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US Gained a Decade of Flynn-Effect IQ Points After Adding Iodine To Salt

Soulskill posted 1 year,13 hours | from the you're-saying-we-could-have-been-dumber? dept.

Medicine 270

cold fjord writes "I wish it was always this easy. Business Insider reports, 'Iodized salt is so ubiquitous that we barely notice it. Few people know why it even exists. Iodine deficiency remains the world's leading cause of preventable mental retardation. According to a new study (abstract), its introduction in America in 1924 had an effect so profound that it raised the country's IQ. A new NBER working paper from James Feyrer, Dimitra Politi, and David N. Weil finds that the population in iodine-deficient areas saw IQs rise by a full standard deviation, which is 15 points, after iodized salt was introduced.... The mental impacts were unknown, the program was started to fight goiter, so these effects were an extremely fortunate, unintended side effect.'"

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270 comments

The question you are all asking... (5, Informative)

Megane (129182) | 1 year,13 hours | (#44366439)

What is the Flynn Effect? [wikipedia.org]

Re:The question you are all asking... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366465)

I wasn't asking it as I've been taking my iodized salt.

Re:The question you are all asking... (2)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366607)

The Flynn effect has to do with the effect swash buckling has on women, duh.

Re:The question you are all asking... (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366857)

The Flynn effect has to do with the effect swash buckling has on women, duh.

Presumably that's where the expression "in like Flynn" comes from.

Re: The question you are all asking... (0)

mad_ian (28771) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367269)

Actually, that's "in like Flint", and it comes from a set of movies in the 60s, which spoofed the Bond movies and their ilk. The Austin Power movies spoof the Flint films more than the Bond films.

Re:The question you are all asking... (4, Funny)

datavirtue (1104259) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366727)

No, I was busy jumping to conclusions with only a scant amount of knowledge in hand--which was gleaned from the headline and half of the summary.

Re:The question you are all asking... (2)

avgjoe62 (558860) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367101)

Strong with the /. this one is...

Re:The question you are all asking... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366883)

Lies.

Sincerely,
Master Control Program

Unfortunately... (5, Funny)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366925)

It's been offset by the introduction of fluoride in the water supply, which is simply Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and an international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. Hence, Dancing with the Stars.

WAKE UP SHEEPLE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367157)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CNS-letter.jpg

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367193)

LOL!

Re:Unfortunately... (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367305)

Often there's an element of truth in jest. Specifically regarding Communist infiltration and indoctrination (nothing to do with fluoride nuttery theories btw).

"Education is a weapon whose effect depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." -Joseph Stalin.

Basically, indoctrination via propaganda was seen as an effective way of maintain power and control of its populous and that of neighboring satellite nations.

derp.... (0)

wbr1 (2538558) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366447)

But I um... thought... um.. it was good for.me to um..... have a what's the.word Jenny? A diet low is salt. I may not be smart, but I know what high blood pressure is...

Re:derp.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366505)

Right, but salt is still vital to our bodies survival...even if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure the doctor will tell you not to cut salt out just cut it down.
Heart disease is so complex they may even tell you that you need to increase you salt intake some.

Re:derp.... (3, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366623)

Cutting salt out of a diet that includes non-synthetic substances is probably impossible. If it lived on earth, it probably has salt in it.
 

Re:derp.... (3, Informative)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | 1 year,9 hours | (#44367335)

Cutting salt out of a diet that includes non-synthetic substances is probably impossible. If it lived on earth, it probably has salt in it.

Salt is actually pretty important nutritionally and for osmoregulation [wikipedia.org] . Way too much/little is bad for you, but some salt is required. It's so important that part of our taste mechanism is dedicated to salt. Alton Brown summed it up nicely saying (okay, I'm paraphrasing) that while many things taste sweet (good eats), sour (bad eats) or bitter (poisonous eats), only one thing tastes salty - salt.

Re:derp.... (5, Interesting)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366521)

But I um... thought... um.. it was good for.me to um..... have a what's the.word Jenny? A diet low is salt. I may not be smart, but I know what high blood pressure is...

Just a note that, according to my doctor, and many articles I've read, excessive salt in the diet is NOT a problem for many/most people, but only those sensitive to it. Good explanations can be found:

Re:derp.... (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366679)

excessive salt in the diet is NOT a problem for many/most people, but only those sensitive to it.

