Iodine Supplement (Potassium Iodide Pills, Tablets, Liquids) : What is it?
Non prescription iodine pills, tablets, supplements, and liquid form potassium iodide or KI are especially helpful in preventing the thyroid from absorbing “radioactive iodine” that is released into the air following a nuclear disaster where uranium atoms split in a nuclear reactor. Taking iodine tablets and supplements (often called anti radiation pills) is especially important for pregnant women, as doing so also protects the thyroid of the fetus. These supplements are not comprehensive anti-radiation pills, but they do protect the thyroid, which is especially exposed.
Potassium iodide (whether in tablet, pill, or liquid form) blocks radioactive iodine by filling up the thyroid’s daily iodine quota, thus blocking radioactive iodine from being absorbed. Most people are advised to immediately take them as soon as there is warning of radiation contamination, before further damage can occur. If the thyroid is left without protection, it will quickly absorb radioactive iodine, which often results in thyroid cancer.
Note that iodine supplements only protect the thyroid; it cannot prevent radioactive iodine from getting into the body through inhalation (breathing) or eating contaminated food. It also does not protect the thyroid from other radioactive materials, only iodine. It cannot reverse damage.
Although iodized table salt contains iodine, it is not a substitute for iodine tablets because it does not contain enough to be able to block radioactive iodine.
Kinds of Iodine Supplements include the following:
Liquid iodine supplements
- Sold under the brand name ThyroShield, approved by the FDA
- Often preferred by children
Tablet / Pill iodine supplements
- Sold under the brand name Iosat, approved by the FDA
- Has a longer expiration date
- Less expensive
- Conveniently packaged for “single-unit dosing”
Form. There is absolutely no difference between pill/tablet form and liquid form iodine supplements in terms of effectiveness and safety. Both adults and children can take them. Both are FDA approved. The tablet from Iosat can also be quickly crushed and dissolved for administering to a child.
Dosage. Adults who choose to buy Iosat tablets need to take one tablet a day; children only need half a tablet. Adults who choose to buy ThyroShield need two droppersful of the liquid daily; children only need one dropperful.
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