Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan Radiation Update 4

This is my fourth post about the Japanese nuclear disaster. First, I have to give credit to the U.S. government for suggesting that U.S. citizens move further away (50 miles) from the radiation danger. This action would serve to verify the severity of the crises.

I believe this crisis should highlight the need for each of us to take a more active role in our own health care decisions. It is important to take the proper steps to achieve your optimal health before a crisis arises. Many times these steps include eating a healthy diet and taking the correct supplements. My experience has shown that ensuring an adequate iodine level is one piece of the puzzle to obtaining your optimal health.

If the Japanese are not able to control the nuclear reaction that is occurring a true nuclear meltdown will occur. What will that mean to us? A nuclear meltdown could cause a large radiation cloud to leave Japan and deposit radiation over the U.S. However, that has not occurred yet. If that occurs, it is important to take precautions including ensuring that you and your family are taking iodine.

Here is how it works. Iodine binds to receptors throughout the body. For example, there are receptors for iodine in the thyroid gland. When iodine binds to its receptors, thyroid hormone is produced. Individuals who are iodine deficient suffer the majority of problems when exposed to radioactive iodine. In these people, radioactive iodine will bind to wherever there are open or empty iodine receptors. After radioactive iodine binds to these receptors, the surrounding tissue will be destroyed due to the radioactive iodine. Furthermore, it will damage the DNA of the surrounding cells. Damaged DNA is one cause of cancer.

Which tissues bind iodine? The largest concentration of iodine occurs in the thyroid gland. However, the largest amount of iodine is found in the fat tissue. Large concentrations of iodine are also found in many other tissues including the breast, ovary, uterus, and prostate. If radioactive iodine binds to any of these sites, it will destroy surrounding tissue and potentially damage DNA. This can lead to long-term problems such as cancer of these tissues.
It is important to keep in mind that every cell needs and utilizes iodine. Therefore, radioactive iodine exposure can have a dramatic effect on the body.

Exposure to radiation is cumulative. That means any exposure to ionizing radiation builds up in the body over time. We should all strive to minimize exposure to radiation. Some forms or radiation are unavoidable such as normal background radiation. However, radioactive iodine emitted from a nuclear disaster in Japan (or anywhere else) is largely avoidable if your body is iodine sufficient.

If your body has enough iodine binding to its receptors in the thyroid, breasts, ovaries, etc., then the radioactive iodine has nowhere to bind. That is why it is so important to have your iodine levels checked before a disaster such as this occurs. If you are iodine deficient, you can rectify this problem by simply taking iodine.

Due to our exposure to so many toxic items that inhibit or block iodine utilization in the body--fluoride, bromide and chlorine--our body’s need for iodine has dramatically increased over the last 30 years. My experience has shown that milligram amounts of iodine are necessary for achieving whole-body iodine sufficiency. In fact, any iodine supplementation program should strive for whole body iodine sufficiency, not just thyroid sufficiency.

How much iodine is needed to achieve whole-body iodine sufficiency? My clinical experience has clearly shown that milligram amounts of iodine are needed to achieve whole-body sufficiency. These amounts can vary between 6-50mg/day for most people. Some may need more, some less.

There is no doubt that the radiation cloud from Japan will pass over the U.S. This radiation exposure is a potential health risk. How much iodine should you take to ensure that your body will not absorb radioactive iodine? Without proper testing, it is impossible to say what dose is perfect for everybody. However, I have recommended that adults take 12-14mg/day of a combination of iodine and iodide. That amount will prevent nearly 95% of radioactive iodine from binding to the thyroid gland and still leave other amounts of iodine available for the rest of the body’s need. Children will need smaller amounts. You can dose a child down for his/her size. A general rule of thumb for children is 0.08mg I/pound of body weight. If a newborn is breast feeding, they do not need iodine supplementation if the mother is iodine sufficient. Iodine can be excreted in the breast milk.

I generally recommend either Lugol’s iodine, Iodoral (from Optimox) or Iodozyme Hp (from Biotics). Lugol’s iodine dosage is 2 drops per day (12.5mg) or 1 tablet of each of either Iodoral or Optizyme HP (both products are 12.5mg/ tablets). When should people begin iodine supplementation? At this point, with the disaster still progressing, I would say it is time to begin supplementation with iodine.

As with any substance, there can be problems with iodine supplementation. Before beginning supplementation, it is best to discuss this option with your health care provider. More information about iodine can be found in my books, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It and Overcoming Thyroid Disorders.

In the next few days, I will begin to answer some of the many questions sent to me.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home