posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 11:27 PM
Multi vitamins DO NOT CONTAIN enough KI to be of any use.
You need a dose of 130 milligrams not micrograms starting 24 hours before exposure.
Some Japanese who eat a lot of seaweed get as much as 80 milligrams
a day in their diet and they would be protected. Side effects of even
that amount are usually minimal unless you are allergic to it.
Product labeling for diagnostic iodine-131 iobenguane recommends potassium iodide administration one day before injection and continuing 5 to 7 days
following administration, in keeping with the much longer half-life of this isotope and its greater danger to the thyroid. Iodine-131 iobenguane
used for therapeutic purposes requires a different pre-medication duration, beginning 24–48 hours prior to iobenguane injection and continuing
10–15 days following injection.
 Thyroid protection due to nuclear accidents and emergencies
SSKI may be used in radioiodine-contamination emergencies (i.e., nuclear accidents) to "block" the thyroid's uptake of radioiodine (this is not the
same as blocking the thyroid's release of thyroid hormone).
Potassium iodide was approved in 1982 by the US FDA to protect the thyroid glands from radioactive iodine from accidents or fission emergencies. In
the event of an accident or attack at a nuclear power plant, or fallout from a nuclear bomb, volatile fission product radionuclides may be released,
of which 131I is one of the most common by-products and a particularly dangerous one due to thyroid gland concentration of it, which may lead to
thyroid cancer. By saturating the body with a source of stable iodide prior to exposure, inhaled or ingested 131I tends to be excreted.
Potassium iodide cannot protect against any other causes of radiation poisoning, nor can it provide any degree of protection against dirty bombs that
produce radionuclides other than isotopes of iodine. See fission products and the external links for more details concerning radionuclides.
WHO Recommended Dosage for Radiological Emergencies involving radioactive iodine Age KI in mg
Over 12 years old 130
3 – 12 years old 65*
1 – 36 months old 32
< 1 month old 16
(*...contained in one scored tablet specific for this use. The potassium iodide in iodized salt is insufficient for this use as 80 tablespoons would
be needed to equal one tablet.)
The World Health Organization recommends that nuclear fallout KI prophylaxis is not recommended for adults over 40 years, unless inhaled radiation
dose levels are expected to threaten thyroid function; because, the KI side effects increases with age and may exceed the KI protective effects
"...unless doses to the thyroid from inhalation rise to levels threatening thyroid function, that is of the order of about 5 Gy. Such radiation doses
will not occur far away from an accident site."
The protective effect of KI lasts approximately 24 hours. For optimal prophylaxis, KI should therefore be dosed daily, until a risk
of significant exposure to radioiodines by either inhalation or ingestion no longer exists.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services restated these two years later as "The downward KI (potassium iodide) dose adjustment by age group,
based on body size considerations, adheres to the principle of minimum effective dose. The recommended standard (daily) dose of KI for all school-age
children is the same (65 mg). However, adolescents approaching adult size (i.e., >70 kg [154 lbs]) should receive the full adult dose (130 mg) for
maximal block of thyroid radioiodine uptake. Neonates ideally should receive the lowest dose (16 mg) of KI."
 Historical use and analysis
Following the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster in April, 1986, a saturated solution of potassium iodide (SSKI) was administered to 10.5 million
children and 7 million adults in Poland as a prophylactic measure against accumulation of radioactive iodine-131 in the thyroid gland. People in
the areas immediately surrounding Chernobyl itself, however, were not given the supplement.
Potassium iodide’s (KI) value as a radiation protective (thyroid blocking) agent was demonstrated at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear accident when
Soviet authorities distributed it in a 30 km zone around the plant. The purpose was to protect residents from radioactive iodine, a highly
carcinogenic material found in nuclear reactors which had been released by the damaged reactor. Only a limited amount of KI was available, but those
who received it were protected. Later, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reported, “thousands of measurements of I-131 (radioactive iodine)
activity...suggest that the observed levels were lower than would have been expected had this prophylactic measure not been taken. The use of KI...was
credited with permissible iodine content in 97% of the evacuees tested.”
