.........................The Therapeutics Research Institute (TRI)...................

The Solution to the Fukushima Radiation Danger:

The Fukushima Radiation Protection Protocol

This section will describe the solution to the Fukushima Radiation Danger with a Fukushima Protection Protocol.  At this time, there are a total of 8 components to the Fukushima Radiation Protection Protocol.  In section A below, these are listed followed by a complete description of the needed specification for each item.  In section B below, the dose levels are provided under a variety of conditions.  In section C below, we describe an important alternative in the likely situation that a key supplement, iodine,becomes unavailable. 

Although there is sufficient information here for individuals to assemble their own Protection Kit, in the next section [see the tab “Ordering a Kit”] we will also identify where you may obtain already-assembled kits for your convenience. 

 A. The Eight Key Supplements

 Key Supplement Ingredients:

1.   Iodide/Iodine combination

2.   Ginkgo biloba

3.   N-Acetyl- Cysteine (NAC)

4.   Green Tea Extract

5.   Alpha Lipoic Acid

6.   PectiPure

7.   SignaturesTM Water Immune Support

8.   Baking soda

 
1.  Iodide/Iodine combination                                                                   

Although there is a general perception that potassium iodide is helpful, and be all you need for radiation protection, this usual understanding as to what is needed is completely and seriously flawed.  First, potassium iodide will not protect you from nuclear fallout.  To begin, the potassium is supposed to protect you from radioactive cesium and the iodide is suppose to protect you against radioactive iodine.   Here is how this works:

 In the body, cesium acts like potassium in binding to your thyroid.  So having enough potassium in your body is supposed to prevent your body from absorbing the cesium since there will not be any room left on the thyroid to which the cesium can bind.  However, a very great percent of the population is so deficient in potassium that the small amount of potassium in potassium iodide tablets will not protect you.  There is simply not nearly enough potassium in this potassium iodide combination to protect you against radioactive cesium.  So for protection against radioactive cesium, potassium iodide tablets will not provide it.

Now although high levels of potassium are needed, there is not, however, a really good over-the-counter potassium supplement.  Just your regular target amount is about 3500-4500 mg per day.  Most supplements have about 99-105 mg per capsule (because of FDA governmental regulations from long ago) so they are essentially worthless. 

To get the needed potassium, you must eat a diet very high in potassium foods.  These include:

raisins (1 cup)

=

1089 mg

potatoes, baked (1 potato)

=

1081 mg

lima beans (1 cup)

=

  955 mg

tomato products, canned (1 cup)

=

  909 mg

spinach, cooked (1 cup)

=

  839 mg

bananas, raw (1 cup)

=

  594 mg

Yogurt, plain, skim milk (8 oz)

=

  579 mg

orange juice (1 cup)

=

  496 mg

cantaloupe (1 cup)

=

  494 mg

melon, honeydew (1 cup)

=

  461 mg

milk, fat free or skim (1 cup)

=

  407 mg

kiwi fruit (1 medium)

=

  252 mg

peanuts, dry roasted (1 ounce)

=

  187 mg

 

Including potassium rich foods daily in your diet is your healthy and first smartest thing you can do.

The other component of a potassium iodide tablet is the iodide part.  First, the iodide itself will do nothing to protect a person from uranium, cesium or plutonium radiation exposure.  The iodide portion in potassium iodide tablets will protect just your thyroid from specifically radioactive iodine.  Your thyroid does need it most.  Your body has a heavy concentration of iodine attractors there.  If you're deficient, as most Americans are, your thyroid will pick up any iodine your body ingests.  This includes radioactive iodine, which can then poison your thyroid.  On the other hand, if your thyroid is sufficiently full of iodine, which is what the potassium iodide tablet provides, your thyroid will ignore any other iodine passing by — including radioactive iodine.

However, the iodide in potassium iodide will not be effective at protecting your other organs such as susceptible breast tissue for example.  Indeed virtually every other tissue type in the body is designed to absorb iodine, so unfortunately radioactive iodine will be able to lodge there.  Even though iodide is a form of iodine that will protect your thyroid, it will not properly bind and protect all your other kinds of tissue that can absorb iodine such as the thyroid can.  So you will remain highly vulnerable.

