What you need to know about iodine

Thursday, March 17, 2011 by: Robert Kress RPh CCN
Tags: iodine, radiation, health news

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(NaturalNews) The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan has led to fears of nuclear destruction and an increasing talk about iodine. It is important to understand that not all forms of iodine are the same, and different types of iodine will concentrate in different tissues and glands within the body.

In the event of a nuclear meltdown where radioactive iodine is released, potassium iodide is what is needed to protect the thyroid from the damaging effects of radioactive iodine. Potassium iodide has a strong affinity to the thyroid gland and will saturate the tissue preventing the absorption of the radioactive iodine. There are potassium iodide products that are made specifically for such a situation, which is why it is recommended to rely on such products and not to substitute with what could be far inferior products. One must use caution because the potassium iodide used for protection against radioactive iodine comes in an adult dosage of 130 mg (milligrams) tablets. Someone can mistakenly purchase a potassium iodide product off of a vitamin store shelf containing less than 200 mcg (micrograms), far less than what would be needed.

Potassium iodide can only protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine, not other parts of the body. Potassium iodide also cannot protect the body from radioactive elements other than radioactive iodine. If radioactive iodine is not present, taking potassium iodide is not protective.

Aside from iodine being used as a thyroid blocking agent, iodine preparations have many other uses supportive to one's health due to its antibacterial, anticancer, antiparasitic, and antiviral properties. The iodine which is used in supplementation is in the form of iodine, potassium iodide, or combinations of both.

Historically, receiving the benefits of iodine through supplementation was problematic due to the fact that iodine itself is not very soluble in water. This made it difficult to get iodine into a solution which used water as a solvent. Then in 1829, Dr Jean Lugol discovered that potassium iodide added to water increased the solubility of iodine. This led Dr Lugol to create and begin using a solution for infections known as Lugol's solution, which was a mixture of 5% iodine and 10% potassium iodide in water.

The combination of iodine and its reduced form, iodide, led to another benefit and is a major reason why certain iodine preparations utilize such combinations today. Different tissues of the body actually prefer one, or both, of these forms of iodine.

Since potassium iodide has a high affinity and ability to concentrate in the thyroid tissue, it is used as a thyroid blocking agent. Conversely, iodine itself is concentrated much more efficiently in areas such as prostate gland and breast tissue. Thus using a product that is purely potassium iodide might not give you the benefits you are looking for in the prostate and breast regions of the body.

For reasons of supporting your overall health and taken on a daily regimen, combination products that utilize both iodine and potassium iodide are what is recommended. For reasons of protecting the thyroid gland from the event of a nuclear event, then a highly concentrated potassium iodide product should be used under the guidelines and recommendations provided with the product.


Brownstein, David, M.D. Iodine: Why You Need It Why You Can't Live Without It preparedness/bioterrorismanddrugprreparedness/ucm072265.htm

The CDC Radiation Emergency Site

About the author

Robert B Kress RPH CCN, The Renegade Pharmacist has been bucking the trend of Big Pharma since he graduated pharmacy school in 1994.
In additional to conventional pharmacy, Robert has acquired expertise in kinesiology, bio-identical hormonal therapy and is a board certified clinical nutritionist.
After owning his own Alternative Pharmacy with his wife Amy, an expert in Longevity Skin care, they now spend their time educating others on all measures of health, natural living as well as self-sufficiency in many aspects of life at their website, Aware, Prepare, and Prosper

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