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Broccoli Broke Me Out

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#1 Oner

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:34 PM

i ate a ton of broccoli the last couple of days hoping it would clear me because i read alot of hype about broccoli pills. They contain dim and Sulforaphane which are both supposed to regulate hormones and such and such. I should have known that I would break out. In the past i read alot about cabbage juice clearing people and cabbages also contain dim. Tried that and broke out horribly. So i thought maybe I was just having an initial breakout from DIM detox. But no, it is probably because broccoli & cabbage (and any other cruciferous vegetables) are goitrogenic meaning they block the uptake/absorption of iodine (this slows the thyroid, makes hypothyroidism worse). But I thought iodine induces acne? I am pretty confused. I know that soy breaks me out alot too. and then i just found out that soy is goitrogenic as well! I think soy is just awful, not only is it goitrogenic, but it is also incredibly high in omega 6 and phytoestrogens. soy=devil. So i started to do some obssessive research on iodine and how it relates to acne. Apparently, iodine is best absorbed through food sources. I have always believed in getting full nutrition from whole foods rather than plastic bottles with plastic pills. I use the word apparently because there aren't many sources or good explanations of this. But the word that sticks out is protein-bound iodine. Look into it. Iodine may need to be protein bound for optimal absorption. So maybe those few people who have cleared their acne with heavy iodine doses (5mg and above) wouldn't need to go so high into the mg's if they just consumed their iodine from food sources. Also alot of people have had success with cod liver oil which suprisingly doesn't have a substantial amount of DHA or EPA. So why does it help them? They contribute it to vitamin A & D levels, which yes may be helpful. BUT! cod is one of the highest food sources of iodine, before seaweed/kelp. hmmmm....but what about those people that got clear from avoiding iodine in their diet? I can't say, I'm still looking into that one. One factor is that they eliminated dairy which has a buttload of other problems associated with it not including iodine. Thats where I am kind of stuck. My plan right now is to limit goitrogenic foods and try to consume iodine from dietary sources like cod, egg yolk, and seaweed. I hope this information is helpful to someone out there. Let me know if you can add anything to convulated tale.

Edited by Joner, 20 October 2012 - 09:35 PM.


#2 Oner

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:06 PM

found another something interesting here:
http://www.acne.org/...s/page__hl__cod

cod liver oil results are best achieved in the presence of saturated fats?! The reason i find this interesting is because on the wikipedia page for goitrogens, it states that saturated fats stimulate the thyroid. Basically it is saying that saturated fats (and avocados?) could act as an anti-goitrogen? so if cod liver oil has iodine but needs a saturated fat to work effectively which helps iodine absorption, then maybe this is good news.

#3 MissSac17

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:11 PM

wow this is really interesting, I have actually been taking Cod liver oil supplements for the past 2 weeks, 2x1000mg a day. I had no idea that iodine was in our foods...so are you saying that a diet involving foods with iodine, ie cod liver oil, is best when accompanied by saturated fat foods? What if one does not eat alot of saturated fat foods?

#4 Oner

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:21 PM

no, what im saying is that a tiny little sentence at the bottom of a wikipedia page about goitrogens stated that avocados and saturated fact may work in the opposite way that goitrogens work. I'm not sure if iodine needs to be paired with saturated fats necessarily. I just think that if this were true, it would explain why cod liver oil helps people out in the acne area and thus show that iodine needs to consumed through foods rather than megadosing with tinctures.

wow this is really interesting, I have actually been taking Cod liver oil supplements for the past 2 weeks, 2x1000mg a day. I had no idea that iodine was in our foods...so are you saying that a diet involving foods with iodine, ie cod liver oil, is best when accompanied by saturated fat foods? What if one does not eat alot of saturated fat foods?


im investigating this because cabbage, flax, soy, and broccoli all break me out pretty badly and are all goitrogenic. I just don't know how to respond to the people who are negatively affected by iodine. maybe they have too much iodine? or maybe they have hyperthyroidism?

