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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Iodine

For all the crazy, deep in the bunker, afraid of the world, psychotic survivalists that are popping iodine tablets like peanuts, here is an explanation of everything you could ever want to know about taking prophylactic iodine. :thumb: :D:

BuellerBueller, MikeK and a few others, brought up a couple of good questions about iodine.
Strangely good quality information is really not readily available on the internet (who would have thought THAT!)

OK, here’s the Iodine scoop in a nut shell:

KIO3 is Potassium Iodate.
It contains about 59% iodine by mass.
Most KIO3 formulations that are being sold offer 170mg/tablet
This gives a dose of iodine of about 100.9 mg per tablet

KI is Potassium Iodide.
It contains about 76.5% iodine by mass.
Most KI formulations that are being sold offer 130mg/tablet
This gives a dose of iodine of about 90.4 mg per tablet

  • The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of iodine is 0.150 mg/day
  • The Upper Level safe range for iodine is about 1 mg/day.
These tablets being sold over the internet will overdose you in iodine by a factor of about 100x :eek:

This is not just something to ignore, this level of iodine in an average person who's body is naive to high doses of iodine in their diet WILL have medical ramifications :xeye:

Health Problems
The recommended Daily Allowance of iodine is 150 mcg (or 0.150 mg) The pharmacologic dose to treat medical conditions is a little under ten times that amount at 1.1 mg for an average sized adult male. Children MUST be given significantly less by ratio of their mass

Damage to the body can begin with the ingestion of as little as 3 mg/day of iodine. :(

Now, these tablets that are being sold are 33x the amount where an individual will likely begin to have an adverse systemic reaction. Below I have listed a few of the signs and symptoms that you can expect to experience with this level of iodine overdose.
  • Abdominal pain
  • Delirium
  • Stupor
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Metallic taste
  • Oral lesions
  • Fever
  • Oliguria
  • Shock
  • Seizures
  • Tachypnea
  • Thirst

My eyes see a huge synergistic sequela from that above list:
If you add oliguria to any situation in which the heart is already compromised, you can begin to think along the lines of a cardiac event. Add additional fluid with extreme thirst, and you have the makings of a real problem.

High doses of iodine have been linked to papillary cancer :xeye:


Additionally, many individuals that are ingesting more than about 18mg of iodine per day can form a goiter :xeye:



Japan
Some people worldwide have diets that have up to four times that amount (80mg/day), but they are adjusted to that level all the way since childhood and have not mega-dosed themselves to that level in a day. Luckily, Japanese people living in the northeastern portion of Japan (the only people that have to worry about any radiation problems from the disaster in Japan) have these high levels from their normal diet high in seafood and kelp.

Why Would I want to Take Iodine Anyway? :confused:
One of the radioactive threats of a nuclear disaster is radioactive iodine. But this is also a tiny localized threat because the iodine has quite a short half-life of only 8 days. This means that in 8-days, one half of the amount would be atomically reduced to non-radioactive iodine. In 16-days, only 25% would remain radioactive. In a mere 24 days 12.5% on down halving every 182 hours. The radioisotope of iodine that is a problem is also not a significant by product in the fission of nuclear reactor fuel rods to start with, so the levels are going to be a minimal portion of any radiation problem.

Will Taking Iodine Protect Me From Other Radiation? :confused:
Unfortunately, no. The thyroid is a gland in the body (neck) that uses iodine to produce a few hormones that we need. This gland eagerly gobbles up the iodine it needs from whatever source is available, and if radioactive iodine is present in the blood, it will be taken up in the thyroid and used. During the time it is stored in the thyroid, the radiation will be hitting that glandular tissue. That is where the thyroid cancer could come from after exposure. Having iodine already in the bloodstream limits, by dilution, the amount of potentially radioactive iodine that potentially will be taken up by the thyroid. However, all other forms of radioactive material are not blocked by iodine because it is not part of this thyroid-iodine mechanism.

Now, the big question...
How Do I, as a Prepared Individual, Get Enough Iodine without getting sick
from these ridiculously high doses in the tablets?

Well, you could smash the tablets and eat about 1/20th of one to supplement your normal 600mcg (0.6mg) that you get from a normal diet in the USA.
Or, here are some foods higher in iodine to maybe add to your chill-out and relax menu this weekend.

  • Yogurt will give you about 0.095 mg of iodine
  • Beer :thumb: gives about 0.045 mg of iodine (more in the darker beers)
  • Bacon :thumb: OK, not much but who cares :D: about 0.002mg per slice
  • Shrimp & Lobster about 0.125mg per 100g serving
  • Tuna has about 0.024 mg iodine per can
Now remember, we are not trying to get to a hundred milligrams. We are shooting for a non-illness causing upper level of iodine at around 1 mg per day. And that is IF and only if there is radioactive iodine in the air. We should not be taking these tablets or mega-dosing ourselves if there are other radioactive elements, ONLY iodine.

