It has long been known that women in Southeast Asia much less likely to develop breast cancer than in Western countries.Some researchers suspect that this could be related to the increased iodine intake. A study seems now to confirm this.
That iodine deficiency can lead to problems with the thyroid gland, is well known. Less common is the idea that the amount of iodine intake can also have an effect on breast cancer risk. Epidemiological data led several years ago to suspect that there might be this effect of iodine, because in countries of Southeast Asia ill women about five times less likely to breast cancer than for example in US. Researchers suspect that this could be related not only with the consumption of soy, but also with the increased intake of iodine, because the people in Southeast Asia large amounts take kelp, seaweed and fish for themselves, which have a high content of iodine.
Animal studies have substantiated this relationship some time ago. With an increased intake of iodine through the diet the incidence of breast cancer was reduced by 70 percent in female rats. The latter has now been confirmed by a clinical pilot study. It was shown that in patients who were suffering from breast cancer, according to a four-week dose of four milligrams of iodine per day, the growth rate of tumors was reduced by 50 percent. At the same time more carcinoma cells were significantly died. An increased iodine intake could be not only a promising approach for the prevention of breast cancer, then, but also as an adjuvant therapy for existing breast cancers be suitable.
Professors are suspected that there are something common between the pathological mechanism of thyroid disease and breast cancer. Certain metabolic products of iodine seem both the growth of thyroid cells and to inhibit the cancer cell. However, the exact relationships are still unexplored. Although a possible antioxidant protective function of iodide was discussed in recent years, making the so-called free radicals dismantled and could be rendered harmless, which in turn can lead to malignant changes in cells and genetic material. But this thesis is not established yet.