and yea of course iodine is in our foods. it is an essential nutrient! it is found highest in cod, seaweed, dairy, kelp, eggs, iodized salt, yogurt and shrimp. ironically, i dont eat any of these things! except eggs sometimes.

just to be clear im also not stating that iodine deficiency is the SOLE CAUSE OF ACNE. no. no. im just pinpointing my observations. there are many other factors, i guess. this just might be a big one for me. it will just be hard to know how much iodine i should intake from foods since I have no reference. I can go by the RDA but is that enough to help clear my acne?

#5 alexisc

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:27 PM

You just figured something out for me! I know many people (myself included) who can not take cod liver oil without having huge cystic breakouts! I could never figure out why but it is from the iodine!!! Thank you! Be warned that for many idodine is healing but it can result in huge breakouts until the bodys levels are evened out. It also detoxes chemicals out of the body so if we have them stored in us that is also a cause for breakouts.

#6 Oner

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:37 PM

You just figured something out for me! I know many people (myself included) who can not take cod liver oil without having huge cystic breakouts! I could never figure out why but it is from the iodine!!! Thank you! Be warned that for many idodine is healing but it can result in huge breakouts until the bodys levels are evened out. It also detoxes chemicals out of the body so if we have them stored in us that is also a cause for breakouts.


im ecstatic that i could help you out in that department. I never tried cod oil myself. I tried a fish oil once but it broke me out. Which doesn't really make sense because fish oils tend to not have iodine compared to cod oil? right? The whole issue here that im trying to figure out is that maybe iodine is super good for the body but just not the way we have been taking it. basically a new approach to iodine. anyone know how to rename a topic?

a question for you: do you break out only from cod liver oil and not fish oil?

ive also never supplemented with iodine. the whole iodine deal is new to me.

maybe you could be a guinea pig and try supplementing with cod liver oil paired with a healthy saturated fat like raw egg yolks or unrefined organic coconut oil?

#7 Oner

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:55 PM

okay i just downed 5 raw egg yolks. I think egg yolks might be the best way to get iodine. Not only is it a good source of protein but also saturated fat and tons of other things like vitamin a, vitamin d, folate, pantothenic acid, b6, choline, selenium, phosphorus, riboflavin, etc....egg yolks despite common opinion are super healthy. a super food in fact. i believe it. im going to try to eat a bunch of egg yolks each day. see if this helps. my only concern is the high amounts of omega 6.

#8 alexisc

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:06 PM

My skin is in pretty bad shape right now from veering off my diet too much so I don't really want to experiement until I get it clear again. I researched and realized what I was taking was fish oil, not cod liver oil, but I have read stories of cystic outbreaks happening to people on both sides. If you read the reviews on this site you see a pattern. Other people take either of these supplements and suffer no problems so I really believe it has to do with iodine and if they were deficient or consuming too much.

It got me thinking, what other foods are high in iodine? Yogurt, cheese, strawberries.. pretty much three foods I live on are all high in iodine. Yogurt being the highest which I consume the most of. I just suffered a weird cystic breakout on my chin which is really unusual for me and had me thinking I had foliculitis. In the past I have used epsom salt on my skin with good success but for some reason I decided to mix sea salt and epsom salt together this time. That is what caused the breakout, the iodine in the salt, it was the same cystic welts on my chin exactly like what I had when I took fish oil.

If fish oil broke you out I would assume you are in the same category as me of not needing more iodine. Have you ever had your thyroid tested? Mine came back normal for reference. Reading your research though it sounds like you could be defiecient. I guess the only way to find out is eat iodine rich foods, avoid the foods that broke you out and see what happens? Trying to figure all this stuff out is maddening sometimes hey? All I know is I'm going to be slowing down on the yogurt and never putting sea salt on my face again! Haha! There is also a thread on iodine in this forum not far down from this topic you could check out. Reading other people's experiences might help you too!

