New trend to help your health could cause more harm than good

Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - They're sold over the counter and are potentially dangerous, yet hundreds of Amarillo residents are rushing to buy them. NewsChannel 10's Kristen Guilfoos has more on the mad dash to find anti-radiation pills and why doctors say you need to think before you take them.

Amid fears of Japan's radiation reaching US soil, several pharmacists and dieticians we spoke with today say they can't keep iodine pills on the shelves... One store owner says he's seen ten times the number of usual customers coming in, wanting to buy them.

The pills flood your system with good potassium, so your body doesn't absorb any radioactive potassium, but doctors say there's no chance of that happening, so there's no need to take the pills at all.

Texas Tech School of Medicine's Dr. Richard Jordan says, "No responsible health care authority, no responsible nuclear regulatory agency official, no responsible meteorologist that says the japan disaster is going to increase the radioactive iodide levels here in the US."

These pills have several possible, and some even dangerous, side effects... Heart problems, thyroid troubles, intestinal issues. If pregnant women take them, there's a chance their babies could develop deformities.