Potassium iodide is most commonly thought of as a treatment for radiation poisoning. In fact, it was not uncommon for families and individuals afraid of nuclear devastation during the Cold War to carry potassium iodide pills with them at all times.
Potassium iodide is very effective in combating radiation poisoning to the point that it is still used today within the nuclear industry. Potassium iodide is also used as a dietary supplement for a number of reasons.
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Potassium Iodide and the FDA In 2001 the US Food and Drug Administration issued its final guide to potassium iodide use in order to clear up some confusion regarding this compound. This guide dealt only with taking potassium iodide as the result of a nuclear emergency. It had no bearing on... more
In 2001 the US Food and Drug Administration issued its final guide to potassium iodide use in order to clear up some confusion regarding this compound. This guide dealt only with taking potassium iodide as the result of a nuclear emergency. It had no bearing on using the compound as a dietary supplement.
Therefore, supplement manufacturers who use FDA data to back up their claims are being at least a little disingenuous. It also should be noted that potassium iodide dosage recommended as the result of a nuclear emergency is usually 500 to 700 times greater than what is normally found in a dietary supplement.
In such large dosages, potassium iodide should be taken only for a short amount of time as prescribed by a physician. As a daily supplement in much smaller dosages, there is no real threat of serious adverse side effects.
Potassium iodide has two characteristics beneficial to human health which are instrumental in it being sold as a dietary supplement. The first is its ability to break up mucus present in the airways of people suffering from a variety of respiratory conditions.
To this extent potassium iodide has been effective in treating conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Potassium iodide is recommended for use as a dietary supplement by the supplement manufacturers in order to control such conditions.
The second characteristic of potassium iodide is its ability to block thyroid function in those suffering from hyperthyroidism. This means it is often used for patients needing thyroid surgery as a means of preparing the gland before the procedure. This has prompted some supplement makers to promote potassium iodide as a means of preventing thyroid cancer and other thyroid related conditions.
It is important to understand that in both uses mentioned above, potassium iodide is not recommended by physicians to be used as a daily nutritional supplement. The common thinking in the medical community is that this substance should be treated as a medicine and should only be taken under the advice and consultation of a doctor.
While serious adverse side effects have not been documented when taken at low dosage, potassium iodide could pose serious consequences if taken at excessive dosages for too long a time. Although not common, there are some potassium iodide manufacturers who claim daily supplementation is appropriate for regulating metabolism, detoxifying the body, boosting energy, and promoting healthy skin, teeth, and hair.
While it is possible that it does have an effect on these particular things, that effect is most likely minimal at best. There is no evidence to suggest that daily potassium iodide supplementation is of any substantial benefit for these things.
Because of the nature of this compound and its impractical use as a dietary supplement, it's not something that is sold in every pharmacy and health food store in town. In other words, while it's not difficult at all to find vitamins readily available wherever you live, you'll have a harder time finding an ample supply of potassium iodide at your local pharmacy. This was easily demonstrated after the earthquake and tsunami that occurred recently in Japan.
A Wall Street Journal article published on March 15, 2011, just four days after the earthquake and tsunami, documented that American fears of radiation poisoning were leading to a shortage of potassium iodide. The story revealed how several manufacturers quickly ran out of their supplies of potassium iodide as Americans living on the West Coast stocked up, fearing radiation would eventually reach their shores.
The fact that U.S. suppliers ran out of potassium iodide so quickly shows that it is not produced in ample enough supplies to be used on a large scale as a dietary supplement. If you do find potassium iodide online or at a local health food store, it will most likely be in the form of either liquid drops or packages of 50 to 100 tablets. A typical 2-ounce bottle will generally run between $5 and $10 while a 100-count bottle of tablets runs between $10 and $12.
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|None Known When Taken Properly|
|Potassium Iodide, Iodine, Atomic number 53, Cadexomer Iodine|