In short, iodide and iodine serve slightly different roles in your body. They each protect different organs in different ways.  So in the event of any nuclear fallout, it's vital you protect all your body with both iodide [which the thyroid can absorb] and iodine [which the other organs can absorb].  As we have emphasized, potassium iodide tablets do not provide any iodine to protect your other organs, so those tissues that need iodine such as breast tissue will get no protection.  The take-home message is to forget the potassium iodide tablet story.  As we will describe, you want iodide AND iodine composite capsules.

Now a third important component of a good iodine supplement will include sodium iodide.  The reason is that the sodium iodide as well as the potassium iodide will ward off radioactive iodine absorption in the thyroid.

The final specification for your iodide/iodine supplement is that each capsule should be 12.5 mg, which is the typically available size of many products [good and bad].  This permits you to take a carefully prescribed safe amount at the beginning, working up, if need be, to higher levels.  Children will need smaller amounts. You can dose a child down for his/her size. A general rule of thumb for children is 0.08 mg of iodine per pound [or .18 per kilogram] of body weight of the child. So a 50-pound child, for example, would take 4 mg per day [or one of the 12.5 mg capsules every three days].  If a newborn is breast-feeding, they do not need iodine supplementation if the mother is minimally iodine sufficient  since iodine fortunately is excreted in the breast milk.

To put this dose of 12.5 mg per day in perspective, historically, as early as 1911, people normally took between 300-900 milligrams daily of iodine without incident. The 11th edition of the 1910-1911 Encyclopedia Britannica cites, as the “usual” doses, 300-900 milligrams of iodine daily.  The current level set in the USA is about 150 micrograms daily or about one-seventh of a single milligram.  Physicians have been taught this is an acceptable level.  It is in fact a quite unacceptably low level.  It is estimated by some experts that the Japanese population consumes about 50 mg or more daily through their diet of seaweed, fish, etc. 

Dr. David Brownstein, a nationally respected physician and author of numerous books, said, “After testing individuals and finding low iodine levels [in all his patients], I began to use smaller milligram amounts of iodine/iodide (6.25 mg/day).  Upon retesting these individuals 1-2 months later, little progress [on their iodine levels] was made.  I therefore began using higher milligram doses (6.25-50 mg daily) to increase the serum levels of iodine.  It was only with these higher doses that I began to see clinical improvement as well as positive changes in the laboratory tests.”

Dr. Michael B. Schachter, head of a major clinic in New York, says, “The treatment dose when a person is iodine insufficient is generally between 12.5 mg and 50 mg daily.  Preliminary research indicates that if a person is iodine insufficient, it takes about three months to become iodine sufficient while ingesting a dosage of 50 mg of iodine, and a year to become iodine sufficient while ingesting a dosage of 12.5 mg of iodine daily.

If there is an extreme emergency, the dose for extreme radiation emergencies is far more aggressive:

* For children, birth through 1 month, 16 mg can be administered;

* For 1 month through 3 years old, 32 mg can be administered;

* For 3-12 years, 65 mg can be administered;

* For adolescents ages 12-18 years, 65 mg can be administered

* for adults, up to 120 mg.

Note:  This would be only for extreme emergencies in the face of high radioactive iodine.

The Product:  In summary, the best product will contain sodium iodide and potassium iodide and molecular iodine to create an optimal supplement.  Also we use the capsule form for better absorption rather than the tablet.   Buy the 12.5 mg triple-combination capsules. 

An Additional Complicating Issue:  For those who might have tried to buy the proper kind of iodine capsules or tablet or even potassium iodide tablets after the initial Fukushima disaster, they discovered that the shelves were cleared out virtually immediately.  People were back-ordered on the web for eight months or more.  We can expect that when the capsules will be most needed with a national disaster, there will then be no iodine available.  This will be true for our own Institute as well.  Those who may have Kits in inventory will be prepared – the rest will be extremely likely  out of luck.

