Dr. Weeks Comment: Halogens (Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine and Iodine) are aggressive biologically active agents which intoxicate all human tissue but initially your THYROID: too much is bad, too little is bad.
At the Weeks Clinic for Corrective Medicine and Psychiatry, we check your halogens.
- A bromide dominance condition may develop when bromide,
acquired through environmental, occupational, iatrogenic or dietary
exposure, causes bromide levels in the body to rise high enough to
inhibit iodine enzyme metabolism.
Iodine supplementation alters the competitive bromide-iodine
relationship causing bromide excretion. Thus, bromide dominance is
diminished and proper iodine enzyme metabolism may be restored.
In the toxic 21st Century, these questions must be raised:
- Would we have such a severe iodine deficiency without bromide
- If iodine deficiency is the underlying cause of many diseases,
- is bromide “the underlying cause of the underlying cause?”
- Is bromide dominance creating a public health crisis?
- Where Does Bromide Dominance Come From?
Bromide is an insidious, additive used in many common products, and as a
pesticide. Because of the sheer amount of bromide-supplemented
products, exposure to this man-made additive has caused a depletion of
iodine in human populations. Studies in lab animals provide alarming
evidence that even small amounts of bromide exposure can be toxic. (1)
What products contain bromide?
Currently, bromide is found in pesticides (methyl bromide), some bread
products (potassium bromate), brominated vegetable oil that may be
added to citrus-flavored drinks, hot tub cleansers, certain asthma inhalers
and prescription drugs, plastic products, some personal care products,
and some fabric dyes.
Effects of Bromide on the Organs
Iodine depletion weakens the thyroid and other organs. (2)(3)(4)(5)(6) In
individuals where the bromide-iodine ratio is less, bromide may not be
- Elevated bromide levels have been implicated in every thyroid disease,
from simple hypothyroidism to auto-immune diseases to thyroid cancer.
Malenchenko found bromide levels 50 times higher in thyroid cancer than
normal thyroid tissue. (7)
- Rats fed even the minimal amount of bromine expected to be encountered
in the environment underwent goiter-like changes (8), an arguable case of
bromide dominance. In the FIRE project, exposing rats to the brominated
flame retardant compound, bromocyclodecane, showed consistent effects
on the thyroid hormone axis, including decreased T4. Thyroid gland cells
have increased size and larger nuclei, indicating increased synthetic
With enhanced intake of bromide, fully one-third of the iodine content in
the thyroids of rats was replaced by bromide. (10)
Skin biopsied from a woman who had been on bromide-containing
sedatives for nearly four years found increased bromide in normal skin
and three times that in an affected skin lesion. (11)
An infant administered a syrup containing sodium bromide developed
vegetative lesions on the face and scalp. (12)
Technicians exposed to brominated compounds for prolonged periods
developed multiple cherry angiomas on the trunk and extremities. (12)
The psychiatry literature abounds with cases of elevated bromide levels
being implicated in mental conditions from depression to schizophrenia.
(14)(15)(16) As Guy Abraham, MD, asks, “How many people with
misdiagnosed bromism are currently treated with psychiatric drugs?”(17)
Bromide was used to suppress women’s sex drive in the 1950s.
Potassium bromate, a bread additive, is known to cause renal damage and
permanent deafness in animals and man. (18) In the FIRE project, the most
relevant effect on exposing rats to 28 days to the brominated flame
retardant compound, tetrabromobisphenol-A, was hearing. Specifically,
the lower frequency range was affected . (19)
The ability of bromate to cause cancer, especially kidney cancer, is a
significant health concern. (20) The gene expression in kidneys in rats
given a high dose 100-week potassium bromate in their drinking water
showed marked gene expression difference from the lower non-cancer
dose. The high dose kidney gene expression resembled an adenoma-like
expression pattern. (21)
BROMIDE IN PRODUCTS
Potassium bromate as an additive to most commercial bread and baked
goods probably provides the most egregious contribution to bromide
overload in Western cultures.
Bromated flour is product “enriched” with potassium bromate. Some
commercial bakers claim they use bromated flour because it yields
dependable results, and it makes more elastic dough which can stand up
to bread hooks and other commercial baking tools. (22) However,
Pepperidge Farm manages to use only unbromated flour with excellent
NOTE ON BANNING POTASSIUM BROMATE IN BREAD:
The UK banned bromate in bread in 1990.
Canada banned bromate in bread in 1994. (23)
Proposal P230 in Australia: Food Regulation Ministerial Council (FSANZ)
still has not finalized its July 2007 proposal to mandate iodized salt in
breads, breakfast cereals and biscuits.
