Bioidentical Hormones 101 
The Book, by Jeffrey Dach MD

Chapter 23. Iodine Prevents and Treats Breast Cancer, Overwhelming Evidence

Breast Biopsy Iodine Prevents Breast Cancer by Jeffrey Dach MDChapter 23. Iodine Treats Breast Cancer, Overwhelming Evidence

Spontaneous Regression of Breast Cancer after Iodine Supplementation

In his Iodine book, David Brownstein MD reports three cases of spontaneous regression of breast cancer after iodine supplementation.(1) 

The first patient was a 63 year old English teacher.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989 and after declining conventional treatment, took 50 mg per day of Iodoral, (Iodine). Six weeks later, a PET scan showed "all of the existing tumors were disintegrating". 

The second patient was a 73 year old Delores.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, declined conventional treatment with radiation and chemotherapy, and instead, Dolores took 50 mg of Iodoral daily. A follow up ultrasound of the breast 18 months later showed," It appears that these malignancies have diminished in size since the last examination. Interval improvement is definitely seen".   Two years later, a follow up mammogram and ultrasound failed to show any abnormality and were read by the radiologist as normal. 

The third patient was 52 year old Joyce.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer two years prior, and started on Iodoral 50 mg per day.  Three years after starting Iodoral, her follow up mammograms and ultrasound exams show decreasing size of the tumor with no progression.(1)

Left Image: Surgeons performing a breast biopsy courtesy of the NIH, and wikimedia commons.

Iodine Deficiency Causes Breast Cancer - The Overwhelming Evidence

Human Studies of Dietary Iodine Intake

Iodine deficiency is associated with a higher rate of goiter and breast cancer.  Similarly, higher dietary Iodine intake is associated with less goiter and breast cancer.  For example, Japan has the highest dietary intake of iodine (several milligrams per day), and the lowest rates for goiter and breast cancer.  However, when Japanese women immigrate and change dietary intake of Iodine to the lower 150 mcg/day in America, breast cancer rates increase.(1)  Iceland is another country with high Iodine intake and low rates for goiter and breast cancer.  The high dietary iodine came from the fishing industry before World War One.  In those days, the fish meal was fed to dairy cows providing milk with high iodine content.  After World War One, the fish meal was eliminated from the dairy cows, and breast cancer rates soared ten-fold. (2) Iodine deficient diets in animals induces breast cancer and goiter.(1)

Important Point:

 Iodine supplementation is safe, and useful for prevention and treatment of breast cancer. 

Iodine Research from Mexico, India and Japan. 

The Shrivastava group in India reported molecular iodine induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human breast cancer cell cultures.  "Iodine showed cytotoxic effects in the cultured human breast cancer cells". (3)  From Mexico,  the Carmen Aceves Velasco Group reported Iodine to be safe, with no harmful effects on thyroid function, and an anti-proliferative effect on human breast cancer cell cultures. (5-7)  Their 2009 paper reported the mechanism by which Iodine works as an anti-cancer agent.  Iodine binds to membrane lipids called lactones forming iodo-lactones which regulate apoptosis (programmed cell death).  Iodine causes apoptosis which makes cancer cells undergo programmed cell death.(4) Dr. Aceves concluded that continuous molecular iodine treatment has a "potent antineoplastic effect" on the progression of mammary cancer. (10)  From Japan, Dr Funahashi reported a common seaweed food containing high iodine content is more beneficial than chemotherapy on breast cancer .   "He found that administration of Lugol’s iodine or iodine-rich Wakame seaweed to rats treated with the carcinogen dimethyl benzanthracene suppressed the development of mammary tumors. The same group demonstrated that seaweed induced apoptosis in human breast cancer cells with greater potency than that of fluorouracil, a chemotherapeutic agent used to treat breast cancer."(8)

Mechanism of Action

A 2008 paper by Bernard A. Eskin MD showed that Iodine actually altered gene expression in breast cancer cells, inducing programmed cell death. (9)  A 2003 study by Ling Zhang showed that molecular Iodine caused lung cancer cells to undergo programmed cell death (apoptosis).  These lung cancer cells had been genetically modified to increase iodine uptake.(12)  Interestingly, a 1993 case report describes spontaneous remission of lung cancer in a patient incidentally treated with Amiodorone which contains iodine (about 9 mg per day)(13)

In Conclusion: Current Iodine research calls for use of molecular Iodine for all patients with breast cancer. (10-11)  Other cancers such as lung and prostate may also benefit.  Further research on Iodine as cancer chemotherapy should receive top priority for NIH funding.  Iodine in the form of Iodoral tablets is available OTC, on the internet without a prescription.   

Financial Disclosure: The author has no financial interest in the Iodine Book mentioned above, or in any company that manufactures Iodine Supplements. 

