Iodide Supplements Flying Off Indiana Shelves

By Megan Trent

March 17, 2011 Updated Mar 17, 2011 at 6:17 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Hoosiers, fearful of radiation making its way to the U.S from Japan, are stocking up on iodide pills. Is it necessary?

It depends who you ask. Many people are taking the "better safe than sorry" approach, but Indiana Health Department officials say there's no need in our area. They say it only protects one part of the body, the thyroid, and could cause allergic reactions in some people. Many people also question the concentration of the radiation if it were to make it all the way to Indiana.

At Healthkick Nutrition Center on W. Jefferson Blvd., Owner Dan Morris says they've been selling out of many types of iodide supplements and are ordering more. They've even created a "call list" for eager customers. If you would like to be added to list, call 260-432-3434.

Iodide, a combination of potassium and iodine, helps stimulate the thyroid gland. A common, naturally-occuring source is often kelp. If iodide is taken in sufficient doses after radiation exposure, it can also help protect against thyroid cancer, especially in children.

Many Hoosiers are buying the tablets because they fear radiation will drift our way. Others are sending bottles to relatives on the west coast or overseas. Morris says, "I've had people ask because they know we have nuclear reactors here in the midwest,. If we should experience an earthquake here - which is possible, because we have fault lines that run in the midwest - there could be a potential disaster here. They just want to have one in their medicine cabinet just in case."

A bottle of iodide supplements will cost you between $10 and $50 depending upon the potency.

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