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How does iodine work to prevent effects from radiation?

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Non-Radioactive Iodine Aids the Thyroid

Iodine can be used in radiation emergencies that involve radioactive iodine. Iodine purchased here contains non-radioactive iodine. Iodine that isn’t radioactive aids in preventing the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine.

How Absorptions Work

Radioactive iodine cannot be distinguished from non-radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland. Both will be absorbed. Iodine prevents radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid gland, where it could cause damage. When a person takes iodine, the thyroid absorbs the non-radioactive iodine. Then, the thyroid gets “full” and is unable to absorb any more iodine for the following 24 hours, whether it be stable or radioactive.

The Limitations

Iodine cannot fully prevent radioactive iodine from entering the body nor can it undo impacts to a person’s health caused by radioactive iodine damaging the thyroid gland.

Do not use table salt or food as a substitute for Iodine. The amount of iodine in table salt and iodine-rich meals is insufficient to prevent radioactive iodine from entering your thyroid gland. Table salt overdoses can be dangerous.

Only dose iodine to prevent effects from radiation on the advice of a medical doctor, public health, or emergency management officials. Iodine overdose can be dangerous to your health.

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