For those of you considering potassium-iodine, the pharmacological / prophylaxis dosages given in the vicinity of an accident are over 3000 times the RDA.
The RDA for iodine is 150 mcg. (1 mg = 1000 mcg) Ingestion of up to 20 times the RDA (3 mg) has no known side effects. Side effects of 30 times the RDA (4.5 mg) may include mouth sores, metallic taste, swollen salivary glands, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, rash, and breathing difficulties. Readers should not use this information for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, but should always consult a medical professional regarding any medical problems and before undertaking any major dietary changes. This information is not meant to be substituted for medical advice.
Potassium iodide administered in pharmacologic doses* (50-100 mg for adults) within 48 hours before or eight hours after radiation exposure from a nuclear reactor accident can significantly reduce thyroid uptake of 131I and decrease the risk of radiation-induced thyroid cancer. The prompt and widespread use of potassium iodide prophylaxis in Poland after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident may explain the lack of a significant increase in childhood thyroid cancer in Poland compared to fallout areas where potassium iodide prophylaxis was not widely used.
In the U.S., the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requires that consideration be given to potassium iodide as a protective measure for the general public in the case of a major release of radioactivity from a nuclear power plant.
~ the dose or intake level of a nutrient many times the level associated with the prevention of deficiency or the maintenance of health. A pharmacologic dose is generally associated with the treatment of a disease state and considered to be a dose at least 10 times greater than that needed to prevent deficiency.
At the time of the atomic bombing, Tatsuichiro Akizuki, M.D. was Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at St. Francis's Hospital in Nagasaki and he fed his staff and patients a strict diet of brown rice, miso and tamari soy soup, wakame, kombu and other seaweed, Hokkaido pumpkin, and sea salt. He also prohibited the consumption of sugar and sweets since they suppress the immune system.
By imposing this diet on his staff and patients, no one succumbed to radiation poisoning whereas the occupants of hospitals located much further away from the blast incident suffered severe radiation fatalities.
Much of this positive result has to do with the fact that the sea vegetables contain substances that bind radioactive particles and escort them out of the body. This is why seaweed sales usually skyrocket after radiation disasters, and why various seaweeds and algae are typically used to treat radiation victims.
In Chernobyl spirulina was used to help save many children from radiation poisoning. By taking 5 grams of spirulina a day for 45 days, the Institute of Radiation Medicine in Minsk even proved that children on this protocol experienced enhanced immune systems, T-cell counts and reduced radioactivity. Israeli scientists have since treated Chernobyl children with doses of natural beta carotene from Dunaliella algae and proved that it helped normalize their blood chemistry. Chlorella algae, a known immune system builder and heavy metal detoxifier, has also shown radioprotective effects. Because they bind heavy metals, algae should therefore be consumed after exposure to any type of radioactive contamination.
In 1968 a group of Canadian researchers at McGill University of Montreal, headed by Dr. Stanley Skoryna, actually set out to devise a method to counteract the effects of nuclear fallout. The key finding from their studies was that sea vegetables contained a polysaccharide substance, called sodium alginate, which selectively bound radioactive strontium and eliminated it from the body.
Sodium alginate is found in many seaweeds, especially kelp, and since that time the Russians have been seriously researching the use of their own kelps from Vladivlostok, from which they have isolated the polysaccharide U-Fucoidan, which is another radioactive detoxifier. Because miso soup was so effective in helping prevent radiation sickness, the Japanese have also done research identifying the presence of an active ingredient called zybicolin, discovered in 1972, which acts as a binding agent to also detoxify and eliminate radioactive elements (such as strontium) and other pollutants from the body.
The kelps and algaes aren't the only natural foods with radio-detoxifying effects. In terms of fluids to drink, black and green tea have shown "radioprotective effects" whether consumed either before or after exposure to radiation. This anti-radiation effect was observed in several Japanese studies, and studies from China also suggest that the ingredients in tea are radioactive antagonists.