What I also learned is that it is common for people to break out from iodine because it detoxes flourine and bromide out of the body.

#9 Oner

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:17 AM

My skin is in pretty bad shape right now from veering off my diet too much so I don't really want to experiement until I get it clear again. I researched and realized what I was taking was fish oil, not cod liver oil, but I have read stories of cystic outbreaks happening to people on both sides. If you read the reviews on this site you see a pattern. Other people take either of these supplements and suffer no problems so I really believe it has to do with iodine and if they were deficient or consuming too much.

It got me thinking, what other foods are high in iodine? Yogurt, cheese, strawberries.. pretty much three foods I live on are all high in iodine. Yogurt being the highest which I consume the most of. I just suffered a weird cystic breakout on my chin which is really unusual for me and had me thinking I had foliculitis. In the past I have used epsom salt on my skin with good success but for some reason I decided to mix sea salt and epsom salt together this time. That is what caused the breakout, the iodine in the salt, it was the same cystic welts on my chin exactly like what I had when I took fish oil.

If fish oil broke you out I would assume you are in the same category as me of not needing more iodine. Have you ever had your thyroid tested? Mine came back normal for reference. Reading your research though it sounds like you could be defiecient. I guess the only way to find out is eat iodine rich foods, avoid the foods that broke you out and see what happens? Trying to figure all this stuff out is maddening sometimes hey? All I know is I'm going to be slowing down on the yogurt and never putting sea salt on my face again! Haha! There is also a thread on iodine in this forum not far down from this topic you could check out. Reading other people's experiences might help you too!

What I also learned is that it is common for people to break out from iodine because it detoxes flourine and bromide out of the body.


well yogurt and cheese are both dairy products. so there is the factor of antibiotics and hormones. so it could be that its not the iodine in those but some other factor. Yogurt also has probiotics in it, which always broke me out. Also, not to rain on your parade cause it seems like you figured it out but sea salt doesn't have iodine in it. Well it does, but in very small amounts, negligible amounts. That doesn't really correlate. Fish oil (not cod liver oil) also doesn't have enough iodine to have an effect. i think you may need to look into this a bit more before coming to the conclusion that iodine is your problem. Thats what im trying to investigate here is why iodine has such a flipflop effect on people. i suggest that you look a bit more into the iodine concept. it may not actually be a trigger for you.

no i havent had my thyroid tested. I dont think i will because i dont want to pay for it. plus i hear that those tests arent accurate.

#10 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:31 AM

I used to worry a lot about goitrogenic stuff too. Then I had my thyroid tested after eating a very heavy goitrogenic diet for 3+ years. I have broccoli multiple times a week and cabbage, kale and other goitrogenic veggies multiple times per day, both cooked and raw/juiced.

My thyroid was absolutely fine according to my bloodwork. I don't think these things are as big an issue as some make them seem. You will not eat one meal of broccoli and do anything to your thyroid. Broccoli is also not goitrogenic unless you eat it raw.

#11 alternativista

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:51 AM

found another something interesting here:
http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/191642-cod-liver-oil-and-saturated-fats/page__hl__cod

cod liver oil results are best achieved in the presence of saturated fats?! The reason i find this interesting is because on the wikipedia page for goitrogens, it states that saturated fats stimulate the thyroid. Basically it is saying that saturated fats (and avocados?) could act as an anti-goitrogen? so if cod liver oil has iodine but needs a saturated fat to work effectively which helps iodine absorption, then maybe this is good news.


Try coconut oil. And goitrogens interfere with iodine intake.

#12 Oner

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:05 AM


found another something interesting here:
http://www.acne.org/...s/page__hl__cod

cod liver oil results are best achieved in the presence of saturated fats?! The reason i find this interesting is because on the wikipedia page for goitrogens, it states that saturated fats stimulate the thyroid. Basically it is saying that saturated fats (and avocados?) could act as an anti-goitrogen? so if cod liver oil has iodine but needs a saturated fat to work effectively which helps iodine absorption, then maybe this is good news.


