Supplements Shown To Help Prevent Effects of Radiation Fall-Out
By Dr. Melissa Patterson, ND, Sebastopol, California
(additional editing and research by Suzie Gruber, MA)
Dear Patients, Friends and Colleagues,
Over the last few days I have heard great concern over the potential of radioactive fallout from the nuclear power plant explosions in Japan. It is hard to tell definitively what is going to happen, but from the research that I have done it looks like there is a great chance that the Pacific Coast will feel some nuclear fallout from the ongoing nuclear catastrophe that is occurring. Therefore, I have made a list of different supplements, herbs and foods that can help eliminate side effects of radiation.
Please feel free to send it far and wide. Please read it carefully before you decide to take any supplements. These supplements have been well-researched and can be taken by most people. However, if you have a serious illness, are on medication or are pregnant/breastfeeding please contact your healthcare provider to make sure that these supplements/herbs are okay for you. Also, only the adult dosages are given if you would like to give the supplements/herbs to a child please do research to find the appropriate dose for your child and find out if it is okay for them to take.
I begin with information on radioactive fallout and the jet stream. Then, I offer my recommendations in three sections: inexpensive supplements that you should start taking now and continue taking if you are exposed to radiation, supplements that are more expensive and hard to find, and additional supplements that are helpful and not as critical.
Radioactive Fallout and the Jet Stream
Radioactive fallout is defined as radioactive material that is carried by winds until it settles to earth. Under some circumstances you may see the fallout; under others you may not. The radioactivity it gives off cannot be seen. You can’t feel it. You can’t smell it, but fallout doesn’t come out of the sky like a gas and seep into everything. It can best be described as a fine to coarse sand carried by the winds. Because the wind direction varies at different heights above the ground, it is not possible to judge from the ground where the fallout will settle. It can settle in irregular patterns hundreds of miles. Here are two websites for following the jet stream and fallout pattern. Accuweather says that fallout could come to the Pacific Coast as early as 10 days from the date of the explosion in Japan. There have been several fires and explosions already at the Fukushima 1 plant which has six reactors. Endtimes started tracking “hotspots” that landed in Oregon as early as Sunday, March 13, 2011.
Supplements to Start Taking Now
The following are supplements that I recommend that you start taking now to help your body prepare preemptively for radiation. They are relatively inexpensive and generally locally available: All of the following supplements in this first section except rutin can be found at Whole Foods and other natural food stores.
Here is a list of medicinal herbs that I recommend you take for radiation exposure. You can take them as a tea, a tincture or as individual encapsulated herbs. You can get individual herbal tinctures online at Herb Pharm or get a custom combination tincture made at Farmacopia in Santa Rosa, CA.
Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) – removes radioactive isotopes from the body.
Recommended Dose – 1-4 ounces/300-120 grams of cooked fresh root, up to a pint of infusion daily, or several large spoonfuls of vinegar but only if made with fresh roots. Tincture – 15-20 drops 3 times a day.
Contraindications – do not use Burdock during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Cilantro Leaf (Coriandum sativum) – natural heavy metal chelator (i.e. plutonium and cesium are heavy metals.) Therefore, it helps to eliminate them out of the body.
Recommended Dose – Take 1-3 dropperfuls daily of tincture or eat large amounts of fresh cilantro
Eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) – helps protect against the side effects of radiation exposure.
Recommended Dose – 500-3000 mg. in capsule form. Tincture: 15-20 drops three times a day.
Holy Basil/Tulsi Aerial Parts (Ocimum sanctum) – preliminary research shows evidence that Holy Basil protects against radiation-induced peroxidation, thus helping to protect against the detrimental effects of low-level radiation. It also increases glutathione and superoxide dismutase which are important mediators in the liver in helping the body deal with radiation.
