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Iodine and Antibiotics

Published on November 15, 2009


A great feeling of security for a parent comes from administering a medicinal like iodine. It is what I give my children instead of dangerous antibiotics when they are sick. It is what I use when the first symptoms of flu approach and it does spare one the worst of that misery. After we understand that iodine is an excellent antiviral, antibacterial, anti fungal, mold and yeast agent we begin to glimpse the catastrophic mistake made for substituting pharmaceutical antibiotics for iodine.

Antibiotics do not kill yeast but they certainly can kill people on occasion.[1] Not only do some antibiotics increase the risk of sudden cardiac death but sometimes they lead to liver compromise and failure. Despite the ever-widening use of antibiotics the National Center for Infectious Disease and the Centers for Disease Control announced that the U.S. death rate from infectious disease increased by more than 50% between 1980 and 1992, making it the third leading cause of death.

Studies have documented the association between increased rates of antimicrobial use and development of resistant infections thus doctors who prescribe antibiotics irrationally should be rebuked. There is a growing consensus among infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists and control experts from the U.S. and Europe about the dark side of antibiotic use. In the right form iodine is every mother’s cherished medicinal heavyweight because it can save a child where antibiotics, often today, will not.

According to several studies, obstetricians and gynecologists write 2,645,000 antibiotic prescriptions every week. Internists prescribe 1,416,000 per week. This works out to 211,172,000 prescriptions annually in the United States, just for these two specialties. Pediatricians prescribe over $500 million worth of antibiotics annually just for one condition, ear infections. Yet topical povidone iodine (PVP-I) is as effective as topical ciprofloxacin, with a superior advantage of having no in vitro drug resistance and the added benefit of reduced cost of treatment.[2]

Many women find after taking antibiotics, they get vaginal yeast infections (because their normal bacterial balance has been lost). Antibiotics bring on fungal and yeast infections thus will eventually be seen as one additional cause of cancer since more and more oncologists are seeing yeast and fungal infections as an integral part of cancer and its cause. With upwards of 40 percent of all cancers thought to be involved with and caused by infections[3] the subject of antibiotics and the need for something safer, more effective and life serving is imperative.

Every day, new strains of bacteria, fungi, and otherpathogenic microorganisms are becoming resistant to theantibiotics that once dispatched them with extreme prejudice

Learn to diagnose yourself so you can treat yourself and your loved ones! Learn More

Though it kills 90 percent of bacteria on the skin within 90 seconds its use as an antibiotic has been ignored. Iodine exhibits activity against bacteria, molds, yeasts, protozoa, and many viruses; indeed, of all antiseptic preparations suitable for direct use on humans and animals and upon tissues, only iodine is capable of killing all classes of pathogens: gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, yeasts, viruses and protozoa. Most bacteria are killed within 15 to 30 seconds of contact.

Iodine is by far the best antibiotic,antiviral and antiseptic of all time.– Dr. David  Derry

Dr. Derry says that iodine is effective “for standard pathogens such as Staphylococcus, but also iodine has the broadest range of action, fewest side effects and no development of bacterial resistance.” There is a world of difference between using an antibiotic – anti-life substance – and a antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal substance like iodine, which is life serving because it is a basic and most necessary nutritional substance.

Iodine kills single celled organisms by combining with the amino acids tyrosine or histidine when they are exposed to the extra-cellular environment. All single cells showing tyrosine on their outer cell membranes are killed instantly by a simple chemical reaction with iodine that denatures proteins. Nature and evolution have given us an important mechanism to control pathogenic life forms and we should use it and trust it to protect us in ways that antibiotics can’t.

[1] Ray WA, et al. (2004). Oral erythromycin and the risk of sudden death from cardiac causes. New England Journal of Medicine, 351(11): 1080–1096. A recent large study indicates that people who take erythromycin along with certain common medications may increase their risk of sudden cardiac death.

[2] Evaluation of topical povidone-iodine in chronic suppurative otitis media; Java C et al; Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003 Oct;129(10):1098-100 ; Entrez Pubmed

[3] A major U.S. scientist says cancer – always believed to be caused by genetic cell mutations — can in reality be caused by infections from viruses, bacteria, yeasts, molds and fungus parasites. “I believe that, conservatively, 15 to 20 percent of all cancer is caused by infections; however, the number could be larger — maybe double,” said Dr. Andrew Dannenberg, director of the Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.” Dr. Dannennberg made the remarks in a speech in December 2007 at the annual international conference of the American Association for Cancer Research.

