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Taking on Superbugs, Syphilis and Gonorrhoeae with Iodine

Published on September 27, 2017

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Time Magazine reported that this week marks one year since world leaders met at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in 2016 and unanimously committed to tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The risks of not doing so were clear: a recent report estimated that if AMR continued to spread at its current rate, there would be up to 10 million deaths globally by 2050. “We are not where we should be,” said Professor Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer of England and we will never be as long as health officials continue to wear the blinders of pharmaceutical medicine.

Actually, we are exactly where we should be because medical scientists have known for a long time that bacterial resistance to antibiotics is both natural and inevitable. They have always known that antibiotics came stamped with an expiration date that has already passed. More and more people are dying simply because there is no antibiotic available to treat their infection, infections that not too long ago were easily treated.

Drug-resistant bugs have continued to spread. Recently the WHO released a report showing what the agency called a “serious lack” of new antibiotics to combat antibiotic-resistant infections that pose a threat to human health. This essay is for doctors and people who want to save millions of lives, and as we shall see below, if iodine is strong enough to take on gonorrhea and syphilis it is strong enough to take on antibiotic resistant infections.

There is only one answer on the table, which predates antibiotics, and that is iodine, an essential mineral substance, that viruses, bacteria and fungus will never develop resistance to. Medical scientists and governmental health organizations are refusing to even conceive that an old answer is our new answer.

Iodine is a mineral, human life cannot exist without it. Minerals are the building blocks of our bodies. They are required for body structure, fluid balance, protein structures and hormone production. Minerals are a key for the health of every body system and function. They act as co-factors, catalysts or inhibitors of all enzymes in the body. Iodine is the mineral most important to our immune system, which cannot work without it. Iodine is also incredibly important for people who want to avoid thyroid, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

Iodine supports our immune systems in fending off invaders while it improves our immunity so we are less susceptible to symptoms and illness. Iodine actually repels viruses, fungus and bacteria. Someone who is totally iodine sufficient has a lower chance of catching something like MRSA in a hospital, because superbugs like this one will not thrive in a body with enough iodine. Similarly, the virus responsible for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis—the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and all other viruses do not like iodine, because it gets in the way of their advancement.

For years the supplement market has been dominated by vitamins, but vitamins and amino acids are useless without minerals because all enzyme activities involve minerals. Minerals are crucial for human health and the fact is today, we just do not get enough of them from our foods. It really is very simple to understand. Minerals are both the cause (when deficient) and the cure of many diseases when provided in abundance. In the case of iodine, we have a very aggressive anti-death mineral that lives up to its reputation by bringing death and destructions to the hordes of any infection if you take enough of it while it helps our own cells to remain healthy.

Dr. Jeffrey Dach tells us that, “Antibiotic Resistance is obtained as a trait from other bacteria with the exchange of genetic material called Plasmids. This is called horizontal gene transfer. Sooner or later, every new antibiotic meets with resistant organisms and we need to come up with a new antibiotic.” This is not the case with iodine.

Antibiotics are dangerous, not only because they lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria but also because antibiotics bring on fungal and yeast infections thus can be seen as an 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 20 to 40 percent of all cancers thought to be involved with and caused by infections the subject of antibiotics and the need for something safer, more effective and life serving is imperative.

Some antibiotics can destroy a person’s life yet medical scientists moan and groan about going back to iodine thinking we are going back to the “Dark Ages” with its use. Pharmaceutical companies are not coming out with new antibiotics nor should they because we have something better, something crucial for health.

Lynne Farrow a journalist, researcher, and author of The Iodine Crisis: What You Don’t Know Can Wreck Your Life shares her own experience with breast cancer that led to the discovery that iodine had been lost as a traditional remedy with proven benefits reaching back 15,000 years.

“I heard about a new 24 hour urine test that became available and decided to check to see how much of an iodine deficiency I had. One Monday morning I started the test by swallowing 50 mg of Lugol’s iodine tablets. Boing! Within 90 minutes my brain came to life. Years of brain fog vanished. In the months that followed, all the other conditions plaguing me disappeared. And other people I corresponded with were reporting the same. Not everybody got “the boing” or such a wholesale improvement but enough have reported dramatic response that I know my case and others were not outliers.”

“My energy improved and my weight normalized. I was no longer so cold I needed to wear two pair of socks. Even superficial things improved. I used to slather my dry hands with hand lotion, day and night. Now, I can’t imagine why my hands ever needed extra moisture. The iodine experience seemed too good to be true. If iodine was so great why didn’t everybody know about it? How could one cheap nutrient reverse so many conditions?”

Bottom line is that we can use iodine as an antibiotic that will do more than any other antibiotic that exists. First benefit is we also get antiviral and anti-fungal effects and on top of that we get a broad range of other health effects that Farrow touches on in her testimony.

When we realize what iodine has been used for in the past and now again in the present, we begin to realize what doctors have been forced to forget.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium

Resistant strains of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium have spread around the world.

Because the world may soon run out of drugs to treat gonorrhea, some doctors have turned to “Mechanical interventions included genital installation of large quantities of iodine solution instilled by urethral or vaginal catheters.” Even the World Health Organization recommends using a 2.5 percent, water based povidone iodine solution for all neonates for topical ocular prophylaxis for the prevention of gonococcal and chlamydial ophthalmia neonatorum immediately after birth.

In a 1,000 page book from 1886, “Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances“, by Charles D. F. Phillips we read:

For syphilis there can now be no question that the drug has curative powers of its own, independent of mercurial action; they are evidenced especially in the later, or tertiary stages of constitutional syphilis, when either the mucous membranes are affected, as in deep ulceration of the fauces, or the bones are attacked with periostitis or nodes, or the skin suffers with rupial or lupoid eruption, or the brain-membranes are thickened, or gummatous deposits are formed in any of the viscera.