People with West African ancestory (as most African-Americans are) tend to be the most sensitive. East Asians tend to be the least sensitive. People of European descent tend to be in the middle. This correlates well with areas where salt was historically rare/common. In West Africa, salt was often brought in caravans across the Sahara, and was very expensive, and thus unavailable to common people. In China, for centuries, even peasants could afford to drench their food in salt-laden soy sauce.

Re:derp.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367095)

It's also interesting that IQ scores tend to be spread that way as well.

Salt is the spice we are looking for!

Re:derp.... (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367153)

It's also interesting that IQ scores tend to be spread that way as well.

IQ scores tend to be correlated with a history of urbanization and economic specialization. In a primitive society, innovation and original thinking are unlikely to lead to any benefit, and might lead to a disaster such as a crop failure or empty snares. But in an urbanized society with specialized jobs, successful ideas can be leveraged for disproportionate benefit. East Asia had large urban populations long before the West. In Europe, Jews were urbanized during the middle ages when almost everyone else was a rural serf. East Asians have average IQ scores about 5 points higher than Europeans, and Ashkenazi Jews are higher still.

Re:derp.... (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366977)

My cardiologist told me to add a little salt to my diet.

Re:derp.... (1)

tmosley (996283) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366967)

I think it is probably more about balance, especially between sodium and potassium. I know I started feeling a LOT better, and my blood pressure fell when I started using KCl instead of table salt.

As I recall, there is a tribe in South America that gets practically all of their electrolytes through KCl, and they have something like zero incidence of heart disease.

Re:derp.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 hours | (#44367341)

Your body will have problems if the sodium concentration gets way too low. Typically this is due to too much water, but in rare cases has been due to low sodium intake, including situations of consuming large amounts of potassium based salt instead. Plus there is a long list of conditions and medicines that mess with the ability of the body to remove potassium, so it is easier in many cases to have a potassium sensitivity than a sodium sensitivity. Although since a large part of salt in most people's diets is going to be sodium based anyway, replacing as large chunk as possible with potassium isn't likely to go into the territory of too little sodium (although could be too much potassium for some people).

Good idea (-1, Flamebait)

evilviper (135110) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366453)

Great!

Any way we can distribute extra iodine to /. trolls and flamers?

As much as possible, please!

Re:Good idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366471)

Flamers? You mean those Linux using faggots??

Re:Good idea (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366617)

Great!

Any way we can distribute extra iodine to /. trolls and flamers?

As much as possible, please!

I'm wondering about the internet in general as a symptom of a larger problem. So these people got a little better at figuring out hos things tick or how to solve a puzzle. Know what they did with it? They tied themselves up in knots with conspiracy theories and bollox like that. Perhaps the answer is to cut out some of that Iodine.

There are days when I just don't want to see the crap that's going on on the interwebs.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366647)

Just get the fuck out you little cry baby
 
Waaaa!!! Waaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

Re:Good idea (4, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366877)

They tied themselves up in knots with conspiracy theories and bollox like that. Perhaps the answer is to cut out some of that Iodine.

That's what the lizard men want you to think.

All now negated by fluoride (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366461)

But with fluoride added to the water supply, we can reverse those gains..
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/fluoride_b_2479833.html [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:All now negated by fluoride (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366535)

So Gen. Jack Ripper wasn't so crazy after all, huh?

Re:All now negated by fluoride (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366543)

So what the government really wants is, people that don't qualify as retarded, but are still dumb. The system is Perfect.

Re:All now negated by fluoride (2)

morcego (260031) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366555)

Yeah. Don't forget to stop vaccinating children also, while you are at that.

Re:All now negated by fluoride (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366739)

No, that causes the sapping and impurifying of bodily fluids.

But now people in the US try to avoid it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366477)

And now we've got people in the US trying to avoid "iodized salt" because it's a "processed food" and they want "natural mineral salts". Of course they don't even know why salt is iodized -- they think it's a "preservative" (you know, cause salt goes bad) or somesuch -- and while they might be getting enough iodine elsewhere they certainly aren't regulating their intake to ensure as much. It's almost as bad as the folks who want "pectin-free" jam.

