Friday, February 21, 2014

Fallout Preparations – a more natural approach

Dr. Kyle D. Christensen, DC, ND,MH

The possibility of radiation exposure and nuclear fallout are ideas few want to entertain. However with a few simple preparations, you can minimize the potential effects of exposure and keep you and your loved ones healthy.  With the recent meltdown of the Nuclear Facility in Fukushima, Japan those interested in preparedness have once again been alerted to the dangers of a radioactive fallout.  Many have purchased, with a kind of knee-jerk response, enough Potassium Iodide for them and theirs.  But with the purchase of KI (potassium iodine) there is often little understanding of what it does and the potential risks involved. I’ve talked with a few who felt that maybe they should start taking it as a precautionary measure, even though there was no imminent risk or danger in their area.

I have discovered that few really know what to do and how to prepare for a possible nuclear event.  Let me share with you my understanding of how to prepare, prevent, and recover from exposure to radioactive fallout. 

When a nuclear bomb goes off or a nuclear reactor melts down, metals or minerals that are not normally a problem become unstable and have more energy than they should.  The majority of the radiation emitted during a reactor meltdown or a nuclear detonation is the radioactive isotope Iodine-131.  Normal non-radioactive iodine has 127 neutrons and protons and is stable. There are also Cesium-137, Strontium-90 and many radioactive metals/minerals which can pose dangers.  But because Iodine-131 is the major player, that is what the media focuses on.  Exposure to this radioactive iodine will most likely end up in the thyroid gland, which is where iodine is primarily utilized.  If the iodine introduced in the thyroid gland is radioactive, the potential for injury or damage to the cells is very high.  The most common cancer associated with the Chernobyl disaster was thyroid cancer, which was three times higher than the normal rates of thyroid cancer. Understand that using the supplement potassium iodine as your sole treatment, addresses only the thyroid gland and neglects all other aspects of radiation poisoning.

Here's how it works. The thyroid gland, like other organs and glands in the body, have receptor sites or loading docks specifically designed for the specific nutrients that are needed.  If the nutrients goes by a loading dock and the space is already occupied, it will move along until it finds an open space.  The thyroid gland craves and prizes iodine and has a lot of docking ports for it.  When we breathe in or ingest iodine, whether it is healthy iodine (found in salt, seaweed or a potassium iodine tablet) or if it is the radioactive isotope iodine-131, it will most likely end up in the thyroid gland. The key during a radioactive exposure is to have all of the receptor sites or loading docks occupied by healthy iodine so that there is no room for the radioactive iodine.  We can do this by taking potassium iodide or enough of the other forms or sources of iodine to ensure there is no room for the radioactive iodine to be absorbed. 

Taking the recommended dose of potassium iodine can provide approximately 24 hours of protection. Once the iodine is accepted and assimilated, it is off loaded by the receptor site and then distributed throughout the body via the lymphatic system. The receptor site is then available for more iodine, good or bad. Typically one dose or 24 hours worth of protection is enough, assuming you are able to get out of harms way within that time.
Just because potassium iodide can flood the thyroid receptor sites, does not mean that continually or persistently taking it will be of benefit. Taking KI (potassium iodine) just in case and when not directed by local public health or emergency management officials is just plain fool-hardy and can have severe consequences to your endocrine system and even damage a healthy thyroid gland.  Additionally, if you are suffering from an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s it may be best to avoid potassium iodine altogether. There are other options we will discuss, and it is my opinion that if the situation does not warrant dosing up on high levels of potassium iodine, don’t do it.

Learn how to protect yourself from the effects of radiation exposure with proven, safe and natural alternatives.

When directed by local public health or Emergency Management Officials to take KI (potassium iodine), you should do it.  And if at all possible: Get Out of Harms Way!  According to the FDA, the following doses are appropriate to take after internal contamination with (or likely internal contamination with) radioactive iodine:
Adults should take 130 mg (one 130 mg tablet OR two 65 mg tablets OR two mL of solution).
Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose of 130 mg.
Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65 mg (one 65 mg tablet OR 1 mL of solution). Children who are adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the full adult dose, regardless of their age.
Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg ( of a 65 mg tablet OR mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing infants and children.
Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg ( of a 65 mg tablet or mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing newborn infants.

