Should You Protect Yourself from Nuclear Radiation?
The nuclear tragedy at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan has raised awareness worldwide about the dangers of radiation exposure.
In the wake of the crisis, due to fears that a cloud of radioactivity could reach the West coast of the U.S. and continue to spread on an unknown trajectory, Americans began buying up potassium iodide pills and supplements thought to help prevent the absorption of radiation by the thyroid gland. But experts disagree on whether fear is warranted for people living outside of Japan.
There is no question that the situation is very dangerous for those who live and work near Fukushima, though some have accused the Japanese government of attempting to downplay the dangers. Unsafe levels of radioactivity have been detected in food and water in Tokyo, which is 150 miles south of the plant. The World Health Organization said today that the food safety situation in Japan is “more serious” than originally thought.
Though there have been reports of radiation fallout detected on the West coast, many experts are saying that these levels are currently too low to pose a health risk. According to a joint statement from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Thyroid Association, the Endocrine Society and the Society of Nuclear Medicine, the current radiation levels detected in the U.S. do not pose a threat to the thyroid or general health. They also discourage the use of potassium iodide, unless there is a clear risk, as it can cause allergic and skin reactions. Additionally, they say, prolonged iodine supplementation can alter thyroid function and lead to hypothyroidism.
However, some experts are saying that the entire Northern hemisphere will eventually be affected by the Fukushima disaster, to some degree, so it would be wise for all Americans to take some precautionary measures to protect themselves.
As integrative physician, Leo Galland, M.D. wrote in an article today, “For people outside of Japan, the most likely risk comes from ingestion of foods contaminated with radioactive isotopes of minerals like iodine, strontium and cesium.”
Neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock has also warned that nuclear fallout from Japan could pose a threat to Americans. If radiation does arrive here in the U.S, he says that people would need “to change their diet” and stop eating Western farm products.
Now, I think it’s important to keep in mind that exposure to man-made radiation is a daily occurrence in this day and age, even if you are not directly affected by nuclear fallout. We are surrounded constantly by wi-fi signals, cell phones, cordless phones, computers and a myriad of other electrical devices, all of which emit electromagnetic radiation. Many of us are also exposed to radiation regularly when we go through scanners at the airport or have dental X-rays. And if you live near a nuclear facility or work with radioactive equipment, your exposure to radiation could be even higher.
The fact is that any amount of exposure to radiation is undesirable. Radiation disrupts cellular growth and function, and has been linked to the development of cancer and other health problems.
So, regardless of the extent to which the area you live in is affected by the incident at Fukushima, it’s wise to learn about how to protect yourself from radiation. Here are some of the things that health experts are recommending as general precautionary measures:
1. Support your immune system.
Maintaining a strong immune system will serve you in many ways, not only in the event of exposure to high levels of radiation.
Some of the best ways to strengthen your immune system are to eat a low-sugar, whole foods diet that includes plenty of immune-boosting foods like garlic and onions, consume plenty of cultured foods and/or probiotic supplements, optimize your vitamin D levels, exercise regularly and get enough sleep.
2. Limit your exposure to radiation on a daily basis.
There are many ways to reduce your exposure to radiation. Limiting your use of cell phones and wireless devices is a good start. This may seem difficult, but it easier than you might think. A great resource is Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman’s book, Zapped, which offers many practical tips for how to reduce your exposure, such as not using your cell phone as an alarm clock and not using your laptop on your lap.
3. Include sea vegetables in your diet.
Sea vegetables (such as kelp, nori, kombu and wakame) are naturally high in iodine and other minerals and help to support healthy thyroid function. They are also high in sodium alginate, which can help reduce strontium absorption and chelate (remove) other toxic metals from the system.
3. Take your vitamins.
A study published in the British Journal of Radiology shows that vitamins C and E and beta-carotene are all effective tools for protection against radiation. Vitamin C was shown to protect against radiation as well as repair damage done to cells from previous exposure.
Studies have shown that high calcium intake from food or supplements may offer protection against absorption of radioactive strontium from food.
4. Consider taking radioprotective supplements.
According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, supplements such as gingko biloba, beta glucan and curcumin may offer significant protection to the body after exposure to radiation. “Taking these supplements,” he says “not only protects you against radiation, but a lot of other diseases including cancer, brain degeneration.” A number of experts also recommend consuming superfoods and antioxidant supplements to support cellular health. In particular, spirulina and chlorella have been shown to help to the body detoxify radiation and heavy metals.
Are you concerned about radiation exposure? Have you taken steps to protect yourself or your family? Please post a comment below and share your thoughts.
Joshua Corn – Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.