Recommended Dose – Tincture: 40–60 drops, three times per day. Tea: add 1 tsp. dried leaf to 8 oz. hot water, steep, covered, 5–10 minutes. Take 4 oz. of tea up to three times per day. Capsules: various forms of capsulated products are available. These include extracts in gelcaps, dried or powdered herb in capsules, and standardized extracts (2 percent ursolic acid) in capsules.
Contraindications – Holy Basil should not be taken while pregnant or nursing or for an extended period of time. Use caution if you have high blood pressure or rheumatic heart disease.
Reishi Mushroom Fruiting Bodies (Ganoderma lucidum) – offers protection against ionizing radiation
Preventive Dose – 400 mg. take 2 caps or 1 dropperful of tincture up to 3 times per-day.
Dose Upon Radiation Exposure – take the same dose up to 6 times per day
Contraindications – None.
Rutin – a bioflavonoid that can also be found in lower doses in vitamin C supplements containing bioflavonoids. Rutin is glucoside found in buckwheat that can help protect the body from the effects of radiation. It strengthens the capillary walls and reduces hemorrhaging caused by x-rays. In animal studies it was shown to reduce the death rate caused by excessive x-rays by 800 per cent.
Preventive Dose – 100 to 200 mg a day.
Dose Upon Radiation Exposure – 800 mg. or more a day. I
Contraindications – none
Selenium – protects DNA from radiation damage and helps prevent damage to the skin surface, too. Get plenty of selenium by eating a daily dose of 2 cups/500 ml of nettle infusion, one-half ounce/15 g kelp, 2 ounces/60 g cooked burdock root, or 1 cup/250 ml organic yogurt daily. Shellfish, green and black teas, and garlic contain significant amounts of selenium, as do many mushrooms. The best sources however are nettles (2200 mcg per 100 grams), kelp (1700 mcg/100 g), Burdock (1400 mcg/100 g), Catnip (Nepeta cataria), American Ginseng, and Eleuthero which is also known as Siberian Ginseng and Astragalus.
Vitamin A – In 1974, researchers from India found that vitamin A, when taken internally by humans, hastened recovery from radiation. In 1984, Dr. Eli Seifter and a team of researchers for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine reported that vitamin A and beta-carotene counteracted both partial and total body gamma radiation. It also improved the healing of wounds; reduced weight loss, thymic and splenic atrophy, and adrenal enlargement; and prevented gastro-ulceration and an abnormal decrease in red and white blood cell formation. For therapeutic purposes, 25,000 to 35,000 IU is the recommended dose for adults. During emergencies or crisis situations, intensive exposure may warrant higher amounts.
Contraindications – can be toxic if taken too much over a long period of time. Vitamin A can also be toxic to pregnant woman and their babies.
Vitamin B-Complex – many B vitamins, especially pantothenic acid, help to decrease the effects of radiation. One of its many functions is that they normalize the red and white blood cell count because the destruction of white blood cells by radiation can last for extended periods of time. The various B vitamins have different effects and should be taken together. Take the dose recommended on the bottle.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids – this is a VERY IMPORTANT supplement as it protects against intercellular damage from radiation.
Preventive Dose: 2-5 grams per day
Dose Upon Radiation Exposure – 2-5 gram per day
Contraindications – when you start having diarrhea back off 500 mg until you reach bowel tolerance.
Vitamin E – can provide internal and external protection against Cesium-137 which is a common component of fallout and a reported component in the fallout from Japan. Vitamin E also helps prevent the destruction of vitamin A and fatty acids by massive doses of x-rays. If large doses of C, B and E are taken before exposure, the terrible symptoms of radiation sickness can be reduced or eliminated to a large degree.
Preventive Dose – an adult weighting 155lbs should take 900 IU per day of Vitamin E as d-alpha-tocopherol.
Dose Upon Radiation Exposure – up to 1600 IU per day.
Additional Recommended Supplements That Are More Expensive and/or Difficult To Find
Laminaria Japonica – probably the most important seaweed in helping decrease radiation in our body. This seaweed was the secret weapon of Russian doctors that saved thousands of innocent people from disease after nuclear fallout from Chernobyl. It can be quite hard to find. Try Body Ecology.
