Our hearts and prayers go out to the brave people in Japan as their nuclear crisis continues to escalate each day atop their recent record breaking natural disasters. And despite assurances by the US government that there is no real risk of radiation exposure here in North America, fears are rising regarding the potential for clouds of radioactive fallout (radioactive isotopes) to travel via jet stream winds and contaminate local areas, especially on the West Coast.
Could this really happen?
While this is a tough question which experts and authorities are undoubtedly grappling with by the minute, the general answer is yes. If explosions from the damaged nuclear plants in Japan propel radioactive materials into the upper atmosphere, jet stream winds can carry them far and wide, causing cumulative repercussions across the globe. Adding to the anxiety is the general sense that accurate information regarding the severity of this devastating crisis is being kept from the general public, both here and in Japan, to prevent widespread panic.
As a result, we’ve seen an enormous demand for the supplement potassium iodine to help protect against radiation exposure, and many West Coast suppliers are now completely out of stock. However, this supplement is not a cure all for radiation-related illnesses, and only protects from thyroid cancer by preventing the thyroid – the organ most vulnerable to radiation — from absorbing radioactive iodine, called iodine-131. The radioactive isotope Cesium-134 has also been leaking from the Japanese reactors in addition to iodine -131, and there is reason to believe that other radioactive isotopes such as Strontium-90 are leaking into the atmosphere as well.
It is very important to note that successful thyroid protection with potassium iodine is extremely dependant on timing with regards to such radiation exposure (see protection protocols) and, even still, will not protect against these other radioactive isotopes. It can also pose problems for people with thyroid issues.
Nevertheless, potassium iodine can be an important preventative in this case, but other supplements and foods which are known to remove radioactive isotopes from the body and protect against DNA mutation must be taken as well if the risk of exposure is indeed real. Before we go into detail about specific prevention and treatment protocols, however, let’s take a brief look at why such radioactive particles are so dangerous.
Dangers of Radiation Exposure
Radioactive isotope particles, including Iodine-131, Cesium-134, Strontium-90 and others which are present in radioactive fallout, can be inhaled, ingested through radiation-contaminated food and water and/or deposited onto the skin. Radioactive particles are particularly damaging to DNA, and can easily cause mutations which eventually lead to cancer, birth defects, cardiovascular disease and other life threatening health problems.
There are many short term health effects caused by significant exposure as well. Acutely, radioactive isotopes are most damaging to rapidly dividing cells such as those in the intestinal lining, bone marrow, hair and skin, and can cause severe gastrointestinal problems, skin problems, loss of immune and blood cells, hair loss, fatigue and central nervous damage soon after exposure, depending on the severity. Children are at the highest risk because their cells divide more rapidly than adults.
It is our hope and prayer that an acute level of exposure, such as what happened with the Chernobyl meltdown, does not occur again in the world. But as Japan’s crisis has pointed out so gravely, we unfortunately live in a nuclear age and therefore need to be prepared to protect ourselves from the related risks if we are going to continue to use this volatile and dangerous source of energy.
As a doctor and researcher, I have always been deeply concerned about the health effects of living with nuclear energy. In fact, it was the tragedy of Chernobyl and the subsequent use of pectins to reduce radioactive levels in child victims of this disaster which prompted my original research into the use of Modified Citrus Pectin to chelate radioactive particles and heavy metals.
For more information and research regarding chelation and detox, download a copy of my complementary chelation guide here.
What should I do right now?
At this point, it is difficult to know exactly how much radiation we may be exposed to here in North America as a result of Japan’s nuclear crisis. Self-medicating with ongoing high doses of potassium iodine is strongly discouraged because of the negative health effects this supplement can have on thyroid and overall health. As mentioned in the protection protocols below, high dose potassium iodine is only helpful if exposure to a large amount of radiation is imminent and the supplement can be taken 24 hours prior to exposure.
In the mean time, I recommend a chelation and detox protocol outlined below, which is designed to remove heavy metals, toxins and radioactive particles from the body. This is the same chelation protocol that I prescribe during a Spring Cleanse, and since spring is right around the corner, this is a timely opportunity to be proactive and incorporate these recommendations which will also help protect you from any potential exposure to radiation.
