Thursday, March 17, 2011

Natural Treatments for Radiation Exposure


Nascent iodine
Even relatively modest doses of radiation can increase the risk that a person will develop thyroid cancer at some point in life. There's a delay between exposure and cancer that can run 10 to 20 years. - Dr. Rigual
Nuclear power plant disasters like the Chernobyl reactor explosion in 1986 or the most recent disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant make us aware about the dangers of radioactive exposure.

Radiation is colorless, odorless, tasteless and chemically inert and can only be detected with a Geiger counter. Any amount of radiation is potentially dangerous because of its effect on the living cells. Radiation can disrupt normal chemical processes within the cells and cause abnormal growth or cell death. Cells that are affected by the radiation divide and produce more abnormal cells. This pathological division may eventually lead to cancer.

Our bodies have the amazing capability to heal themselves. When we are exposed to low doses of radiation, healthy cells are able to repair the damage rapidly. Cells that died due to exposure are replaced by the body. If we, however, are exposed to very high doses of radiation, the body may not be able to replace the damaged cells fast enough and tissues or organs may fail to function properly. This is when the radiation sickness sets in.

More than sixty radioactive elements are found in nature, but most people are unaware that they are exposed to radiation on a daily basis. Radiation is present everywhere and there is no way to escape it. There are three different types of radiation:
  • terrestrial radiation - emitted by the rocks, soil, oceans, and plants. Radioactive elements enter our bodies when we drink water, breath air, or eat foods which contain them. The naturally occurring radioisotopes such as carbon-14, potassium-40, thorium-223, polonium-218, uranium-238 and its decay product radon-222, are the elements that cause exposure to radiation from within our bodies.
  • cosmic radiation - is the results from the interaction of cosmic rays with the upper atmosphere of our planet. Cosmic rays permeate the entire Space and are composed of highly energized, positively charged particles and high energy photons. They approach the earth at the speed that almost equals the speed of light. Most of these particles are blocked by the earth's atmosphere and the magnetic field, but many are able to penetrate and form radioactive isotopes that affect us daily. The exposure grows with the altitude. High mountain peaks and high altitude intercontinental flights receive the highest dose of cosmic radiation.
  • man-made radiation - is the radiation caused by human activities and is found in many areas of our daily lives, often where we do not even expect it: our building materials such as bricks and cement may contain uranium ores and are sources of the deadly radon gas; tobacco products contain radioactive polonium-210 which naturally occurs in tobacco plants; commercial food irradiation; radiation from computers and television screens, cell phones, medical diagnostic technology such as X-rays and CAT scans, and the full body scanners at the airports, contributes to the daily cumulative exposure; fission products from weapons testing; nuclear waste from fission reactors; nuclear power plants disasters that add another dimension to our daily lives as fallout is highly radioactive and has immediate cell damaging potential. 

The dangers of radiation are well understood by the medical and the scientific communities. In order to determine the damage caused by radiation, a total dose resulting from repeated exposures to ionizing radiation over a period of time has to be established. 

Radiation has a cumulative effect which means that even if we were never exposed to a radioactive fallout from a nuclear power plant, the damage results from our exposure to different forms of radiation over longer periods of time. This is the reason why people who, for instance, work at nuclear facilities or who operate x-ray machines have to be constantly monitored.

Since we are naturally exposed to radiation, additional exposure should be limited to an absolutely necessary minimum. 

Nuclear fallout, however, comes unannounced and carries far more deadlier radiation than any other source, with the exception of an atomic bomb, of course. Cesium-137 and iodine-131 are the radioactive particles that contaminate the environment after a nuclear fallout. As these particles are carried by the winds, they can contaminate vast areas thus affecting people who do not live in the immediate vicinity of a nuclear disaster.

Fortunately, the atomic incidents are rather rare, but since they occurred in the past, we have gathered enough experience in the field of treatment and prevention. Traditionally few very effective supplements and herbs were used to prevent the body from the possible effects of radiation or to "detox" the body after exposure. They offer simple and natural solution and are quite effective and rather inexpensive.