Try coconut oil. And goitrogens interfere with iodine intake.


didn't you just suggest that to me on my other post about estrogen dominance yesterday?! I will repeat what i responded. i actually already take coconut oil. i make a mixture of coconut oil, cocoa powder, liquid stevia, and peppermint oil and vanilla extract. its my healthy version of chocolate. I have tried eating alot of coconut oil in the past. It didn't do anything in terms of my acne. But i know that it is healthy so i will always eat it.

also yes i am aware that goitrogens interefere with iodine intake. thats what this whole post is about! thats what goitrogenic means!

I used to worry a lot about goitrogenic stuff too. Then I had my thyroid tested after eating a very heavy goitrogenic diet for 3+ years. I have broccoli multiple times a week and cabbage, kale and other goitrogenic veggies multiple times per day, both cooked and raw/juiced.

My thyroid was absolutely fine according to my bloodwork. I don't think these things are as big an issue as some make them seem. You will not eat one meal of broccoli and do anything to your thyroid. Broccoli is also not goitrogenic unless you eat it raw.


it may not be an issue for you but here is why i know they are an issue for me. I tried juicing raw cabbage juice and had to stop on day 3 because i broke out alot. I tried eating raw broccoli once a day and suffered horribly. Then the past week I ate mostly steamed broccoli as the center for my meals with also just my normal diet and now I am suffering. Also soy in any form, soybean oil, soy flour, soy protein isolate....will break me out. I'm not trying to make these more of a big issue at all. All i know is that goitrogenic foods break me out so I'm looking into it more.

#13 austra

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:10 AM

This is a bit off topic, but are goitrogens like cabbage and broccoli alright if cooked? I've been avoiding goitrogens for a couple of years now since being diagnosed with mild hypothyroidism, but since about a month ago I've started to eat a lot of fried cabbage (it just is very delicious in my opinion). Based on hazy memories from my thyroid research a few years ago, I've been inclined to think that as long as the goitrogenic vegetables are not raw but cooked in some way, they'd be alright. Am I correct or should I leave out all goitrogenic foods in any form?

Obviously I can probably find this out by doing some research on my own, but in case someone here knows the answer already and doesn't mind writing a short reply, I'd be thankful. :)

#14 Oner

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:33 AM

This is a bit off topic, but are goitrogens like cabbage and broccoli alright if cooked? I've been avoiding goitrogens for a couple of years now since being diagnosed with mild hypothyroidism, but since about a month ago I've started to eat a lot of fried cabbage (it just is very delicious in my opinion). Based on hazy memories from my thyroid research a few years ago, I've been inclined to think that as long as the goitrogenic vegetables are not raw but cooked in some way, they'd be alright. Am I correct or should I leave out all goitrogenic foods in any form?

Obviously I can probably find this out by doing some research on my own, but in case someone here knows the answer already and doesn't mind writing a short reply, I'd be thankful. Posted Image


I dont know a solid answer to that one. But most of the information out there says that cooking them reduces their goitrogenic effects alot and not to worry about eating them. YET i still broke out from steamed broccoli. Also i read cruciferous vegetables contain myrosinase which is destroyed during cooking. But then i also read that the bacteria in your gut can self produce myrosinase. Personally i would just avoid them altogether. Or you could try eating alot of them and see if there are any effects.

ii think im going to start taking fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil. Here's why: Cod itself is one of the highest food sources of iodine. Cod liver oil has significant amounts of iodine. Fermenteed cod liver oil is unproccessed so is more likely to contain more iodine than processed cod liver oil. High vitamin butter oil has saturated fat and is grass fed. Saturated fat might be anti-goitrogenic. Thus combining them will yield results maybe? Here are some anecdotes of the two combined:

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/307069-buttercod-liver-oil-for-acne/

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/308725-90-to-100-clear-since-2009/

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/193500-cod-liver-oil-and-grass-fed-butter/

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/191642-cod-liver-oil-and-saturated-fats/

so yea, im going to experiment with this. maybe the reason cod liver oil is helping people is NOT vitamin a, d or DHA and EPA but iodine absorption!

