Please Pass the Iodine: ways to protect ourselves and our children from the nuclear fall-out coming from Japan

No one is sure what the death toll in Japan will be from the massive earthquake that struck on Friday, creating a tsunami that then slammed into Japan’s north coast, but it has been estimated that more than 10,000 people may have died, just in the Miyagi Province.

Then there’s the problem of Japan’s nuclear power plants. There have already been two hydrogen explosions at one plant and there are fears that a second plant may be facing a nuclear meltdown.

When these nuclear power plants malfunction they can dump radiation into the atmosphere. It’s for this reason that Japan has evacuated almost 200,000 inhabitants living near the plants.

Radiation poisoning can cause instant damage to the human body, including organ malfunction and massive skin burns. Radiation exposure over a longer period can cause cancer, genetic damage, and tumors.

Radiation poisoning is not patriotic. Radiation doesn’t respect international borders and if the fall-out from the Japanese nuclear malfunctions begins to spread, those of us living on the West Coast–especially–have a good reason to be worried.

Short of living for the next few years in an underground bunker, how can we protect ourselves? How can we protect our children?

Since people are exposed to radiation through sunlight, cancer treatment, and medical/dental interventions, there have actually been a good deal of scientific studies on using nutritional supplements to boost the immune system and ward off the ill-effects of radiation.

There are literally thousands of articles about this on the Internet.

I’m not sure, honestly, what or who to believe. But I do know that the healthier our children eat, the less likely they are to succumb to disease. A healthy body is a body that can better fight being poisoned. So here are some suggestions to help combat the toxic exposure we might be facing in the next few days and over the coming months from Japan:

1) Eat brown rice: whole grains, especially brown rice, are high in fiber and phosphorous, which help remove harmful toxins from the body.

2) Eat seaweed, kelp, and other sea vegetables: Canadian researchers have reported that sea vegetables contain a polysaccharide that selectively binds radioactive strontium to help eliminate it from the body. According to this account, “In laboratory experiments, sodium alginate prepared from kelp, kombu, and other brown seaweeds off the Atlantic and pacific coasts was introduced along with strontium and calcium into rats. The reduction of radioactive particles in bone uptake, measured in the femur, reached as high as 80%, with little interference with calcium absorption.”

3) Eat miso soup: In 1945 when Dr. Tatsuichiro Akizuki, M.D., Director of Internal Medicine at a hospital in Nagasaki, had his staff eat a diet of brown rice, miso soup, seaweed, and pumpkin, and prohibited them from eating any sugar or sweets, his staff and patients were much healthier and did not succumb to radiation sickness.

4) Stop eating sugar or sweets of any kind: You’ve known forever that sugar, especially refined sugar and corn syrups, are harmful for you and your children. With this crisis in Japan it is a good time to go cold turkey and stop the sweets, which is another of Akizuki’s recommendations.

5) Consider iodine supplements: This might be the most important thing you can do in the longterm but I put it last on the list because I think whole food intervention should be our first defense and because I worry about the quality of supplements. Still, we want to make sure our thyroids don’t absorb radioactive thyroid. To do this, we must have adequate iodine levels in our bodies, but we also need to be careful not to take too much iodine and be aware that iodine is secreted into breast milk.

For further reading:
Technology’s Curse: Diet for the Atomic Age by Sara Shannon
Suggestions from James Jordan, an Ashland nutritionist
Site that reports atmospheric radioactivity in the United States
Information from the CDC on radiation emergencies
MIT NSE Nuclear Information Hub

Are you worried about the nuclear fall-out from Japan? What steps are you taking to protect yourself and your family?

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on Monday, March 14th, 2011 at 10:02 am and is filed under health.
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