Sunday, April 24, 2011

Preventing Some Radiation Effects

Photo by relapsed nun

Lately I have been reading a lot of bits around the internet about what is true and what is false or misleading about the reported radiation amounts coming over the US, and the effects, if any, on our food and water. There are a lot of sites that seem to "prove" the PTB are not fully disclosing all the facts, and frankly some of it is very convincing.

I'm not sure what to believe, so this post is about preparedness and prevention, not a knee-jerk reaction. What I am doing is incorporating some healthy things into my diet that are tasty, nutritious and will help if there is radiation fallout... and won't hurt me if there really isn't any problem. One obvious thing to do is to increase iodine intake, and another is use rosemary, and consume more of the foods and vitamins listed below. 

Even if you are not concerned about radiation exposure, you can't go wrong by adding a bit of seaweed to your diet. What? You cannot imagine eating seaweed? I bet you add salt to soups and stews, don't you? Well, just substitute any seaweed vegetable, which will supply the salt and cook down like any leafy green... plus seaweed is a super food that is rich in many health-promoting nutrients. (In a few days, I plan to post photos of some of the seaweeds in my pantry, and how to use them.)

Kelp, wakame, dulse, sea lettuce, kombu, bladderwack, hijiki, nori and other sea veggies are naturally rich in iodine. The first pack of dulse I ever bought many years ago turned out to be a tasty slightly sweet pinkish-colored snack food, and I've kept some in my pantry ever since!

BTW, several months ago I bookmarked an online supplier of North Atlantic seaweeds, mainly because I wanted more dulse. Unfortunately I didn't have enough money buy any at the time. I went again yesterday to their site, and they are certainly aware of the interest in seaweed; I didn't note the prices in February but I feel confident they might have been less than now. Even so, it's cheap nutrition and protection.

Another Maine certified organic sustainable seaweed site has this to say:

Dear Old and New Customers,
Due to the events in Japan, quite frankly, we are swamped. Please be patient as we process your orders and requests. Expect turn around times to be considerably longer than usual, and please resist the temptation to bypass our limits by ordering frequently. We are committed to sharing our resources as equitably as possible and trust in your good will and co-operation. Thanks for your understanding in this period of planetary uncertainty.

Shep Erhart
Founder, MCSV

P.S. Our phones are ringing off the hook, so call us only if you absolutely have to. Thanks. 

Although taking potassium iodide pills (KI) can be potentially harmful (and intefere with other medications), ingesting natural iodine is not. Right now potassium iodide tablets are back-ordered for months, so it's a moot point on the pills anyway. There have been a lot of politics playing around KI since scientists first discovered it's effectiveness (90%+) in radiation protection back in 1954 and then receiving FDA approval in 1978. There have been many proposals to stockpile it regionally over the years, but the nuclear industry has continually blocked those proposals. They feared it would send a message that nuclear power was unsafe, so the industry decided to protect itself instead of the people.

Seaweed Harvested from deep waters by women divers, Photo by nurpax

Seaweeds purify all the world’s oceans- they can do the same for your body. Seaweeds like kelp, dulse and Irish Moss can protect us from a wide range of toxic elements in the environment, including radiation by-products, converting them into harmless salts that our bodies can eliminate.

Natural iodine in seaweeds can reduce by almost 80% the radioactive iodine-131 that would beotherwise absorbed by the thyroid... that is, if natural iodine is already in the system. Seaweeds are so effective that even the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission recommends that people consume two to three ounces of seaweeds a week (or 2 tbsp. of algin supplements a day, see sodium alginate below) for maximum protection against radiation poisoning. (Source) Gingko biloba can be protective even after exposure to radiation. (Source)

Then there's the use of one of my favorite herbs, rosemary! In two separate studies, scientists in Spain found that nothing fights radiation damage to micronuclei like a simple garden herb known as rosemary. You can make rosemary tea, use rosemary in cooking, and/or buy tincture of rosemary to take a few drops daily. I've never tried rosemary tea but I use a lot of it in cooking; now I'll use more. YUM!

The scientists noted that ionizing radiation causes the massive generation of free radicals that induce cellular DNA damage. The fact that carnosic acid and carnosol found in rosemary are fat soluble allows them to provide highly significant protective anti-mutagenic activity. Even the most powerful water-soluble antioxidants lack the capacity to protect against gamma ray induced damage. This study can be found in the British Journal of Radiology, February 2 edition.

