Healthy thyroid function requires iodine but finding iodized salt in Ecuador can be difficult

Sep 15, 2023 | 0 comments

Author’s note: Many subjects will be covered in the next four articles about thyroid health and healthy metabolism. In Part 1, Iodine requirement, associated drugs, self-care, medical and home treatment, and medical repercussions are covered. Although it is hard to cover every piece of information, a broad overview will be provided in each section. Low thyroid issues are prevalent in many patients. Part 2 will address, in-depth, more information about your thyroid. Part 3 will be about T2 & T3 & T4 and doctors’ information. Part 4 will conclude with the “Bad News”.

By Garnett Stewart

Iodine is frequently needed by the thyroid gland. This gland makes a number of hormones that control your health and is situated close to the voice box or Adam’s apple.

Your broad-spectrum vitamins contain the essential cofactors boron and iodine. Make careful use of your vitamins as they need to be from reliable suppliers. Unfortunately, the vitamins do not contain enough iodine and you will need to add iodine supplements to your diet.

Small quantities of iodine must be consumed every day. Iodine can be found in the molecular structure of several thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are tyrosine-based hormones T3 triiodothyronine (active thyroid) and T4 thyroxine (inactive thyroid). T0, T1 and T2 are thyroid precursors and are converted to active and inactive thyroid because they synthesize the needed T3 and T4. This metabolic system is very complex and so important that the body has multiple pathways to accomplish metabolism. Look at the names of these chemicals and note that they all reflect essential iodine.

In the United States, iodized salt is standard. Do you remember the Morton’s Salt commercial featuring the girl clutching the umbrella? That is iodized salt, which was so widely used in the United States that iodine-free salt was unusual.

Note that none of the salts labeled as Kosher, black, pink, flaky, gray, smoky, or fleur de sal contain iodine. For information, click here.

Sal de Mesa is the Spanish name for white table salt. Here, iodized salt is referred to as Sal Yodada.

Sal de Mesa, which is not iodized, makes up the majority of the salt in this area. Our market stores have a small selection of iodized salt, which may be found on the top and bottom shelves. Iodine is crucial but very few Ecuadorians are aware of this. The vast majority of medical professionals, nutritionists, homeopaths, and grocery store employees are unaware of it and do not advocate for everyone to use it.

Two varieties of sea salt are available in powder or crystal form: white salt and pink Himalayan Sea salt. They are both free of iodine.

A true story: When a colleague and ER doctor in Denver converted to sea salt, she got an iodine deficient thyroid goiter roughly three years later. It cost her about $3,000 in thyroid tests and investigations to discover that in her eagerness to obtain those extra and vital minerals in in sea salt, she neglected to check the iodine content. My colleague’s goiter went away after a few months of iodine replacement medication.

When she raised her iodine levels, she did lose roughly 15 pounds.

I’d tell you more, but my Denver colleague died of Covid 19. As a result, I’m not sure if she acquired hypothyroidism later on. My best guess is that she would have had long-term problems and issues with her metabolism. She did lose about 15 pounds when she brought her iodine levels up to normal.

Sea Salt Yodada was seen in Cuenca. At Arandanos, I discovered four packages of Sal Yodada in both pink and white sea salt. I pushed the Super Maxi Las Americas manager to place an additional order for iodized sea salt. On the shelves, I counted only six Sea Salt Yodada. I also asked him to put the Sal Yodada in the middle of the shelves. I also requested that he inform the other managers and buying representatives so that Super Maxi could restock. He valued my advice and was unaware of the significance of iodine.

Please help us all by asking the other retailers to keep additional Sal Yodada and Sea Salt Yodada on hand.  Request more iodized salt from the store managers by getting in touch with them. Differentiated pricing: white fine Sal de Mesa is 37 cents and Sal Yodada is 42 cents.

Are you reluctant to eat salt? Natural food retailers sell iodine drops. Among others, Tienda Nectar in Cuenca carries it. Take note of their label because each natural store’s recipe for iodine drops is different, so pay attention to it. Iodine in excess will make you sick. The recommended dosage is 2 to 4 drops, but always heed it.

Fortunately, more information can be found on WebMD and other websites.  Click here.

Garnett Stewart is a permanent resident of Ecuador. She is a retired Adult Medicine Nurse Practitioner with a specialty in Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery and is the author of several published articles. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in nursing. Her undergraduate university studies focused on biochemistry and biophysics. She can be contacted at


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