Natural treatments for radiation exposure:
  • iodine - is one of the most important natural antidotes to radiation. Our bodies need iodine for the optimally functioning thyroid gland which utilizes it to produce metabolism regulating hormones. Unfortunately, the thyroid cannot tell the difference between the radioactive iodine-131 and the beneficial form of iodine that is normally found in natural sea salt and in sea vegetables. This is most unfortunate as the radioactive iodine attaches itself to iodine receptors in the thyroid causing mutation and cell death and, eventually, cancer. Supplemental iodine, which usually comes in a strongly bound form of potassium iodide, is usually administered to prevent the damage from exposure to the radioactive iodine. The bound forms of iodine, however, are biologically inefficient as the body is able to absorb only about 20 percent of this nutrient. For a better protection nascent iodine is the preferred choice. Nascent iodine supplements deliver iodine in its atomic form which is easily absorbed and utilized by the thyroid gland. It is important to understand that supplemental iodine can only protect against radioactive iodine, but does not protect against other radioactive particles such as cesium and strontium.
  • sodium bicarbonate - a substance also known as baking soda, is the best means to minimize the kidney damage caused by the uranium exposure. Oral doses or infusions of sodium bicarbonate help alkalize the urine and render uranium ions less toxic to the kidneys. Sodium bicarbonate binds with uranium and promotes its excretion from the body thus reducing the severity of the damage caused by radiation. Sodium bicarbonate can also be added to bath water for a full body detoxifying effect. The suggested amount is one pound for a low grade exposure and up to five  pounds for an acute radiation exposure. Sodium bicarbonate is also very effective in removing uranium from contaminated surfaces and from the soil.
  • sweet water algae - micro-algae such as spirulina and chlorella have been used with great success by the Russian doctors to treat patients after the nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl. Micro-algae are very rich in nutrients and have the capability to bind to toxins and sweep them out of the body. They alkalize and purify the blood and restore its chemistry. The algae also enhance the immune system that is normally compromised by radiation.
  • seaweeds - especially kelp, are rich in sodium alginate - a polysaccharide which binds to radioactive strontium and removes it from the body. Sea vegetable are also rich in iodine and help prevent uptake of the radioactive iodine. Other nutrients such as vitamin B 12, iron, sulfur, and zinc, inhibit the absorption of radioactive cobalt, plutonium, sulfur and zinc particles. 
  • medicinal mushrooms - mushrooms such as reishi and maitake enhance the immune system after the exposure to radiation and prevent tumors from forming in the body. They also protect the DNA from the damage caused by ionizing radiation. Mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans that are known to protect and restore the skin from the damage caused exposure to radiation. 
  • Korean ginseng - is an herb that increases mental and physical endurance. It has the capability to inhibit tumor growth and prevent hemorrhage after exposure to radiation. It prevents the degeneration of bone marrow and stimulates formation of new white blood cells.
  • organic sulfur - inhibits the uptake of radioactive sulfur. It also enables transport of oxygen across the cell membranes thus contributing to a fast regeneration of the damaged cells. The mineral has the ability to detoxify heavy metals and neutralize free radicals. It is a building block of many amino-acids that are necessary to restore the damaged body tissues.  
  • liquid zeolite - especially the clinoptilolite which can absorb all kinds of toxins and help remove radiation not only from the human or animal bodies, but also from the affected environment. Clinoptilolite was successfully used to clean up the radioactive damage after the Three Mile Island incident and in Chernobyl. Because of their molecular structure and the negative charge, zeolites are able to absorb positively charged mercury, aluminum, cadmium, lead, arsenic, and radioactive ions of uranium and plutonium. Zeolites trap these and other substances like a sponge and carry them out of the body without causing any additional damage to the body.

As I mentioned above, our bodies can heal themselves. A healthy body with a strong immune system is capable of correcting any damage. We can support our bodies with balanced nutrition, regular detoxification, and proper relaxation and stress management. Daily diet should be supplemented with vitamins and antioxidants to protect the body from free radicals that are generated by the radiation.

We cannot escape radiation, but we can protect our genetic substance from the damage caused by it. People working in nuclear power plants, miners, submarine personnel, flight crews, and those who are in daily contact with medical diagnostic technology should take extra care and undergo regular detoxification.

By Dominique Allmon 

P.S.

Some foods are naturally radioactive. Bananas, for instance, contain natural potassium, which includes the naturally radioactive isotope potassium-40. The same is true of the human body. What physicists miss, but no biologist would, is that potassium in the human body is homeostatically regulated, so regardless of how many bananas you eat, the amount of potassium-40 in your body is constant. Therefore, your radiation dose is constant regardless of your banana intake. Things change when we are exposed to a radioactivity from a nuclear plant fallout. No dose can be considered harmless.

'This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

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Natural Treatments for Radiations Exposure by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.