Recommended Dose – 1500 mg/day
Seaweeds are not only a great natural source of nutrients, they are very effective at removing radiation from the body as they contain sodium alginate. There are literally thousands of different types of seaweeds but some of the most popular seaweeds are arame, wakame, kombu, hijiki, bladderwrack, rockweed, sea lettuce, and dulse. You can find them in your local health food store and various oriental grocery stores in your neighborhood in their natural form, or in flakes, flat sheets, and powders. They can be mixed in soups and salads, or eaten by themselves. If you don’t like the taste of seaweeds, or you want something more convenient you can find various seaweed supplements in capsules or tablets. One high quality seaweed supplement made with four organic seaweeds in a capsule is Sea Treasure™ by RegalLife™. It also contains organic alfalfa which is also found to be beneficial at removing radiation becomes of its rich chlorophyll content.
The Atomic Energy Commission recommends for maximum protection against radioactive poisoning for humans, taking a minimum of 2 to 3 ounces of sea vegetables a week or 10 grams (two tablespoons) a day of sodium alginate supplements. During or after exposure to radiation, the dose should be increased to two full tablespoons of alginate four times daily to insure that there is a continual supply in the GI or gastrointestinal tract. There may be a rare problem of constipation but this can be avoided if the sodium alginate is made into a fruit gelatin. Agar, derived from sodium alginate in kelp, is a safe, nontoxic substance that can be used as a thickening agent or gelatin. Sea vegetables are also high in natural iodine. However, I recommend sticking to potassium iodide as discussed below.
Beta-1,3 glucan – In a controlled study done at the US Armed Forces Radiobiology Institute, 70% of rats given a lethal dose of radiation were completely protected from radiation effects when given a dose of yeast beta glucan by mouth after the radiation exposure. Beta glucan is a free radical scavenger. It is able to protect blood macrophages from free radical attack during and after the radiation allowing these cells to continue to function in the irradiated body and release factors important to the restoration of normal bone marrow production. This supplement is very expensive, but worth it. Reishi mushroom is high in beta 1,3 glucan if you just want to take that.
Recommended Dose – 500 mg cap/1 time a day
Additional Recommendations Upon Exposure
Here are some additional recommendations if you think you have been exposed to radiation. First and foremost, don’t panic.
Potassium Iodide – take this as soon as you can once you know you have been exposed. This is a VERY IMPORTANT supplement that helps protect you if you are exposed to Iodine131. It does not help with exposure to any other isotopes. Because it is such an important supplement I recommend IOSAT only FDA approved potassium iodide that is in sealed containers. IOSAT is available online.
Potassium Iodide Recommended Dose from the FDA and the CDC:
According to the FDA, the following doses are appropriate to take after internal contamination with (or likely internal contamination with) radioactive iodine:
• Adults should take 130 mg (one 130 mg tablet OR two 65 mg tablets OR two ml of solution).
• Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose of 130 mg.
• Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65 mg (one 65 mg tablet OR 1 ml of solution).
Children who are adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the full adult dose regardless of their age.
• Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg (½ of a 65 mg tablet or ½ ml of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing infants and children.
• Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg (¼ of a 65 mg tablet or ¼ ml of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing
Contraindications – do not take if you are not exposed and take as little as possible, i.e. only when you know that you have been exposed.
Oil – ½ cup of any cold pressed oil if you are exposed will help protect the cell membranes. Extra virgin olive oil is preferred.
Bentonite Clay – helps to eradicate toxins radiation/toxins. It is generally advisable to start with 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay daily, mixed with a small amount of juice. Pay attention to the results for a week and then gradually increase the dose to no more than 4 tablespoons daily in divided doses. Make sure you drink plenty of chlorine-free water throughout the day. You can also use other forms of edible clay such as French green clay.