#15 austra

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:47 AM


This is a bit off topic, but are goitrogens like cabbage and broccoli alright if cooked? I've been avoiding goitrogens for a couple of years now since being diagnosed with mild hypothyroidism, but since about a month ago I've started to eat a lot of fried cabbage (it just is very delicious in my opinion). Based on hazy memories from my thyroid research a few years ago, I've been inclined to think that as long as the goitrogenic vegetables are not raw but cooked in some way, they'd be alright. Am I correct or should I leave out all goitrogenic foods in any form?

Obviously I can probably find this out by doing some research on my own, but in case someone here knows the answer already and doesn't mind writing a short reply, I'd be thankful. Posted Image


I dont know a solid answer to that one. But most of the information out there says that cooking them reduces their goitrogenic effects alot and not to worry about eating them. YET i still broke out from steamed broccoli. Also i read cruciferous vegetables contain myrosinase which is destroyed during cooking. But then i also read that the bacteria in your gut can self produce myrosinase. Personally i would just avoid them altogether. Or you could try eating alot of them and see if there are any effects.

ii think im going to start taking fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil. Here's why: Cod itself is one of the highest food sources of iodine. Cod liver oil has significant amounts of iodine. Fermenteed cod liver oil is unproccessed so is more likely to contain more iodine than processed cod liver oil. High vitamin butter oil has saturated fat and is grass fed. Saturated fat might be anti-goitrogenic. Thus combining them will yield results maybe? Here are some anecdotes of the two combined:

http://www.acne.org/...r-oil-for-acne/

http://www.acne.org/...ear-since-2009/

http://www.acne.org/...ass-fed-butter/

http://www.acne.org/...saturated-fats/

so yea, im going to experiment with this. maybe the reason cod liver oil is helping people is NOT vitamin a, d or DHA and EPA but iodine absorption!


Thanks for the reply. Posted Image If cooked cruciferous vegetables don't have that strong goitrogenic effects, I think I'll keep eating my cabbage at least for now.

Where are you getting your butter oil, if I may ask? I'd be interested in taking some as well, to get some additional vitamin K2. Butter oil seems to have great health benefits in general, and at least the guy who writes the great Whole Health Source blog found it improved his skin.

#16 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:26 AM

The fact that you break out from steamed broccoli and soy products suggests that these may be food allergies rather than having something to do with your thyroid. Have you read the gut healing/probiotics thread? Have you considered leaky gut as a possibility?

#17 Oner

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:33 AM

Thanks for the reply. Posted Image If cooked cruciferous vegetables don't have that strong goitrogenic effects, I think I'll keep eating my cabbage at least for now.

Where are you getting your butter oil, if I may ask? I'd be interested in taking some as well, to get some additional vitamin K2. Butter oil seems to have great health benefits in general, and at least the guy who writes the great Whole Health Source blog found it improved his skin.



Actually i think im going to just find grass fed butter instead of butter oil. I can't even find butter oil online. It seems to be only something that comes with cod liver oil.

#18 tuffluck

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:15 AM

I eat broccoli every day. mostly raw, soemtimes steamed. its the shiz!

#19 Oner

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:24 AM

I eat broccoli every day. mostly raw, soemtimes steamed. its the shiz!


im glad you can eat broccoli! im unlucky. i love to eat broccoli. but i realize i cant eat it anymore

update: I just bought smjor icelandic butter unsalted. im pretty sure that its grass fed. i also bought twin lab norwegian cod liver oil.

#20 tuffluck

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:59 AM

cod liver oil makes me break out. peraps we are opposites.