Urine analysis is a simple and inexpensive way to measure levels of iodine, selenium, bromine and cadmium.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 10% of North Americans receive insufficient iodine in their diets. The following groups are at greatest risk for iodine insufficiency:
- pregnant women - the need for iodine increases in pregnancy, and iodine is critical for development of the central nervous system of the fetus. Globally, severe iodine deficiency is the largest single preventable cause of brain damage and mental retardation.
- people living in areas with iodine-deficient soil
- people who do not use iodine-fortified table salt
- high bromine intake, which competes with iodine for transport into cells
Iodine was added to table salt (sodium chloride) decades ago in an effort to reduce the incidence of iodine deficiency. However, the use of table salt has declined due to increased consumption of high sodium, non-iodized processed foods. In addition, exposure to bromine through pesticides, medications and fire retardant chemicals has increased. An excess of bromine may compromise iodine status.
Iodine deficiency is on the rise for two reasons: decreased intake of iodine, and increased intake of bromine. The Iodine Plus urine test can help determine whether you have sufficient iodine and whether excess bromine could be negatively impacting your iodine status. Iodine Plus also includes selenium and cadmium. Selenium is an essential element for thyroid function, and cadmium is known to interfere with the actions of selenium.
For those with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and other types of thyroid dysfunction, determining levels of selenium is found to be beneficial.