GOING BEYOND IODINE FOR REDUCING RADIATION DAMAGE
GOING BEYOND IODINE FOR REDUCING RADIATION DAMAGE
In this update I shall address the following:
A. In an emergency Iodine is more precious than gold, but not only iodine. What else should we have on hand?
B. Is it possible to survive serious radiation exposure with little or no damage, with proper preparations?
C. What have we been learning from nuclear disasters that can help us prepare for many other emergencies?
We must all be aware that high or even moderate exposure to radioactive materials is a very serious issue that requires medical attention. The information below is not intended as replacement to medical care. It may be used in addition to medical care or in the event that medical care is not accessible, as it may help prevent much more serious health consequences.
FIRST THING FIRST
Fear and Panic are killers – Radiation and radioactive contaminants are not visible. We fear the most that which we cannot see and do not comprehend. Like getting a suntan while playing at the beach for a few hours, the results are not immediately visible. You see the sun-radiation burn only after a few hours. While the damage from ultraviolet sun burn will often heal with minimal care, the burn from nuclear radiation may have consequences that will last for years. This is a good reason to treat this subject with all the respect that it commands. Just reading the material about the symptoms produced after exposure to radioactive material produced a surge of fear in me. Nevertheless, knowledge of preventive measures and potential therapies is empowering. Having the knowledge and tools for fast access is what this writing all about.
In most nuclear radiation emergencies, it is more likely that more of your patients will suffer from health damage due to fear and anxiety attacks rather than from actual radiation damage. Here is a good analogy from my lifeguard training sessions. It is hard to help a drowning person in a state of panic. He or she may sink the inexperienced rescuer while in a state of panic by grabbing and holding on too tightly so as to immobilize the rescuer. Our first job with a drowning (panicking) person is to help them relax with the positive action of… I’ve got you, you are safe, let go and let me pull you back to shore. Only after the person cooperates can you grab them firmly and pull him/her to safety. This principle applies to almost any emergency.
Your knowledge and skills are the life preserver for your patients. I grew up in a time and place when physicians used to make house calls. Just seeing the friendly face of my family doctor with his big smile made me and my parents feel better. I watched my parents relax after he reassured them that my awfully looking condition (usually a bad cold) would disappear after a few days with lots of hot tea with lemon (little did we know back then about the healing power of green tea (antioxidants) and fresh lemon juice (with its vitamin C content and bioflavonoids). On occasion the physician recommended an enema to clear up the colon. And that was a medical doctor who prescribed antibiotics with a follow up of acidophilus. How about that?
If you noticed, our last e-mail started with helping people relax by putting things into a healthy perspective.
In handling the many phone calls that we received from professionals and patients alike, our first job, as we saw it, was to calm people down and keep them informed. This was no time to ride the media hype and exploit the frightened patients by pushing iodine pills. Preparation for a possible threat and long term healing process is different than panic purchases. Your patients will feel so much better about you when you will be perceived as a reliable professional friend and rescuer in times of emergency.
Be prepared to offer your patients some safe and effective natural products to deal with fear and panic in an event of an emergency closer to home.
Nutritionally speaking that means having products like the mood altering amino acids such as: L-Tryptophan, 5HTP, L-Theanine, GABA and L-Tyrosine. See The Mood Cure, by Julia Ross, M.A. (Viking Penguin 2002)
Herbs or herbal teas like Valerian Root, Passion Flower, Kava Kava, Camomile. Our Val-Tran Plus and Easy Rest fall into this category of herbal remedies that relieve stress and anxiety while promoting relaxation.A homeopathic combination for fear, nervousness and anxiety can also be very helpful.
Different individuals respond to different modalities. With some a gentle homeopathic remedy is all that they may need, while others may require something much stronger.
Do not forget the B complex for dealing with stress in general and the group of herbs known as adaptogens. More on adaptogens below.
Most of the above nutrients are listed on our user-friendly catalog online at www.hhpdr.net
THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE AFTER A NUCLEAR DISASTER
It is possible to survive and heal even after being close to a source of nuclear radiations
The most amazing fact that I have gleaned from the literature search on the subject of nuclear disasters is that it’s easier to survive it with no serious long term health damage than what I would have dreamed possible. If we can help patients accept this fact, with the help of the following stories and references, half the battle will be won.
