Friday, May 13, 2011

Bromide Dominance – A National Health Crisis

Recent research clearly demonstrates that big pharma “science” has misled doctors and the public at large about iodine. Big pharma spin-doctors have in fact named Iodine as the underlying factor for numerous diseases, and have even assigned an “ism” to this naturally-occurring substance that our bodies very much need.

Iodism is now defined as “poisoning caused by sensitivity to or overuse of iodine or its compounds,” consumers are being encouraged to avoid iodine.
But the truth is that if you avoid consuming iodine you do so at your own peril.

Bromide Dominance Theory

The situation is more complex, and bromide is the culprit, not iodine. In recent years, increased exposure to bromide has caused dangerous levels of iodine depletion. Many people are so depleted that they have no tolerance for taking iodine supplements any longer without taking appropriate precautions.
Bromide is an insidious additive used in many consumer products, and as a pesticide. Because of the sheer number of bromide-supplemented products, exposure to this man-made additive has caused a depletion of iodine in human populations. Studies in lab animals provide alarming evidence that even small amounts of bromide exposure can be toxic.
A bromide dominance condition may develop when bromide, acquired through environmental, occupational or dietary exposure, causes bromide levels in the body to rise high enough to inhibit iodine enzyme metabolism.
Where does bromide come from? Bromide comes from the food we eat—especially bread—from drinking water, and from toothpaste, mouthwash, flame-retardants, hair dye and other sources.

Potassium Bromate in Bread

Potassium bromate, an additive included in many commercial bread and baked goods, provides the most devastating contribution to bromide overload in Western cultures. Bromated flour is a product “enriched” with potassium bromate.
Many commercial bakers use bromated flour because it yields dependable results, and because it makes more elastic dough, which can stand up to bread hooks and other commercial baking tools.
In the 1960′s, a single slice of bread in the USA contained the full RDA of 0.15 mg iodine. The risk for breast cancer was then 1 in 20. Over the last several decades, iodine was largely replaced by bromine in the form of potassium bromate in the bread making process.
Bromine blocks thyroid function and interferes with the anticancer effect of iodine. Today, the risk for breast cancer is 1 in 8 and increasing by one percent each year.

Bromide in Bread Banned in UK and Canada

In 1990 the UK banned bromate in bread. Canada followed suite in 1994. The United States has yet to take a similar action in this important matter.

Bromide in Drinking Water

When drinking water containing bromide is exposed to ozone, bromate ion, a powerful oxidizing agent, is formed. Two significant recalls of drinking water involving bromate have occurred: 1) Wegmann’s Food You Feel Good About Spring Water in 2006; and 2) Coca-Cola’s Dasani in 2004.

Toothpaste and Mouthwash

Potassium bromate is used as an antiseptic and astringent in toothpaste and mouthwash. This highly toxic substance may cause bleeding and inflammation of gums.

Flame Retardants

Bromated flame retardants reduce the flammability of a wide variety of commercial and household products. Unfortunately the bromide used in some home retardants does not stay put. Instead, it finds its way into the environment and into the human body.

Personal Care Products and Cosmetics

Sodium bromate is ubiquitous in permanent wave neutralizers, hair dyes and textile dyes, and many other cosmetic and home care products.

Effects of Elevated Bromide Levels

Elevated bromide levels have a deleterious effect on human organs, specifically the thyroid and kidneys, and skin. Bromide exposure is also related to renal failure and, perhaps most tragically, to mental aberrations.


Elevated bromide levels have been implicated in every thyroid disease, from simple hypothyroidism to auto-immune diseases to thyroid cancer.


The ability of bromate to cause cancer, especially kidney cancer, is a significant health concern.


Prolonged exposure to bromide or bromide related products may cause lesions on the face and scalp, as well as open sores on the trunk and extremities.

Hearing Loss

Potassium bromate, the popular bread additive, is known to cause renal damage and permanent deafness in animals and man. The lower frequency range is most often affected.

Mental Aberrations

Psychiatry literature abounds with cases of elevated bromide levels implicated in mental conditions ranging from depression to schizophrenia.

Serious Questions

If iodine deficiency is the underlying cause of many diseases, is bromide “the underlying cause of the underlying cause?”
Because iodine was not supplemented much before the last three years, few physicians have had a chance to look closely at the occasional symptoms which arise from iodine supplementation (still called “iodism”) and raise questions.
Might the historical observation of iodism be due principally to massive amounts of stored bromine leaving the tissues and entering the bloodstream?
Is it possible that the apparent adverse effects of iodine are due almost exclusively due to bromide excretion, and that consequently not enough iodine-alone effects can be documented to qualify as an “ism”?
And finally, might the iodism phenomenon be more appropriately called “bromism”?

FDA’s Evasive Answer

Back in 1999, the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the FDA to prohibit the use of potassium bromate, charging that the FDA has known for years that bromate causes cancer in lab animals, but has failed to ban it. In September, 2007, the US FDA responded to Breast Cancer Choices inquiry with the statement, “Potassium Bromate is still listed as a safe additive.”


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4) Abraham,G.E., The Original Internist, 11:17-36, 2004.
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6) Abraham, G.E., Flechas, J.D., Hakala, J.C., The Original Internist, 9:30-41, 2002.


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