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366519)

Still not as bad as those boy raping Muslims trying to follow in the foot steps of their false prophet Mohammad.
 
Fuck Mohammad! Fuck Allah! FUCK ISLAM!!!!!

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (3, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366759)

You haven't been taking your iodine, have you?

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (0)

tmosley (996283) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366979)

Yeah, and those damn Greek boy-lovers too. FUCK GREECE FUCK DEMOCRACY! Oh wait, I forgot, ad hominem is a fallacy.

Salt in Food is Ubiquitous in the US (4, Insightful)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366529)

I try to avoid salt when possible because so much food is overloaded with it, so I'm a little over the daily recommended value instead of double of it.

Salt isn't just a preservative but a way to make lesser-quality food taste better, so the market gives a financial incentive to salt up everything.

Re:Salt in Food is Ubiquitous in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366567)

That's a perfectly valid point ... which has nothing to do with iodine in salt.

Re:Salt in Food is Ubiquitous in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366599)

Like a bowl of soup at basically any restaurant. My lips burn after eating something like that due to the excessive salt. How about a 7-11 burrito with like 1500mg of sodium? Yikes.

Re:Salt in Food is Ubiquitous in the US (1)

amiga3D (567632) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366729)

It's not that bad. It's really only a gram and a half.

Re:Salt in Food is Ubiquitous in the US (2)

tmosley (996283) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366987)

Put a gram and a half of salt and a half in a cup of coffee and drink it.

Re:Salt in Food is Ubiquitous in the US (4, Informative)

deimtee (762122) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367165)

It's a gram and a half of sodium. It's 3.8 grams of salt.

Re:Salt in Food is Ubiquitous in the US (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366631)

That's a valid concern, but another part of it is that iodized salt isn't usually what they're using in processed foods. So, not only do you get tons of salt, but it doesn't even have the trace minerals that would benefit you.

And yes, the main reason that salt is in so many foods is because it increases appetite and enhances flavor.

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366639)

. . . so don't use the salt, and just take iodine . . . straight up, or on the rocks . . .

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (2)

amiga3D (567632) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366721)

I knew when I was a kid that the iodine was added for thyroid health. I remember asking my Dad about it after sitting at the table one day staring at the little girl in the raincoat on the Morton salt box. He grew up in the 30's so I guess they heard about it back then.

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (1)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366903)

so they use sea salt instead, what's the problem?

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366937)

That it doesn't have enough iodine in it, and they don't get enough in the rest of their diet -- literally the problem that iodized salt solves.

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 hours | (#44367027)

Pectin is a part of fruit. Iodine is not a part of salt. Therefore the analogy is invalid.

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367181)

Yeah, it's ridiculous. The anti-processed anything at all cost crowd long ago went off the cliff in my opinion. On the bright side, it's a sort of self-selection test of fitness for the next generation.

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (2)

adolf (21054) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367263)

I live in Ohio (right in the middle of the goiter belt) and I don't buy iodized salt. I just buy the bulk-packed sea salt that my local coffee house sells for cheap -- not because it doesn't have iodine added to it, but because it tastes better to me.

But that doesn't even matter, because I only add salt to things where it is useful.

I toss some in when cooking pasta, or cooking down onions or other vegetables, or making pickles, and that's really about it. There is no salt shaker on the dining room table.

I don't ever add it to my food on purpose as a seasoning. Indeed, I don't even really like salt: When I'm at the store buying a bag of tortilla chips, I study the labels to try to ascertain which brand uses the least amount of salt because too much absolutely detracts from the other flavors that I actually want.

So how much iodine am I missing out on by buying weird salt instead of standard-issue iodized table salt? Not much.

Regulating my intake of iodine? Sheesh. If I wanted a perfectly balanced diet, I'd just gobble up some Soylent Green and call it a day (same as yesterday, or tomorrow...).

(All that said: I do eat a fair bit of seafood, thanks to advances in preservation, transportation, and the marvels of refrigeration. I'd hazard a guess that my iodine intake is just fine, especially compared to folks in this area back when goiters were reasonably common. And I eat seafood because it is yummy, not because it may contain iodine.)