Sea Salt and Baking Soda Baths – add 1 pound of sea salt and 1 pound of baking soda and soak in chlorine-free water for 20 minutes. Then rinse with cool water. You can also 1 pound of betonite, or other clay, to the sea salt and baking soda when soaking which increases the removal of radiation. Some specialists who work with radioactive isotopes use this method to remove radiation from their body. If you have been exposed to an abnormally high level of radiation you can use this method three times a week for one month.
Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) – good for preventing cell nicking from ionizing radiation.
Recommended dose – 5-10 ml per day
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) – helps the liver deal with the effects of toxicity of radiation poisoning.
Recommended dose – 1-3 dropperfuls of tincture per day
Melatonin – helps protect the brain against radiation
Recommended dose – 1-2 mg
Caution – only take Melatonin at night!
Lecithin – helps protect the cell membranes
Recommended dose – 2-3 tbsp. a day
Chlorophyll – a number of studies found that chlorophyll-rich foods can decrease radiation toxicity. Spirulina and chlorella are two micro-algae that are rich in this substance, as are leafy greens, celery, parsley, the sprouts of any grain or bean, the young shoots of any edible grass, such as wheat and barley, and sunflower greens. Chlorophyll is similar in structure to hemoglobin. Guinea pigs on a diet rich in chlorophyll showed increased resistance to lethal X-rays. Organic alfalfa is a good source of natural chlorophyll.
Miso – has been used to treat radiation sickness. It is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus kojikin, the most typical miso being made with soy. Miso is widely available in most natural food stores and many grocery stores.
Other Foods that help the body decrease the effects of radiation – garlic, onions, beets, kale, brewer’s yeast/nutritional yeast, green tea/black tea, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, apples, guavas, quince, plums, gooseberries, oranges and other citrus fruits pineapple, seaweed (see above).
In the light of the catastrophe at hand I invite us all to stay calm and focused, knowing that this too shall pass one way or another. May we use this opportunity to realize the beauty and fragility of life, as well as, to give thanks for what we have. And, may people finally awaken to the fact that nuclear power does NOT work in any form no matter what the benefits.
Note on taking supplements: The above supplements have been shown through research to be effective in decreasing the detrimental effects of radiation on the body. There is a lot of information here. If you only want to do a few supplements, I recommend sticking with the supplements in the first half of the document, since they have the most scientific evidence supporting their use. The doses given are what is determined as safe for an average adult. If you are breastfeeding, pregnant or want to give the supplements to a child, please do further research to see if they are safe for you or your child and what the specific dose would be. Also, if you are sensitive to medications or supplements, please stick to the lower dose. Lastly, some supplements are recommended in higher doses after exposure. If you choose to do this, please note that some side effects might occur with some of these supplements. Please do further research on what you are taking before you take the maximum dose. If you have any serious illnesses or are on medications please talk to your healthcare provider to get more detailed information to ensure these supplements are safe for you prior to taking them.
“Fighting Radiation and Chemical Pollutants with Foods, Herbs and Vitamins” by Steven R. Schechter, N.D
Dr. Melissa Patterson has been in privately practice as a naturopathic doctor and medical intuitive for ten years. In 2000, she completed the rigorous four-year Naturopathic Graduate Program at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. She has also completed the Master of Intuition Medicine® program, through the Academy of Intuition Medicine® in 2003. She is a certified hypnotherapist, as well as a certified Reiki master, yoga instructor, and massage therapist. She has studied holistic medicine including mind-body, energetic and intuitive healing for nearly two decades. She has also studied with a myriad of medicine people from diverse tribal backgrounds, including Lakota, Cherokee, Crow, and Dagara (African). You can reach Dr. Patterson by telephone at (707) 829-8137, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website at www.drmpatterson.vpweb.com
This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, Dr. Melissa Patterson does not warrant that the medical information in this article is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading. You must not rely on the information in this article as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. The medical information in this article is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Dr. Melissa Patterson makes no representations or warranties in relation to the medical information in this article.