Iodine and Radiation – How it Works

Nascent iodine offers thyroid protection from radiation – as we were clearly reminded during the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011. While iodine protects against radiation poisoning of the thyroid, its radioactive state has also proven a useful emergency medical tool.

How Iodine Protects Against Radiation

A nuclear or radiological event such as the Fukushima disaster released large amounts of Iodine-131 into the air. In a radioactive event like this, the thyroid will quickly absorb the Iodine-131. This internal contamination damages the thyroid, leading to hypothyroidism (when the thyroid fails to produce adequate hormones) or worse.

That’s because the thyroid cannot distinguish between normal iodine and radioactive iodine. In a situation like this, nascent iodine may save your life.

Here is how it works… nascent iodine floods the thyroid with stable iodine. Being full of stable iodine, the thyroid cannot absorb radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid. The necessary amounts of nascent iodine depends on the age and size of the individual in question.

Keep in mind, nascent iodine only protects from radioactive iodine – not from other radioactive substances or effects. It also does not repair a damaged thyroid.

Does Radioactive Iodine Have Any Benefit?

Some thyroid conditions require an immediate slowing of the hormone production. In situations like this, a miniscule amount of Iodine-131 can be used to slow thyroid hormone production. While this may seem counterintuitive, the amount of iodine used is very, very small. And it is used only in emergency situations. And it’s only administered in medical settings, you’re not going to get it from the corner drugstore and administer it yourself.

Iodine as a Contrast Agent

Iodine is also used as a contrast agent in radiography, x-rays and computed tomography of the vascular system or the gastrointestinal tract. In this application, it prevents the radiation from passing through the tissue, producing a much clearer image. The recommended type of iodine used in this procedure is inactive and is designed not to interact with the body. [1]

Radiation and Iodine – Toxin and Protector

As a means of radioactive protection, nascent iodine has proven successful in protecting the thyroid. While it also has use as an emergency medical tool in radiography, iodine remains an integral part of human health. Knowing how to use nascent iodide in an emergency may save your life. In fact, I recommend keeping it on hand at all times. Nuclear disasters can happen with very little warning and nascent iodine can be in short supply during an emergency. Do you have Detoxadine in your emergency preparation kit? If not – I suggest you get some today. The benefits far outweigh its miniscule price tag.

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

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  1. Mihl C, Wildberger JE, Jurencak T, Yanniello MJ, Nijssen EC, Kalafut JF, Nalbantov G, Mühlenbruch G, Behrendt FF, Das M. Intravascular Enhancement With Identical Iodine Delivery Rate Using Different Iodine Contrast Media in a Circulation Phantom. Invest Radiol. 2013 Jul 12.

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