Poland, 300 miles from Chernobyl, also distributed KI to protect its population. Approximately 18 million doses were distributed, with follow-up
studies showing no known thyroid cancer among KI recipients. With the passage of time, people living in irradiated areas where KI was not
available have developed thyroid cancer at epidemic levels, which is why the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported “The data clearly
demonstrate the risks of thyroid radiation...KI can be used [to] provide safe and effective protection against thyroid cancer caused by
Chernobyl also demonstrated that the need to protect the thyroid from radiation was greater than expected. Within ten years of the accident, it became
clear that thyroid damage caused by released radioactive iodine was virtually the only adverse health effect that could be measured. As reported by
the NRC, studies after the accident showed that “As of 1996, except for thyroid cancer, there has been no confirmed increase in the rates of other
cancers, including leukemia, among the...public, that have been attributed to releases from the accident.”
But equally important to the question of KI is the fact that radiation releases are not “local” events. Researchers at the World Health
Organization accurately located and counted the cancer victims from Chernobyl and were startled to find that “the increase in incidence [of thyroid
cancer] has been documented up to 500 km from the accident site...significant doses from radioactive iodine can occur hundreds of kilometers from the
site, beyond emergency planning zones." Consequently, far more people than anticipated were affected by the radiation, which caused the United
Nations to report in 2002 that “The number of people with thyroid cancer...has exceeded expectations. Over 11,000 cases have already been
These findings were consistent with studies of the effects of previous radiation releases. In 1945, millions of Japanese were exposed to radiation
from nuclear weapons, and the effects can still be measured. Today, nearly half (44.8%) the survivors of Nagasaki studied have identifiable thyroid
disease, with the American Medical Association reporting “it is remarkable that a biological effect from a single brief environmental exposure
nearly 60 years in the past is still present and can be detected.” This, as well as the development of thyroid cancer among residents in the
North Pacific from radioactive fallout following the United States' nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s (on islands nearly 200 miles downwind of the
tests) were instrumental in the decision by the FDA in 1978 to issue a request for the availability of KI for thyroid protection in the event of a
release from a commercial nuclear power plant or weapons-related nuclear incident. Noting that KI’s effectiveness was “virtually complete” and
finding that iodine in the form of potassium iodide (KI) was substantially superior to other forms including iodate (KIO3) in terms of safety,
effectiveness, lack of side effects, and speed of onset, the FDA invited manufacturers to submit applications to produce and market KI.
Today, three companies (Anbex, Inc., Fleming Co, and Recip of Sweden) have met the strict FDA requirements for manufacturing and testing of KI, and
they offer products (IOSAT, ThyroShield, and Thyro-Safe, respectively) which are available for purchase. The Swedish manufacturing facility for
Thyrosafe, a potassium iodide tablet for thyroid protection from radiation manufactured by Recipharm AB, was mentioned on the secret US 2008 Critical
Foreign Dependencies Initiative leaked by Wikileaks in 2010.
 Adverse reactions
There have been some reports of potassium iodide treatment causing swelling of the parotid gland (one of the three glands which secrete saliva), due
to its stimulatory effects on saliva production.
A saturated solution of KI (SSKI) is typically given orally in adult doses of about 250 mg iodide several times a day (5 drops of SSKI assumed to be
⅓ mL) for thyroid blockage and occasionally as an expectorant. At these doses, and sometimes at much lower doses, side effects may include: acne,
loss of appetite, or upset stomach (especially during the first several days, as the body adjusts to the medication). More severe side effects which
require notification of a physician are: fever, weakness, unusual tiredness, swelling in the neck or throat, mouth sores, skin rash, nausea, vomiting,
stomach pains, irregular heartbeat, numbness or tingling of the hands or feet, or a metallic taste in the mouth.