Since this problem will be virtually certain, our research efforts have undertaken to identify a substitute for when this happens.  We have identified such an alternate.  This supplement has an excellent history in radiation protection, immune support that will be needed, detoxifying properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.  This supplement is flaxseed.

What we recommend is that if the proper triple form of iodine as described above no longer becomes available,  then what is called a high SDG lignan flaxseed should be consumed.  In addition, for those who request us to assemble a Kit for them, if we no longer can obtain iodine ourselves [since we are just buying the components of the Kit on the web for you as you might do], we will substitute for the iodine with the proper type of flaxseed.  Note that all flaxseed is not alike.  You want to obtain flaxseed that specifies on the bag that it contains about 50 mg of SDG lignans per tablespoon of the flaxseed product.  The dose will be one tablespoon per day.

This substitute, if it becomes needed, is very important.  As a result, we have placed in an Appendix at the back of this book a much more extended discussion of flaxseed.  Of course, the reader should take note that you could consume a tablespoon of flaxseed a day anyway just for its many benefits even without any radiation worries.  Do remember to keep the flaxseed bag, once opened, in the refrigerator, or even better, in the freezer.  See Appendix C for a much more extensive discussion about flaxseed and its role in radiation protection as well as its anti-cancer properties.

 

2.  Ginkgo biloba

Radiation causes DNA damage.  In one very important study [1] researchers divided 25 patients into two groups getting radiation as a medical treatment.  One subgroup received 120 mg of ginkgo biloba daily and the other a placebo.  The ginkgo prevented the expected DNA damage without interfering with the radiation treatment. 

In another study [2], researchers showed that gingko biloba protected cells from radiation death.  In the experiment, one of every three untreated white blood cells died from a fixed amount of radiation while only one in 20 cells died when treated with a ginkgo biloba extract.

Ginkgo has been shown to protect organs from radiation damage as well as protect cells such as after radioactive iodine treatment [3].  Its effect is so pronounced that it was useful in treating workers at the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion long after their original exposure [4].

Note that since there is the potential for DNA damage with any medical scans, such as CAT, PET, and even ultrasound sonograms,  taking 120 mg starting three days before the radiation, during the radiation, and three days after could be a very wise strategy.

The Product:  The ginkgo product you buy must be 60 mg per capsule, standardized at 24% glycosides.  Do not use the un-standardized products.  It also should contain less than 5 parts per million (<5 ppm) of ginkgolic acid since this trace substance is not good for you.

References:

[1]  J Clin Endocrinology & Metabolism Aug 21, 2007

[2]  International J of Low Radiation, 6, 209-218, 2009.

[3]  J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 92(11):4286-9, Nov 2007.

[4]  Radiation Res, 144(2):198-205, Nov 1995.


3.  N-Acetyl- Cysteine (NAC)

One of the most crucial antioxidants that the body makes naturally is called glutathione.  This antioxidant is involved in DNA repair and prevention of oxidative cell damage [1],[2], and detoxifying heavy metals [3].   However, if we buy glutathione capsules, little happens since it is destroyed in the stomach before it can be used.  NAC is a precursor of glutathione in that it helps the body make glutathione [4].  This supplement will be a crucial part of our detoxifying regimen.

As Dr. Mark Sircus states [5], “Maintaining high levels of glutathione is of paramount importance before, during, and after extreme radiation exposure for both short-term and long-term protection from radiation.  Glutathione protects your body by immediately going to work neutralizing free radicals created during unhealthy radiation exposure.  In fact, glutathione is the only antioxidant that can neutralize the hydroxyl radical created in the human body from too much radiation exposure.  The hydroxyl radical is the most dangerous free radical of all, and it is directly caused and created by radiation exposure.

Glutathione is also a very important detoxifying agent, enabling the body to get rid of undesirable toxins and pollutants.  It forms a soluble compound with the toxin that can then be excreted through the urine or the gut.  The liver and kidneys contain high levels of glutathione as they have the greatest exposure to toxins.  The lungs are also rich in glutathione partly for the same reason.  Many cancer-producing chemicals, heavy metals, drug metabolites etc. are disposed of in this way,” says Dr. Patricia Kongshavn, former professor, department of medicine at McGill University.