In short, after any sort of radioactive exposure you want to be eating seaweeds and algaes along with almost any type of commercial heavy metal chelating formula to bind radioactive particles and help escort them out of the body. Whether you're worried about depleted uranium, plutonium or other isotopes, this is the wise thing to do which can possibly help, and certainly won't hurt. Many nutritional supplements have been developed for the purpose of detoxifying heavy metals, most of which contain the algaes and plant fibers and other binding substances.
Basically, an anti-radiation diet should focus on the following foods:
~ Miso soup
~ Spirulina, chlorella and the algaes (kelp, etc.)
~ Brassica vegetables and high beta carotene vegetables
~ Beans and lentils
~ Potassium, calcium and mineral rich foods
~ High nucleotide content foods to assist in cellular repair including spirulina, chlorella, algae, yeast, sardines, liver, anchovies and mackerel
~ Cod liver oil and olive oil
~ Avoid sugars and sweets and wheat
~ A good multivitamin/multimineral supplement
Yet another benefit of the sea vegetables rarely discussed is their high mineral content, which is a bonus in the case of radioactive exposure. Consuming natural iodine, such as in the seaweeds, helps prevent the uptake of iodine-131 while iron inhibits the absorption of plutonium-238 and plutonium-239. Vitamin B-12 inhibits cobalt-60 uptake (used in nuclear medicine), zinc inhibits zinc-65 uptake and sulfur is preventative for sulfur-35 (a product of nuclear reactors) incorporation by the body.
Since nuclear workers are potentially exposed to radioactive sulfur, this means that workers in the atomic power industry need a higher content of sulfur in their diet. MSM supplements provide a source of dietary sulfur, but thiol supplements such as cysteine, lipoic acid and glutathione serve double-duty in this area because they help detoxify the body and attack all sorts of other health problems as well.
The immune system is usually hit hard after radiation exposure, and a number of steps can be taken to help prevent opportunistic infections after a radioactive incident. Though the full dimensions of the protective mechanism is still unknown, Siberian ginseng is one form of ginseng that exerts a definite radioprotective effect and has been demonstrated to lessen the side effects of radiation. It was widely distributed by the Soviet Union to those exposed Chernobyl radiation and is commonly used to help cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.
Consuming Reishi mushrooms is another proven way to bolster your immune system after radiation exposure and helps reduce the damage from radiation. It's been used to decrease radiation sickness in animals and help them recover faster after potentially deadly exposure.
Panax ginseng has prevented hemorrhaging after radiation exposure, prevents bone marrow death and stimulates blood cell formation, so it's another supplement to add to one's protocol. In short, yeasts, beta glucans, bee pollen and various forms of ginseng have all been shown to bolster the immune system after radiation incidents. In terms of radiation burns, aloe vera has a proven ability to treat serious radiation burns and offers other radioprotective effects, and can easily be grown in your house.
The amino acid L-Glutamine can be used to help repair the intestine in case of the gastrointestinal syndrome usually suffered due to radiation exposure, and a variety of substances can help rebuild blood cells to prevent hematopoietic syndrome. Those particular foods include beet juice, liver extract, spleen extract, and shark alkyglycerols. Most oncologists don't know that shark liver oil, with alkyglycerols, can help platelet counts rebound in days.
We've discussed just a few of the many supplements and protocols you can use to help detox the body of the lingering results of radioactive contamination.
One last thing that might be of interest is a plant that is a natural geiger counter. The spiderwort plant is so sensitive to changes in radiation levels (its petals change color upon exposure) that it's often used as a natural radiation detector (dosimeter), just as they use canaries in mines as detectors of poisonous gas. Some people like knowing that they have an ongoing monitoring system for radiation in the environment, and this is just another tip available in "How to Neutralize the Harmful Effects of Radiation or Radioactive Exposure."
Worldwatch Institute report finds renewables output surpasses nuclear in 2010
World Nuclear Industry
Status Report 2010–2011