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Step 5. Nixon Seven Step Thyroid Protocol

Step 5 - Iodine

Iodine was discovered in 1811, and used to treat goiter shortly thereafter.

Dr. David Brownstein surveyed his own thyroid patients and discovered that 96 percent of them were deficient in iodine. He subsequently wrote:

"Without adequate iodine levels,

life itself is not possible”

He is correct, but there are several cautions to consider before considering iodine supplementation. One is the role of selenium in thyroid dysfunction, the other is the presence of other “halogens” in the thyroid sufferer.


Iodine is one of the elements known as "Halogens" on the periodic table. The halogens, in order of their atomic weight, are:

  • Flourine

  • Chlorine

  • Bromine

  • Iodine

  • Astatine

The higher-order halogens displace the lower-order halogens from their cell receptors. Consequently, to ensure that iodine can operate effectively in the body, particularly in making proper thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland, it is necessary to remove or reduce the higher-order halogens.

Supplementing iodine without first removing or reducing atoms of fluoride, chlorine, and bromine can become pointless, and this is part of the reason for following the specified order of the steps within the Nixon Seven Step Protocol.

In effect, fluoride, chlorine and bromine displace iodine, and occupy the free receptors. For instance, where there is insufficient iodine in the body, the thyroid gland will take fluoride atoms and bind them to tyrosine molecules to make fake thyroid hormone. This fake thyroid hormone will not work in the human body but will be measured as thyroid hormone in blood tests.

Fluoride and Chlorine

Fluoride and chlorine are in most municipal water schemes, and even with filtering of drinking water in some homes, there is still a huge physical contact with fluoridated water through baths and showers. The impact of fluoride is increased by the fact that we generally use heated water to bathe in. And as we do we are breathing in fluoride and chlorine atoms.


We are generally aware of fluoride and chlorine but most are completely unaware of toxic exposure to bromine. What is it? How are we exposed to it? Is it really an issue to most people?

As recently as August 2018, a “Special Investigation” by Jamie Lincoln Kitman reported at “nation.com” regarding “Brominated Flame Retardants” which contained the halogen bromine, which conflicted directly with iodine and hence, with thyroid hormone,

In 1977, Arlene Blum and Bruce Ames, two chemists at the University of California, Berkeley, published a report in Science magazine whose damning subtitle plainly stated: “The main flame retardant in children’s pajamas is a mutagen and should not be used.”

Flame retardants soon found their way into a dizzying array of household items: not just furniture but carpeting and flooring materials, bedding, baby products, computers, televisions, and other electronic equipment, as well as cars, boats, and aircraft.”

That “new car smell” is a typical expression of bromine atoms circulating in the air within new cars, and directly reduces thyroid hormone in the human body, especially of babies and young people, and especially when being breathed in when the car has been sitting in hot sun. But bromine atoms are constantly being given off by new carpets in the home, and by children’s pajamas, and other common products within the home.

Iodine in Bread

Iodine was added to bread as a way of assisting the rising process. Two slices of bread provided more than the RDA for iodine. But around 1970, iodine was replaced with bromine.

Iodised Salt

Iodine was also added to salt, but more recently there has been less emphasis in health articles on iodised salt. In fact, iodine will evaporate significantly from salt as soon as the package is opened.

Adrenal Glands

Importantly, it is also critical to measure and balance the adrenal gland secretions prior to considering any thyroid hormone supplementation. Dr. David Brownstein consistently states:

  • One third of his thyroid patients require no further thyroid supplementation

  • one-third require far less thyroid supplementation

  • one-third need to continue with their thyroid supplementation at the same levels.

Companion Nutrients

Lynne Farrow, best-selling author of “The Iodine Crisis” coined the term “Companion Nutrients”, being vitamins and other nutrients that should be consumed in conjunction with iodine. I recommend her book highly, as well as that by Dr. David Brownstein "Iodine: Why We Need It, Why We Can't Live Without It"

Dr. Brownstein has stated that, of 6,000 patients that he has tested, 96% were found to be iodine deficient, and he said in Melbourne, Australia in February, 2016 that he was now prescribing more and more iodine, and less and less thyroid supplementation.

every cell in the body requires iodine.

In Lynne Farrow's experience, many women with fibrocystic breasts have recovered by taking iodine supplementation. The breasts are large users of iodine, and there are also more women suffering from thyroid disease that do men. Is this linked?

Iodine deficiency is far more prevalent in the modern age than it ever was in the time of Lugol, who developed a mixture now know as "Lugol's Solution", being 15% iodide and 10% iodine, in distilled water. This solution has been in use since 1829, and is an effective treatment for a multitude of health issues, including bacterial, fungal, virucidal, and parasitical ailments. The reason for iodide and iodine is that different cells in the body use one or the other of these two forms. For instance, the thyroid gland uses iodide, and the breasts use iodine.

Depending upon the dosage strength, iodine kills 25 strains of Streptococcus and 3 strains of bacillus in under 30 seconds, 8 strains of candida in 2 minutes (some in only 10 seconds), and 4 strains of Klebsiella in a minute.  In a study with iodine, 31 different organisms were tested, and 29 were killed within 3 minutes.

The body uses two different forms of iodine:

  • Iodide is the main constituent in thyroid hormone

  • Iodine is used by the breast and other organs.

Approximately 80 percent of thyroid hormone produced within the thyroid gland is T4 (4 iodine atoms), and 20 percent being T3 (2 iodine atoms). The other thyroid hormones, T2 and T1 are produced in peripheral tissues by the removal and recycling of iodine atoms from T4 and T3. These groups of iodine atoms are bound to one molecule of the amino acid Tyrosine.