Re:But now people in the US try to avoid it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 hours | (#44367339)

you can buy selenium as a dietary supplement, and its the cause of massive pollution at Kesterson reservoir in California. You can buy BHA at the heatlh food store, and others decry BHA/BHT in their cereal boxes. Wheat gluten is used as a meat substitute, while decried as a source of allergic reaction. Nitrites in food prevent botulism, and also cause cancer. Vegans may have to watch out for cochineal in their soft drinks, as its bug juice. and many drinks say they are "gluten free" which is i believe a non water soluble protein, and which would be really disgusting if it existed in any drink except in trace amounts. imagine soda with little chewy nuggets of wheat, wheaties soda!

IQ intellectuals (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366481)

I know I'd much rather get a high score on a test than do anything useful.

Re:IQ intellectuals (1)

tmosley (996283) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44367001)

Because you can only do one or the other, apparently.

Re:IQ intellectuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367169)

No, but people who have not innovated in an intelligent way haven't proved themselves to be intelligent; IQ tests are meaningless.

Re:IQ intellectuals (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367279)

IQ tests are meaningless.

Baloney. IQ tests may not precisely measure "intelligence", but they are clearly measuring something. IQ scores are strongly correlated with economic success (higher salaries and lower unemployment), reduction in criminal behavior, and better health. Things that lead to higher IQ scores tend to raise these correlated factors as well, whether it is better nutrition, less lead exposure, or even coaching on the thinking skills required for the test (which seems to indicate that good "test taking skills" are actually broadly useful critical thinking skills).

Old Joke (0)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366485)

>> saw IQs rise by a full standard deviation

George W. Bush moved from D.C. back to Texas and the same thing happened in both places.

Re:Old Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366565)

Recall that DC voters re-elected Marion Barry.

Re:Old Joke (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366637)

You've obviously never been to Texas.

Re:Old Joke (1)

amiga3D (567632) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366735)

It's a representational government.

Re:Old Joke (1, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367303)

Recall that DC voters re-elected Marion Barry.

DC voters don't like to get pushed around by the federal government, and they get pushed a lot. Marion Barry was a scoundrel, but he was sent to prison in what was a clear case of entrapment by federal agents. They were almost certainly targeting him because of his politics. How many other citizens have been handed free unsolicited cocaine by the US government? His reelection was just DC voters giving congress the finger.

The path is not over (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366493)

Still a long way to go america, add some more iodine maybe.

Not the only public health benefit. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366495)

Simply meeting the basic needs of the general public brings huge gains.

There used to be a stereotype that all southerners were lazy and terrible workers. Turns out they were really just riddled with parasites (That train your energy and make you tired) Basic sanitation (Even things a simple as proper outhouses dug deep enough) solved that problem amazingly well. Many poor nations struggle with this problem today, however.

The Army started school lunch programs because malnourished children were growing up stunted and short (among other health problems), and made for awful soldiers.

Re:Not the only public health benefit. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366557)

There used to be a stereotype that all southerners were lazy and terrible workers. Turns out they were really just riddled with parasites.

What kind of parasites, and why did they have more of them than damnyankees? Serious question.

Re:Not the only public health benefit. (2)

Ken McE (599217) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366575)

You get more insects and disease in general in places where it's warmer.

Re:Not the only public health benefit. (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366781)

What kind of parasites, and why did they have more of them than damnyankees? Serious question.

A number of energy and grown sapping diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever, were common in the American South in the 19th century, but uncommon in the North. But the biggest culprit was probably hookworms [wikipedia.org] , which cause "intellectual, cognitive and growth retardation". Average IQ in the South increased significantly as hookworms were eradicated in the early 20th century.

We might get another gain if we eradicate toxoplasmosis [wikipedia.org] , a parasite spread by cats. It is believed by some to depress intelligence and novelty seeking behavior in humans.

Re:Not the only public health benefit. (5, Informative)

Intropy (2009018) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366635)

I believe you are referring to hookworms, which were found in an estimated 40%-70% of people living in the Southern US in the early 1900s in sufficient amounts to cause disease. They cause anemia and fatigue. They're expelled in feces, and can live in soil for a while. The problem was them digging out of outhouses through the soil and finding their way into people walking around barefoot. The solution was to dig deeper outhouses, so that the hookworm couldn't live in the soil long enough to reach the surface, and to wear shoes. On the flip side, there's serious current research into using small-scale hookworm infestation as a treatment for inflammatory diseases, including crohn's and multiple sclerosis.

