We studied the kinetics of iodine in various forms, in order to establish appropriate guidelines of iodine prophylaxis for thyroid blockade at nuclear emergency in "iodine rich areas", such as Japan. First, the effect of equivalent dose of potassium iodide (KI) (solution vs. tablet) was evaluated with excretions of urinary iodine (UI) at Nagasaki, Japan, and it was revealed that there was no difference of iodine kinetics between solution and tablet. We also performed the same study at Gomel, Belarus, which was known to be an iodine deficient area, and obtained the same results. Second, the kinetics of iodine included in "iodine rich" food was also evaluated with excretions of UI. Interestingly, the ratio of UI excretion with iodine rich food was significantly lower than that with KI tablets until 6 h after the intake (ANOVA, p = 0.02). These results proved that 1) KI solution as well as its tablet is useful for prophylaxis and 2) prophylaxis by iodine rich food is not effective for rapid blockade of thyroid gland at nuclear emergency. Finally, we emphasized that the approach from social medicine is definitely important to establish an effective iodine prophylaxis.
The Japan Endocrine Society