For references and links, see my web site:

Articles With Related Interest

Iodine Prevent Breast Cancer Part One

Iodine Prevents Breast Cancer Part Two

Iodine Use in Graves Disease

References for Chapter 23. Iodine Treats Breast Cancer, Overwhelming Evidence

(1) Iodine, Why You Need It , Why You Can't Live Without It, by David Brownstein MD
Fourth Edition 2009, Medical Alternatives Press.

(2) Breast Cancer and Iodine by David M Derry MD PhD 2001 Trafford.

 (3) July 14, 2006 The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281, 19762-19771 Molecular Iodine Induces Caspase-independent Apoptosis in Human Breast Carcinoma Cells Involving the Mitochondria-mediated Pathway.  Ashutosh Shrivastava et al. 

Mol Cancer. 2009; 8: 33. Published online 2009 June 6. Antineoplastic effect of iodine in mammary cancer: participation of 6-iodolactone (6-IL) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR). Carmen Aceves et al.

THYROID Volume 17, Number 9, 2007. Uptake and Gene Expression with Antitumoral Doses of Iodine in Thyroid and Mammary Gland: Evidence That Chronic Administration Has No Harmful Effects. Carmen Aceves Velasco et al.

(6) Endocr Relat Cancer. 2006 Dec; 13 (4): 1147-58. Uptake and antiproliferative effect of molecular iodine in the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line.  C Aceves  et al. Querétaro, México.

(7) Signaling pathways involved in the antiproliferative effect of molecular iodine in normal and tumoral breast cells: evidence that 6-iodolactone mediates apoptotic effects. C Aceves et al. Querétaro  México.

RAPID COMMUNICATION Jpn. J. Cancer Res. 92, 483–487, May 2001 Seaweed Prevents Breast Cancer?  Hiroomi Funahashi et al. Japan.

(9) Int J Med Sci 2008; 5:189-196 . Iodine Alters Gene Expression in the MCF7 Breast Cancer Cell Line: Evidence for an Anti-Estrogen Effect of Iodine. Frederick R. Stoddard II1  et al.

Research Calls for Use of Molecular Iodine to Treat Breast Cancer. Market Wire, October, 2006

Cancer Causes and Control 11: 121±127, 2000. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Hypothesis: Iodine, selenium and the development of breast cancer. Stephen A. Cann , Johannes P. van Netten Christiaan van Netten.

Cancer research 2003;63(16):5065-72. Nonradioactive Iodide Effectively Induces Apoptosis in Genetically Modified Lung Cancer Cells1  Ling Zhang et al.

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1993 Aug 18;85(16):1342-3. Spontaneous remission of metastatic lung cancer following myxedema coma--an apoptosis-related phenomenon? Hercbergs A, Leith JT.

2000 Nature America Inc. The mammary gland iodide transporter is expressed during lactation and in breast cancer. Uygar H. Tazebay  et al.

(15) Dr. Sebastiano Venturi investigator on Iodine Deficiency Disorders and Iodine metabolism

(16) Is there a role for iodine in breast diseases? S. Venturi

The Effect of Supraphysiologic Levels of Iodine on Patients with Cyclic Mastalgia, Jack H. Kessler, PhD

(18) The thyroid, iodine and breast cancer by Peter PA Smyth, Breast Cancer Res 2003, 5:235-238

(19) Can J Surg. 1993 Oct;36(5):453-60. Iodine replacement in fibrocystic disease of the breast. Ghent WR, Eskin BA, Low DA, Hill LP. Department of Surgery, Queen's University, Hotel Dieu Hospital, Kingston, Ont.

(20) Guy Abraham Iodine Project Optimox

(21) George Flechas MD

(22) David Brownstein MD Iodine Book

(23) Jacob Teitelbaum MD on Iodine

(24) Extrathyroidal Benefits of Iodine by Donald W. Miller, Jr., M.D. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 11 Number 4 Winter 2006.

(25) Investigating the Relationship Between Iodine and the Breast Part 2:  What Are Iodine's Mechanisms of Action? Observations and  Theories. Breast Cancer Choices.

Part 3: What is the Effect of Iodine on Breast Cancer? Breast Cancer Choices.

Iodine and the Breast, Iodine for Health.

(28) Recent Advances in Iodine Nutrition by Michael Donaldson, PhD

(29) Iodine: Deficiency and Therapeutic Considerations Lyn Patrick, ND Alternative Medicine Review Volume 13, Number 2 2008

In vivo Radioiodide Imaging and Treatment of Breast Cancer Xenografts after MUC1-Driven Expression of the Sodium Iodide Symporter. Roisin M. Dwyer et al.  Clin Cancer Res February 15, 2005 11; 1483.

Jeffrey Dach MD
7450 Griffin Road Suite 190
Davie, Florida 33314

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