Gained I.Q. with Iodized salt - (-1, Offtopic)

pecosdave (536896) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366499)

then immediately lost it back with fluoride [huffingtonpost.com] in the water.

Re:Gained I.Q. with Iodized salt - (0)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366547)

Redundant. Gen. Ripper has already commented.

Re:Gained I.Q. with Iodized salt - (1)

pecosdave (536896) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366559)

Missed it. Of course I've been first and marked redundant before, so - meh.

Re:Gained I.Q. with Iodized salt - (2)

hondo77 (324058) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366587)

From the study:

The standardized weighted mean difference in IQ score between exposed and reference populations was -0.45...

...The estimated decrease in average IQ associated with fluoride exposure based on our analysis may seem small and may be within the measurement error of IQ testing.

Your loss looks like it might be a rounding error.

Re:Gained I.Q. with Iodized salt - (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366597)

WAKEY WAKEY (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367253)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CNS-letter.jpg

The evidence really is overwhelming. I dare you to read just the first article here. It is published in a very prestigious journal. Educate yourself please. We are trying to help you. The industries and corporations which have captured america's government do not love you. The toothpaste is a lie. Colgate will not make you sexy. See the brainwashing for what it really is, breakout of the master-slave paradigm.

Chemico-Biological Interactions 188 (2010) 319–333
Molecular mechanisms of fluoride toxicity

Unfortunately this copy is missing colour and some excellent diagrams. Google for a better copy.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:iYgtU-HidMIJ:www.researchgate.net/publication/45281342_Molecular_mechanisms_of_fluoride_toxicity/file/79e415101a1cc46320.pdf+Chemico-Biological+Interactions+188+(2010)+319%E2%80%93333+Molecular+mechanisms+of+fluoride+toxicity&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk

DOI: 10.1097/MNM.0b013e32834c187e
Association of vascular fluoride uptake with vascular
calcification and coronary artery disease

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ghbGfaMZNBMJ:intraspec.ca/Association_of_vascular_fluoride_uptake_with.3.pdf+DOI:+10.1097/MNM.0b013e32834c187e+Association+of+vascular+fluoride+uptake+with+vascular+calcification+and+coronary+artery+disease&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk

Crit Rev Oral Biol Med
14(2):100-114 (2003)
THE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY
OF METALLIC FLUORIDE: ACTION,
MECHANISM, AND IMPLICATIONS
Liang Li
cro.sagepub.com/content/14/2/100.full.pdf

REVERSAL OF CLINICAL
AND DENTAL FLUOROSIS
Gupta ET AL.
INDIAN PEDIATRICS
Vol 31- APRIL 1994

Re:Gained I.Q. with Iodized salt - (2)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366657)

-.45 is well within the margin of error for IQ testing. And really, any differences of IQ under 3% is not worth even considering. A person who cares can easily gain 10 IQ points just based upon environment alone.

What's more IQ itself is a narrow measure of aptitude primarily focused upon success rates at school. Even if the drop in IQ were more meaningful, it would still not necessarily mean that people were getting less intelligent, it could mean that their aptitudes were changing to focus on other things.

Re:Gained I.Q. with Iodized salt - (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366673)

Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.
In 'Brave New World' the lower-castes were created by adding alcohol to the fetuses and depriving them of oxygen, The exact same thing happens today with those moms drinking and smoking while having a bun in the oven, it makes me sick to see. Still, somebody's gotta sweep the streets and serve the burgers I guess.

Re:Gained I.Q. with Iodized salt - (0)

pecosdave (536896) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44367091)

Offtopic? Really? I can go for other negative mods, but really Offtopic is stretching it.

You cant raise a population's IQ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366515)

How can you raise the IQ of a whole population?
IQ is based on a population, and the average is 100. If everyone gets more intelligent, the IQ stays the same...

The only way to raise the IQ of the group is by adding new stupid members, or taking away clever ones.

Re:You cant raise a population's IQ! (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366801)

We were having a good time till you showed up.

Re:You cant raise a population's IQ! (1)

tmosley (996283) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44367019)

Clearly you have never had the pleasure of visiting Lake Woebegone.