Protection Protocol and Dosages
A prevention and treatment protocol which addresses nuclear radiation exposure requires a multi-dimensional approach, outlined in these key points:
- If radiation exposure is imminent, protect your thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine by taking a one-time high dose of 130 mg of potassium iodine (children take 65mg) no sooner than 24 hours before acute exposure. Iodine lasts in the body for only 24 hours, and taking more than a one-time high dose is not recommended, especially if you have thyroid issues or are sensitive to iodine. It is preferable, but not essential, to take a combination of iodine and iodide, as available in a product called Iodoral, or in Lugol solution. If you are facing ongoing exposure, low doses of iodine between 6 and 25 mg/day can be taken for a limited period of time under the supervision of your health care provider. This supplement works by saturating the thyroid with enough therapeutic iodine, thus preventing absorption of radioactive iodine.
- Prevent absorption of radioactive particles and remove radioactive isotopes from the body using clinically proven Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP), and a Modified Citrus Pectin/ modified alginate formula. These two supplements contain natural modified pectins, with the latter formula containing additional modified sodium alginates. Pectins and alginates have both been used successfully to treat Chernobyl victims and have been proven to bind to and remove radioactive isotopes such as Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 from the digestive tract and tissues. These formulas have been modified to allow their absorption into the circulatory system, so they can chelate heavy metals and radioactive particles in both the digestive tract as well as in the blood stream.Dosages: MCP/modified alginate formula — start with 3 capsules, twice daily, on an empty stomach, at least a half hour before food. Best taken early morning and before bed. If radiation exposure becomes imminent, increase to 4 capsules, three times a day for as long as there is radiation exposure and for 2-4 weeks thereafter, then reduce to 4 capsules twice daily for one month, followed by 3 capsules, twice daily until there are no traces of radiation readings and damage.
- Two weeks after starting the MCP/modified alginate formula, follow with a phase two detoxification supplement, which contains botanicals and nutrients such as cilantro, milk thistle, dandelion and selenium, along with sulfur compounds, all of which help the body protect and detoxify from radiation exposure. The use of MCP/modified alginates and a phase two detoxification supplement will help to eliminate heavy metals and toxins as well, which is critical as these harmful pollutants can further aggravate the oxidative stress and DNA damage from radiation exposure. When used with MCP/modified alginate formula, the phase two detox formula will help to support tissue specific detoxification and help the body cope with radiation damage and the intense detox process needed at such times.Dosages: Add the phase two detoxification supplement 3×2/day, with food, 2 weeks after starting MCP/modified alginate formula and, if exposed to radiation, one day after starting MCP/modified alginates.
(These dosage recommendations are general recommendations. If you have specific health issues you may want to consult your health provider and modify your protocol accordingly.)
- Protect cellular DNA from damage and mutation with an antioxidant-rich diet and extra supplementation. High powered antioxidants and free radical scavengers which can help protect cells from radiation exposure include vitamin C, A, E, lipoic acid, selenium, glutathione, vitamin – D3, beta-1,3 glucans, sea buckthorn and others. Medicinal mushrooms, in particular Reishi and Cordyceps, protect tissues from radiation-related anoxia (oxygen deprivation), oxidative stress and inflammation, while collecting toxic materials from the body. Due to these actions and their critical support of the immune system, these and other medicinal mushrooms can play an important role in protection from radiation exposure. Clinically, medicinal mushrooms are used to prevent tissue damage from radiation therapy, which poses dangers similar to radioactive fallout exposure. Finally, it is important to consume a diet high in potassium rich foods and dark leafy greens, bulky fiber and plenty of pure water.
Despite all that is going on around us, it is important to keep stress levels to a minimum so that our energy can be used productively to help ourselves and others. For more information about current radiation exposure risks, there are a few websites that are monitoring radiation levels in various parts of the country throughout the day. One of these can be found at www.radiationnetwork.com. Stay tuned for more information as this situation unfolds, and remember to stay calm while keeping yourself and your family healthy and protected.
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