Note also that according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, noted national health expert, low magnesium is associated with dramatic increases in free radical generation as well as glutathione depletion.   Deficiencies in magnesium will wreak havoc with our body’s ability to detoxify and chelate heavy radioactive particles and explains much of the difference between one-person withstanding radiation exposures and another person falling to radiation sickness.

Magnesium is also a crucial factor in the natural self-cleansing and detoxification responses of the body.  Magnesium is also necessary for effective chelation.  It stimulates the sodium potassium pump on the cell wall and this initiates the cleansing process in part because the sodium-potassium-ATPase pump regulates intracellular and extracellular potassium levels.  The healthy cell wall favors intake of nutrients and elimination of waste products.  So you also want to be sure you have enough daily magnesium in conjunction with your NAC supplement.  We recommend that you take at least 400 mg of magnesium per day to keep yourself at least at minimum levels when you take your NAC.

 For foods high in magnesium, here are some examples:

Magnesium Rich Foods

Almonds, dry roasted (1 ounce)

=

80 mg

Spinach, frozen, cooked (½ cup)

=

78 mg

Raisin bran cereal (1 cup)

=

77 mg

Cashews, dry roasted (1 ounce)

=

74 mg

Soybeans, mature, cooked (½ cup)

=

74 mg

Wheat germ, crude (¼ cup)

=

69 mg

Nuts, mixed, dry roasted (1 ounce)

=

64 mg

Bran flakes cereal (¾ cup)

=

64 mg

Shredded wheat cereal (2 rectangular biscuits)

=

61 mg

Oatmeal, instant, fortified, w/ water (1 cup)

=

61 mg

Peanuts, dry roasted (1 ounce)         

=

50 mg

Peanut butter, smooth (2 Tablespoons)

=

49 mg

Potato, baked with skin (1 medium)

=

48 mg

Black-eyed peas, cooked (½ cup)

=

46 mg

Pinto beans, cooked (½ cup)

=

43 mg

Rice, brown, long-grained, cooked (½ cup)

=

42 mg

                                   

The Product:  The desired capsule should be a 600 mg capsule of NAC.


References:

[1] Ann Pharmacotherapy 1995; 29(12):1263-1273.

[2] Clin Sports Med 199; 18(3):525-536.

[3] http://www.suprahealth.com/gluathi.htm

[4] Altrn Med Review 1998; 3:114-27.

[5] Nuclear Toxicity Syndrome, 2012.

 


4.  Green Tea

Green tea polyphenols have been shown to block whole-body radiation [1].  Studies have shown that in terms of fluids to drink, black and green tea have shown “radio-protective effects” whether consumed either before or after exposure to radiation [1].  This anti-radiation effect was observed in several Japanese studies, and studies from China also suggest that the ingredients in tea are radioactive antagonists.  There is much additional evidence for the benefit of green tea as an antioxidant for radiation protection.  For these reasons, we have included green tea capsules in the protocol.

 

The Product:  We have specified a 500 mg capsule with at least 60% polyphenols to insure it has enough impact.

 

References:

[1]  Phytotherapy Research, 22(10):1380-3, Oct., 2008.

 


5.  Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Researchers examined the effects of lipoic acid treatment on the level of oxidative damage in children living in the areas affected by the Chernobyl accident.  After 28 days of alpha lipoic acid supplements, they found that the children's blood peroxidation levels [blood damage through oxidation] had fallen to those seen in normal children.  Even better, the children's liver and kidney functions were normalized [1].

 

The other factor about alpha lipoic acid is that it functions in the body as an antioxidant recycler.  After the body uses vitamin E, for example, the alpha lipoic acid restores the used vitamin E so that it can be used again by the body.  So it has a powerful recycling effect regarding antioxidants which helps clear the body of toxins as well as cells that have been destroyed by radiation.

 

The Product:  We specify a 300 mg capsule.

 

Reference:

[1] Dr. Mark Sircus, Nuclear Toxicity Syndrome, 2012.

