Potassium Iodide, also known as KI is a type of stable iodine, which is used mostly to stop radioactive iodine from being taken up into the thyroid gland. It helps prevent thyroid radiation-induced damage.
The KI treatment can also be utilized to treat patients with breathing issues since it breaks up mucus, which helps clear the airways.
What’s Potassium Iodide (KI)?
The potassium salt is the form of iodide, which is a natural substance. Commercially, potassium iodide can be made by mixing potassium hydroxide and Iodine.
Although potassium iodide can be used in the iodization process for salt and in a variety of industrial applications its main use is in the form of medication and as a nutritional supplement.
Since 1820 potassium iodide was widely used as a medication. It is the World Health Organization (WHO) has potassium iodide listed on the List of Essential Medicines, which includes the most efficient and safest medications needed by any health care system across the world.
Potassium Iodide is available as a tablet and solutions as prescription-only and as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug.
Potassium Iodide is a natural ingredient consumed by the mouth. It’s available in these types: tablets that are uncoated, delayed-release tablets coated with enteric or an oral solution.
1. Relief for Breathing Troubles
The most frequent use for potassium iodide is to assist those who struggle with breathing problems because of congestion.
Mucus can accumulate in the respiratory tract, causing breathing issues, particularly for those suffering from chronic respiratory problems such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema. other lung-related issues that are long-lasting.
Potassium Iodide is an expectorant. It helps to thin out mucus-producing secretions in the respiratory tract by making mucus more loose and breakable. This is what helps people suffering from congestion to discharge mucus, so they breathe easier.
2. Thyroid Protection
The most significant medical application of potassium iodide over the course of history is to protect the thyroid. It is used to shield your thyroid gland against damage caused by radiation prior to administering radioactive Iodide (diagnostic motives). It’s also employed after administration.
As per the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “KI (potassium Iodide) is an unstable salt of (not radioactive) Iodine which can stop radioactive iodine being into your thyroid gland thereby safeguarding the thyroid gland from damage from radiation.”
3. Emergency Thyroid Protection
The KI can also be used for radiation emergency situations (i.e. accidental radiation exposure).
The year 1982 saw the first time potassium Iodide was authorized by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to shield thyroid glands from radiation in the event of a fission emergency or accident.
Radionuclides that pose a risk can be released through accidental nuclear power plant incidents or nuclear fallouts from nuclear bombs. The most harmful substance that can be released from this kind of situation is iodine-131 as it is a risk factor for thyroid cancer.
By infusing the body with potassium iodide that is stable prior to or after exposure, iodine-131 is more likely to be excreted. This stops the over-saturation of radioiodine within the thyroid.
In the space of just four years following receiving the FDA acceptance of potassium iodide as protection for thyroid glands from exposure to radiation and radiation exposure, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor catastrophe took place. The catastrophe caused a huge tsunami of radiation that was dangerous to the surrounding area and exposed the iodine-131, a dangerous compound.
Potassium iodide in the form of a saturated solution (SSKI) was administered to seven million people in Poland and 10.6 million kids in Poland to avoid the build-up of radioactive materials in the thyroid gland.
As time passed, those who lived in areas that had been irradiated where potassium iodide was scarce had thyroid cancer at an epidemic level while those who were given KI were shielded.
The FDA states, “The data clearly demonstrates the risks of radiation from thyroid… The KI may be utilized to provide secure and effective protection from thyroid cancer that is caused by radiation.” (US Food and Drug Administration FDA Discussion Paper The Guidelines to Protect Thyroid Cancer in the event of a nuclear accident).
5. Non-Emergency Thyroid Protection
Potassium iodide can be helpful to protect the thyroid when there are no emergencies. For example, KI is used to treat thyroid hyperactivity, often referred to as hyperthyroidism. It is also utilized in treating skin issues called sporotrichosis.
It is also utilized together with other antithyroid drugs to prepare the thyroid gland for removal surgically. In this case, it reduces the production of thyroid hormones and also by reducing the dimensions of the gland.
6. Dietary Supplement
Potassium iodide can also be used as an ingredient in nutritional supplements for both human and animal feeds. diet.
Ki is widely employed as an additive to “iodize” table salt. It is a public health initiative that aims to reduce Iodine deficiency in areas that are located areas where people consume a small amount of seafood.