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It’s always important to know not only what to use for certain scenarios, but what the limitations of that item are. It’s a great idea to keep an appropriate form of Iodine in your preps to help protect against Nuclear radiation, but do you know the proper dosages? Do you know what forms of radiation it can help protect against? Read on to find out.
What radiation does Iodine protect against? And how?
Iodine supplementation can protect against radioactive iodine. Many people are aware that our thyroid uses iodine, but it’s actually used throughout your body. When it comes to protecting against radioactive iodine though, it’s the thyroid we are focusing on. Your body will absorb either form of iodine because it can’t tell the difference, so the trick is to load your cells with good iodine before it has the chance to absorb the bad.
Isn’t Iodine dangerous to take?
Your body requires iodine to function. A deficiency can contribute to things like a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), potentially contributing to cancer. That’s why most salt in the US is iodized, though this is only a small amount of iodine and not enough to block radioactive iodine absorption.
But what if I’m allergic?
Since iodine itself is required by all your cells, it’s not really possible to be allergic the way people think. Usually the belief that you’re allergic stems from a misunderstanding of the common forms (like iodine based contrast dyes) and how they differ from iodine itself. A good explanation of this can be found on this page.
How much is too much and what can I do to make it easier on my body?
Many people supplement iodine, even at high dosages, and see good results. This community can offer a lot of tips on supplements to take with iodine or other ways to ease the effects on your body. Good sources of information would be Dr. Brownstein’s books or this guide by Stephanie Buist.
What forms of Iodine can I take to prevent absorbing radioactive Iodine?
iOSAT – Brand of potassium iodide specifically manufactured for blocking radioactive iodine. Each pill is 130mg. Shelf life is 7 years.
Lugol’s Iodine – A 5% Lugol’s solution is 5% Iodine and 10% Potassium Iodide in water. There are different strengths of the solution on the market so make sure you know what you’re buying. Two drops of 5% Lugol’s equals 5mg iodine and 7.5mg of potassium iodide. This has the extra advantage of being capable of double duty — you can purify water with Lugol’s too.
Lugol’s Iodine Shelf Life
While these bottles will usually have an expiration of 2-3 years, in practice it can be indefinite if stored properly. This means no sunlight or other strong light, cool storage location, and sealed (or lid on securely). If the bottles you order come with a dropper, replace the lids or put liquid in a different container with a more secure lid. The rubber in the dropper lids degrades fairly quickly, exposing the entire bottle to air and making the droppers nearly impossible to use. Some I’ve bought on Amazon came with a regular top and a separate dropper top to switch out when I’m ready to use the bottle.
Iodoral – Tablet form of the Lugol’s Iodine (Iodine and Potassium Iodide). Comes in various dosages.
You can find other brands similar to the above, but those are the three types/brands I’d go for first.
What dosages are needed for adequate protection against radioactive iodine?
Iodine stays in your system for about a day, so you’ll need to take a dose every day while potentially exposed to nuclear radiation. The FDA has put out recommended daily doses which are also posted on the CDC website:
- Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg (¼ of a 65 mg tablet or ¼ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing newborn infants.
- Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg (½ of a 65 mg tablet OR ½ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing infants and children.
- Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65 mg (one 65 mg tablet OR 1 mL of solution). Children who are adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the full adult dose, regardless of their age.
- Adults should take 130 mg (one 130 mg tablet OR two 65 mg tablets OR two mL of solution).
- Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose of 130 mg.
If you try taking a form of Iodine other than what I listed above make sure it contains POTASSIUM IODIDE and make sure it is in MILLIGRAMS (MG). Many supplements on the market are extremely low dose and are in MICROGRAMS (MCG). If you don’t note this detail you could end up taking far less than the necessary amount. Remember, 1,000 micrograms equals 1 milligram.
- CDC: Potassium Iodide (KI)
- FDA: Frequently Asked Questions on Potassium Iodide (KI)
- FDA: Guidance: Potassium Iodide as a Thyroid Blocking Agent in Radiation Emergencies (PDF)