 

 

6.  PectiPure

The name “PectiPure” is just a marketing name.  This supplement is actually low molecular weight modified citrus pectin.  Citrus pectin is a natural product made from the peels and pulp of citrus fruits including lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits.  Most of this fruit pith cannot be absorbed in its usual form.  However, a modification process creates the low molecular weight product, which is highly absorbable and utilized by the body. 

 

Low molecular weight modified citrus pectin has been extensively studies for many years, and there is a substantial amount of literature on it.  For example, this supplement contains components which research has demonstrated to support a healthy immune system [1].  Its detoxifying properties have long been identified.  For example, in 2006, a clinical trial demonstrated the product’s ability to bind and remove toxic heavy metals from the body, without affecting essential minerals [2] [3]. 

 

The Product:  We have selected a 600 mg capsule, PectiPure, which provides the benefits needed.

 

References:

[1] BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Aug 4;11:59.

[2] Altern Med Rev. 2008 Dec;13(4):283-6.

[3] Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Dec;14(6):358-64.


 

7.  SignaturesTM Water Immune Support

This supplement has been developed by the Therapeutics Research Institute (TRI) in their vibrational medicine research project.  What some researchers have found is that the exposure to radiation and radioactive agents essentially throws the body’s innate balance askew.  The ongoing cell destruction and compromised immune system acts at a high level, systemically, to compromise the body’s ability to maintain health and well-being.  It becomes very important to restore this vibrational balance to the body. 

 

Based on TRI’s research, we have created a homeopathic remedy to address this need.  This is the SignaturesTM Water Immune Support supplement.  It is created by the systematic exposure of pure water purified by reverse osmosis to a series of vibrational sources.  There is important literature such as presented in the New York Times best-seller books by Dr. Masaru Emoto [1], [2] which show how vibrational signals alter the structure of the water. 

 

In this SignaturesTM Water Immune Support supplement, there are a number of critical vibrational signatures or tones utilized, including:

* Nine key healing frequencies

* Chanting of the original name of Joshua [called Jesus in English]

* Tibetan chants

* Sacred healing toning by a member of the Sufi Healing Order 

* Toning in Hebrew of the original sacred name of God [in English,Yahweh

   or Jehovah]

*  Spiritual healing vibrations from healing practitioners

* Toning of the most powerful healing words from vibrational water research

 

Preliminary experiments by the Therapeutics Research Institute using this homeopathic remedy have substantiated its capacity to provide renewed balance to the body’s immune system. 

 

The Product:  SignaturesTM Water Immune Support.

 

References:

[1] The Messages in Water, Dr. Masaru Emoto

[2] The Healing Power of Water, Dr. Masaru Emoto

 


8.   Baking Soda

Baking soda has been widely used for decades to undertake the detoxification of objects and foods.  So useful and strong is sodium bicarbonate that at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, researcher Don York has used baking soda to clean soil contaminated with uranium.  Sodium bicarbonate binds with uranium, separating it from the dirt; so far, York has removed as much as 92 percent of the uranium from contaminated soil samples.  

 

Its purpose in this kit is as a hands, other objects, and vegetable cleaner.   Whether it be shoes in contaminated soil or vegetables fresh from the market, rinse them with a little baking soda mixed in solution to decontaminate the objects.  We have specified the Arm&Hammer brand since it is known not to contain any added aluminum.


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B.  Dosage Specifications

 

1. Lower Risk – Assuming Current Conditions

This level of risk is for those living more than 30 miles inland from the west coast of North America.  We recommend you take “The Core Regimen.”  The “Core Regimen” is one each of the alpha lipoic acid and the PectiPure supplements plus a half-teaspoon of the SignaturesTM homeopathic liquid supplement.  Your Full Kit or Core Regimen Kit each has a two-month supply. 

 

You may order a Core Regimen Kit at www.protocols4health.com for $65 per two-month supply [includes shipping].  There is additional ordering information under the tab “Ordering a Kit” for those interested.  The full Kit which also includes a mini-Book with all the above commentary together with further discussions, plus a personal dosimeter badge to measure any accumulated cesium is $129 [includes shipping].


