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Iodine and Nuclear Emergencies Part 2

Part 1 can be found here.




Halides like bromine and fluoride have a similar structure to iodine and may be absorbed in places where iodine is meant to be taken up. We need to keep iodine flowing throughout the body to make sure it is absorbed and that the halides are not absorbed. This method of increasing saturation to prevent uptake of harmful molecules is the same idea behind taking emergency doses of iodine.



Iodine gets distributed throughout the body and so it could take some time before all iodine levels are restored. The thyroid’s iodine needs seems to be satisfied first. Regular doses of iodine is a more effective way to stay protected especially because you will enjoy the numerous benefits of total body iodine supplementation. Also, you will avoid potential detox symptoms when taking an emergency dose. Iodine users can still take high dose iodide pills (potassium iodide) in an emergency to help protect the thyroid during that time.



What do we recommend to regular iodine users in case of an emergency?


  • Read and share our Radiation Health Risks article and have a more grounded understanding of what is happening. This will lessen the sense of panic and improve your ability to respond to an event. Presence of mind will become incredibly valuable.


  • Maintain or increase to levels you are comfortable with. Iodine dosages cannot be measured out accurately for everyone. The individual should gain a feel for when to raise or lower their dosage.


  • Keep additional stores of iodine to make available for others in a time of need. There may not be enough time to find iodine during an event. 


Key Points


  • many tissues throughout the body require iodine to function optimally (not just the thyroid)
  • absence of iodine in these tissues could lead to halides and/or radioactive iodine being taken up instead of iodine which will be toxic
  • new iodine users may experience mild to severe detox symptoms


It is unfortunate we are discussing this with the prospect of war. However, this is an opportunity for the public to learn about iodine and for regular iodine users to share their knowledge and insights.


Related Articles

Radiation Health Risks

Iodine Dosages

Iodine and Detox


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