If you had been on a certain bridge in Sarajevo in late June of 1914, you might have been unfortunate enough to witness the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. If you were particularly savvy, you might have predicted that the assassination would change the world forever–it was the spark that ignited the first world war–but you probably wouldn’t have guessed that it would also change salt forever.

A few years later, the United States military noticed something about the young men from America’s Midwest: many of them were unfit for service because of enlarged thyroid glands. A panel established to determine the cause discovered that soil in the Midwest (and therefore much of the region’s population) had become iodine deficient. Without iodine we humans tend to develop goiter, and as any general knows, men with goiter make poor soldiers.

So a group of Very Smart People set about finding ways to supplement our diet with iodine. (We could have started eating more fish, seaweed, cow’s milk, onion, garlic, pineapple, or artichokes, but Very Smart People have always thought that relying on nature is old-fashioned.) Eventually, these Very Smart People discovered that potassium iodide could be added to table salt, and as long as they also added sugar (dextrose) to prevent the iodide from yellowing the salt, the population wouldn’t be able to tell much difference.


Sushi, wild-caught fish, yogurt, milk, eggs, cheese, and other foods are good sources of iodine

Unfortunately, another group of smart people has more recently examined the usefulness of iodized table salt and found it to be less effective than the Very Smart People had hoped. Dr. David Brownstein and others have discovered that the iodine added to salt is at best about 10% bio-available — which means that if you consume 100 micrograms, your body will only be able to use 10 micrograms. Iodine that occurs naturally in food is almost 100% bio-available.

I know, you’re thinking I’m dodging the question. Here’s the answer. Real Salt does contain naturally-occurring iodine, but not enough to satisfy the recommended daily allowance of 150 micrograms. Real Salt doesn’t provide the recommended daily allowance of protein, either. Or fat. Because nature intended salt to provide our bodies with sodium chloride and trace minerals!

So, instead of using chemically-processed, unhealthy salt in order to get iodine, we like to stick with Real Salt and get naturally occurring iodine from other delicious sources like kelp, yogurt, eggs, strawberries, and mozzarella cheese. Yum!

• Dr. Brownstein’s books Salt Your Way to Health and Iodine: Why You Need It
The World’s Healthiest Foods
• Everyone’s favorite source, Wikipedia

Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Sonya says:

    Is it safe to use as a salt water flush?? Table salt is not good, I have been using sea salt non iodine which is in a box like the regular salt.. I was wondering is ok to use real salt…

  • Real Salt Real Salt says:

    Definitely, Sonya! Real Salt is a popular choice for people interested in salt flushes, and many salt flush websites recommend Real Salt by brand because of its natural balance and mineral content.

  • Mary LeRoy says:

    Can you use Real Salt to make sole?

  • Real Salt Real Salt says:

    You bet! You can use granular, kosher or coarse. Once the water has dissolved as much salt as it will hold (water can only hold 26% NaCl) the rest of the salt will sit at the bottom of the container until more water is added. If you use a pint jar, add about 1/4 cup of Real Salt, wait an hour or so, and you will have sole (salt water at 26% NaCl). You can also use larger crystals of Real Salt, but the fine, kosher, or coarse crystals will give you the same sole solution.

  • TA says:

    How much iodine does 1g of Real Salt provide?
    (I know it’s not everything the full daily amount… but we are adding up what amounts of iodine come from which items we are adding to our daily food plan).

  • Sammie says:

    What are some of the more popular brands that you would suggest

  • Colleen says:

    Does the amount of natural iodine in Real Salt remain constant no matter how long you store it? I read that the iodine in table salt “vaporizes” over time. Also, is all the iodine in your real salt bioavailable? If I understand things right, 1/4 tsp of Real Salt has about 27 micrograms of Iodine.

  • paula says:

    should we with thyroid diease take this kind of real salt ?

  • salty says:

    you guys rock! (pun intended)

  • Real Salt is the only salt for me, for a long time. I never say salt when I am giving an ingredients list or writing a post for my blog. I always say Real Salt because it’s a crucial distinction. I’m here because I’m about to write about Real Salt for my Friday post. It will be published in a couple hours, if you want to read it. outwithmyhead.com
    Sweetly Salty,

  • Redmond RealSalt fan losing weight and getting healthy says:

    When doing a flush or a water fast with Redmond RealSalt, I first mix about half a cup of water with the salt. Stir to dissolve. Then strain the salty water through a fine mesh sieve or coffee filter. Why? Because I love Redmond RealSalt but I don’t love the idea of bits of sand in my water especially when I’m doing a water fast or flush.

  • april says:

    Sand? Please explain 🙂

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