Bromide information and an ongoing list of bromide sources

Bromide: Prevalent and Detrimental Effects

The periodic table is made up of families.  Each element in a family has similar properties but is unique in its own way.  The halogen family is comprised of Iodine, Bromine (Bromide is the reduced form), Fluorine, and Chlorine (and a few others). While Iodine has many benefits in the body, Bromide competes for binding sites and is very detrimental to the absorption of Iodine.  

Being in the same family, the atomic make up of Iodine and Bromide is very similar.  If a person’s body is not saturated with Iodine, Bromide can trick the binding sites into thinking it is Iodine.  Since Iodine and Bromine compete with one another for absorption and receptor binding, the body can only eliminate Bromine if there is sufficient Iodine available.  Bromide is rapidly absorbed in the intestinal tract and has a long half-life.  Once bound to a cell, it can occupy the body for years. The normal half-life of Bromide is 12 days and in cases of salt restriction and chronic Bromide exposure, the half-life of Bromide can be as high as 45-50 days.  Bromide adversely affects Iodine utilization.  

The national average for Bromide is 1-2mg/24 hour.  Based on research, Bromide values of 5mg/24 hour cause drastic exponential issues.  However, any level of Bromide should be addressed. Possible symptoms of Bromide toxicity or Bromide detox include: headaches, brassy or metallic taste in the mouth, and skin rash tend to be the most common.  See list on next page for more possibilities.

Coupling the Bromide analysis with Iodine, provides key insights of whole body Iodine sufficiency or deficiency.

Possible Sources of Bromide:


  • Fire retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ether) added to many common household items (ie: mattresses, carpeting, furniture foam, plastics of computers, televisions, radios, clothing, draperies, etc.)

  • Pesticides 

  • Antibacterial agent for pools and hot tubs

  • Plastic products

  • Fumigant for termites and other pests


  • Anti-caking agent used in bread making process (including pasta and cereal - Brominated flour)

  • Brominated vegetable oil that may be added to citrus-flavored drinks (including Mountain Dew, AMP Energy drink, and some Gatorade products)

  • Some Anti-Depressants (including: Celexa, Cipramil, Dalsan, Emocal, Recital, Sepram and Seropram)

  • Asthma inhalers and prescription drugs (including Atrovent inhaler, Atrovent nasal spray, Ipratropium nasal spray, Pro-Panthine, Pyridostigmine bromide, and the Spiriva HandiHaler)   


  • Some personal care products

  • Some fabric dyes   

Possible Symptoms of Bromide Toxicity and Bromide Detox:
  • Acne type skin 

  • Anxiety

  • Brain fog

  • Constipation

  • Depression

  • Diarrhea

  • Dry mouth

  • Emotionality

  • Hair loss

  • Headache

  • Irritability

  • Lethargy

  • Metallic taste

  • Rash

  • Runny nose

  • Sedation

  • Sinus ache

  • Feeling dull and apathetic

  • Difficulty concentrating


Original Internist

The Iodine Crisis – Lynne Farrow

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