Back in 1999, the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the
FDA to prohibit the use of potassium bromate, charging that the FDA has
known for years that bromate causes cancer in lab animals, but has failed
to ban it. (24) As of September 2007, the US FDA responded to Breast
Cancer Choices inquiry with the statement, “ Potassium Bromate is still
listed as a safe additive.“
When drinking water containing bromide is exposed to ozone, bromate
ion, a powerful oxidizing agent, is formed. Two significant recalls of
drinking water involving bromate have occurred: Wegmann‘s Food You
Feel Good About Spring Water Recall in 2006, and Coca-Cola’s Dasani in
TOOTHPASTE, MOUTHWASH AND GARGLES
Potassium bromate is an antiseptic and astringent in toothpaste, mouth
and gargles. Very toxic if taken internally. May cause bleeding and
inflammation of gums in toothpaste. (26)
BROMIDE IN FLAME RETARDANTS
Flame retardants reduce the flammability of a wide variety of commercial
and household products. Some brominated home retardants migrate from
the products in which they are used and are entering the environment
and people. (27)
PERSONAL PRODUCTS AND SOME COSMETICS
Sodium bromate in Products: Permanent Waves, Hair Dyes, Textile Dyes
Sodium bromate is in permanent wave neutralizers, hair dye material, and
the textile dyeing process. (28) Benzalkonium is used as a preservative
in some cosmetics. (29)
Dr. Weeks is indebted to Breast Cancer Choices who , in turn, is indebted to the pioneering bromide research of Guy E. Abraham, MD, as well as the clinical and intellectual contributions of David Brownstein, MD, and Jorge Flechas, MD.
(1) Vobecky M et al., Interaction of Bromine with Iodine in the Rat Thyroid Gland at Enhanced
Bromide Intake, Biol Trace Elem Res 1996.
(2) Velicky J et al., The Effect of Bromide on the Ultrastructure of Rat Thyrocytes, Ann Anat 2004.
(3) Pavelka S et al., Bromide Kinetics and Distribution in the Rat. II Distribution of Bromide in the
Body, Biol Trace Res 2000.
(4) Velicky J et al., Long Term Action of Potassium Bromide on the Rat Thyroid Gland, Acta
(5) Velicky J et al., Potassium Bromide and the Thyroid Gland of the Rat: Morphology and
(6) Vobecky M et al., Interaction of Bromine with Iodine in the Rat Thyroid Gland at Enhanced
Bromide Intake, Biol Trace Elem Res 1996.
(7) Malenchenko AF et al., The Content and Distribution of Iodine, Chlorine and Bromide in the
Normal and Pathologically Changed Thyroid Tissue, Med Radiol 1984.
(8). Velicky J et al., Potassium Bromide and the Thyroid Gland of the Rat: Morphology and
Immunochemistry, RIA and INAA Analysis, Ann Anat 1997.
(9) www.credocluster.info Issue 6, July 2006
(10) Vobecky M et al., Interaction of Bromine with Iodine in the Rat Thyroid Gland at Enhanced
Bromide Intake, Biol Trace Elem Res 1996.
(11) Hubner K et al., Skin Bromide Content and Bromide Excretion in Bromoderma Tuberosum, Arch Derm
(12) Bel S et al., Vegetant Bromoderma in an Infant, Pediatric Dermatology 2001.
(13) Cohen A et al., Cherry Angiomas Associated with Exposure to Bromides, Dermatology 2001.
(14) Horowitz BZ et al., Bromism from Excessive Cola Consumption, Clinical Toxicology 1997.
(15) Levin M., Transitory Schizophrenia Produced by Bromide Intoxication, Am J Psychiatry 1946.
(17) Abraham G., The Combined Measurement of the Four Stable Halides by the Ion-Selective Electrode
Procedure Following Their Chromatographic Separation on a Strong Anion Exchange Resin: Clinical
Application, The Original Internist 2006.
(18) Morizono T et al., The Effects of Cetrimide and Potassium Bromate on the Potassium Ion
Concentration in the Inner Ear Fluid of the Guinea Pig, Physiol Bohemoslov 1988.
(19) www.credocluster.info, Issue 6 2006.
(21) Geter D et al., Kidney Toxicogenomics of Chronic Potassium Bromate Exposure in F334 Male
Rats, EIMS Meta Data Report 2006.
(27) www.credocluster.info, Issue 6 2006.