# # # #

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Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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  • Phillip Ooi

    Is there a way to use iodine as an ear drop? I am not sure of the right amt of combination to use? Suggestions?

  • Marvin

    I use Lugosi all time dilute in Gatorade whenever I feel sinus infection coming on I start downing the lugols. I am allergic to almost every antibiotic there is, so I had to find an alternative. My husband was on antibiotics for over 6 months with prostate infection in two weeks of taken lugols I’m talking a lot he took 35 drops mixed in Gatorade 4 times a day it knock the infection out. This was when the lugols was twice as strong as it is today! This stuff works on anything!

    • Lucian Toma

      How many mg per drop please?

  • Lisa McVay

    My just turned 3 year old daughter was running a high temp (103) for 4 nights. Dr diagnosed dbl ear infection (was not there 3 days ago when we checked it at dr), and of course prescribed antibiotics. I have nascent iodine, and have been giving her in between 4 and 8 drops 2-3 times a day for past two days…is this enough, and if so, how soon should I expect before it works? I’m hesitant to use antibiotics bc I’m pretty sure she already has candida, and I worry about the resistance bc this is her 3rd ear infection in 6 months. She weighs 29 pounds. Any guidance would be helpful. I looked at the dosages article, but was unable to discern what the proper amount for her would be. Thank you! Lisa

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear Lisa,

      The dosage given was probably too low. Dr. Sircus believes in using pretty high dosages of iodine. Iodine can also be used as ear drops and has been found to be effective for ear infections, in fact without the antibiotic side effects.

      However you would need a consultation with Dr. Sircus to get specific instructions. Hopefully you child is better now. You should also consider giving her regular amounts of iodine since these infections are recurrant. Magnesium levels also need to be maintained.

  • Murriah

    I have had half of my thyroid removed about eleven years ago and have been synthetic thyroid since. I took myself off for four months just to see if my left lobe was putting out enough. My hair started falling very badly and I was very tired along with weight gain. So I have returned to synthroid.can I take iodine with it and how much?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      People with full or partial thyroid removal can use iodine but should only do so under a competant health care providers direction.

  • Melinda

    I have a very bad yeast infection. Nothing has helped. I’ve tried almost every thing. I have a 6 month old baby that I nurse. He has also developed an extremely bad yeast infection all over his body. Nothing is helping him either. I have hypothyroidism and am familiar with iodine. Can I aply it topically on both of us? I am so so despareate for a cure! Nothing has helped yet. Please let me know.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear Melinda,

      You can try iiodine transdermally (on your skin) but it would be best if you obtained a consultation with Dr. Sircus for the baby’s sake.

      You may need a combination of things to combat this yeast infection and that would include sodium bicarbonate.

    • Sarah

      Grapefruit seed extract

  • Marlene Stec Jones

    Thank you a mil Claudia.

    I’m very sorry to say, where I live now, in the selva, the town doctors are not well-suited to my way of life or thinking. I seek out remedies on my own, and appreciate the good sense and wisdom of people like Mark Sircus. I dint know that people have used sod bicarb on animals, I can seek that information out. Isn’t the net a blessing for this?
    I’m going to take care of him with nascent iodine, and bicarb added to the feed. Perhaps it comes from his teeth, which I do have filed but there is no professional cleaning of the mouth. I do it myself and perhaps will use the iodine for that as well. I do use a lot of Probiotics :). Just saying….and you were generou with your time and thoughts. muchisimas gracias!

  • Marlene Stec Jones

    Dr. Mark and staff,
    Congratulations on your new Eden!

