“The thyroid gland becomes toxic from bromine and/or fluoride. When you couple that with iodine deficiency you can start an oxidative problem on the thyroid gland. The body starts putting out antibodies to put out that fire. The antibodies are diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease,” says Dr. David Brownstein, MD, and author of 20 books including Overcoming Thyroid Disorders. He is a clinically trained physician who now thinks holistically not pharmaceutically.

The iodine issue then becomes a challenge as people with Hashimoto’s show increased antibodies when they take supplemental iodine.

The real cause and source of the problem Dr. Brownstein says is, “Bromine and fluoride have gone up at the same time iodine levels have gone down.” They are non-essential to our body but they push out iodine. Bromine is in soda, pasta, vegetable oils, flour and is used as a fire retardant in mattresses and baby products as well as cell phones and other daily used products.

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Dr. Brownstein says, “When you put someone on iodine, who is iodine deficient, the first thing that happens is they start to detox from bromine and fluoride.” These detox symptoms make people feel ill. Common detox signs are headaches, agitation, palpitations, nervousness, the jitters or irritated thyroid symptoms.

In essence these are good signs as it shows the iodine is working and the body is attempting to cleanse the source of the problem.

Toxic halides like chlorine, fluoride and bromine come from unavoidable sources like shower and bath water, drinking water, toothpaste, bread and even float in the air.

“The body has to eliminate these toxic halides. One of the things that really helps us out is salt. Unrefined salt is a key part of the treatment program. I find when people used unrefined salt to help eliminate bromine, the detox problems with bromine and fluoride just melt away in the vast majority of people,” Dr. Brownstein says.

Click here for his recommended salt, or here. The salt you eat should not be bleached. Salt that contains necessary minerals has some sort of color, the color reflects the different mineral content.

Dr. Brownstein goes on to say, “I suggest starting a teaspoon or two of unrefined salt a day before you start iodine. Selenium is another strong antioxidant for the thyroid gland that can help that detox reaction, vitamin C, a good B complex, and then you can start iodine a couple of weeks later. I see the same with Graves Disease as with Hashimoto’s.”

However, again, some people with Hashimoto’s have increased antibodies when they supplement iodine. Dr.s Datis Kharrazian and Izabella Wentz say they both see increased numbers in Hashimoto’s who supplement.

Click here for natural absorbable selenium.

“Only 10% of iodine in salt is bioavailable. We estimate the Japanese ingest about 13 mg of iodine per day because they use seaweed as fertilizer on their crops and they eat seaweed as part of their dietary regimen. They suffer less glandular problems than we do here,” Dr. Brownstein says.

He says people who suffer from different degrees of destruction need different degrees of treatment with iodine.

“I think (iodine deficiency) is contributing to this epidemic rise in thyroid cancer as well as other glandular cancers. It’s known that iodine has (apoptosis) properties,” Brownstein says.

In his book, Iodine Why You Need It, Why He Can’t Live Without It, Brownstein explains the process completely saying, “Iodine has many anticancer properties. Cancer cells, unlike normal cells, do not have a normal life cycle: they just keep dividing over and over. Normal cells have a life cycle, and when they eventually die, they are replaced with a new cell. This process of timed cellular death is known as apoptosis.”

He goes on to say, “Iodine has been shown to induce apoptosis (death) in breast and thyroid cancer cells.” (page 65)

“It makes no sense to me to counsel a cancer patient to minimize iodine in their diet. I think it’s iodine deficiency that’s setting them up for these problems and will allow these problems to continue,” says Dr. Brownstein.

Dr. Brownstein recommends the iodine that has been used the longest in the medical field, elemental iodine and potassium iodide, dating back to 1829. Click here to see more. Iodine treatment was the first used medical administered treatment in hospitals.

Finding a doctor in your area who does iodine testing is best done by contacting your local test lab. Ask them which doctors send them iodine testing kits for analysis.

In Dr. Brownstein’s book Salt Your Way To Health, he discusses the importance of getting iodine from a reputable source of salt. Real mineral salt has over 80 minerals and is beneficial to your health. Iodized salt is a different story. He does not recommend iodized salt since estimates show 80-90% of the iodine has oxidized by the time iodized salt is used. Salt from processed food is generally not iodized and shows no beneficial health effects.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study done by Pittman, et al, where they measured serum levels in bread and iodized salt. The group that received their iodine from bread had normal blood levels, as he expected. The group that received their iodine from salt showed numbers were 10% of the bread group. This means the iodine received from iodized salt wasn’t bioavailable.

He concluded iodized salt is not the best way to get iodine.

Iodized salt is contaminated with many other problematic aspects like ferrocyanide, chlorine derivatives and aluminum in the form of Sodium Silicoaluminate, an anti-caking agent.


