What happened after I switched to organic chocolate in an attempt to lower my exposure to, and body levels of, the pesticide methyl bromide.
For anyone out there wondering to what extent the pesticide methyl bromide builds up in our bodies, I offer my recent bromide-detox experience after I switched to organic chocolate.Read more: Get thee behind me, methyl bromide
Iodine experiment strangely unproductive
Seven months into my iodine experiment, I still couldn’t seem to lower the dose below 100 mg a day without losing its benefits — mostly increased energy and concentration — which was getting a little tedious and expensive. In theory you shouldn’t need more than 15 mgs or so of it once you’ve corrected a deficiency. I found a few people on various forums who were experiencing the same thing and who suspected that it was because they hadn’t removed all the bromide sources from their diets. The only source I had left was chocolate, so I switched to a brand of chocolate that isn’t sprayed with methyl bromide.
Bromides: iodine antagonists that are everywhere
About bromides: they are chemicals used in baked goods, citrus drinks, fire retardants in mattresses, carpets, etc., and pesticides such as methyl bromide, which is used extensively on chocolate, among other crops. (The theobromine in chocolate is not a bromide.) In the 1970s, the US and other countries banned a type of sedative medication called bromides due to their potential to cause brain toxicity. For similar reasons, and because of its ozone-depleting properties, the pesticide is also being phased out around the world.
Bromides also displace iodine in the body (as do chlorine and fluoride). When you take iodine, it in turn displaces the bromine and you feel lousy for a few days or weeks or months as it exits your body. It is thought that the symptoms associated with iodine toxicity are in fact these bromide detox symptoms.
When I started my iodine experiment I had already quit most bromide-containing foods and I figured that pesticide-sprayed chocolate wasn’t a significant enough source to bother with. It is possible that denial was also a factor in my attitude. As for environmental bromide sources, avoiding them is pretty hard. The “organic” mattresses I priced a few years ago, made without chemical fire retardants, started at $3,500.
Effects of my switch to organic chocolate
The Sunspire organic chocolate I chose as a replacement has almost the same ingredients as my usual crank, minus some milk fat and whatever secret mind-control ingredient Nestle uses. After two days I started experiencing a mild version of the effects most people get when they start iodine, namely acne, constant headaches, a metallic taste, and a sore throat, plus a weird stomach stretching sensation that made me feel like a horse that got into something bad. I started drinking salt water a few times a day, which binds with the bromide and flushes it out faster. The symptoms were not as pronounced as they were when I first started iodine, but so far they have lasted three times longer.
Even more interesting is that on the second day of organic-only, my cravings were noticeably less. Other factors might be involved: I recently started shooting thiamine (vitamin B1), which is related to carb metabolism (more on that in a later post), and I also stepped up my protein intake a few weeks ago, which some say is linked to sugar cravings. But still, the timing was pretty suspicious.
About the publishing dates
This post was originally published on January 31, 2012, and updated in August 2023.