Understood by german endocrinologists (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366545)

Germany was at the forefront of endocrinology during their 2nd industrial revolution that preceded similar industrialization in america.

Their endocrinologists knew that Hyperthyroidism could be treated with a bath with a very dilute amount of Hydrofluoric acid added. They eventually synthesised 3-Fluorotyrosine which was even more vectored to the thyroid gland. The reason this works is normal thyroid hormone is made from conjugated tyrosine with Iodine located at the meta potitions of both rings, no special enzyme positions the Iodine here it is simple thermodynamically favourable for halogens. Once at the target tissue the halogen is removed by the Deiodinase enzymes, Type II is the most important, it requires selenomethionine unlike the Type I and III, and selectively turns T4 into T3. Inside the target cell the Iodine is liberated where it performs an essential role in the nucleus. If Fluorine is located on the tyrosyl it poisons the Type II deiodinase and you result in a form of subtle hypothyroidism where your body loses the ability to move through the normal dynamic range of high and low energy states. To compensate for the inability to convent T4 to the more potent T3 you produce more T4 all the time. You end up unable to relax. An effect also produced by the ability of Fluoride to very selectively target Acetylcholineesterases, required for termination of muscle nerve signals, leading to increased agitation and an inability to properly wind down and relax. Finally Fluoride is potent against Aconitase modifying the Citric-Acid-Cycle in unfavourable ways.

Clearly these are all long evolved stress responses to the ubiquitous toxin that is Fluorine. Henry Mousian was the 10th person who tried to isolate it an succeeded, all the others died. He died a premature death. chlorine and bromine are not nearly so deadly.

Fluorine is very ubiquitous in the earth crust, generally over 200ppm it is more common in the earths crust than carbon! So this enemy has existed for all time, harvard has recently found RNA riboswitches in bacteria that have been shown to specifically sense fluorine to activate defences. Humans do not have these, instead we have G-protein coupled receptors, through which all our hormone and many neurotransmitters function. These are also very sensitive to compounds that form from Fluorine and another ubiquitous element, Aluminium. AlF3 actives g-protein coupled receptors and modulate our sensitivity to our own hormones. there is a theory that the GPCR evolved to sense Fluoride !

Although the role of iodine in the thyroid was to continue to be understood upto WWII as together with Niacin it was one of the two most significant factors that determined mortality from Nuclear weapons.

Re:Understood by german endocrinologists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366693)

3-fluorotyrosine is in the Merck Index, and so is Sodium Fluoride, both were used to treat hyperthyroidism. 3-Fluorotyrosine is also called Pardinon, ive personally wondered about the naming of this as in Italian it translates as Leopards do Not. :) Probably just a coincidence, whats in a name?

Re:Understood by german endocrinologists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366909)

Actually one of the most fascinating theories ive encountered regarding the biological defenses that could have been postulated to have evolved to defend against ubiquitous fluorine damage is central to the evolution of dna complex lifeforms.

The most common spontaneous corruption that occurs with DNA is called Spontaneous Deamination of Cysteine, to understand this you need to know that the bases form complimentary pairs because they bond via pairs of hydrogen bonds. C ~ G have 3 hydrogen bonds each, and T ~ A have 2 hydrogen bonds each.

When a C has an an amine and spontaneously break, one hydrogen bond goes with it, and it becomes Uracil. The pattern of hydrogen bonding of a U looks like that of an T so when the DNA is replicated, assuming no repair, it gets unzipped and a A gets put in opposite the U as if the U was a T, but it should have been a G going opposite the original C.

Luckily there is a clever proof reading mechanism whereby T's have a "tag", a single carbon or methyl, at the 5 position, to mark them as being distinct from a U that has formed from deamination of a C. In this way the U's can be identified, excised, and replaced with C's.

Interestingly the overhead of the methylation is not performed with RNA which utilizes U in place of T. The cost of the overhead is only worth it for the long term storage, not for the RNA which is a temporary copy (and the even more recent adaptive immune system in immune cells actually intentionally mutates RNA to produce variations for antibodies through this mechanism)

The amazing thing is that more primitive life, insects and so on, make use of Uracil in their DNA. So at some point the cost of this kind of error checking mechanism became worth it to preserve the integrity of the DNA.

