Apr 5th, 2011
As we know, radioactive isotopes have been emitted from the three Fukushima reactor meltdowns occurring in Japan. These have frightened everyone paying attention for several weeks. But now the public attention span has moved away from this issue and on to other pressing concerns. It is a worsening biological disaster that will continue for months or years. Radioactive exposure will not become safer by not being paid attention to.
A website called Information Is Beautiful has come up with a useful chart to help visualize radiation exposure.
In charts of isotope dispersal in wind and weather, the most graphic and worrisome appears to be Xenon-133. This isotope is bound to an inert gas that is not very metabolically active, and it has a half life of about 5 days, so upon further study, I would conclude that the health impact for us is minimal.
Government sources are warning that since potassium iodide is in very short supply and will not protect you from radiation, you should not take it. Several points here deserve clarification:
1. “Potassium iodide will not protect you from radiation.” This is dose-related and certainly true for short-term, high-level radiation exposure. Nutritional biochemicals are helpful and important in correspondingly deficient people, but it obviously isn’t a lead shield or a bomb shelter.
2. Potassium iodide occurs naturally in living things that are high in elemental iodine as well. It’s found primarily in seafood and sea vegetables (seaweeds), so it easily absorbs and helps your human digestive system. If your diet is low in iodine-rich foods, your body is low in it too. If you are deficient, you will be vulnerable to a rapid uptake of radioactive iodine when it’s nearby.
If you are one of the few populations who have a high level of on-board iodine from many years of dietary and supplemental intake, you would not need as much iodine supplementation to protect from radioactive iodine. For that small population, many of whom are Japanese, by the way, supplemental iodine in the form of Lugol’s Solution or concentrated seaweed products is not necessary for protection from low-level exposure.
3. Supplements of potassium iodide are easy to produce, inexpensive, and should have been available as a general public health policy for decades due to our infatuation with nuclear power and weaponry. The shortage is no reason to tell you it’s not needed. Actually, the potassium sources we need are proving to be important for protection from the more serious effects of cesium, uranium, and plutonium isotopes that are being released closer to Japan.
Consider either testing your body load using various methods described online, or simply paint it on your skin in a two-inch circle and notice how long it takes your body to absorb it. If it takes only a couple of hours, your body is “thirsty” for it and you should build up to about 40-60 mg. daily in your foods or liquids. If it takes 12-24 hours for your body to absorb it, go with about half that amount daily.
It would be nice to offer scientific evidence for the exact amounts of this that you need, but your living body is unique and the requirements vary for each of us. Start slowly with any strong medicine or nutrient, and notice how your body responds to it.
The better way to normalize both iodine and potassium levels is to eat the real plant foods that supply these nutrients. For many reasons written about here, we advocate the use of Modifilan or SuperKombu. Both are a pure dried extract of the seaweed Kombu (Laminaria japonica) which has proven to be effective and protective back in 1987 during the Chernoble nuclear disaster in the Ukraine. This particular strain of brown seaweed helps with reducing both radioactive exposure and general heavy metal toxicity.
So yes, don’t expect the single-chemical potassium iodide to accomplish all the protection of an optimal level of iodine and potassium in the body. Start now to build up levels with supplemental forms while adding food concentrate sources to your diet.
Please also keep up on sensible hygiene and environmental awareness to avoid or limit risk. These nuclear fallout concerns are becoming eclipsed by the releases of polluted seawater which threaten more of our world’s food supply.
Be smart, and stay as safe as you can.
Dr. Thomas S. Lee