A DIET THAT DELIVERS RESULTS
Perhaps the most impressive information comes to us from Japan in the aftermath of WWII bombing of Hiroshima and Nakasaki. A physician by the name of Tatsuichiro Akizuki, M.D., director of the Department of Internal Medicine in St. Francis’ Hospital in Nagasaki (very close to the explosion site) fed his staff and patients a strict diet of brown rice, miso, and tamari soy soup with wakame, kombu and other seaweeds plus seas salt. He also prohibited the consumption of sugar and sweets, which are considered immune suppressors. As the report goes, Dr. Akizuki’s patients had no signs of radiation poisoning while patients in locations that were farther away from the explosion suffered severe radiation fatalities. (1)
Those of you who are familiar with the Macrobiotic Diet would recognize the above foods. Is it any wonder that the Macrobiotic Diet has gained such an excellent reputation among holistic physicians like Sherry Rogers, M.D. for detoxification and cancer therapy. See her book Wellness Beyond All Odds and Detoxify or Die (Prestige Publishing 1994, 2002). The books and newsletter of Dr. Rogers are available by calling (800) 846-6687. Dr. Rogers, an environmental specialist, is one of the few holistic physicians who sees patients with many debilitating illnesses relating to chemical toxicity. She also offers telephone consultations.
What you eat has more power over disease and aging then any medicine
your doctor can prescribe. - Sherry A. Rogers, M.D. - Detoxify or Die
The above statement was well illustrated in the book by a study showing the dramatic effect of blood vitamin level, lipid profile and protective enzyme levels (SOD & Glutathione) by simply switching to a whole food diet.
I have noticed over the years that whenever my system feels out of balance, a few macrobiotic-type meals with miso soup, brown rice (or buckwheat, which I happen to be very compatible with) and vegetables, or even just the brown rice with veggies (with fermented soy sauce and olive oil) bring my system back into balance in a short period of time.
The above protocol of Dr. Akizuki (see pg. 35 in reference #1) is very rich in iodine and other minerals. Just as we use “good iodine” to saturate the thyroid and other tissues in order to block off possible retention of radioactive iodine, so it is with the other radioactive minerals (isotopes). As we saturate the body with many minerals the likelihood of body tissues holding on to radioactive minerals is diminished. For example: Since radioactive strontium is often found in the bones of individuals who were exposed to radioactive fallout, calcium supplements, when taken early and often, may help block the retention of radioactive strontium.
Calcium supplements with strontium are also available (see Hardi-Bone). Strontium is in the same column of the periodic table under calcium. This concept was acknowledged by the chemist, the late Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling, Ph.D. (How To Get Well, by Paavo Airola, Ph.D., N.D., Health Plus 1974). We also see this concept at work when David Brownstein, M.D. demonstrated that he can remove the toxic accumulation of bromides with iodine supplements. When giving calcium supplements be sure to give it in combination with magnesium.
After the Chernobyl reactor disaster in Russia children who were treated with 5 grams of Spirulina daily (a blue-green algae) for 45 days showed improvement in immune function and reduction in radioactive contamination. The spirulina reduced urine radioactivity by 50% in 20 days. Even children who were very sick showed improvement and the healing process was obvious even while radiation levels were still high. The removal of radioactive strontium and cesium with spirulina were also documented. This work was done in the Institute of Radiation Medicine in Minsk. (1)
Imagine the level of benefits if the children were in a position to take spirulina from day one after the nuclear accident.
Because Japan is such a highly industrialized nation, they have had their share of heavy metal poisoning in various areas. In Japanese research the spirulina algae was found to be effective in detoxifying lead, mercury and cadmium. They also found it to be effective in helping to treat the following conditions: Diabetes, anemia, liver disease, ulcers, pancreatitis and visual complaints. What is so unique about spirulina as a food source is that it is a very rich source of proteins (65-70% protein by weight, with all eight essential amino acids plus 10 others, and it has a cell wall that is very easy for us to digest, unlike many other edible algae). Spirulina is high in the stress and recovery related branched-chain amino acids [BCAA (4)]. It also provides many vitamins and minerals in what seems to be a very biologically active form. However, from a detox point of view, the high chlorophyll content of spirulina is perhaps the greatest source of detox power and added blood building agent. (2)
Since spirulina grows in lakes or ponds, for individuals who are on a sodium restricted diet, this whole food supplement may be a better alternative than sea veggies.
Spirulina is one of the few whole food supplements that is actually a complete food and one that we can live on for many days during emergency periods when other foods are in short supply or are contaminated. Since I live in hurricane country, in southeast Florida, my emergency travel kit has a bottle of spirulina in it. Spirulina and chlorella are two supplemets that I take regularly by alternating them.
