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Iodine and Radiation – How it Works

 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.

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