Breast cancer is a common form of cancer that occurs in women. Nearly 40,000 women die from this type of cancer each year.
However, this disease can be prevented by taking certain measures to reduce the risk.
Furthermore, about 10% of all breast cancers are linked to genetic risk factors, whereas the other 90% are related to environmental factors.
This means that breast cancer is preventable through the right lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy diet; being physically active; minimizing toxin exposure; and optimizing your vitamin D and iodine levels.
Iodine Deficiency Has Been Associated with a Higher Risk of Breast Cancer
When it comes to following a healthy diet and reducing your risk of breast cancer, the ideal nutrient you can take is iodine. Even though this nutrient is linked to the thyroid, it is accumulated in higher amounts in the breasts than in the thyroid. So, this means that iodine plays a vital role in maintaining good breast health.
Iodine is an essential trace element that plays an important role in regulating hormonal synthesis. Being deficient in this nutrient can result in a wide range of ailments and diseases, including breast cancer. Specifically, breasts absorb as well as use a great iodine amount for optimal cellular function. Iodine deficiency could lead to dysfunction of that tissue, thus causing the formation of tumor.
That’s not all, lack of this trace element can cause your ovaries to create more estrogen. If you have higher levels of this hormone circulating through your body, it may elevate your likelihood of reproductive types of cancer, such as breast cancer. Also, iodine deficiency can elevate estrogen sensitivity in your breasts and make them more prone to breast cancer.
A pioneer in iodine research, Dr. Bernard Eskin, found that iodine deficient breast tissues were more prone to have pre-cancerous changes. Dr. Eskin also found that iodine could reverse those pre-cancerous changes. In addition, lab studies confirmed that iodine inhibited tumor growth and caused cellular cancer cell death, leaving the healthy cells untouched.
Most Women in the United States Are Deficient in This Nutrient
Japanese women have a 66% lower risk of breast cancer compared to American women. In fact, iodine makes the difference. Moreover, the U.S. Dietary Reference Intake for this mineral is 150 micrograms daily (or 290 in case you are a pregnant or breastfeeding woman). However, the average Japanese woman takes about 3 and 13 milligrams of iodine every single day.
According to a Japanese study, iodine is more beneficial compared to the chemotherapy drug known as fluorouracil for fighting breast cancer.
How to Optimize Your Iodine Levels and Decrease Your Breast Cancer Risk:
You can prevent or reverse iodine deficiency by consuming foods rich in this nutrient, such as seafood (shrimp, tuna, lobster, and salmon); eggs; navy beans; unpeeled potatoes; and cranberries.
Keep in mind that seaweed is the richest source of this nutrient. It has 10 times more iodine compared to any other food. In addition, seaweed is introduced in the Japanese diet as well as there are multiple varieties and uses for it. You can actually find dried seaweed at almost all Asian supermarkets and some major chains. You can add it to the pot when you are cooking soups, beans, or stews.
So, introduce iodine-rich foods to your diet to reverse iodine deficiency and reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Hirshaut, Yashar. ˮBreast Cancer: The Complete Guideˮ;
- Arnot, Bob. ˮThe Breast Cancer Prevention Diet: The Powerful Foods, Supplements, and Drugs That Can Save Your Lifeˮ;
- Brownstein, David. ˮIodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without Itˮ;