The Linus Pauling Institute published a study summary in their newsletter in the fall of 2006 illustrating the capacity of chlorophyll to detoxify carcinogenic environmental toxins. “Scientists in our laboratory have studied the chemoprotective effects of chlorophyllin and have recently discovered that natural chlorophyll itself is a potent anticancer agent.” (3)
Chlorella is another substance that has been studied extensively in Japan and has demonstrated unique ability to detoxify heavy metals. The fermented soy paste called miso (used in the popular miso soup) was also studied in Japan and was discovered to bind and detoxify radioactive elements. (1)
Canadian researchers from McGill University, as far back as 1968, have shown that a fiber component of seaweeds called alginate (or algin) helped detoxify radioactive strontium. (1) What is so significant about this discovery is that the strontium isotope, unlike the short lived radioactive iodine, retains radioactivity for years. Getting it out of the body as soon as possible is essential. The same detox effect may be true for plutonium and cesium.
The fiber and mineral rich sea veggies, miso soup, the unique chelating fiber from chlorella, along with the high chlorophyll algae like spirulina and chlorella are all a very significant part of the traditional Japanese diet. Spirulina and chlorella, which are consumed as supplements have been added in recent decades. This diet appears to have a powerful chelating effect of binding and helping eliminate toxins and heavy metals. Is it any wonder that the Japanese and especially the residents of Okinawa who have suffered greatly during WWII have more centenarians than we do. There are more centenarians per capita in Okinawa (based on well documented statistics) than anywhere else in the world. We would do well to study their diet and lifestyle. See The Okinawa Program by B.J. Wilcox, M.D., D.C. Willcox, Ph.d., and M. Suzuki, M.D. (Three River Press 2001)
I would highly recommend that you teach your patients to prepare miso soup at home (any Japanese restaurant serves it and many cook books provide this simple recepie). I use Nori – a tasty, easy to use, toasted sea veggie that comes as sheets of greenish dried sea veggie (it looks like thick green paper) – to provide the soup with the sea veggie component. It is easy to find in health food stores, yet it is much more affordable in oriental food stores.
I used to send for my hair analysis test every few years since the eighties in order to monitor for the risk of heavy metal build up. The levels of Aluminum, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Arsenic were rarely in the high risk area, but they moved up and down in the acceptable range. I used mild chelating supplements over the years to help improve my hair analysis profile with acceptable results. However, it was not until we designed the product Green Detox, which provides alginate, chlorella and pectin along with minerals like iodine and selenium that I saw a very major change in my hair analysis profile. After about a year following my addition of Green Detox to my supplement protocol, I saw a profound change in my hair analysis heavy metal profile. The heavy metals disappeared from the chart. That was a wow! moment when I looked at the chart and there was no detectable level of heavy metals. This has never happened to me before, nor did I ever see it with patients.
While my personal experience as an isolated case is highly anecdotal, if you combine it with the above information it becomes obvious that the above nutrients may have a great deal to offer both for prevention as well as in life threatening situations, as described above.
The protective food list would not be near complete if I left out green tea. The tea-time ritual is another typical traditional Japanese habit which is a double blessing, both from the point of view of the protective antioxidants found in green tea, (5) as well as the social, meditative anti-stress ritual that it provides. A great deal has been published about the benefits of green tea, from weight loss to fighting cancer. Here again, we should do well to emulate the Japanese.
“Green tea has also been shown to significantly inhibit leukemia cell growth. When green and black tea (regular tea) are mixed together, they form a much more powerful protective combination.” (5) A unique study that measured the degree of DNA protection from free radicals of seven phytonutrients concluded that the bioflavonoid quercetin was one of the top champions. I chose to highlight quercetin because it is so common in our food chain, especially in apples, onions and teas. Dr. Blaylock reports that while vitamin C by itself was not very strong in this category, but with quercetin it was much more powerful. (5)
After a serious exposure to radiation the immediate threat is to the fast growing tissues, such as the gums, reproductive organs, and various epithelial cells, but especially the intestines. Here is where we see such symptoms, similar to that of radiation therapy for cancer patients, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, bleeding gums, etc. Both homeopathy and nutritional supplements have a great deal to offer for minimizing the effect of such symptoms. For example: Ginger or ginger tea for nausea. Homeopathic Ipecac is well known to be effective for nausea. The bleeding and ulceration of epithelial tissues can be addressed by the wonderful soothing and healing properties of Aloe Vera and Comfrey. Comfrey is commonly used in homeopathic medicine to heal ulcerated epithelial tissues. It is also called “bone-knit” remedy, which is used to help heal bone fractures. CoQ-10 and Magnesium are very helpful with sore and bleeding gums. CoQ-10 is a well known champion in restoring energy level to all cells while helping to heal the immune system.
