I’m adamant that food toxins shouldn’t be discussed during dinner, but since none of us are eating right now, I’ll tell you about perchlorate.
As you already know your thyroid produces hormones that…
- give you energy,
- improve mood,
- regulate heart rhythm,
- stimulate hair growth
- and help you burn fat.
But when you eat or drink foods contaminated with perchlorate they compete with iodine preventing uptake, and this reduces your thyroid function.
These pervasive toxins inhibit the “sodium-iodide symporter” and, in fact, perchlorate is sometimes even given intravenously in order to test for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Regardless of whether you eat it, drink it or are exposed to it during a test, perchlorate can lead to hypothyroidism and the weight gain, fatigue and infertility that goes with it.
Perchlorate is practically everywhere
The National Institute of Health describes perchlorate as a natural and man-made colorless, odorless chemical commonly used to make pool chlorination chemicals and chlorine-derived cleaners, rocket flares, fireworks, military munitions, blasting agents, matches, car air bag inflators, batteries, fertilizers, chewing tobacco, aluminum refining, and more.
Yep, this stuff is pretty much EVERYWHERE!
As a result, perchlorate has contaminated our groundwater supply. People living on the East coast, in the southwest and in California and Texas have the highest environmental exposures to these toxins and the foods grown there are most contaminated.
Foods that tend to have the highest levels of perchlorate are…
- vegetables (lettuce, asparagus, kale, spinach)
Leafy greens, rich in natural folate, typically have a LOT of perchlorate present if they’re grown in perchlorate-contaminated water!
Choosing “organic” produce won’t make a difference when it comes to reducing perchlorate exposure, but there still are other benefits so keep eating them.
Perchlorate has a fast turn-over in the body which prompts the Perchlorate Information Bureau to reports that low levels of these chemicals in drinking water and food supplies aren’t dangerous to human health.
Even the FDA says it’s no biggie: FDA is not recommending that consumers of any age alter their diet or eating habits due to perchlorate.
Thyroid disrupting toxin linked to low IQ
I disagree. The first study of its kind recently evaluated perchlorate exposure in pregnant women to see what happened to brain development in offspring. Scientists included 487 expectant mothers—all hypothyroid—measuring their perchlorate levels during the first trimester.
The women tested positive for perchlorate, and were all iodine deficient. No surprise there, remember, iodine is bullied off the receptor sites in the presence of perchlorate. Iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism.
Researchers followed the women who had the highest perchlorate levels during pregnancy through birth and until their children were 3 years old.
The toddlers all had diminished cognitive development and were in the lowest 10th percentile of IQ. I wonder how many of these moms had experienced a miscarriage during their life, as hypothyroidism is a common (but sadly missed) cause of miscarriage.
What’s so interesting is that thyroid medications were employed, and in fact, use of thyroid medications by moms with the highest perchlorate exposure did not even help offset the lower IQ in their children. The medicine didn’t even matter.
What you can do to combat perchlorate exposure
If you’re concerned about perchlorate exposure, making sure you have enough iodine and selenium in your diet may help reduce their damage.
The charts below can help you do that…
|Good food sources of iodine|
|sea vegetables (such as seaweed and kelp)|
|wild caught cod|
|organic navy beans|
|organic turkey breast|
|Good food sources of selenium|
|Organic Brazil nuts|
|grass fed liver|
|wild caught tuna|
|organic sunflower seeds|
You can also remove perchlorate from your drinking water using a reverse osmosis filter. You can find them online or in some hardware stores.
In addition to writing a syndicated column on health which reaches 20 million people each week, Suzy is the author of a number of books on natural health.
You may have seen Suzy on The Dr. OZ Show (6 different appearances), The View, The Doctors, Good Morning America Health and hundreds of morning shows. Quotes from Suzy, as well as her articles, have also appeared in major publications including Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, OK Magazine!, First for Women, Fitness, Natural Health and Better Homes & Garden and dozens more.
Read more from Suzy at suzyCohen.com
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