Japan, Radiation Fallout and Iodine Recommendations
With the terrible earthquake in Japan, let’s send thoughts, prayers as well as assistance to the Japanese.
I have had inquiries about the use of iodine to prevent problems secondary to the nuclear fallout that will occur. As the Japanese nuclear reactors release radiation into the air, the jet streams will push this radiation to the Western U.S. and Canada. There are estimates that the radiation fallout will reach the Western side of N. American in six to ten days. Furthermore, I have seen estimates that it is expected that 750 RADS may contaminate these areas.
How much is 750 RADS? One chest x-ray is approximately 3/100 RADS. One CT scan is 1 RAD.
Folks, potentially this is a lot of radiation. Fortunately, we have an item that can prevent this fallout from damaging us: iodine. If there is enough inorganic, non-radioactive iodine in our bodies, the radioactive fallout has nowhere to bind in our bodies. It will pass through us, leaving our bodies unharmed.
It is important to ensure that we have adequate iodine levels BEFORE this fallout hits. How much iodine is recommended?
The CDC recommends using iodine to prevent injury from radioactive iodine fallout. Adults and women who are breastfeeding should take 130mg of potassium iodide. Children who are between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65mg of potassium iodide. Children who are adult size should take the adult dose. Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32mg of potassium iodide. Newborns from birth to one month of age should be given 16mg of potassium iodide.
When should you take iodine? For an acute exposure, you want to take iodine just before the exposure hits. Iodine is cleared out of the body within 24 to 72 hours after taking it. However, if you have been using ortho-iodosupplementation as I describe in my books and lectures (taking from 6-50mg/day of iodine and iodide), you should be covered. Remember, the goal is to not let the radioactive iodine bind in the body.
Potassium iodide can be found in many health food stores. Combinations of iodide/iodine can be obtained from holistic physicians. Iodoral, Iodozyme HP, and Lugol’s solution are examples of this form of iodine. For long-term treatment, combinations are much more effective. More information about this can be found in my book, Iodine Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, 4th Edition (available at www.drbrownstein.com).
I do not recommend starting the first dose of iodine right now. It is important to follow the news reports and supplement accordingly. I would suggest starting iodine supplements within one to two days of the expected fallout. If the fallout is expected to continue, you may need to take more than one dose of iodine. I will keep you updated as I find out more information.