about iodine supplements, not about poor manufacturing.
There is no defense for providing unsafe foods. People whose health has been adversely affected by poor manufacturing practices are fully justified in whatever course of action they choose.
If you have been a loyal fan of Bonsoy and believe your health may have been affected, see your GP first.
Read more about iodine supplements
Iodine is an essential trace mineral for your body. But do you really need to take iodine supplements? What are the dangers when you do take them? And what can an iodine supplement do for my health and well-being?
Chances are, you do need to take some form of iodine supplement. A study released in 2004 by the United Nations System SCN shows a shocking 73% of Australia’s population suffers from low iodine levels!
The most common sources of iodine in the developed countries are through bread and milk. But there is growing evidence this is not enough.
Clearly we’re not receiving enough iodine through our food and multi-vitamins even though most contain iodine. The days are gone when simply using iodised salt would boost your iodine levels.
Iodine is widely and unevenly distributed in the earth’s environment. Due to flooding, erosion and poor farming, surface soils have been depleted of iodine in many regions. Most iodine is found in our oceans.
The daily RDI of iodine is 150mcg (this number varies with pregnancy and breast feeding). Natural sources of iodine include seafood such as haddock, salmon, tuna, oysters and sea vegetables. Of those, Dulse and Kelp in contains more than the minimal amount of iodine recommended by the US Recommended Daily Intake (RDI).
Iodine supports the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. The thyroid performs many functions, some of which include
- Regulating your body’s production of energy
- Regulating your body’s metabolism
- Supporting the condition of your hair, nails, skin and teeth
- Creating hormones that help your body create Vitamin A, make proteins, absorb carbohydrates and make cholesterol.
Iodine supplements are essential for pregnancy and for babies.
Too little iodine is the most common cause of preventable brain damage. It is also the most common cause infant mortality and a wide range of other growth and development abnormalities.
Several studies have shown that pregnant and nursing mothers need to supplement their diets with iodine. Babies and children without adequate iodine are at much higher risk of brain damage and delayed development. Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of mental retardation. It has also been shown to effect overall IQ development and may be a contributing factor in ADHD.
Dangers of iodine supplements
The primary danger of iodine supplements is hyperthyroidism. Reducing iodine in your diet easily reverses this.
A small percentage of the population is sensitive to iodine. Your physician or nutritionist can test your iodine levels via a “urinary excretion” test. Symptoms can include: tender thyroid, exhaustion and achy all over. This tends to happen to people taking a pill based iodine supplement.
“The relatively small risks of iodine excess are far outweighed by the substantial risks of iodine deficiency.”
Michael B. Zimmermann,
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, 2009
Iodine supplements alone are not enough
Iodine alone is not enough. Micronutrients need other micronutrients to work effectively in our bodies.
For example, low levels of selenium can worsen the effects of iodine. It is an essential part in the making of thyroid hormones.
A whole-food iodine supplement such as BodyBalance contains a full compliment of micronutrients. As an organic source of iodine, it contains a natural balance of iodine, selenium and over 120 naturally occurring nutrients.
These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, enzymes and phytonutrients. Our selected blend of sea vegetables and Aloe Vera is a simple, tasty way of ensuring your body receives a broad spectrum of nutrients. It’s easy to give your body the foundation of increased energy and overall well being, every day.
No-one has accused vegetables of being pretty, and one of the least attractive looking is seaweed. Yet seaweed nutrition is one of the best natural sources of life-giving vitamins and minerals available.
Seaweed (or the politically correct “sea vegetables”) has a huge advantage over land vegetables. Our oceans are constantly being renewed with nutrients from land and renewed with minerals. They range in colour from red to green, brown and black. Our land, however, is constantly being depleted of essential nutrients.
Minerals are elements or compounds formed by the earth, and are a necessary nutrients for the health and wellbeing of your body. As our land gets more and more overworked by agriculture, the natural renewing of the land is often pushed aside in favour of chemical fertilisers. The end result is an ever-decreasing resource of minerals in the soil and then our food.
The nutrition you can get from seaweed is can be as high as 20 times the mineral content from land vegetables.
Apart from vitamins and minerals, seaweed nutrition is high in protein, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and dietary fibre. All of these combined promote a healthy body and may prevent or even treat a variety of diseases.
Seaweed nutrition overview
|Iodine||Promotes healthy thyroid function. This gland helps your body maintain and regulate weight.|
|Vitamin A family||Helps with growing healthy skin tissues, creating new cells, healthy eyes, aids digestion and boosts the immune system|
|Vitamin B complex||Helps combat fatigue and stress, helps reduce or eliminate constipation, tender gums, skin disorders, cracks at the corner of the mouth, anemia, and heart health.|
|Vitamin E||A powerful antioxidant and anti aging nutrient|
|Vitamin K||Essential in formation of healthy blood and bones|
|Calcium||Essential for strong bones and assist with nervous system|
|Magnesium||Primarily helps with your body’s metabolism, helping cells convert energy and use other vitamins and minerals effectively.|
|Omega 3- Fatty acids||Promotes youthful and healthy skin and tissue. Great for heart, blood and brain health. Strengthens the immune system, helps reduce inflammation and may be useful in the prevention of some cancers.|
Seaweed nutrition compared to other common foods
Modern medicine is only beginning to study and understand the benefits of many of Mother Nature’s remarkable gifts from the sea.
