Endocrine disruptors are all around you, present in foods you consume and things your use on a regular basis. Bromines are one type, and they come from the halide family –a family of elements that includes iodine, chlorine, and fluorine. Bromines are dangerous, as they can displace iodine by competing for its receptors. Prolonged exposure to bromine will simply diminish your body’s iodine stores.

There are steps you do to minimize your exposure and optimize your iodine levels.

Bromines can be found in the following:
• Soda like Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Fresca, and other soft drinks with citrus flavoring, in the form of brominated vegetable oils (BVOs)
• Baking goods, such as flour that contain potassium bromate or “dough conditioners”
• Certain types of pesticides that contain methyl bromide, often used on strawberries from California
• Drugs, such as inhalers, nasal sprays, and anesthesia agents
• Certain plastics used in computers
• Fire retardants, such as polybromo diphenyl ethers of (PBDEs) used in upholstery, carpets, and mattresses
• Swimming pool or hot tub treatments that are bromine-based

Use less of the products mentioned above. Additionally, you can use the strategies below to minimize your risk:
1. Avoid processed foods and go for organic whole foods. Before eating your produce, wash them thoroughly first. This will help lower exposure to pesticides.
2. Avoid using plastic containers for food and water storage. Use glass or ceramic containers instead.
3. When looking for baking ingredients, look for the “no bromine” or “bromine-free” label.
4. Eliminate sodas from your diet and replace them with pure drinking water.
5. Avoid using personal hygiene products made of chemicals. Use natural ones.
6. Concentrations of chemical pollutants are higher inside buildings and cars than outdoors. Use fans or open windows as often as possible, as these can help with ventilation.

Optimizing your iodine levels is easy if you know where to get it from. The best sources include toxin-free sea vegetables. One specific food you can eat is spirulina, a fresh-water alga. Aside from having high amounts of iodine, it also has chlorophyll, carotenoids, B-vitamins, and trace minerals.

Aside from sea vegetables and spirulina, you may also try organic raw eggs and raw milk, as these also have certain levels of iodine.

Remember, your thyroid isn’t the only part of your body that uses iodine. Iodine is also needed for other tissues in your body. That is why it is important to keep your iodine levels at an optimal range.