Fortunately, there are many natural methods and means to deal with radiation exposure that have proven successful with both the prevention and care of radiation injury.  Much has been observed and learned as a result of the nuclear disasters in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Fukushima. My professional recommendations are to use the potassium iodine only during the risk of a direct confrontation with radioactive fallout and when directed by authorities (assuming you can get information from officials). However, before, after and during times of risk I would employ several of these other approaches as you are able.

More Modest Approaches
The respected biochemist, Dr. Dan Newell has formulated a protocol using Standard Process supplements that will help protect your body in the chance of radiation exposure.
  These supplements can be taken over a long duration and will have very little if any negative side effects on the body. His recommendations for an adult size are as follows:
Cal-Ma Plus (4-6/day) -  the main focus and KEY is to help your body chelate (deactivate) the major radioactive isotopes Strontium and Cesium which will aggregate in bone tissue causing even worse damage. According to Dr. Newell’s research and experience, this is the most significant part of any radioactive exposure.
Cataplex F (4/day): Great bioavailable source of Iodine (lower dose than Prolamine Iodine)
Super EFF (3-6/day) – Standard Process founder Dr. Royal Lee originally formulated and worked on this product specifically for workers on shipyards that were at risk of being exposed to high levels of radiation
Cyruta Plus (3-6/day) – Dr. Lee also originally worked on this product for workers in shipyards.

Additional Herbal Approaches
Eleuthero: One herb that stands out and has been validated through much research as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is Eleuthero (formerly known as Siberian Ginseng).  Research shows its ability to counteract the effects of radiation. In addition, it has long-standing adaptogenic and immune supporting functions. Eleuthero reduces the side effects of radiation exposure. In animal and in vitro studies, Eleuthero has demonstrated effects of radiation protection (Yonezawa et al.,1989) and stress reduction (Takasugi et al., 1985). After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, many Russian and Ukrainian citizens were given Eleuthero to counteract the effects of radiation. Eleuthero was also commonly used in Russia in oncology hospital departments to increase the tolerance of the patients to the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy (Gvamichava, 1966; Khatiashvili, 1964, 1966; Kupin, 1986a, 1986b).

Seaweeds such as Dulse, Kelp, Irish Moss and Bladderwrack provide an abundance of natural iodine and offer protection for the thyroid gland.  Generally all seaweeds are good sources of iodine.

Chlorella and Spirulina:  In Chernobyl, Spirulina was used to help save many children from radiation poisoning. By taking 5 grams of Spirulina a day for 45 days, the Institute of Radiation Medicine in Minsk even proved that children on this protocol experienced enhanced immune systems, T-cell counts and reduced radioactivity. Israeli scientists have since treated Chernobyl children with doses of natural beta carotene from Dunaliella algae and proved that it helped normalize their blood chemistry. Chlorella algae, a known immune system builder and heavy metal detoxifier, has also shown radioprotective effects. Because they bind heavy metals, algae should therefore be consumed after exposure to any type of radioactive contamination.  Five grams per day based on a 150 lbs body size is recommended.

With radiation exposure also comes heavy metal toxicity.  Truth be told, because of the air we breath, the food we eat and the water we drink, most of us are carrying too many heavy metals that have no business within us.  For this reason, cleansing and detoxifying the body, radiation exposure or not, can be a very good thing.

Cilantro is referred to as the poor man’s chelation therapy.  The herb cilantro, which we love so much in our salsa, has the ability to grab hold of harmful heavy metals, deactivate and escort them out of the body.  I often recommend two bunches of cilantro per week to my patients, which can be used with juicing, salsa, salads or with homemade pesto.
Cilantro Pesto
3 garlic cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped 
2 cups fresh cilantro tightly packed 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
¼ cup parmesan cheese - crumbled
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.     Place the garlic and cilantro in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. With the processor running, slowly add the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.
2.     Serve with noodles, in sauces, as a sandwich spread or make into a salad dressing.
3.     Make several batches and keep in the freezer.  Frozen pesto will keep for nearly a year.

These herbs and several others are cited on the website as excellent protection and treatment for radiation. See the article entitled: Radioprotective Potential of Plants and Herbs against the Effects of Ionizing Radiation
Additional Herbal Standouts include:
Rosemary, Gingko Biloba, Panax Ginseng, Dandelion, Turmeric, Maitake, Reishi and Cordyceps Mushrooms, and Ginger

Bentonite Clay
Not only can you bathe in this to help pull toxins from your skin. Bentonite clay is used by Russian nuclear workers (slathered on their skin) before working with nuclear material. You can use it internally, safely, in moderation to help pull out toxins and absorb radiation. Bentonite clay is used in traditional medicine for treating heavy metal poisoning.