Eat a healthy diet, toss a few cans of tuna and a few yogurts on the menu plan. Go out for a lobster dinner with your loved ones. That is all that would ever be needed unless you are the character in Fallout 3 :D:




And PS: Sorry everyone for the grody pictures. I forget sometimes that most people don't stick their fingers into diseased bodies every day :D:
Opps :xeye:
:eek:: Sorry :eek::
 

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Yet ANOTHER Iodine thread.....................
 

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Michigan_RN,
Have to disagree with you on the dosage here.

FDA (and other organizations) suggest up to 130mg/day during the duration of an event:
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm

In the event of a Nuclear incident, we actually are trying to get to those levels, in order to saturate the thyroid to avoid additional radiation. It's basically the idea that it's worth the long term risk to protect yourself short term, but ONLY if told to do so by emergency personnel during a serious Nuclear incident.

Additionally, food is not capable of producing the levels required. You just can't eat enough of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Michigan_RN,
Have to disagree with you on the dosage here.

FDA (and other organizations) suggest up to 130mg/day during the duration of an event:
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm

In the event of a Nuclear incident, we actually are trying to get to those levels, in order to saturate the thyroid to avoid additional radiation. It's basically the idea that it's worth the long term risk to protect yourself short term, but ONLY if told to do so by emergency personnel during a serious Nuclear incident.

Additionally, food is not capable of producing the levels required. You just can't eat enough of it.
Thanks Pragmatist, this misunderstanding actually should have been something I addressed in the first post :thumb:

The FDA guidelines have been quoted in a few news articles as well
...but what they always fail to point out is that they are for a WICKEDLY high exposure :eek:

"Exposures greater than 500 cGy:
Adults over 40 yrs - 130 mg."
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm#What dosages

That is easy to gloss over, but it is important :thumb:

500 cGy is a half a million millirads :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Wow-zers :D:


The radiation level at the Japanese plant is below 400 millisieverts (40,000 millirem)

So, if we were working as one of the actual heroes trying to control the damage at the plant,
we would need to have 12.5 times that dose
before the FDA recommended level would be reached for saturation of the thyroid with 130mg of KI.

But I am glad you brought that misconception up. A lot of people have been missing that exposure criteria in their discussions on the major news networks.
:D:
 

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Thanks Pragmatist, this misunderstanding actually should have been something I addressed in the first post :thumb:

The FDA guidelines have been quoted in a few news articles as well
...but what they always fail to point out is that they are for a WICKEDLY high exposure :eek:

"Exposures greater than 500 cGy:
Adults over 40 yrs - 130 mg."
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm#What dosages

That is easy to gloss over, but it is important :thumb:

500 cGy is a half a million millirads :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Wow-zers :D:


The radiation level at the Japanese plant is below 400 millisieverts (40,000 millirem)

So, if we were working as one of the actual heroes trying to control the damage at the plant,
we would need to have 12.5 times that dose
before the FDA recommended level would be reached for saturation of the thyroid with 130mg of KI.

But I am glad you brought that misconception up. A lot of people have been missing that exposure criteria in their discussions on the major news networks.
:D:
You are correct, and that's why I said "up to 130mg" :) It all depends on the levels you're exposed to, and dosage varies by age (and normally mass).
 

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So does the mean the somewhere there is a chart that gives a break down?
There is a guideline for exposure at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm

What dosages of potassium iodide (KI) should be taken for specific exposure levels?

Exposures greater than 5 cGy:
Birth through 1 mo. - 16 mg.
1 mo. through 3 yrs. - 32 mg.
3 yrs through 18 yrs. - 65 mg. (Adolescents>150 pounds should take adult dose.)

Exposures greater than 10 cGy:
18 yrs through 40 yrs. - 130 mg

Exposures greater than 500 cGy:
Adults over 40 yrs - 130 mg.
And here is more detailed info from Drugs.com :
EDIT: <DELETED by me after a subsequent post enlightened me>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is exactly why the internet is a poor place to get medical information :xeye:

Drugs.com is worse than Wikipedia for accuracy. The site is not reviewed nor is it ever fixed. The site just cuts and pastes blurbs and clips that they find on the internet (without citations) and reposts garbage. This is exactly why it is important to talk to a healthcare professional BEFORE taking any medications.

