Recently, I read some troubling statistics about thyroid disease and breast cancer. More specifically, the connection between dosing a patient with thyroid hormones without getting to the underlying cause of the thyroid condition. Which oftentimes is an iodine deficiency, especially for people suffering with hypothyroid and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
According to an article in the Journal of Cancer, breast cancer diagnosis is increasing at an accelerated rate for young women between the age of 25-39 as well as women aged 40-54, and iodine insufficiency is implicated in that increase.
The glands in the breast compete with the thyroid gland for iodine. If there is insufficient iodine this not only negatively affects the production of thyroid hormone, but the health of the breasts as well.
Modern medical science, instead of testing thyroid patients for iodine deficiency and addressing their diet, immediately puts them on thyroid hormones. Thus, increasing the patients risk for breast cancer by a whopping 50%.
“Administration of thyroid hormone to iodine-deficient women appears to increase the risk of developing breast cancer. In a group of women undergoing screening mammograms the incidence of breast cancer was twice as high in the women taking thyroid hormone for hypothyroidism than in women not taking thyroid supplements. The incidence of breast cancer was twice as high in women taking thyroid hormone for more than 15 years (19.5%) compared to those on thyroid hormones for only 5 years (10%). 
The US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health already understand this critical information, but it hasn’t been put on the table yet – so to speak. “One area in which thyroid and breast functions overlap is in the uptake and utilization of dietary iodide. Experimental findings showing the ability of iodine or iodine-rich seaweed to inhibit breast tumor development is supported by the relatively low rate of breast cancer in Japanese women who consume a diet containing iodine-rich seaweed.”
This is a BIG reason why I’m an advocate for using good food sources of dietary iodine like seaweed and seafoods in the recipes and recommendations I share with my clients that are suffering from thyroid disease. Not only will those iodine-rich recipes support and heal a malfunctioning thyroid gland, but it also supports the health of their breasts and prevents cancer.
With that being said, below are some of my favorite iodine-rich recipes to nourish your thyroid and your breasts (by the way… this goes for men too).
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Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.