How to Use
Bentonite clays can be used internally and externally. If you are using clay internally be sure that the product states that it is safe for internal use. Due to metals and other impurities that may be found in the clays, not all of them can be taken internally. If you are unsure of the purity of the clay contact the manufacturer.

For internal use, mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of the clay in at least 8 ounces of water. Drink the mixture and follow with another 8 ounces of pure water. It has also been found useful to add fiber to this process to help move the clay along through the digestive tract.

For external use, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons in a bowl with water or apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is antibacterial which may help alleviate some of the underlying causes that aggravate acne. Add the liquid slowly until you develop a muddy consistency. Wash and feel fantastic!

Clays may also be used as a bath. Add 1 to 2 cups of clay to your hot bath water and soak in it for at least 30 minutes for best results.

A foot bath is also useful for detoxing by adding 3 to 4 tablespoons to a tub of hot water and soaking your feet in it for at least 30 minutes.

Miso Soup: made from a paste of fermented soybeans has shown repeatedly benefits in preventing and treating radiation exposure.
One of the main ingredients in miso soup is kelp, but it also includes mushrooms (which have their own health benefits, as well).

Iodine or Betadine – If you find yourself unprepared and all you have at your disposal is iodine tincture or betadine, they can be useful. Do not drink or ingest iodine or Betadine! Avoid them if you have an allergy to iodine (which you most likely do if you’re allergic to shellfish).

If stores in your area are out of potassium iodide tablets don’t fret. Painting on iodine or Betadine will provide a good bit of protection against radioactive iodine. While not as reliable as ingesting potassium iodide (and not as thoroughly scientifically studied), your body will absorb the iodine, which will then travel to and hopefully protect your thyroid gland.
How to paint on iodine: Purchase a bottle of 2% tincture of iodine or Betadine at your local drugstore (you may have to ask for it at the pharmacy). Paint about 2 ml or so on your abdomen (a little less for children) and allow your skin to soak it in. Do this daily until the iodine remains a reddish-orange color on your skin (doesn’t fade). When it stops fading, it means your body has enough iodine. If you’re consistently exposed to radiation, you’ll want to keep painting on the iodine every day.

So imagine with me if you will, we are in a situation where radioactive fallout may become an issue.  No high radiation yet, but the potential is there.  Here are my recommendations for me and mine. Do as many of these are you are able. These measures will also help to cleanse and detox the body in a non-radiation emergency situation.  Determine for yourself how much you may want or need to do.  But I suggest you have things on hand well before the threat of "an event".
Preventative/Preparatory Measures
1)         Begin taking the Standard Process Supplements as directed
2)         Take daily Herbal Tincture – 2 dropperfuls 2-3 times daily.
                        This is our FALLOUT FORMULA
                    1 cup (8oz) - Eleuthero root- cut
                        ½ cup (4oz) – Ginger root – cut
                        2 TBS (1oz) – Dandelion root – cut
                        2 TBS (1oz) – Maitake mushroom - whole
                        2 TBS (1oz) – Reishi mushroom - slices
                        2 TBS (1oz) – Cordyceps mushroom – powder
                        1 TBS (1/2oz) – Ginkgo biloba leaf – cut
                        Blend all of the above in 40% vodka to fill a 2 quart jar. 
                        Shake daily for at least 2 weeks then strain.
3)         Take Chlorella or Spirulina-  3 to 5 grams daily
4)         Eat Cilantro daily – about 2 TBS
5)         Miso soup – at least 2 cups daily.
6)         Move out of harms way as best as possible.
7)         Drink plenty of pure water

Immediately Before and During Fallout
1)         Take KI (potassium iodide) as directed.
2)         Take Bentonite internally and use in a bath externally.
3)         Continue with Cilantro, Miso, Standard Process and Herbs

After Fallout
            Continue supplements as these will continue to cleanse and heal your body whether you’ve had a significant exposure to radiation or not.  All of these natural herbal protocols are safe for long-term use and can benefit for detox purposes whether you’ve participated in a nuclear disaster or are just participating in life on a polluted planet.

FDA Disclaimer
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products or recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Consult a licensed health care professional before starting any supplement, dietary, or exercise program, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre existing injuries or medical conditions.