Breast cysts (fibrocystic breast disease) and cancer are common in the U.S. and Europe, but rare in Japan. It is suspected that this occurs because the Japanese diet is high in iodine, and iodine deficiency is becoming increasingly common in the U.S. Iodine is critical for breast health (and also thyroid function).


If you have a breast cyst or knot that lasts over a month, have your physician check it.

General Diet Advice

Avoid caffeine

For severe cases, this includes the caffeine in chocolate.

Recommended Supplements


150-200 mcg of iodine is recommended for everyone’s day-to-day requirements. A dose as high as 12.5 mg iodine is recommended for breast cysts (and also for breast cancer). Do not exceed this amount unless you are under a health practitioner’s supervision. It will help sooner, but give it 3 months to work. Very rarely, iodine can aggravate acne or indigestion, so stop the iodine supplement if this occurs or take a lower dose. This treatment is also recommended for women with breast cancer (along with vitamin D 2,000 units a day — unless blood calcium is high) and coenzyme Q10 at 400 mg a day. (For more information on iodine, see the book “Iodine” by David Brownstein M.D.)

Vitamin E

Take vitamin E 400 units a day (use a “natural mixed tocopherols” form).

More Information Online

Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It (book on


About Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr.

More from Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD