By LINSEY MCLEAN | Biochemist & CEO
The Real Perspective
While the radioactive plume coming from Japan is reported to be carrying non-toxically low levels of radiation to the U.S. coast line, one should not discount the risk involved with exposure. Radiation and the molecules like xenon gas, strontium, plutonium, cesium and uranium that accompany the plume are NOT harmless on any level. We don't want folks to panic out there, but a level headed concerned approach is what we are trying to promote. Sticking one's head in the sand is the worst possible thing to do.
All radiation exposure is cumulative, meaning the body has no way of expelling radioactive molecules. Though radioactive molecules become less radioactive over time, most do so very slowly and will not decay within a lifetime. Thus, the low amounts of radiation we take in daily from computer and cell phone use, medical x-rays, breathing in radioactive radon gas (which is extremely common), flying on commercial flights, and now the Fukushima plume accumulates in our bodies and continues to do damage long after exposure.
Radiation exposure early in life is especially worrisome considering the high rates of cancer we see in the U.S. It is nearly inevitable that at some point each of us will be treated for some variety of cancer, and current treatments include radiation. For our bodies to be prepared to withstand the barrage of these medical measures, we must try to limit our accumulation of radiation before that point. In fact, you may even be able to avoid the cancer that could one day threaten your life if you guard your body against exposure.
Conventional news, after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, reported that by the time the toxic cloud reached the U.S. its toxicity would barely be measurable. They never estimated the length of time the reactors would be pumping this stuff out, and thus the actual dosage that different populations would be exposed to. Incorrect reporting, and poor science, due to the perceived need to dampen hysteria. Level-headed concern and hysteria are completely different things.
A few simple measures can provide significant protection from common radiation exposure and situational radiation contamination like we are experiencing now. NASA indicates that orbiting astronauts (who are exposed to excessive amounts of cosmic radiation from space), can mitigate the damaging effects of the radiation by supplementing with a multivitamin. There are congruencies between the radiation astronauts experience in orbit and what we're getting on the ground. Multivitamins high in Vitamin C (like Vita Royal's - Adaptive Advantages), and supplemental iodine (potassium iodide such as that also found in the Adaptive Advantages) are a few the only known mesures to help the you evade the harmful stuff we're now exposed to in our air, food, and water supply.
Ann Kennedy, head of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Radiation Effects Team and radiation oncology professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, reports that vitamin deficiencies can have a large impact of how detrimental radiation exposure is to the body. The American Medical Association advises all adults to take multivitamins daily to prevent cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease, among other chronic diseases, and Kennedy points out that multivitamins may also help "prevent, restrict, and reverse" damage caused by radiation exposure. Other studies, including those listed below, substantiate NASA's claim. A healthy, well-supplemented body is best equipped to deal with radiation.
Radiation Effects on Membranes: Vitamin E Deficiency and Lipid Peroxidation Reports that mice deficient in Vitamin E were more sensitive to radiation exposure.
Vitamin D as Radiation Protection Suggests that vitamin D could offer significant protection against low levels of radiation. Dr. Daniels Hayes in the International Journal of Low Radiation suggests that vitamin D "could be used as a safe protective agent before or after a low-level nuclear incident."
"Protection Against Radiation-induced Oxidative Stress" indicates that antioxidants including coQ10 and selenomethionine protect breast cells exposed to x-ray and other radiation against oxidative stress when used before and during radiation treatment.
Iodine deficiency can be an open door through which radioactive materials can enter the body. This is bad news for over 95% of the current U.S. population who are iodine deficient. Studies by Dr. David Brownstein and and Dr. Guy Abraham, leaders in iodine research, show compromised thyroid and basal metabolism statistics have been worsening in epidemic proportions in just the last 10 years. See Current Use in Therapy.
With our iodine receptors starving for iodine from the day we're born, other similar molecules temporarily fake their way into the gap. Bromides and fluorides are known to confuse the iodine-deficient body in a similar way as radioiodine-131 does. Doing damage every moment they are there, these charlatan molecules block up the iodine receptors until the more preferable iodine actually gets ingested. Once iodine is ingested, the toxic elements (charlatan molecules) get bumped out of these receptor sites and replaced with iodine. At this time, the toxic elements are then mobilized into the blood stream. Most all clients would be well off to begin a detox protocol(s) to help usher these out of the body through sweat, urine, and/or feces. I would especially recommend chasing iodine with sea salt 30 minutes after dosing, as well as the liver-gallbladder cleanse. My research has found that the majority of the symptoms associated with higher iodine doses are actually a result of excessive mobilized toxins failing to leave the blood stream at the speed that they are being mobilized into it. Ushering toxic elements out is just as important as mobilizing them out the receptor sites. If you can usher them out fast enough, you can avoid unwanted symptoms resulting from therapeutic iodine supplementation.