After I reviewed some of the Russian research on the use of aloe vera for the prevention of radiation burns, back in the eighties, I determined to always have some aloe vera plants in my garden. I now have an aloe rock garden always ready for emergencies and for my admiration. Did you know that aloe vera is the most widely used herb on our planet today? Most of it is used for cosmetic products, but those who are familiar with the herbal tonic properties of aloe vera (aloe barbadensis), along with its cleansing properties (when using the fresh gel or a highly active extract), will never be without it. If you review our product line you will see that many of our products were formulated in the base of aloe vera.
The mid term and long term threat after exposure to radiation is the production of malignant cells in the body. The anti-mutagenic effect of green tea and some herbal supplements, like curcumin (the main ingredient in the spice curry) are well documented by former neurosurgeon, Russell L. Blaylock, M.D. (5). Since he retired from his career as neurosurgeon, Blaylock has been involved in nutritional research with the emphasis on the protective nature of phytochemicals. Blaylock recommends that we dissolve each dose of curcumin in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil before ingesting it, for better absorption.
There are great similarities between the protection from damage following radiation therapy and that of nuclear radiations. Blaylock’s book will serve you well as a reference book in order to help select proper nutrients for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Blaylock also writes a newsletter called, The Blaylock Wellness Report (Newsmax 800-485-4350). Because the long term threat of an injured immune system (some of the rapidly growing cells are in the bone marrow and lymphatic system) is one of major concern after exposure to radiations, immune support supplements should be considered, especially in the second phase of detoxification (after the need for iodine, detox diet with spirulina or chlorella and other detox agents have been put in place).
My first emphasis in the group of immune support supplements are the adaptogenic herbs. Each part of the world has its own favorite, based on what grows locally. Siberian Ginseng is perhaps the best researched by the Russians, Rhodiola Rosea comes next in terms of documented studies from Russia. In Japan the oriental mushrooms (Sun Mushroom, Maitaki, Reishi, Shitake,) are held in high esteem. They are an integral part of the diet, but also used in the form of supplements and medicinally. In India Tulsi (holy Basil) and Ashwaganda, also called Indian Ginseng, are the popular adaptogens. Blaylock reports that Ashwaganda was shown to protect the DNA and increase white blood cell count and bone marrow cells after laboratory animals were exposed to high-dose radiation. See radiation defense protocol on page 113 (5)
The combination of three major benefits of adaptogens is what makes them so unique.
1. Stress Reduction – They improve our tolerance level of stressful conditions.
2. Regulatory Function - They often lower parameters like blood sugar and blood pressure if elevated, yet they also increase it when it drops too low. In other words, they improve our resistance to change, like a metabolic buffer.
3. Immune enhancement – They improve the alert mode of our immune system.
Beta glucan - One important champion phytonutrient found in oriental mushrooms (highest in Sun Mushroom- the agaricus blazei mushroom) is beta-1,3-glucan – a powerful immune stimulant that enhances macrophage production. According to Blaylock, the macrophages are “the brain of the operation” in the fight against cancer cells. They also help prevent the infections that often follow exposure to radiation as a result of a weakened immune system. (5)
Mice who were exposed to high doses of full body radiation were more likely to survive if they were first treated with beta-1,3-glucan. (5)
For a common food source of Beta Glucan consider oats. Beta glucan can also be extracted from aloe vera, baker’s yeast, barley and seaweed. (6)
I HOPE YOU ARE GETTING THE BIGGER PICTURE
I hope you are getting the bigger picture of how the traditional diet of the Japanese supports better health and longevity in spite of the horrible stress of having to recover from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nakasaki and the stress of having to rebuild their entire national fabric after WWII. It would not surprise me if the Fukushima nuclear disaster will yield many important lessons for us in terms of feedback from clinics that are now involved with detoxification programs (from radioactive isotopes) as well as healing patients who suffered from radiation damage. While we keep them in our thoughts and prayers, let us watch and learn.
High Tech Medicine offers Additional Solutions
For patients who have their bone marrow damaged beyond repair, as in the case of some of the workers in the nuclear reactors, stem cell therapy may offer hope for recovery. This procedure is usually used when organs are deteriorated beyond repair. Professor of cellular and molecular biology, Dr. Dean Nizetic, London School of Medicine, thought this would be a good idea. He cautioned against a cavalier attitude of dismissing proper safety procedure with the attitude that, it will all be fixed later by stem cell therapy.
"While restoration of one's own bone marrow with stem cells isolated from one's own bone marrow sample taken prior to radiation damage is routinely achievable, for example in cancer patients, restoration of other tissues is not yet easily achievable in clinical practice -- with few exceptions. But even those require complicated, risky and costly procedures," Nizetic said.