*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the affiliate links above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, GAPS who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.


Other sources:





Pittman, et al. “Thyroidal radioiodine uptake.” NEJM, 1969; 280:1431-1434.





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17 Responses to Detoxing Fluoride, Bromine And Chlorine Naturally

  1. Kelsea says:

    I’m 31 weeks pregnant and have been researching iodine deficiency. I have considered starting an iodine supplement but now am not sure because of what you’ve said about the detox that happens and safety of my baby. Any thoughts about that? Would it be more reasonable to start after baby is born?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      i am not a medical doctor and can not advise you on this. let us know what your doctor says! would love to know!

    • Priscilla says:

      I would consult a doc forsure but there is a iodine facebook group that can be really helpful. I believe he covers in the book something about the minimum dose usually being okay for pregnant or nursing (12.5 mgs) Id recommend reading doctor Brownstein’s book then taking it to your family doctor. Id think it would depend on your detox level too. Good for you for considering it. It is so vital for babys brain development. 🙂

  2. An extra side to this issue is that there are alleged dangers if a pregnant Mom supplements and certain dangers if she does not.

  3. Will says:

    I started Lugols iodide/iodine, one drop a day internally (6.25mg), and 50 mcg selenium a few weeks ago and now I have spent the last few days throwing up breakfast and lunch. I first stopped taking the lugol’s but still threw up, and then stopped the selenium and that seems to be the culprit. If I am throwing up my meals (+plus forehead headaches), at only 50mcg selenium, what is my problem? Selenium toxicity is only supposed to be a risk above 400mcg. Is it the mercury ( I use DMSA/ALA for that every other weekend or so).

    I don’t have any particular thyroid concerns, but was taking the Lugol’s to detox Halides, which I seem to soak up like a spunge. For example when exposed to high chlorine levels at an indoor pool I get a headache in my forehead and between the eyes, and have bronchial infections and am exhausted for several days. I can feel the chlorine stench in my eyes, nose, forehead area. Interestingly when I took Lugol’s I experienced these symptoms again. I am excited to think that I can get all this chlorine out of me, but if I cant take selenium should I be taking Lugol’s?

  4. […] another blog, I found a post about detoxing from bromine, fluorine and chlorine naturally. But first let’s […]

  5. AC says:

    “Apoptosis means it turns normal cells into cancer cells which just keep dividing and dividing and dividing until it kills the host.”

    Apoptosis is cell programmed death. It is a highly regulated life cycle of a cell. Not necessarily turning normal cells to cancer that keep dividing.

  6. Please know that the doctor may have misspoken about apoptosis. He said its when you turn normal cells into cancer cell.. that hopefully is a typo. apoptosis is programmed cell death. it’s necessary to shape the fingers and toes when a baby is growing from an embryo. It’s not the proliferation of cells.. it’s the killing of ones that shouldn’t be growing for the equilibrium of the body.

    Oh, just realized the person above me said this:) I’ll post anyway haha

  7. Benjamin says:

    Be very careful. This article has many errors and is trying to sell products. Most salts except salt with added potassium iodide, has only trace amounts of iodine. If you really need iodine look up good sources of iodine, because this article is mistaken.

  8. van says:

    I think you are misunderstanding the role of apoptosis… I does not cause cancer, it prevents it. Apoptosis is scheduled cell death. Cancer is cells that don’t die when they are supposed to and keep growing. You should do some more research and update this post. People may be confused.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      The comment on apoptosis is a direct quote from Dr. David Brownstein, these are not my words. If there is a concern with his comment the link of where it was sourced is there, feel free to contact him for clarity at his medical practice in Michigan. He is referring to the role of iodine with apoptosis and how it responds.

  9. Tara says:

    I started supplementing with lugols iodine 2 weeks ago and worked my way up to 3 drops. I started feeling fatigued, tired, and had a headache. But then found out I’m 6 weeks pregnant. My question is, could I have harmed the baby? I’m not sure if my symptoms were from detox or from the pregnancy. I don’t know now if I should continue lugols. Please advise!! Thank you.

  10. […] Spirulina is truly an amazing superfood as it is rich in iron and iodine as well as small amounts of vitamin E and vitamin A.  It is also 60-70% rich in complete protein.  The iodine in spirulina is great to help support low thyroid function, healthier breast tissue, and aid in weight loss by curbing cravings.  Additionally, Iodine is a great way to detox the body of flouride and bromine.  You can read more of what Dr. David Brownstein, MD has to say about that here. […]

  11. […] reactions may occur from iodine replacing other halides (fluoride, bromide, and chlorine) within the body. Click on the links listed for each element to see if you are going through any […]

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