How Does Potassium Iodide (KI) Work?
The thyroid gland cannot tell the difference between non-radioactive and radioactive iodine. It will absorb both kinds. KI works by keeping radioactive iodine out of the thyroid gland where it can cause damage.
When a person takes KI, the thyroid absorbs the non-radioactive iodine in the medicine. Because KI contains so much non-radioactive iodine, the thyroid becomes “full” and cannot absorb any more iodine—either stable or radioactive—for the next 24 hours.
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What is Potassium Iodide (KI)?
Potassium iodide (KI) is a type of iodine that is not radioactive and can be used to help block one type of radioactive material, radioactive iodine (I-131), from being absorbed by the thyroid.
In some radiation emergencies, usually nuclear power plant accidents, radioactive iodine may be released into the environment and enter the body through breathing or eating it. This is known as internal contamination. When the thyroid absorbs high levels of radioactive iodine, it can increase the risk of thyroid cancer in infants, children, and young adults many years after exposure. The thyroid is a gland in the neck that plays an important role in many body functions.
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How Potassium Iodide (KI) Protects the Thyroid
What You Need to Know:
- In a radiation emergency, some people may be told to take potassium iodide (KI) to protect their thyroid.
- Do not take KI unless instructed by public health or emergency response officials or a healthcare provider.
- There are limits to who should use KI and how much it can help. It only protects the thyroid from radioactive iodine (I-131) and does not protect other parts of the body from other types of radiation.
- KI is recommended only for people under 40 and pregnant or breastfeeding people. Doses recommended by the U.S. FDA depend on age.
- KI can have harmful health effects, especially if not needed or not taken correctly. If you are instructed to take KI, only use KI products that are approved by the U.S. FDA.
ThyBlock is not FDA-approved for nuclear fallout. Only products that are FDA-approved may be legally marketed in the United States for this purpose. Only three brands of drugs are currently FDA approved for this purpose, and in times of possible crisis there may be no stock available of these brands. ThyBlock is a dietary supplement marketed for general thyroid health and cellular defense, not for the particular purpose of protecting you from nuclear fallout, and ThyBlock is not a drug. The FDA does not have an approval process for dietary supplements.
The information on this page, which has been sourced from the CDC and made available here in the interest of public health, is for informational purposes only. Where certain dietary supplements contain the same active ingredient and/or dosage as an FDA-approved drug, the FDA’s approval of said drug should not be misconstrued as an approval of, or recommendation for, the similar dietary supplement.
As is the case with all dietary supplements sold in the USA, ThyBlock is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease. ThyBlock is also not FDA-approved, as the FDA does not approve dietary supplements in the USA (the FDA approves drugs and medical devices).