March 18, 2011

The experts are dead wrong on
potassium iodide for radiation

With the tragedy in Japan raising fears of radioactive contamination, there’s been a massive run on potassium iodide. The experts are telling everyone that this combination will protect them from nuclear fallout. They’re wrong!

Potassium iodide is a good product. The potassium is supposed to protect you from the radioactive cesium. And the iodide protects against radioactive iodine. However, there are a couple problems with it.

First, there’s not nearly enough potassium in this combination to protect you against the radioactive cesium. In the body, cesium acts like potassium. So having enough potassium in your body is supposed to prevent your body from absorbing the cesium. But most people are so deficient in potassium, that the small amount in potassium iodide won’t protect you. You need to take a separate potassium supplement to protect yourself.

Second, you have to protect a lot more than your thyroid from radiation. Yes, the iodide in potassium iodide will protect your thyroid. However, it won’t be as efficient at protecting your breasts and other organs. Here’s why:

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Iodide is a form of iodine. Iodine is essential for your thyroid and several other tissues and organs. Your thyroid needs it most. So, your body has a heavy concentration there. If you’re deficient, as most Americans are, your thyroid will pick up any iodine your body ingests. This includes radioactive iodine, which can poison your thyroid.

On the other hand, if your thyroid is sufficient (full) of iodine, it will ignore any other iodine passing by — including radioactive iodine. Iodide and iodine serve slightly different roles in your body. They each protect different organs in different ways. So in the event of nuclear fallout, it’s vital you protect your body with both nutrients. Potassium iodide doesn’t provide iodine.

There are two products that provide ample amounts of both iodide and iodine. I’ve written a lot about Iodoral in past issues (available on my website). I think most people should take one capsule daily, just for general nutritional purposes. I do. After a few weeks, your thyroid should be sufficient in iodine and iodide, making your organs more resistant to radioactive iodine.

A good alternative is Lugol’s solution, which is the liquid form of Iodoral. Two drops of this iodine/iodide product is equivalent to one Iodoral. If you know there’s a significant risk of radioactive iodine exposure, you can double or triple the dose in the short run. Regardless of whether radiation from Japan’s nuclear facilities comes this way or not, these are great products to take on a regular basis. Both are readily available on the Internet.

Finally, potassium iodide can’t protect you against the radioactive heavy metals. Normally, chelation is the ideal way to deal with heavy metals. But there’s a problem. Uranium atoms may be too large for conventional chelators to grab. So I recommend a totally natural supplement from decaying organic matter instead. It’s my favorite for super heavy metals. This includes uranium, which is the heaviest naturally occurring metal. The product is Metal Magnet, which contains humic/fulvic acids. These are complex large organic molecules containing lots of carboxylic acid chemical groups. These attract metals like a giant catcher’s mitt. All metals will fit in. And it is especially good at capturing toxic metals (see Second Opinion from June and July 2006). You can find Metal Magnet on the Internet.

Strontium 90, a radioactive mineral, is a more difficult issue. It is chemically similar to calcium and can wind up in your bones. Since EDTA can chelate calcium, it would make sense that it would also grab strontium. And studies suggest it does. For strontium 90, consider both oral and rectal EDTA, which may offer limited protection. If you are exposed to radiation, I’d go directly to intravenous EDTA under the care of a trained chelation doctor.

I also recommend taking Chlorella regularly (take 15 tablets daily). It is an excellent metal detoxifier and all around superfood.

When Chernobyl melted down, researchers found that brown seaweed greatly reduced radiation poisoning. There are two products that offer brown seaweed, also known as alginate. The first is Modifilan (available on the Internet). The other is Pectasol Chelation Complex. Both products are rich in alginates.

Another fantastic product is Advanced Detox Formula. This formulation can help cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. The formula greatly reduces the amount of radiation your body absorbs. It also protects you with its sulfur-bearing detoxification nutrients, which also help regenerate glutathione. Be sure to take it along with supplemental vitamin C (2-8 grams daily) and vitamin E (1,200 IU daily) when exposed to radiation. A great vitamin E is Unique E, Carlson’s E, and Delta-Fraction Tocotrienols (take one softgel, twice a day). You can order King Chlorella, Pectasol Chelation Complex, Advanced Detox Formula, and Delta-Fraction Tocotrienols from Advanced Bionutritionals.

Finally, there are certain foods that can protect you. Start by eating as many Living Foods as possible. Remember, plant chemicals protect plants from solar radiation. They can help protect you as well.

For general radiation exposure, whether nuclear, or even medical gamma ray exposure, you might be surprised to know that miso can protect you. I read years ago of a hospital right under ground zero in Japan, which survived the bombing. (Directly under the explosion, it was spared the destruction of the blast, which went out more than down.) The doctor walked out of the hospital, saw the total destruction, walked back in and told everyone to eat miso. Those who did were spared radiation sickness. Many studies have confirmed the protective effects of fermented soy!

With nuclear radiation, potassium iodide can help. But, as you can see, it’s not nearly enough.

Ref: Hiroshima J Med Sci., 2001 Dec;50(4):83-6; Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, volume 18, number 4, 612-616, DOI: 10.1007/BF01055029.

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