2.  Somewhat Increased Risk – Assuming Current Conditions

This is the suggested Doses for Somewhat Increased Risk [such as the west coast, USA, particularly including the California coast, the Canadian west coast, particularly including Vancouver due to the ocean currents, etc.] assuming current conditions.  It also includes countries adjacent to Japan such as Taiwan, Korea, or Singapore.  If there is significantly increased negative readings from Fukushima, but without any explosions, then everyone worldwide should use this regimen for now.

 

We recommend you double the dosage of the “Core Regimen” in the Plan in #1 above.  Take one alpha lipoic acid capsule twice a day, one PectiPure capsule twice a day, plus a teaspoon of the SignaturesTM homeopathic liquid supplement.  At this level, your Kit has a 1-month supply.  You would need to re-order just the Core Regimen each month.  You may re-order at  www.protocols4health.com for $65 [includes shipping], which at this level lasts a month.

 

3. Higher Elevated Risk

This dose level includes any parts of Japan 18 miles [30+ kilometers] or more from the Fukushima Power Plant.  It includes all residents of Hawaii, and immediately adjacent countries to Japan, especially the costal areas, such as all of Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore as well as the coastal areas of China facing Japan.  You need to use the Fukushima Protection Kit.  We recommend you take one of the Iodine capsules twice a day, one of the ginkgo twice a day, one of the NAC twice a day, one of the green tea twice a day, one of the alpha lipoic acid, twice a day, and one of the PectiPure twice a day.  Take one teaspoon of the  SignaturesTM homeopathic liquid supplement a day.  This uses all the key supplements in your Kit.  Your Kit will last you one month.  If there is a major catastrophe at the Fukushima Plants, this would be the basic regimen for individuals worldwide wishing to obtain protection from this world-class event.

 

4. Highest Elevated Risk

This is the dose level for those at the very highest risk.  This includes those within 18 miles [30 kilometers] of the Fukushima Power Plant or workers on site at the power plant.  Follow the Protocol under #3 above AND add the Protocol of #2 above.  So this means you would do Protocol #3 plus add yet again an additional alpha lipoic acid capsule twice a day, one PectiPure capsule twice a day, plus an additional teaspoon of the SignaturesTM homeopathic liquid supplement per day [a total of 2 teaspoons].  Following this regimen, you will consume one full Kit and one Core Regimen supply per month.  Note that for those who are actively engaged in Fukushima plant cleanup or who were substantially exposed to a great deal of prior radiation, you will need a three month additional regimen following the recommendations of the Japanese research finding discussed in Section C below.  This regimen in Part C will reverse very significant damage – but afterward you then still need ongoing protection as described in this section or you may again be severely affected.

 

Summary of Dosages

[given as capsules per day in divided doses]

                                    

                                                 RISK LEVELS*         

                                                       Lower   Somewhat       Higher        Highest
                                                                                               Increased†    Elevated

1.   Iodide/Iodine combination            --                   --                 2                  2

2.   Ginkgo biloba                               --                   --                 2                  2

3.   N-Acetyl- Cysteine (NAC)            --                   --                 2                  2

4.   Green Tea                                    --                   --                 2                  2

5.   Alpha Lipoic Acid                         1                    2                 2                  4

6.   PectiPure                                     1                    2                 2                  4

7.   SignaturesTM Immune Support  ½ tsp             1                 1                   2

                                   †These first two levels use the Core Regimen Kit


*RISK LEVELS:


Lower Risk:  This is the suggested doses for Lower Risk [such as central USA or east coast USA] under current conditions. 

Somewhat Increased Risk: This is the suggested Doses for Somewhat Increased Risk [such as Hawaii, the west coast, USA, particularly including the California coast, the Canadian west coast, particularly including Vancouver due to the ocean currents, etc.] under current conditions.

Higher Elevated Risk:  This dose level includes any parts of Japan 18 miles [30+ kilometers] or more from the Fukushima Power Plant.  It includes all residents of Hawaii, and immediately adjacent countries to Japan, especially the costal areas, such as all of Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore as well as the coastal areas of China facing Japan.

Highest Risk:  This dose level is for those at the very highest risk.  This includes those within 18 miles [30 kilometers] of the Fukushima Power Plant or workers on site at the power plant. 

