Does Real Salt have the iodine we need?

If you had been on a certain bridge in Sarajevo in late June of 1914, you might have been unfortunate enough to witness the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. If you were particularly savvy, you might have predicted that the assassination would change the world forever–it was the spark that ignited the first world war–but you probably wouldn’t have guessed that it would also change salt forever.

A few years later, the United States military noticed something about the young men from America’s Midwest: many of them were unfit for service because of enlarged thyroid glands. A panel established to determine the cause discovered that soil in the Midwest (and therefore much of the region’s population) had become iodine deficient. Without iodine we humans tend to develop goiter, and as any general knows, men with goiter make poor soldiers.

So a group of Very Smart People set about finding ways to supplement our diet with iodine. (We could have started eating more fish, seaweed, cow’s milk, onion, garlic, pineapple, or artichokes, but Very Smart People have always thought that relying on nature is old-fashioned.) Eventually, these Very Smart People discovered that potassium iodide could be added to table salt, and as long as they also added sugar (dextrose) to prevent the iodide from yellowing the salt, the population wouldn’t be able to tell much difference.

Fortunately, another group of smart people has more recently examined the usefulness of iodized table salt and found it to be less effective than the Very Smart People had hoped. Dr. David Brownstein and others have discovered the iodine added to salt is at best about 10% bio-available — which means that if you consume 100 micrograms, your body will only be able to use 10 micrograms. Iodine that occurs naturally in food is almost 100% bio-available.

I know, you’re thinking I’m dodging the question. Here’s the answer. Real Salt does contain naturally-occurring iodine, but not enough to satisfy the recommended daily allowance of 150 micrograms. Real Salt doesn’t provide the recommended daily allowance of protein, either. Or fat. Because nature intended salt to provide our bodies with sodium chloride and trace minerals!

So, instead of using chemically-processed, unhealthy salt in order to get iodine, we like to stick with Real Salt and get naturally occurring iodine from other delicious sources like kelp, yogurt, eggs, strawberries, and mozzarella cheese. Yum!

• Dr. Brownstein’s books Salt Your Way to Health and Iodine: Why You Need It
The World’s Healthiest Foods
• Everyone’s favorite source, Wikipedia

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7 Responses to “Does Real Salt have the iodine we need?”

  1. Sonya December 9, 2010 at 5:34 am #

    Is it safe to use as a salt water flush?? Table salt is not good, I have been using sea salt non iodine which is in a box like the regular salt.. I was wondering is ok to use real salt…

  2. Real Salt December 13, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Definitely, Sonya! Real Salt is a popular choice for people interested in salt flushes, and many salt flush websites recommend Real Salt by brand because of its natural balance and mineral content.

  3. Mary LeRoy February 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Can you use Real Salt to make sole?

  4. Real Salt February 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    You bet! You can use granular, kosher or coarse. Once the water has dissolved as much salt as it will hold (water can only hold 26% NaCl) the rest of the salt will sit at the bottom of the container until more water is added. If you use a pint jar, add about 1/4 cup of Real Salt, wait an hour or so, and you will have sole (salt water at 26% NaCl). You can also use larger crystals of Real Salt, but the fine, kosher, or coarse crystals will give you the same sole solution.

  5. Jo October 16, 2015 at 7:47 am #

    How does Real Salt compare with other quality salts, most specifically Himalayan Pink Salt?

  6. Kim King October 16, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    Hi Jo,

    We have a great comparison on our website here – – and we also recommend a great blog post by Lauren at Empowered Sustenance –

  7. jean January 26, 2016 at 6:08 am #

    Hi why do we need iodized salt . We get so much salt in all the foods today.. sea salt any brand is ok? Tks sincerely Jean

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