As the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated, potassium iodide can help prevent the thyroid gland (where a lot of our body's iodine is concentrated) as well as other tissues from absorbing radioiodine-131. It appears that the same principles apply to iodine receptor sites within the thyroid as to other forms of toxic elements that fit loosely fit into receptors all over the body, but far more so when essential element levels are deficient. If you have not been taking any supplemental iodine, and especially if you have symptoms of environmental distress, metabolic syndrome or thyroid issues, I recommend you start iodine supplementation now. Otherwise, your body is likely to attempt to metabolize toxic forms of elements. If your bodily needs are fulfilled, then the radioactive iodine and accompanying toxic elements will more easily pass through your body.
Some people report weight gain, throat swelling with increased sleep apnea, snoring, and sinus drainage when first starting iodine supplementation. This is common when there are heavy amounts of toxic body burden, like we have today, sequestered in thyroid and other tissues. Iodine has been known for over 100 years to cause starches and saccharides (which are sugar molecules), chained together, to swell 25 - 40x their size in the initial course of their destruction by iodine. Since toxic bloat is a mucopolysaccharide, it will be similarly affected as well. This explains why people often see initial swelling in the throat/thyroid and body weight gain when they start with iodine, and it is this initial observation that caused the iodiphobia we now have in the conventional thinking about using iodine in higher more therapeutic doses than are being used today. While these symptoms can be uncomfortable for the few who experience them, symptoms will dissipate as the mucin is destroyed and weight loss typically occurs thereafter.
It all depends on where these products are grown. If they are grown indoors (as Vita Royal's sources are) then you can avoid the arsenic concentrations that are typical in the sea-grown products. Moreover, if you're supplementing your diet with products that are grown in the Pacific, you will be taking on the radiation contamination present there on top of the high levels of arsenic. Arsenic is known to oppose iodine in mineral interactions just as calcium opposes phosphorus. Arsenic is another iodine mimic, but it's toxic. †1, †2
†1 UC Davis Study Finds High Arsenic Levels In Herbal Kelp Supplements - A study of herbal kelp supplements led by UC Davis public health expert Marc Schenker concludes that its medicinal use may cause inadvertent arsenic poisoning and health dangers for consumers, especially when overused. Schenker and two researchers evaluated nine over-the-counter herbal kelp products and found higher than acceptable arsenic levels in eight of them.
†2 The new study, published in the April issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, was prompted by the case of a 54-year-old woman who was seen at the UC Davis Occupational Medicine Clinic following a two-year history of worsening alopecia (hair loss), fatigue and memory loss.
Current Use in Therapy
Current nutritional recommendations for iodine intake were set back in the early 1920s before science understood the importance of iodine to the body. We now know that the thyroid gland, skin, brain, lymphatics, and various other tissues and organs of the body rely on iodine to function normally. We also know that cultural and environmental changes made a reevaluation of the amount of iodine our bodies need to thrive imperative.
Up until the 1960s, people ate much more iodized salt in their diets. Bread dough was conditioned with iodine. Sunbathers slathered their skin daily with baby oil and iodine to prevent sunburn. Iodine was even used in disinfection and added to water. We've removed the vast majority of iodine from our consumer choices (our human environment) over the past decades.
Additionally, we haven’t had the huge exposures we do now to organic goitrogens, dioxides, hormone mimics, and the competing toxic halides: chlorine, bromine, and fluorine. All of these factors require more in-depth studies on iodine needs and an increase in iodine intake in the diet.
Dr. Brownstein and Dr. Abraham have thus far pioneered the use of iodine as elemental iodine and potassium iodide, and various mixtures thereof, in high doses for everything from breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and general health, even alongside Armour thyroid with very good success. They have negated many myths falsely associated with higher iodine supplementation and re-evaluated old studies on iodine that did not consider the presence or activity of goitrogenic substances that subjects were also exposed to. These, they found, were actually the cause of the goiters and adverse reactions thought to be iodine related. Their study was monumental.
My experience with iodine supplementation is also very compelling. I do not recommend using the elemental iodine in the Lugol’s formulation as I find it too irritating and harsh for internal use. Potassium iodide in liquid form is simpler, less apt to cause intestinal upset, and it's taste free. It does not stain or burn when applied to the skin. Elemental iodine may be best for addressing skin warts or other growths as it is harsher, but time will tell if the softer potassium iodide will give the same results.
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