    I had my thyroid removed. Maybe a mistake. Due to too many biopsies, which were nasty and cold nodules. I have been seeking answers to the iodine question. May I take iodine?
    I also have a Paso Fino that was diagnosed with COPD. The professor veterinarian knew that I was against the steroid and anitobiotics – myself I have not taken one for over 40 years – and I used calcium for alkanalization, Vitamin C, molecula silver and then found a device that used sound resonance to break the mucus barrier and open the bronchial tubes. It does work rather well, but the fungus or bacteria is what I want to attack. Can you tell that I love this creature with all my heart?
    One of the old remedies for lung ailment, which seems so common now in Puerto Rico, is aloe,raw honey, rum and lime. I changed the rum to Ancient Minerals for him. Probably the hay, which is his staple diet, is not grown in optimal conditions. There was NO coughing that night! I used about a teaspoon of Anc. Minerals in the batch.
    I’d like to start to nebulize with nascent iodine or sodium bicarb to go to the source in the lung.
    I knew that antiobiotics would lower his immunity at the time he needed it most and I wouldn’t take them; why would I give them to my darling horse. It’s rather cold and damp in the jungle here at night which exacerbates and provides the conditions fo rfungus to live.
    Would you suggest starting nebulizing with nascent iodine or the sodium bicarb or both? And might I put some sodium bicarb in his feed? He’s relly in good shape but I want to get get into the lung to get deep to the cause. Any suggestions or information is appreciated. I will do whatever it takes. Thank you so much. This is all just amazing. All the answers are right in front of our faces –
    Love and Strength

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear Marlene,

      If you have no thyroid you will need to take iodine under proper health care supervision. Perhaps you could consult with Dr. Sircus or with your own physician or naturopath.

      We don’t know a lot about horses and their metabolism. It probably wouldn’t hurt to nebulize with sodium bicarbonate or iodine but we suggest you seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian. Many people include sodium bicarbonate in the foods of their animals but not sure how much is added. Animals have shown better nurtirional effects when this is included.

      You might also go to Facebook and ask Dr. Sircus there:

      Your horse is very lucky to have you!!!

  • tanja Chester

    Hi, can iodine thru the blood penetrate into bone marrow? After discontinuing antibiotics for a bone infection in my thumb, and upping doses of all my imnmune system boosting products at home, I have been experiencing cold chills in my forearms, which shift and increase and decrease from day to day. I feel relatively well, but have night sweats, and now after 2 days of dramatically increasing the iodine I was taking from 5 drops once a day to 6 x 20 drops to really get aggressive with this situation. Now things are feeling tingly in the arms, and not as horribly chilled as before.
    I have had this bone infection for over 7 weeks. I really want to beat this thing.
    If anyone has any related information I would greatly appreciate it.

  • Jim

    Can you provide a more detailed description on how iodine kills pathogens? I purchased Dr Brownstein’s 4th edition book, and there is almost no explanation in it, on how it kills pathogens, when taken orally. I also purchased Dr Sircus’s ebook, and I’m still confused, on how it works when taken orally. Does the iodine circulate in the blood killing pathogens, or does it concentrate in the thyroid, where the blood circulates through the thyroid every 17 minutes acting, as a type of blood filter? Also in Mark Sircus’s ebook on iodine, it doesn’t say how iodine kills fungus, it just says that it kills fungus, and fungus is harmful, but does not provide a detailed description in the book. How does Iodine kill fungus like candida?

    On the jcrows website the largest supplier of Lugols Iodine online it states:

    “Iodine is necessary for the thyroid gland’s proper performance of its work. The human thyroid gland is located in the front of the lower part of the neck. All the blood in the body passes through the thyroid gland every 17 minutes. Because the cells making up this gland have an affinity for iodine, during this 17-minute passage the gland’s secretion of iodine kills weak germs that may have gained entry into the blood through an injury to the skin, the lining of nose or throat, or through absorption of food from the digestive tract. Strong, virulent germs are rendered weaker during their passage through the thyroid gland. With each 17 minutes that rolls around they are made still weaker until finally they are killed if the gland has its normal supply of iodine. If it does not, it cannot kill harmful germs circulating in the blood as Nature intended it should.”

