The situation at the Japanese nuclear plants at Fukushima remains tenuous and the possibility of radiation exposure uncertain.
The residents of Tokyo, 180 miles to the south are being advised to avoid unnecessary exposure to outside air while being reassured that radiation levels are low. While the conditions at the Japanese facility are worse than 3-mile Island, they have not reached the proportions of the Chernobyl catastrophe.
The Chernobyl environmental disaster led to an epidemic of thyroid cancer and late-onset cancers still being seen today. The two body systems most radiation sensitive are the thyroid and bone marrow. Radiation exposure commonly leads to higher rates of thyroid cancer and leukemia. What can you do to protect yourself?
Protection from radiation exposure is not proven science and it would be difficult to conduct a research study. However, the advice given here is based on our understanding of how body detoxification works, and how to maximize its benefits.
Recommended Radiation Exposure Preparedness:
1. Avoid foods most commonly associated with inflammation, refined sugar, dairy, wheat and gluten. These foods distract the immune system from its function of cancer surveillance.
2. Eat a diet rich in these foods:
• Brown rice, daily
• Green tea, daily
• Miso soup, daily
Miso is rich in iodine, which helps protect the thyroid and all iodine-receptor rich tissue in the body from exposure to radioactive iodine.
• Sea vegetables (kelp, wakame, kombu)
Sea vegetables are a natural source of iodine, but more importantly of sodium alginate, a polysaccharide, which can selectively bind radioactive strontium and eliminate it from the body.1 Eat three ounces weekly for its protective effect.
• Brassica vegetables
Broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and collard greens contain sulforaphane, a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant. Juice these powerful vegetables for maximum benefits of the raw enzymes and phytonutrients.
• Beans and lentils
• Olive oil
3. Essential supplements for detoxification:
• N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) 1,000mg twice a day. It is one of the primary sources for glutathione, the body's most potent detoxifying compound. Glutathione helps escort harmful chemicals out of the body. It would be impossible to eat this amount of NAC, so it is best to supplement here.
• Spirulina 5 grams daily. Spirulina was used to prevent the effects of radiation exposure in children after the Chernobyl disaster. It was shown to improve the body's adaptive potential to long-lived low-dose radiation exposure and was able to reduce the radiation dose received from contaminated food.2 3 A study done in China showed that an extract from spirulina had a protective effect on mice exposed to gamma radiation.4
• Vitamins C (1,000mg) and E (400 IU) daily. The powerful antioxidant vitamins showed a protective effect against tissue oxidation in radiology technicians, who tend to have higher levels of tissue oxidation.5
4. Detox baths with Epsom salt. A toxic body is very easily depleted of the very important mineral, Magnesium. The skin is a great vehicle of absorption for magnesium. You may add sodium bicarbonate and/or bentonite clay to the bath to augment its detox properties.
5. Heavy metal chelation. This type of treatment depends on the exposure, and needs to be individualized. Check with your healthcare practitioner if you suspect heavy metal poisoning and work together with them to develop a treatment plan.
Of course, if you suspect that you have been exposed to a significant amount of radiation, then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Vincent Pedre, M.D. is an Integrative, Holistic General Practitioner and Board-Certified Internist in private practice in New York City. Follow Dr. Pedre on Facebook.
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