 

TRI recommends you have at least one Full Kit per person as a backup when things actually turn very ominous.  Otherwise where applicable, order a Core Regimen Kit for your ongoing support unless of course you are already at “Higher Elevated Risk” or at “Highest Risk” and should be already be using the Full Kit.

 

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C: When Iodine Is Not Available:

Flaxseed for Radiation Protection

 

We expect to no longer be able to supply any good formulations of iodide/iodine once there is a major calamity.  Previously all supplement inventory was no longer available shortly after the original Fukushima nuclear plant destruction.  However we shall substitute what we believe will be a very important alternative that will provide very valuable protection: Flaxseed.

 

Research shows that one significant way to protect yourself from radiation is to eat flaxseed.   A study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania [1] found that flaxseed may help protect lungs against the damage caused by radiation exposure.  The researchers believe that flaxseed might also have a role in protecting other healthy tissues and organs before exposure to radiation and significantly reduce damage even after exposure.

 

According to principal investigator Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou, Ph.D., research associate, professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division, the study demonstrates that dietary flaxseed, already known for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, works as both a mitigator and protector against radiation damage.

 

In several separate experiments, the researchers fed one group of mice a diet supplemented with 10% flaxseed, either three weeks before a dose of X-ray radiation to the thorax or two, four, or six weeks after radiation exposure.  A control group subjected to the same radiation dose was given the same diet but without the flaxseed supplement.  After four months, only 40% of the irradiated control group survived compared to 70 to 88 % of the irradiated flaxseed-fed animals.

 

The researchers point out that flaxseed boasts many other qualities that make it particularly attractive as a protection against radiation damage and a mitigator of exposure. "Flaxseed is safe, it's very cheap, it's readily available, there's nothing you have to synthesize," Dr. Christofidou-Solomidou noted. "It can be given orally so it has a very convenient administration route.  It can be packaged and manufactured in large quantities.  Best of all, you can store it for very long periods of time," making it especially interesting to government officials looking to stockpile radio-protective substances in case of accidental or terrorist-caused radiological disasters.

Co-author Keith Cengel, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn, explained in a press release that in cases of nuclear disaster, "a big issue is the 'worried well' -- all the folks who probably weren't exposed but are concerned and want to do something."

 

Along with other researchers, the authors were planning further pilot studies on the potential of flaxseed for mitigation of lung damage in patients awaiting lung transplants and those undergoing radiation therapy, as well as astronauts exposed to radiation in outer space.

The researchers are already convinced enough to incorporate flaxseed into their own routine.  "I actually eat it every morning," said Dr. Cengel, noting, "The potential health benefits are significant and there is no known toxicity—it just makes good sense to me."

 

The list of potential health benefits of flaxseed is very impressive due in part to the fact that they are a rich source of lignans.  Lignans are a class of phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) that also act as antioxidants.  An ancient plant, flax (also known as linseed) has been part of human history for over 30,000 years.  It has been used for weaving cloth, feeding people and animals, and even making paint.  Hippocrates recommended it in 650 B.C. for abdominal pain. Charlemagne was so taken with the special benefits of flax that in the 8th century he required by law that his subjects consume it.

 

When eaten, lignans are broken down by bacteria in the gut into two estrogen-like compounds that circulate through the liver. These compounds have been proven in animal studies to help prevent breast cancer and colon cancer by preventing tumor growth.  In postmenopausal women, studies have shown that eating 25 grams of ground flaxseed a day changes the way estrogen is handled in the body and provides protection against breast cancer.  According to Christiane Northrup in her classic book, "The Wisdom of Menopause," flaxseed lignans "help in both the prevention and treatment of breast and colon cancer because of their ability to modulate the production, availability, and action of the hormones produced in our bodies."

 

The Product:  One should buy organic, cold-milled, ground non-genetically-modified flaxseed with an explicitly labeled specification that it contains 45-50 mg of SDG lignans per tablespoon.

 

Reference:

[1]  Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Jan;8(1):47-53. Epub 2009 Jan 1


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