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Cats, Hyperthyroidism and Bromine Toxicity

The U.S. EPA reported (Reuters, 8.15.07) a study that showed common chemicals (polybrominated diphenyl ethers– PBDE’s) found in nearly all our homes are contributing to a rash of thyroid problems in pets. This class of chemicals is used as a fire retardant. PBDE’s are also found in a variety of household items including computers, televisions, carpeting, furniture and mattresses. PBDE’s are made from bromine.

Bromine, is from the family of halides. This chemical family contains iodine, fluoride and chlorine as well. The reason we are seeing such a high prevalence of iodine deficiency and thyroid disorders in humans is due, in large part, to the excess exposure of bromine from our modern conveniences. Bromine exposure causes our bodies to excrete iodine. If we don’t supplement with extra iodine, bromine will bind to receptors in the body that are supposed to be binding iodine. In effect, bromine will replace iodine throughout the body.

What are the consequences of excess bromine levels? The consequences are severe; increased rate of cancer of the breast, thyroid, ovaries, uterus and prostate are due, in part, to bromine toxicity. Also, we are seeing dramatically increased rates of autoimmune illnesses including autoimmune thyroid disorders. My experience has clearly shown, as compared to those without a serious illness, those with a serious illness have markedly elevated bromine levels.

In the study of pets, household cats were found to have high bromine levels. What is the consequence to cats? Unfortunately, cats are now suffering from an epidemic of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism in cats used to be a rare condition. The researchers found PBDE’s in 100% of the cats studied (23 cats). In the cats with hyperthyroidism, their PBDE levels were much higher.

So, what can you do? The main treatment for excess bromine is to avoid bromine exposure. Eat food that does not contain bromine such as organic fruits and vegetables. Avoid bread, pasta and cereal that contain brominated flour. Next, supplement with enough iodine to allow your body to detox from bromine. Finally, supplement with items that help your detoxification system function optimally. Vitamins C and E as well as unrefined salt and selenium can help.

Bromine toxicity is occurring in a large number of patients. Educate yourself about bromine. Then take the proper steps to help your body detoxify from it. Much more information about this process can be found in my book, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, 4th Edition.

Ref: David Brownstein, M.D


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