More than 50 hospitals across Europe have already offered their help for treating the Fukushima workers.
– AOL report by Lauren Frayer, 3-30-11
We live in a new world today where the US alone has 104 nuclear reactors. Japan has 54, France 58. Germany recently shut down seven aging reactors. There are 442 reactors worldwide. Who knows what a natural disaster like a tsunami, earthquake or a tornado can do to some of these reactors. Even at this writing there is a concern about a reactor in Romania. In the US alone some 3 million people live within 10 miles of a reactor. (7)
While I am not against the use of nuclear power – we’ll get better at using it with the lessons of each disaster
– I wish to draw your attention to the need for all of us to prepare for the unpredictable. My military service has equipped me with the ability to be good in entertaining the “what if” scenarios. Yet, I too was caught off guard during some hurricane seasons, fortunately without major damage.
We, in southeast Florida, live in hurricane country. Over the past 25 years we have had some close calls with a couple of direct hits. After hurricane Andrew you could have see some neighborhoods that looked like the Japanese tsunami devastated area. Entire city blocks looked like a junk yard. An air force base with a hanger that was built to withstand some 150 miles per hour wind was hit with wind gusts nearing 200 miles per hour. It twisted like a pretzel. Can you imagine what this type of wind can do when it hits a chemical plant?
After hurricane Rita we were without power for three weeks. We lost our city water supply for a couple of weeks. For days the streets were blocked with fallen trees and debris. Over the years, we have learned to gradually add to our hurricane preparation protocol, while many neighbors just play the Russian roulette game, with little preparations while hoping that nothing will happen. When we get the warnings that a hurricane is heading our way our home begins to look like a fortress. Window awnings come down and get bolted to the walls, accordion shutters cover the sliding doors leading to the garden, objects that can fly are brought indoors or secured outside. If the hurricane is expected to plow right through our neighborhood, we have a “safe room” (a bathroom in the center of the house) where we can hide. Some hurricanes are 100 to 200 miles wide and they can produce twisters (mini tornados) that can shred a house like a paper shredder. Knowing which room is your “safe room” is important. So it is with a nuclear disaster, in order to stay clear of nuclear fallout (with radioactive dust particles). Remember, most radioactive fallout material remains active only for 24-48 hours.
Some of the nuclear disaster preparation protocols are very similar in nature to that of preparing for storms, earthquaques and other disaster. We now have two portable Honda generators (they are light weight, durable and quiet and because of the power regulator you can safely hook up a computer to it), we always keep some extra dry food and water in storage during hurricane season. As soon as we get the warning that a hurricane is within 2 days of our coastline, canned foods and water bottles disappear from the shelves in most stores.
If you recall, after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans emergency services were so far behind that many thousands of people were stranded for days, and some were in desperate predicament. Had we needed emergency help after hurricane Rita, in our neighborhood, we would not have been in a position to be reached for a few days, except by helicopter. My question is: Are you willing to take a chance that emergency medical services will always be there to help you and your patients?
Some of the products, devices and foods that were mentioned in the two e-mail updates and the online references listed may be easily acquired over a period of time, as well as the skill to use them. Help your patients – especially the family first responders – learn how to make reasonable preparations based on the need in the area that they live in.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The above information is offered as educational material for healthcare professionals and is not intended as substitute to proper medical therapies.
1. How to Help Support the Body's Healing After Intense Radioactive or Radiation Exposure.
This Free book is available to download as a benevolent gift by Bill Bodri at: www.radiationdetox.com
This book should be downloaded by every first responder of a family group, as described in our first e-mail.
2. Spirulina – The microscopic nutrient powerhouse and how it protects and restores health, by Jack J. Challem (Keats Publishing 1981)
3. Excerpts from “Cancer Prevention by Chlorophyll”, by Michael T. Simonich, Ph.D., LPI Research Associate, the Linus Pauling Institute Newsletter (Fall/Winter 2006)
4. BCAA in The Healing Nutrients Within, by Eric R. Braverman, M.D. (Basic Health 2003)
5. Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D. (Kensington Publishing 2003)
An excellent reference for anyone working with patients undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
6. Medicinal Mushrooms, by Beth M. Ley, Ph.D. (BL Publications 2001)
7. TIME Special Report – Japan’s Meltdown (March 28, 2011)
With our best wishes for your Good Health
Your HHP nutritionist,
Meir Pear, N.C., CBS.
Hollywood Health Products, Inc.
(954) 797-7213 * (800) 330-0635
Fax: (954) 797-7257 www.hhpdr.net
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