“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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30 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. 🙂

    • FYI A fetus needs iodine the most in the first three months.

    • Ann says:

      Dr Jorge Flechas say it will increase the IQ of your baby – he is on Youtube

  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?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      since i’m not a medical doctor i can not advise you with any condition you may have. if i remember correctly dr. david brownstein mentions this in his iodine video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_I9PLUg0lM i have not had an issue with selenium, but i take it as Brazil nuts as i have a hard time with so many supplements. a lot of them have fillers and free flowing agents that cause me trouble. the Brazil nuts are most easily absorbable. I started by taking just a small bite of a nut and built up. If your methylation is off, or genetically deficient, it can affect how you process these things. seeking health, with dr ben lynch, is the brilliance on methyl b and the MTHFR genes. this post may help with that: http://nourishingplot.com/2013/09/06/poor-detoxificaiton-blamed-on-causing-adhd-autism-and-other-disorders/

    • Tessa Rae says:

      I am not a medical doctor. However, it is not necessary to be a medical doctor to understand the basic processes of how the human body functions.

      You might want to look in to where the Selenium is sourced. It is highly likely that your selenium is sourced from GMO crops, and those can actually make you sick. You can try eating canned sardines and see if it causes the same symptoms; if not, it’s probably where your selenium is sourced.

      If you are still eating GMO foods, I would reccommend to stop eating them, as I experienced adverse health effects from eating these foods after supplementing with iodine.

      Selenium is important for your immune system, but it is not the only nutrient you should be taking with iodine. In addition to selenium I would reccommend zinc, magnesium, and like the article suggested, using sea salt. Vitamin C is also good for your immune system, but you can get enough from your food (broccoli, bell peppers, lemons)

      I would also reccommend making a gelatin rich bone broth (I use chicken feet) to soothe the gut in addition to eating garlic, and possibly even taking a non-GMO vitamin c supplement. These will all help, and they’re just a good idea for anyone seeking to achieve health. Are you taking a fish oil? This is also a good idea.

      Are you eating lots of plants? If the food you are eating is not nutritious, your body could be rejecting it in hopes that you will give it different foods. Bromine is in most of the bread in the US, so if you are eating bread it could be creating an endless cycle of detox/retox (if that’s a word, lol)

      Of course, I’m just an internet person and I think it would be a good idea to only follow advice that you feel is sound. Check with a doctor, but listen to your body first. If any of the advice I have given you choose to follow, you will want to tune in to your body and immediately stop if you experience any difficult symptoms. Difficult symptoms mean you are rushing the process and need to slow down, for the sake of your liver.

      To me, it sounds like you may be rushing the detox process. If you are experiencing more than one die-off/detox symptom that is noticeable, you need to slow down. In the case of detoxing, more is not better, as you are playing a balancing act between your body’s ability to metabolize/excrete toxins, and your body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. Detoxing too fast can indeed throw this balance off kilter, and then it can take longer to remove the poisons from your body.

      I would lower my dosage if I were you, personally. It sounds like you might be rushing the healing process and your liver is probably overwhelmed. I personally chose to cleanse my colon with epsom salt flushes, then did a few amazing liver and gallbladder flushes (Andreas Moritz) before I started hitting harder with the iodine/minerals. Most people have clogged livers because of the high amount of toxins we are exposed to daily. I chose to liver flush before doing any healing protocol that can have herximer reactions (e.g. iodine flushing, parasite cleanses, etc) because the liver is the body’s ‘filter’ that helps metabolize and excrete toxins. If your filter is clogged, it’s not going to do a great job of filtering, especially if you are adding to the load.

      Sooo yeah, not a doctor but I’ve changed my own life around by taking control of my own health. 🙂 If anyone needs guidance feel free to add me on skype, my username’s childflowwwer; just mention you are detoxing halides and would like some guidance.

    • Julia says:

      I read vitamin c is great for chlorine detox.

  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.

      • MB says:

        Dr. Brownstein did not make a mistake on the definition of apoptosis. This is what I see in the article:

        “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)”

        The above is excatly what the process of apoptosis is programmed cell death that can be induced by multiple mechanisms


  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 […]

  12. Does itchy skin indicate detox symptoms? I have no rash, just itchy skin and am doing the iodine protocol.

  13. Andrea Costa says:

    OMG. Yesterday I did a patch test in the PM and had a terrible night sleep. I couldn’t get into a deep sleep.
    Today I took two drops Lugols 5% right in the morning along with selenium and multivitamin…I was so fatigued I couldn’t function at all. I dragged myself out of bed and took 1/4 tsp seasalt that I cook with followed by water and I immediately felt better. What in the iodine is going on???

    • Becky Plotner says:

      There’s a lot going on here. First, all salt comes from the sea, but not all is mineral salt. Mineral salt has a color to it, unprocessed. Mineral salt flushes toxic halides such as fluoride, chloride and bromide. Iodine should be filling these receptor cells. When it is put in, it kicks out the other halides in full force.

  14. […] and alternative worlds however I use it successfully as do many other doctors. For instance, Dr. David Brownstein uses iodine to improve thyroid function in Graves and Hashimoto’s […]

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