What we know so far about the nutrients in seaweed is that it can be used to help treat:
- Nervous disorders
- Skin irritations
- Cancer (seaweed contains a form of fibre that can help bind carcinogens)
- Radiation exposure
- Herpes (probably because seaweed helps strengthen your immune system)
If eating seaweed everyday isn’t what you live for, we invite you to contact us about how a tasty drink can give you all of these benefits and more. It tastes great, is made to be taken daily and even comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee!
Note – Seaweed is a good source of overall nutrition for your body. But too much of a good thing is not “gooder”. Large amounts of some vitamins or minerals can cause health problems and counteract your intention of healthy well-being.
Three real-life reasons why you need health supplements today:
“…it appears prudent for all adults to take [health] supplements”
“…suboptimal vitamin status is associated with many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.”
Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults
JAMA, Jun 2002; 287
These quotes come from the Journal of the American Medical Association, a highly cited weekly medical journal that publishes peer-reviewed original medical research findings.
Doctors recommend we need health supplements to stay healthy!
The latest dietary recommendations from the federal government are for a total of seven (7!) serves of fruit & vegetables per day – two fruit and FIVE veg. Most Australians eat half the recommended servings. Supplements are the easiest and most obvious way of filling the gap.
In 2005 the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a report stating the productivity output of farmers in the past 30 years had increased 96%.
In other words, farmers had doubled their production over 30 years.
Think about it:
– Same land…
– Same 12 months in a year…
– Twice the fruits, vegetables and grains.
All this despite the worst drought in Australia’s history.
This isn’t just about bigger tractors…
Something has to give.
And what gives is the quality of the food we eat from our land. As a result, what gives is our health – my health, your health and the health of our children.
This is not a criticism of farmers – they face overwhelming pressures from Big Business. They are forced to produce more for less or lose their careers and their homes. Big Business (largely) is not interested in our well-being, our longevity or our quality of life. It’s interested in the share price, this week.
That’s not going to change anytime soon. But our health crisis needs immediate action.
Our hospitals are more full and our children are more sick than ever before. The number of diseases both mental and physical are at the highest in history.
If you are well, you can keep it that way or even improve it.
If you are unwell, you can feel better.
It all comes down to what we feed the marvelous tiny building blocks of our bodies – our cells.
The cells of our body are always reproducing themselves and use the fuel of food to create the next generation. In the same way poor quality petrol or gasoline in your car’s fuel tank will keep your car from running well, poor nutrition in our food keeps our cells from running well.
Our bodies need the right balance of nutrients we’re all familiar with like vitamin B and C, and minerals such as Iron and Zinc. Our bodies also need thousands of ultra-trace and micro-minerals, and play a major role in our nutrition.
Fortunately, whole foods and whole-food health supplements contain a broad spectrum of nutrients which cannot be found in synthetic vitamins.
Is there a difference between synthetic nutritional supplements and natural ones – apart from price? For that matter, do we really need to supplement our nutrition at all?
Nutrition is the science of providing the materials necessary to support the life of the body through food. Many common health problems can be prevented or reduced with healthy nutrition. Nutritional supplements are helpful when food nutrition is inadequate.
Why do we need nutritional supplements?
Our bodies are marvellous chemical factories. They perform an incredibly complex web of chemical reactions every moment of every day. Medical science is only beginning to understand the body’s beauty and complexity.
Yet today’s processed food, over-worked agricultural land, and high-fat diets do not allow the body to absorb the right balance of nutrition from food alone.
Nutritional supplements are no longer an option, they’re a necessity.
Is there a difference between natural and synthetic nutritional supplements?
The body absorbs the nutrients in food as part of the digestion process, mostly in the small intestine.
Many nature-purists claim natural substances can be absorbed better by the body than synthetic. Yet clinical studies have shown there is little or no difference in absorption rate.
But – that’s not the whole story.
The real difference is what happens after the nutrients are absorbed.
Each chemical reaction in our body leads to another. A complex chain of many reactions happens each time we take a mouthful of food. But if that substance is synthetic, the natural chain of events breaks down somewhere along the line. The natural sequence of creating new healthy cells is disrupted. And the full benefit of the nutritional supplement you intended is lost.
Problems with most nutritional supplements:
Marketers have led us to believe a one-a-day vitamin tablet alone will “do the job”. What they want us to ignore is….
- Our bodies evolved to consume whole-food, using the natural balance of vitamins and minerals working in synergy.
- Pills are hard to digest. Pills are largely manufactured as a compressed powder. Often that compression is so strong that the pill doesn’t break down in the digestion process and passes straight through.
- Synthetic substances do not behave in our bodies the same way natural ones do. As a result, your body tends to simply flush away much of the ingredients in the synthetic nutrition supplement.
- Studies are now uncovering harmful consequences of consuming some synthetic vitamins.
Whole-food broad-spectrum is best.
Every person is bio-chemically unique. Individual nutritional imbalances and weaknesses vary. For a nutritional supplement to be effective it must be broad spectrum. This is almost impossible to achieve by manufactured, synthetic products. Instead, it is best to use a natural whole-food, “the way nature intended”.
Natural broad-spectrum nutritional supplements provide your body with a wide range of vitamins and minerals in balance with each other. This enables your body to use what is most needed at the time.
Remember, no nutritional supplement can fix poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise and a good nutritional supplement together provide the best foundation for a long and healthy life.
We acknowledge synthetic vitamins can serve a role where natural vitamins and minerals are not readily available. But the big vitamins companies are about their own financial rewards, not in making up for deficiencies in our diets.
There is a growing body of evidence showing the artificial daily vitamin supplements may actually cause more harm than good.