A medical professional that uses information from Drugs.com would be liable for criminal penalty under the safe practice acts :eek:

Here is a great example why following that level of dosing is not in one's best interest :D:

The LDLO for iodine is about 28 mg/kg body weight for humans.
(LDLO is the lower observed level for a lethal dose that has occurred from toxicity, not anaphylactic reaction due to allergy)

Weight Lbs. (Weight Kg) ---- Potential Lethal Dose in milligrams and grams
  • 50 lbs (22.7kg) ------------ 635 mg (0.64 g)
  • 100 lbs (45.5 kg) ---------- 1274 mg (1.3 g)
  • 125 lbs (56.8 kg) ---------- 1590 mg (1.6 g)
  • 150 lbs (68.2 kg) ---------- 1910 mg (1.9 g)
  • 175 lbs (79.5 kg) ---------- 2226 mg (2.2 g)
  • 200 lbs (90.9 kg) ---------- 2545 mg (2.5 g)
  • 225 lbs (102.3 kg) --------- 2864 mg (2.9 g)
  • 250 lbs (113.6 kg) --------- 3181 mg (3.2 g)
Not everyone would die at the LDLO, but some people have been poisoned to death at this lower dose range. And if a tiny fraction of people are receiving a lethal dose, then many many more have already surpassed the systemic damage dose LONG before that level.
Be careful :(

Before you start taking ANY iodine in this overblown, survivalist-fueled, prepper-hyped, anti-radiation delusion...
PLEASE consult with your doctor :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Michigan_RN.

Also, do you happen to have a few good references (books preferably) for drug dosage info, interactions, etc. you'd suggest?
Prag! :D: We should have done this over the phone, we seem to be the only ones digging this conversation LOL

Or better yet... Let's get a beer next time and talk about something like this... there's about 45 mcg of iodine in every beer :thumb:

Anyhow, your posts had me digging through so many of my old pharmacology books because, well... nobody seems to have thought that people would intentionally start popping these pills :D:

And, there is such a massive wide range of how each of our individual bodies performs the uptake of iodine. (digging through all this stuff brought back warm fuzzy feelings about my old biochemistry classes) I was using Pearson's Nursing Guide 2011 and my Molecular Biology of the Cell (by Watson et al of the DNA Nobel Prize fame) to find the information I needed on the mechanism of thyroid toxicity.

Heady stuff and very vague. Apparently each of us will have wildly different adsorption based on so many variables that it would be hard to narrow it down. Basically, people will likely have little dangerous reaction to a KI or KIO3 tab a day... they will feel yucky though and it is absolutely not good for them :xeye:

I would just hate to see a few people sick or worse case - die :( from taking something out of fear that they didn't need to take right now.

(hehe, trust me, if I hear about the nuke plant nearest to me, Fermi II, going supernova and I-131 is heading my way, then and only, then I might take a swig or two from my reef tank potassium iodide solution :thumb:)

In the mean time, I hope this hysteria settles down before too many people make themselves sick and use up all their stockpiled toilet paper ;)
 

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Yeah, I really hope no one actually started popping the KI pills yet. But I have a feeling we're going to see some news stories in a few days with people not realizing the effects. There are times where I can understand why the government controls pharmaceuticals. Too few are interested in learning all the details required.

But I will certainly drink a beer tonight with a smile on my face after that post :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So if I am reading this right a yogurt and a beer gives me 1.4 mg and the safe level is 1 mg?
Whoops Nick, good catch, I miss typed those levels... I corrected the data now

A single Beer would be about 45mcg or 0.045mg
A yogurt would be in the range of 95mcg or 0.095mg

So we need to consume about a case of beer tonight to hit about 1.08mg of iodine :thumb:

And as soon as my buddies get here that is exactly my plans for the evening!

:D:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That weight chart doesnt cover full-grown adults! Just sayin. Im thick!

OK, ZHC for you tonight we have the big and tall shop version of the chart :thumb:

Weight Lbs. (Weight Kg) -- Potential Lethal Dose in milligrams and grams
275 lbs (125 kg) ------------ 3500 mg (3.5 g)
300 lbs (136 kg) ------------ 3808 mg (3.8 g)
325 lbs (148 kg) ------------ 4136 mg (4.1 g)
350 lbs (159 kg) ------------ 4455 mg (4.5 g)
375 lbs (170 kg) ------------ 4773 mg (4.7 g)
400 lbs (182 kg) ------------ 5091 mg (5.1 g)

Now don't try to reach that level for godz sake! :D:

That is the LDLO for that weight NOT the recommended dose LOL :D:
 

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Thanks Michigan. So my understatnding of taking the iodine was so that your adnoids cant absorb anymore that way your adnoids cant take in radioactive iodine. Is 1 mg enough to do that? I am the whole way on the East coast, so I have nothing to worry about this time, but I do remember 3 mile island when I was a kid living up that way. Just interested incase we were to have a meltdown post shtf and there ar no means to get needed info.
 
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