Violet Iodine is a supplement from BioPharmX that claims to be a safe and effective treatment for premenstrual breast discomfort, otherwise known as fibrocystic breast condition (FBC). Violet Iodine is said to contain molecular iodine technology, which they claim has been clinically proven to reduce swelling, discomfort and/or pain associated with FBC as well as promoting better breast health.
Why do my breasts hurt every month before my period?
Tenderness and swelling of the breasts is very common for many women, due to fluctuating hormone levels associated with the menstrual cycle. Some women also experience lumps in their breasts, which can become very painful – this is known as fibrocystic breast condition or FBC. FBC is said to affect more than half of women at some point in their lives.
FBC is not a disease nor harmful to you other than discomfort. However, the pain can be so severe that many women understandably seek treatment. Lumps in the breasts can also be a sign of breast cancer, so it’s important to see a doctor especially if:
- You see new lumps, or they change
- You have discharge
- Lumps only in one breast
How does Violet Iodine claim it helps me reduce pain from FBC?
Violet Iodine is said to contain a new formula of molecular iodine, which they state is more easily absorbed into the breast tissue and can reduce the swelling and pain. They state with normal iodine supplements the iodine is absorbed more by the thyroid, which can cause hormonal imbalances.
They point to a clinical study that shows more than 50% of patients in a double-blind placebo-controlled study taking 6.0mg/day or molecular iodide experienced relief from symptoms. Violet Iodine is said to contain 3000 Mcg of iodine (as 84% potassium iodide, 16% potassium iodate).
The other main ingredient listed on the label is 55 mcg selenium (as sodium selenite) – This is an essential mineral that some people take for an underactive thyroid, however it is possibly unsafe for long-term use.
Other listed ingredients (amount unknown):
They list as the final ingredient magnesium stearate commonly used in many pharmaceutical drugs and hard candies to keep them from sticking together during the manufacturing process. While there has been some hype that this ingredient is harmful even in small doses, the FDA states there are “no reasonable grounds” to suspect it is a hazard to the public.
The manufacturers insist Violet Iodine is safe and that excess iodine is flushed from the body and promise the relief you feel every month will be worth the price. However, they caution that women with thyroid conditions should not use it.
How much do they charge for a supply of Violet Iodine?
Violet Iodine is available online from a select number of retailers:
- CVS $19.99 for 30, $39.99 for 60
- The Vitamin Shoppe $22.49/$34.99
- Walgreens $44.99/$69.99
- Drugstore.com $22.50/$35.00
- SuperSupplements.com $22.49 for 30
Note that some of these are special offers so prices may change.
What’s the return policy for Violet Iodine?
Each store has its own return policy for supplements like Violet Iodine.
- CVS: 60 days for damaged/unopened products only. Open products can be returned for exchange only. CVS customer service: 888-607-4CVS
- Vitamin Shoppe: 30 days unopened products only. Vitamin Shoppe Support: (866) 293-3367
- Walgreens: 30 days, unopened. Walgreens customer service: 877-250-5823
- Drugstore.com: 30 days of receipt for open or damaged products and subject to a $4.99 postage fee. Drugstore.com customer care: 800-378-4786
- SuperSupplements.com: 30 days for opened or unopened products. Unopened products get their money back, while opened products receive store credit. Customer service can be reached at 877-454-3988
All returns are also minus shipping and handling.
Bottom Line: Is a good way to treat my FBC premenstrual breast pain?
Perhaps yes. Since Violet Iodine is still new, there aren’t many reviews from women who have used it, but those that have, give it generally positive marks.
We also found a study that backed up their assertions that molecular iodine was the most beneficial form of iodine for pain.
However, remember that this product isn’t cheap and there may be more inexpensive remedies for this common but unpleasant condition.
First, remember that while breast pain and lumps are associated with breast cancer, FBC itself is not life threatening. Which brings us to one remedy for breast pain: relax. A review published in Science Direct took a look at 14 years of clinical research on FBC and cites a study showing 61% of women who listened to a relaxation tape for 4 weeks experienced substantial or complete relief.
Their findings also suggest wearing a more comfortable bra and quitting smoking as other effective ways to combat pain. Reduction of caffeine, while not a proven solution, is often prescribed, especially those that have both strong pain and heavy caffeine consumption.
This review took place in 2011, before Violet Iodine was in the market, but they state that iodine levels such as those in Violet Iodine are safe and “may reveal an important role for iodine in maintaining normal breast tissue, architecture and function.”
Still, they conclude: “Treatment should start with simple lifestyle changes and advance in a stepwise fashion to abstinence from certain substances to mild remedies and finally to stronger remedies only in those where other means fail.”
To us, this means, talk to your doctor first and see what they suggest, which will likely include some of the above remedies. If you still find no relief and you’d like to give Violet Iodine a try we say order from SuperSupplements, where you can at least get store credit to try something else should it not work.
Let us know your experience with Violet Iodine below!
You may also want to read: 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying ANY Supplement Online