Now if we follow the pathway upstream we find several revealing ideas. Firstly nucleobases are not incorporated alone, there is a sugar backbone and so the building blocks that are assembled have this sugar attached making them a nucleoside. Also they have a varying number of phosphates attached which provides them with a local source of potential energy to drive their participation. The charged form is the tri-phosphate, the lower energy level is the di-phosphate. So we have UDP and dUDP with the sugar, and dUTP used for RNA and dTTP for DNA constant repair and larger amounts for cell replication.

Now it turns out that the 5 position of the Uracil is thermodynamically attractive to halogens. The size of the halogen matters though, whereas Bromine has a similar size to the methyl, fluorine does not and when attached at the 5 position of the uracil it is not considered an analogue of TDP although BrDU is considered an analogue. In this way BrU is incorporated into replicating DNA and this is a standard means to track cell division. 5-Flurouracil is used as a cancer drug because it poisons the enzyme required to methylate Uracil in preparation for cell division. Without enough Thymadine cell division is halted at a phase before Mitosis, and this affects cancer cells more significantly than the rest of you.

Because 5-FU is thermodynamically favourable this enzyme pathway is sensitive to cellular levels of Fluoride. Remember avagadros number is really really large, and a single 5-FU which is thermodynamically favoured can poison a single enzyme. We just dont have that many enzymes, we can make more, but it is an automatic and very sensitive feedback mechanism that slows down cell division when we're in a high fluoride environment. Of course there is a hormesis effect, at low levels the replacement of damaged enzymes is raised to meet the amount continually damaged, but does this mean we should be intentionally adding small doses of poison to stimulate growth ?! fuck no.

clearly the Fluorine creates damaged RNA, but this is of lesser concern than preventing it from incorporation into the DNA. So it seems that yes our DNA has a sophisticated mechanism to keep fluorine from being incorporated and also for regulating and decreasing cell division in a more toxic environment. Naturally in a pure environment the error rate is lower and so things should proceed at a faster speed.

Ever consider why Salmon go to all the trouble of spawning up stream? Clearly the most pure waters result in higher integrity of the DNA of spawn. It ironic that fish are so much more sensitive than humans and what we have legally defined as "drinking water" is causing many species to go extinct. See canadian salmon for a tragic example.

Now consider the level of fluorine in mamalian breast milk. Even when the mother is in an environment that is in the parts per million, breast milk is kept in the range of several PARTS PER BILLION! think this is evolution or just some coincidence ! clearly during development which continues after birth in mammals it is crucial to protect the baby from fluorine corruption and this has had a direct benefit to the resulting fitness and hence has been selected.

Now consider that the poor, those that our biggest most corrupt industries have barraged us with advertising telling us it is for the good of their SKELETONS (haha), are more likely to use bottle formula and hence expose their children parts per million, ONE THOUSAND TIMES the levels in BREAST MILK.

wake up sheeple! Its a BRAVE NEW WORLD.

Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366563)

Didnt even go from dumber to dumb then just shifted the bell curve to the right.

You need to iodize salt because it is mined. (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366741)

Only when the salt is mined you need to artificially add iodine. Almost all the salt used in USA comes from salt mines under the Great Lakes. There is a mile deep deposit of salt there and we simply mine it out. This salt has no natural iodine. But most places get their salt by evaporating sea water. The sea salt has so many other minerals too. Most important of it is the sea weed. That is full of iodine. So you don't have to artificially add iodine to them.

But the kind of powdered salt used here is known more commonly as "table salt" to distinguish it from "sea salt" or "rock salt". If you buy table salt, even in traditionally we-dont-need-no-artificial-iodine here countries (like India) you need to buy iodized version usually.

Re:You need to iodize salt because it is mined. (0)

Nutria (679911) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366793)

The sea salt has so many other minerals too. Most important of it is the sea weed.

Since sea weed isn't a mineral, I suggest you reassess your writing style.

Re:You need to iodize salt because it is mined. (1)

longk (2637033) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366799)

No, not really, most places don't. Even "sea salt" isn't from the sea in most cases. (They can call it sea salt based on theories that the mines were once, long ago, part of a sea.)

Re:You need to iodize salt because it is mined. (1)

Ogre332 (145645) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366879)

If this is the case, why is it that the container of Mortons Sea Salt I have in my cabinet state that it "does not contain iodine (a necessary part of a healthy diet)" or words to that effect?

Some observations about Iodine (4, Informative)

Okian Warrior (537106) | 1 year,12 hours | (#44366751)

A lot of people in the US live in the so-called Goiter Belt [blogspot.com] , which is a band of the northernmost state (or two) of the US. Roughly speaking, the other states were once a vast inland ocean swamp, so the soil become infused with Iodine form the ocean. This gets into the water supply, with the result that Northern residents have far less Iodine in their diet than southern states.

Another source of Iodine used to be bread - Iodine was used as a dough conditioner in bread, so a little bit got into the food chain that way. Some of the effect we're seeing might also be due to the rise of manufactured bread in the US.

More recently, however, bread makers have started using Bromine instead of Iodine. Bromine binds to Iodine receptors so not only are we no longer getting Iodine from bread, we're less able to process the Iodine we do get.

There's also the question of how much Iodine we need to be healthy. There's good evidence for the minimum amount to prevent disease, but that may (and for those of you in the medical community, note that I'm saying "may") be lower than the optimum amount.

Note that doctors will tell you that 150ug is the maximum Iodine you should ever take (more would be toxic!) and yet occasionally use Iodine to enhance contrast [wikipedia.org] in radiological studies, which puts as much as 20 mg in the blood stream. The RDA value is 100x less than used by doctors in some studies studies [drmyhill.co.uk] to treat disease.

There's also disagreement [food.gov.uk] as to what the minimum daily intake should be.

We really should be studying these things. Unfortunately, a supplement that anyone could buy which will clear a patient's symptoms is incompatible with an expensive FDA-tested drug that requires office visits to administer. The medical community won't make money on supplements, so they aren't studied very well. There's enormous economic pressure against research into health (as opposed to research into disease).

Re:Some observations about Iodine (4, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366991)

Did you see the goiter rate charts in the article? I found them astonishing.

I was also surprised by the low rates in Oklahoma and New Mexico. I wonder if that is because they were getting their salt from Texas? Texas did have a very low rate.

Re:Some observations about Iodine (2)

russotto (537200) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367187)

Note that doctors will tell you that 150ug is the maximum Iodine you should ever take (more would be toxic!)

No, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is not intended as a maximum dosage! The long-term upper intake level is 1.1mg. Note long-term.

and yet occasionally use Iodine to enhance contrast in radiological studies, which puts as much as 20 mg in the blood stream.

It's not used all that much, because many patients have a bad reaction to it.

I'm surprised that it was a surprise... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366825)

'Cretinism' [wikipedia.org] , the sufficiently-severe-to-be-clinically-obvious manifestation of iodine deficiency has been known for a considerable length of time, in places without sufficient soil iodine. I would imagine that smaller gains would only be a surprise if you thought that everybody not obviously diseased was fully healthy, rather than frequently mildly subnormal.

Iodized salt raised IQ! (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44366859)

quote:
Iodized salt ... in 1924 ... raised the country's IQ

One wonders how on earth they determined this cause/effect relationship.

Re:Iodized salt raised IQ! (2)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367273)

They had no clue what was going on. They ate some salt, then figured it out.

Has anyone seen a reality TV? (1)

splitsevin (953745) | 1 year,11 hours | (#44367003)

I'm unconvinced.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 hours | (#44367013)

And yet American politicians have an cumulative IQ that is lower than the world's average. They must have been hooked to an iodine extractor at birth.

Fresh ground coffee, not iodized salt (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367151)

Back in the day people's impressions of coffee were formed from an occasional cup of Maxwell House or Folger's while waiting to get their car fixed.

Then a wave of indy coffeehouses burst onto the scene in the '80s (most of them since taken over by Starbucks, but hey...) and now even McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts are providing pretty decent cups. Science and engineering were saved.

That is why americans eat so salty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367197)

probably.

Geographic cure (-1, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | 1 year,10 hours | (#44367231)

We could do the same thing by wiping out everyone south of the Mason Dixon line.

Salt? No lead! (1)

nicoleb_x (1571029) | 1 year,9 hours | (#44367323)

Jeez, most everybody knows that it was lead from gasoline that lowered the quality of the IQ test and thus raised the IQ test results.

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