By causing the absorption of deposits and thickenings in various parts of the body, iodides cure, at the same time, many secondary and dependent symptoms, such as nocturnal pains, neuralgia, paralysis, dullness of sense or intellect, and convulsive paroxysms. The dose of iodide of potash is a matter of much importance, and need be limited only by the susceptibility or idiosyncrasy of the patient, and the progress of the disease; it may vary from 1 or 2 gr. up to 60 gr., two or three times daily, and the best results have sometimes been obtained from heroic doses, when ordinary ones have failed.

Elliotson gave 30 to 60 gr., or more, for a dose (Lancet, 1832), and Ricord commonly prescribed the same amount. Sir A. Cooper, Drys-dale, Pollock, and others, have given instances of the value of such quantities (British Medical Journal and Lancet 1867-68); and more recently Dr. Buzzard has pointed out the importance of large doses, especially in syphilitic affections of the nervous system (Lancet, 1873).

In the early 1900s, the Encyclopedia Britannica described iodine as being “of definite value” for treatment of multiple conditions including “metallic poisonings, as by lead and mercury, asthma, aneurism, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, gout, goitre, syphilis, haemophilia, Bright’s disease (nephritis) and bronchitis” with “usual doses” of iodide salts ranging from “five to thirty grains or more” (324mg to 1,944mg), though this is hundred of times higher than what is considered generally safe per today’s tolerable UL.[1]

Dr. Gabriel Cousens states, “Historically, as early as 1911, people normally took between 300,000-900,000 micrograms daily without incident,” which translates into between 300 and 900 milligrams. Most people today, even if they are fighting cancer only have the courage to use between 50 to 100 milligrams but if you are fighting a life threatening infection we should remember medical history and how iodine has been used in the past. When we read that 30 to 60 times these amounts have been used one should consider using a gram (1,000 milligrams) or even more when its either that or death.

Dr. Paul B. Beeson had some very interesting things to write about iodine and its use for the treatment of syphilis.[2]

“Early in this century potassium iodide was regarded as “one of the most important drugs in the Pharmacopoeia.” Although now displaced by many new therapeutic agents, an extensive body of clinical experience remains, showing that this simple compound can exert impressive effects on certain kinds of pathologic processes. The element iodine was discovered in 1811, and this soon led to trial of iodides in the treatment of many disorders. The variety of diseases for which iodine was prescribed in the early years is astonishing—paralysis, chorea, scrofula, lacrimal fistula, deafness, distortions of the spine, hip-joint disease, syphilis, acute inflammation, gout, gangrene, dropsy, carbuncles, whitlow, chilblains, burns, scalds, lupus, croup, catarrh, asthma, ulcers and bronchitis—to mention only a few.”

“Within twenty years of the discovery of iodine, the potassium salt was being used with good effect in treatment of tertiary syphilis. Toward the end of the century, Osier’s textbook of medicine had this to say: In the treatment of the visceral lesions of syphilis, iodide of potassium is of equal or even greater value than mercury. Under its use ulcers rapidly heal, granulomatous tumors melt away.”

Part of the answer to the emergency with malaria and tuberculosis has been known for a long time. As early as June 1, 1905 we see an article printed in the New York Times about the successful use of iodine for consumption/tuberculosis. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is also spreading with the rate of TB patients infected with the drug-resistant strain topped 20 percent in some countries, the highest ever recorded, with rates expected to soar even higher. According to the WHO, outbreaks of drug-resistant tuberculosis are showing up all over the world and threaten to touch off a worldwide epidemic of virtually incurable tuberculosis.

Seventeen clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis were tested. Povidone-iodine (PVP-I) at a concentration of 0.2% killed 99.9% or more of all strains tested within 30s. All of the strains tested with PVP-I were killed almost completely within 60s. There was no difference in bactericidal activities of PVP-I between standard strain H37Rv and MDR-TB. It was concluded that the commercially available PVP-I product is a useful antiseptic against MDR-TB similar to other M. tuberculosis.


Iodine was known by many medical doctors in the 19th century as an empirical remedy, a real “heroic remedy” —-a true present from the science of medicine to humanity. Nobel Laureate Albert Szent Györgyi, the physician who discovered Vitamin C in 1928, commented: “When I was a medical student, iodine in the form of universal medicine. Nobody knew what it did, but it did something and did something good.”

Dr. Cousens concludes, “In 1950 the Japanese had 100 times more iodine in their diet than Americans. In 2001 they had 202 times more iodine than Americans and were using up to 13.8 milligrams daily as opposed to the average U.S. intake of 425 micrograms daily. Unfortunately, there has been no real study, ever, about what is the optimal safe dosage of iodine. But, again, no one has ever died from iodine overdose or allergic reactions.”

Read more on iodine dosages.

Read Iodine Replaces Both Vaccines and Antibiotics

[1] Encyclopædia Britannica 14 (11th ed.). 1910. p. 725.

[2] Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. Volume 37, Number 2, Winter 1994 pp. 173-181 | 10.1353/pbm.1994.0012

Hi, I'm Dr. Mark Sircus, AC., OMD, DM (P), a doctor and writer of more than 23 books that have sold over 80,000 copies all over the world. I've been promoting Iodine as a safe and effective medicine for more than 10 years and my book "Iodine - Bringing Back the Universal Medicine" has been repeatedly praised by other iodine experts like Dr David Brownstein.

On my website there are hundreds of free articles, but if you need some personalized help, you can make a consultation.

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