    Also what does the company think of the new “Electridine” product recommended by David Wolfe They are claiming it has 45 mg of iodine per drop, based on the Edgar Cayce formula, I’m not sure if that is true or not or just marketing hype. It doesn’t seem possible to have 45 mg per drop, when all the other products only have 200/400 mcg, or 6.25 mg per drop.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      According to Dr. David Derry, prominent doctor and researcher on iodine:

      How Does Iodine Kill Germs? Dr. Derry wrote that researchers think free iodine reacts with one or both of two amino acids, “tyrosine” and “histidine.” The reaction between the iodine and the amino acids alters the natural structure of proteins that contain the amino acids (that is, the reaction “denatures” the proteins). If the altered proteins are part of the cell wall of bacteria and viruses, or is a crucial enzyme within them, then altering the proteins kills the germs.

      The stomach mucosal lining takes up iodine from the blood. It then secretes it into stomach cavities. According to Dr. Derry, “Free iodine in the stomach kills bacteria and viruses and it deactivates biological and chemical toxins.”

      Also, volatile iodine in the lungs may also enter the bronchial tubes and protect against germs there. This might protect against air borne viruses the way iodine aerosol sprays do.

      He goes on to say, “Overall, we see there is a complex integrated system for protecting humans from viral or bacterial invasions via oral, nasal, and gastrointestinal routes. This system depends on taking adequate iodine orally.”

      We are not familiar with the product you mentioned, but will look into it.

  • Corwin

    I have urethritis and I have done over a thousand dollars of lab work and there is still no explanation for the cause of this condition. I have purchased three fluid ounces of Nascent Iodine for topical treatment, which caused cytotoxicity on the surface layer of my private. Is it more recommended that I dilute the Nascent Iodine and soak my urethra in it, or is oral supplementation the best route for treating this, or is this not an effective way to treat this at all?

    • IMVA Staff


      Try the iodine orally and if that doesn’t hellp you should request a private consultation with Dr. Sircus.

      Claudia French

  • Bennett

    This is very interesting. I am confused however from the description of how iodine kills pathogens. Are you saying that iodine simply causes a chemical reaction with pathogens when it mixes with their outer surface proteins? And this is true for all pathogens??

    Thank you very much for all this info.

    Bennett O’B

    • IMVA Staff

      Hi Bennett,

      Iodine kills bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and even the spores of bacteria and fungi including anthrax spores.

      According to Dr. David Derry M.D., PhD, one of the experts on iodine, it is the free iodine that is detrimental to germs. He states:
      “Free iodine is believed to react with the amino acids tyrosine and/or histidine at low concentrations.
      The reaction denatures proteins and causes the death of cells.”

      Claudia French

      • Tony

        I’m not an expert, but it seems to me that by denaturing the proteins in the cell wall of a bacteria or virus, the iodine is compromising the structural integrity of the targeted cell, thus causing it to collapse or “die”. By the same denaturing process the iodine would also destroy any internal structures of the bacteria or virus that rely on the said proteins, in effect, killing them.

        I don’t know much about bacteria or viruses, but if they do rely heavily on those proteins that interact with iodine, it is easy to see how iodine would be effective in destroying them.

  • I have a couple questions.I am a dog breeder so my questions are about my puppies.Will Iodine kill the Parvo virus and when a dog or puppy has Giardia will iodine kill that.I have and use lugol’s for myself so I have that on hand.I would love your answer.Thank you…….Barbara

    • IMVA Staff


      Do an Internet search on Guardia/Lugol’s and Parvo/Lugol’s and you will find reports that iodine put into your pets drinking water will indeed be effective in these conditions.

      Claudia French RN, LPHA

  • Becky

    Do young children need iodine daily and how much? When a young child is sick with colds and flu how much is needed and for how long? I only have Lugol’s 2 and 5 %.

    • IMVA Staff


      Please see Dr. Sircus essay on iodine dosages..
      Yes young children need adequate iodine on a daily basis. Please read the book by Dr. Sircus on Iodine for more information on this. We recommend Nascent iodine which can be taken in a higher amount than Lugol’s. You may want to arrange a consultation with Dr. Sircus if your questions are not answered in the book or on the websites.

      Claudia French RN, LPHA

    • Marc

      i know this much about children’s uptake with iodine,
      A newborn infant absorbs iodine 8 times more than an adult,
      a child under 4 absorbs iodine 4 times more than an adult,
      and a child under 10 absorbs iodine 2 times more than an adult.

      The correlation, if I’m not mistaken, is due to the apoptosis that occurs at a much higher rate in the womb and through early development.