Potassium Iodide Works: Rare Agreement Between Alternative Health and the FDA

Brandon Turbeville

With the tragedy in Japan continuing to unfold as we speak, most news coverage has focused on the death toll resulting from the earthquake and tsunami. Some coverage has also been given to the meltdown of the Japanese nuclear reactors. However, there has been very little discussion in the mainstream media of the attempted cover-up of problems at seventeen reactors that malfunctioned in 2003, or that the radioactive particles from the latest full-blown catastrophe could soon be reaching the western United States as early as March 25th.  
Much of the independent media, on the other hand, has been covering the wider issues and, as a result, a discussion has been generated about the means by which we can protect ourselves against such radiation. In this regard, there has been much conjecture as to whether KI (Potassium Iodide) can protect against radiation poisoning, as well as whether or not KI poses enough significant health risks as to preclude its usage.  

First, in regards to whether or not KI is useful in protecting against radiation, the answer is Yes. KI is recognized by most professionals ranging from natural health promoters such as Natural News to those who are generally the enemy of all things natural and wholesome, the FDA.
The Health Ranger, Mike Adams of Natural News, writes:  

If you leave the fate of your own health up to a bunch of state bureaucrats, you’re a fool. Everybody needs to have some potassium iodide on hand to protect themselves from radiation poisoning caused by nuclear accidents or nuclear terrorism. [emphasis added]

He continues in the same article:

Never mind that experts say the over-the-counter potassium iodide pills are the cheapest and easiest way to prevent radiation poisoning – especially in children – in case of a nuke attack. [emphasis added] Source


Last year, a report commissioned by Congress recommended that everyone under 40 near a nuclear power plant should have the pills on hand. [emphasis added] Source

The FDA itself actually says something similar.   The FDA released a document entitled, Guidance on Potassium Iodide as a Thyroid Blocking Agent in Radiation Emergencies, the purpose of which was to provide guidance to other Federal agencies such as the EPA and the NRC, as well State and Local agencies, regarding the safety and efficacy of using KI in the event of a nuclear emergency where radioactive iodine is released into the environment.  
Another FDA document which discussed KI dosages and recommended duration of use can be found here, as well as the FAQ section on the FDA’s own website regarding KI which can be found here. This document and the FAQ section clearly demonstrate that the FDA recognizes KI as a radioprotective agent. Indeed, the FDA expressly states:

The effectiveness of KI as a specific blocker of thyroid radioiodine uptake is well established. When administered in the recommended dose, KI is effective in reducing the risk of thyroid cancer in individuals or populations at risk for inhalation or ingestion of radioiodines. 

KI works by flooding the thyroid with non-radioactive Iodine which thereby prevents the uptake of the radioactive Iodine molecules. These molecules are then released through the urine. That being said, it should be noted that KI is not a general protection agent against radiation. KI ONLY prevents the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine. Therefore, one should not look at KI as a general “sun-block” version of radiation protection. 
There are also many risks associated with KI according to the FDA. Although researchers continue to debate the severity of these risks, possible dangers include:
  • Acne 
  • Rashes 
  • Allergic Reactions 
  • Swelling of the Glands (similar to Mumps)  
  • Runny Eyes  
  • Runny Nose  
  • Impotence  
  • Sore Teeth and Gums  
  • Metallic Taste in Mouth  
  • Swelling of the Salivary Glands
In more serious cases, according to Mike Adams, as a result of deluging an otherwise normal thyroid gland with KI, the result may be the inhibition of the gland’s production of thyroxine. There has also been some question (although its widely debated) as to whether or not KI in abnormal amounts can actually facilitate the growth of cancer.
Most of these side effects manifest themselves as a result of the fact that humans need just the right amount of KI for optimal thyroid function. In short, more is not better . . .  and neither is less.  
In the event of a radioactive emergency, none of these side effects are severe enough to preclude KI from being used. The dangers of radioactive exposure far outweigh the side effects of short term KI treatment. Nevertheless, KI should only be used in the event of an emergency and not merely as a regular dietary supplement.  
Keep in mind, a proven safe and effective means of natural iodine consumption is Kelp. In fact, your body absorbs iodine better from Kelp (a natural source) than it does from KI supplements. It is also much safer, especially in regards to the thyroid gland. In reference to Kelp, Earl Mindell, author of Vitamin Bible for the Twenty-First Century, writes that “Kelp has a normalizing effect on the thyroid gland. In other words, thin people with thyroid trouble can gain weight by using kelp, and obese people can lose weight with it.”

In the incredibly rare event where natural health and government health overlap in agreement, as in the case of the protective benefits of potassium iodide against nuclear radiation exposure, it duly requires our added level of attention.  

Please leave your comments about your knowledge and preparation against the growing concern of radioactive exposure in the U.S. and elsewhere. 

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University where he earned the Pee Dee Electric Scholar’s Award as an undergraduate. He has had numerous articles published dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, and civil liberties. He is also the author of Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom 

Currently out of stock on iodide tablets but taking orders — great source for all survival needs

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