By Ethan A. Huff(NaturalNews) Those looking for potassium iodide to help offset the health-devastating effects of a potentially widespread nuclear fallout may be shocked to discover that many vendors of the product have significantly raised their prices since March 11, the day of the massive 9.0+ Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Many distributors who still happen to have stocks of potassium iodide supplements have literally gouged their prices by 500 percent or more, taking financial advantage of those looking to simply protect themselves and their families from potential radiation poisoning.Recent reports indicate that people across the world, and especially in the Western US, are quickly buying out stocks of potassium iodide and other iodine supplements over fears of an impending nuclear fallout that may soon reach North American shores (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527...). And officials are sending mixed signals about whether or not to buy iodine as a precautionary measure, while noting that thousands of people have already flooded pharmacists with requests for the pills (http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Surgeon...). Based on the very serious nature of the situation, though, preparedness is the best route to take.But this preparedness has caused a massive increase in demand for iodine supplements, which has left most manufacturers and vendors completely out of stock. And many of those that still have stocks have jacked up their prices by massive amounts. Some vendors, for instance, are now selling what would otherwise be a $5-10 box of potassium iodide tablets for over $400 (http://www.amazon.com/iOSAT-Potassium-Iodide...).Between March 11 and March 15, the price of iodine supplements has literally skyrocketed all across the 'net. Just yesterday, many venders were selling the otherwise $10-or-so potassium iodide packs from ANBEX INC. for an outrageous $99. But in a matter of 24 hours or less, this same product is now approaching $500 from the same vendors. You can see for yourself that this 14-pack of potassium iodide supplements that costs $10 from the manufacturer (http://www.mcssl.com/SecureCart/ViewCart.asp...) currently costs $439.99 at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/iOSAT-Potassium-Iodide...).A quick visit to Vitacost.com offers even more insight into the actual costs of iodine supplements before the Japan quake (http://www.vitacost.com/productResults.aspx?...), versus what they are now, if available. A 14-pack of 130 mg potassium iodide supplements from Life Extension normally costs a mere $5.21 from Vitacost (http://www.vitacost.com/Life-Extension-Potas...). And at Google Shopping, you will see a similar array of products all for under $20, and most for under $10 (http://www.google.com/search?q=potassium+iod...). But back to Amazon, one seller is peddling 90 50 mg tabs of potassium iodide from Iodoral for $79.99 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002D9PCKY/...).Not only is this Iodoral product normally priced less than $20, but the Amazon page deceitfully makes it look like the "list price" of this item is $99.99, and that $79.99 is a special sale price. This is despite the fact that just days ago, the Iodoral product had a list price that was just a fraction of this "special price."And if that isn't enough, check out the hordes of eBay sellers trying to make a quick buck -- or a few hundred, for that matter -- on an unwitting, desperate public. Some eBay sellers are trying to peddle the same $10 14-packs of potassium iodide previously mentioned, which are the exactly the same as the $5.21 Life Extension packs from Vitacost, for up to $600, and maybe even more (http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=iosat&_saca...). Potassium iodide has literally become the new gold.There are, however, many honest vendors out there that did not spike their iodine prices to take advantage of the Japan disaster for their own gross financial gain. This includes the NaturalNews.com Store which up until this afternoon was still selling iodine products for the same low prices they have always been (http://store.naturalnews.com/index.php?main_...). Unfortunately, these products are currently sold out with new stocks expected early next week.What many people don't realize, however, is that the iodine found in these expensive, and now out-of-stock, iodine supplements is the same iodine that you can naturally find in many foods. Iodine-rich sea vegetables like kombu and kelp that cost just a few dollars contain very high levels of natural iodine. According to a 2006 review in the Vegetarian Journal, a single 1/10-inch sheet of kombu seaweed contains 150 mg of iodine. And less than a 1/4 teaspoon of kelp contains 150 mg of iodine (http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2006issue2/vj20...).Pectin-rich foods like apples are also beneficial for cleansing the body of radioactive materials. According to the book Fighting Radiation and Chemical Pollutants with Foods, Herbs and Vitamins, pectin binds to radioactive compounds and chelates them from bodily tissues and the bloodstream. It then flushes them out of the body (http://www.livestrong.com/article/334359-foo...). And pectin supplements can also be purchased very inexpensively.Both chlorella and spirulina, two deep-sea algaes known for their incredible cleansing and healing powers, are also excellent at protecting against radiation toxicity. Chlorella neutralizes radiation and effectively removes it from the body, along with various other heavy metals and toxins like mercury (http://www.naturalnews.com/031708_iodine_rad...). And spirulina is a highly effective "medical food" that was used during the Chernobyl crisis to treat children suffering from radiation poisoning.So before you get caught up in the mad rush to buy potassium iodide and other supplements that have been greatly marked up in price, and which are now mostly unavailable, check out the many natural sources of iodine and other radiation-mitigating foods and supplements that are available right now at a relatively low cost. And watch NaturalNews.com for more announcements about trusted sources for obtaining preparedness nutritional supplements and emergency medicine products.