In a study from India, scientists investigated the radio-protective potential of caffeic acid against gamma radiation-induced cellular changes.
Food sources offering significant amounts of caffeic acid are apples, citrus fruits, and cruciferous vegetables. (Note: Wiki says cruciferous veggies contain enzymes that interfere with the production of thyroid hormone unless cooked for 30 minutes.)

Right now it looks like the best defense against radiation poisoning is the same as the best defense against all diseases. This defense begins with diet (including lots of probiotics like yogurt, kefir, etc.), and supplements. Eating a diet high in apples, citrus fruits, seaweed, cruciferous vegetables, drinking red wine, and using fresh rosemary have been scientifically shown to be effective against radiation poisoning. 

Supplements of rosemary extract (or tincture) containing carnosic and rosmarinic acids are widely available. Supplements of DIM offer higher doses of one of the most potent compounds in cruciferous vegetables. 

Broccoli sprouts are the best source of sulphoraphane, another highly potent compound in cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli sprouts are available as supplements too. Making a pitcher of fresh vegetable juice several times a week for all family members to drink is a great way to fortify everyone against an environment that has turned against them. The juice should contain high amounts of broccoli, cabbage or other cruciferous vegetables. Adding a small slice of fresh ginger will give the juice an appealing flavor. Use only organic or fresh locally grown vegetables if they are available.

I know kelp (or any seaweed) is very good to add to garden soil, but I have NOT been able to find anything that says it will increase the ability of plants to ward off radiation. But hey, it can't hurt!

VITAMIN C: This may be the most important thing of all to have on hand for many applications, e.g. poison, bites, viruses, etc. The book “Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins” by Thomas Levy, MD, should be one of your most prized possessions... along with as much Sodium Ascorbate as you can store. Vitamin C cannot only protect against radiation but also repair damage from previous exposure. There is abundant scientific proof for this assertion.

Kelp: Supplement the diet with easily assimilable organic iodine, as in kelp (Norwegian or other clean water kelp if possible), this will saturate the thyroid so radioactive iodine will not be absorbed. Kelp, like all sea vegetables, contains an amazing substance called sodium alginate. Sodium alginate reduces the amount of strontium-90 absorbed by bone tissue by 50 to 83 percent.

Sodium Alginate: (also available as a powder) An effective preventive and therapeutic substance against radiation and heavy metals. In two experiments using rats, sodium alginate decreased by a factor of 12, the uptake of several radioactive isotopes—including strontium-90, strontium-85, barium, radium, and calcium. Skoryna el al. concluded that ingestion of small but regular does of alginate is effective in preventing the daily absorption of small doses of radioactive strontium and other contaminants that are present in the environment. Brown sea vegetables such as kelp are the most effective sources. Alginate is nontoxic and is not reabsorbed for the GI tract and appears to have no adverse affects even at high doses. Red sea vegetables, such a dulse are most effective at binding plutonium, and green algae binds cesium most effectively. 

Protective program for Strontium-90
Calcium and Magnesium: both help your body to pass off Strontium 90. Get supplements that are not made from animal bones (they contain Strontium 90). Dolomite is best. Dr. Linus Pauling says heavy calcium supplementation will reduce strontium 90 absorption by 50 percent, but be careful not to over indulge unless exposed.

Calcium: By the mechanism of selective uptake, calcium blocks or decreases the absorption of strontium-90, calcium-45 and other radioactive isotopes by the skeletal system. Calcium also helps to eliminate radioactive isotopes that are lodged in the bones! The National Research Council recommends that adults consume 800 mg. of calcium per day. For children and lactating women this is 1,000 mg. and 1,400 mg.. Too much calcium can be harmful. The best forms of supplemental calcium are calcium citrate, gluconate, carbonate, lactate, or amino acid chelated calcium. It is good to take a calcium-magnesium combination.

Pectin: Obtained from fruit like Citrus skins (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, limes, etc. - the pectin is high in the skin but low in the fruit), tart cooking apples, sour apples, crab apples, (under-ripe apples contain more pectin that ripe apples), lemons, wild grapes (Eastern Concord variety), cranberries, gooseberries, boysenberries,  Blackberries, Currants, Gooseberries, Loganberries, most Plums (not the Italian kind), and Quinces are high in pectin.  

Like sodium alginate in agar and kelp, pectin bonds or chelates with radioisotopes, especially strontium-90, and reduces the absorption into the skeletal system. 
(Source for the supplements information.)


  1. Thanks for all the info in one place. Definitely useful.

    Sue S

  2. Thanks Darius
    What goes round, comes round for sure.

    Here is some inspiration I found

    Keep the songs going

  3. gramma, Thanks! What a great video, more for the inspiration of people world-wide coming together than just the music aspect.


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