by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
There’s a sneaky additive in your soda that can cause you to develop thyroid disease. You may have heard how unhealthy high fructose corn syrup and aspartame can be but you may have never heard of a sneaky additive called brominated vegetable oil. If you enjoy citrus-flavored sodas like Mountain Dew and SunDrop, you could be putting your health at risk.
What’s So Dangerous about Brominated Vegetable Oil?
Bromides are endocrine disruptors that have a negative impact on the way hormones work in your body. Brominated vegetable oil is a halide, a binary compound that competes for the same receptors used by your thyroid gland to capture iodine. If your exposure to BVO and other sources of bromine are excessive, it could cause all the iodine in your body to be eliminated and replaced by bromide! This can lead to a harmful iodine deficiency resulting in hypothyroidism.
If your thyroid is not functioning the way it should be, it can cause a cascade of symptoms that can sometimes be difficult to pin down. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, cold sensitivity, facial puffiness, constipation, difficulty losing weight, brittle nails, dry hair, and leg swelling. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Additional Health Risks of Bromine and Bromides
In addition to wreaking havoc with your thyroid, bromides have also been shown to the increase risk of:
- Stomach Cancer
A recent Agricultural Health study showed that excessive exposure to bromide can cause a significant increase in the development of stomach cancer.
- Fibrocystic Breast Disease
If you’ve been diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease, it could be caused by low iodine levels in your blood. Studies have revealed that iodine therapy has been able to treat fibrocystic breast disease naturally.
- Mental Health Problems
One of the more alarming side effects of bromine is a condition called bromine intoxication or “bromism.” It has been shown to cause delirium, hallucination, depression, irritability, difficulties with concentration, and schizophrenia.
Food and Environmental Sources of Bromides
The most common sources of bromides include:
- Citrus-Flavored Drinks
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is added to citrus drinks like Mountain Dew, Sun Drop, Gatorade, and some energy drinks.
- Baked Goods
Potassium bromate is made by passing bromine into a solution of potassium hydroxide. It is often found in baked goods such as bread, cakes, and cookies. In the 1960s, iodine was the dough conditioner of choice but was replaced by potassium bromate in 1980 despite the fact that the iodine it replaced was no where near dangerous levels.
- Prescription Medications
- Atrovent Inhaler
- Atrovent Nasal Spray
- Ipratropium Nasal Spray
- Pyridostigmine Bromide
- Spiriva HandiHaler
- Flame-Retardant Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE)
Regular Thyroid Testing Will Not Reveal Bromide
Diagnosing thyroid disease triggered by environmental factors can be difficult as many physicians use only the thyroid stimulating test (TSH) to screen for hypothyroidism. This test often misses the disease because it does not directly measure the output of free T3 and T4 from your thyroid gland.
In order to receive a complete and accurate thyroid function diagnosis, I recommend the Complete Thyroid Panel + Thyroid Antibodies from Direct Labs.
This panel of tests will not only tell you whether you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, but Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as well. Just take the test order slip to any LabCorp location to get your blood drawn and LabCorp will send it away for you. You’ll get your results in as little as 5 business days and can then discuss them with your doctor.
How to Eliminate Bromine from Your Body
In order to prevent thyroid disease and other chronic health disorders, I strongly recommend tapering off of bromines. Read labels carefully to determine if bromines are used in products you usually consume. If it contains brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, or anything starting with “brom”, do not use it.
The best way to avoid bromines is to eat as naturally as possible. Organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, meat, poultry, fish, coconut oil, and butter are some of the best foods available for your health. And there’s no need to worry about so-called goitrogenic foods if you have thyroid disease. As a matter of fact, I recommend eating the goitrogenic foods some medical experts tell you to avoid because they’re excellent for your health.
I also recommend adding unrefined sea salt to your diet to offset iodine deficiency and clear bromines from your system as your body detoxifies. Good food sources of iodine include organic cranberries, yogurt, navy beans, and strawberries.
You can also speed up the bromide detoxification process by drinking plenty of pure water each day and exercising regularly.
Diamond Nutritional’s Thyroid Support Formula
Diamond Nutritional’s Thyroid Support Formula nourishes your thyroid gland to help it function at its best. If my patients require thyroid medication for hypothyroidism, I recommend only natural thyroid replacement such as Armour Thyroid, Nature-Throid, Erfa or compounded thyroid. Synthroid (levothyroxine) contains only part of what your body needs: T4. The natural products contain both T4 and T3. Your thyroid gland makes both, and it is important to have them both in balance, which the natural products are able to provide.
The ingredients in our support formula include:
- Iodine – Iodine is essential to the proper function of the thyroid gland.
- L-Tyrosine USP – Provides hormonal support, increases mood, and improves concentration.
- Ashwagandha Leaf – Decreases inflammation, boosts immune system health, and supports thyroid function.
- Bladderwrack Leaf – Stimulates under-active thyroid glands.
Bromines can do serious harm to your health. Take care to avoid foods and environmental products containing them while detoxifying your system with natural sea salt. If you have any questions about your thyroid or another chronic health condition, please contact me and I will help you.
Ask Your Health Question – Do you have a chronic health concern that’s just not resolving? Send me any question about your health and I will get back to you within 48 hours. If you need more comprehensive help, we’ll discuss your case more thoroughly and I will let you know if I can take you on as a private client.