The tragic earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan last month brought about death and destruction at a level that most of us cannot fathom. The ensuing explosions and near-meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant gave this tragedy a dimension never seen in the past.
Miles of densely populated land had to be evacuated. Within a matter of days radiation was detected in food and even the water supply and, tragically, the consequences of these events will be felt for decades to come among the Japanese people.
It only took a few short weeks for radiation from the Fukushima plant to be detected throughout the planet reminding us once again of how small and connected our world really is. Measurable levels of radiation were found in both the East and West coast of the US as well as in several countries in Europe. Wherever you are at the present time you can be sure that some radiation from Japan has already reached you.
At the same time experts from around the globe have been assuring us that levels of radiation detected in Western countries are minimal and pose no risk even to newborn babies. Can such reassurances be trusted?
I don’t believe that anyone is trying to deceive us or hide anything. On the other hand I do think that mainstream medical scientists have a tendency to underestimate the harmful effects of radiation. The topic is far from settled and some dissenting experts have voiced the opinion that any added radiation can be harmful, especially to those with preexisting health conditions.
People have already reached their own conclusions on this and many have been buying iodine supplements because they read or heard that iodine protects the thyroid from the damaging effects of radiation. This has happened to such an extent that iodine is hard to come by these days and in my office we have not yet been able to restock an iodine supplement that some of my patients have been taking for years.
However, while iodine does protect the thyroid it is probably not the best thing to take in events such as this one because it does not detoxify radiation from the body and because there are many components of radiation that affect other organs, not just the thyroid.
A great deal can be learned from a similar – and possibly even graver – event that took place at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the 1980’s. At the time Chernobyl was part of the Soviet Union, and Soviet medical scientists had to work with tiny budgets, had little access to modern drugs, and often researched inexpensive natural treatments.
Based on their own research, Soviet scientists decided to put children who had been exposed to radiation on spirulina. At the time a study was also performed at the Institute of Radioactive Medicine in Minsk. It showed that when children were given 5 grams of spirulina per day they experienced enhanced immunity, better white blood count and, most importantly, levels of radioactivity in their bodies plummeted.
Spirulina is a type of algae that grows in seawater and it is readily available in the U.S. as an inexpensive dietary supplement. Subsequent research, some of which was performed in Israel, showed that other types of algae have similar properties and that compounds in algae that help detoxify radiation include natural beta carotene, sodium alginate, and U-fucoidan.
Sodium alginate also has the property of binding mercury and eliminating it from the body. Even beyond radiation and mercury, spirulina helps detoxify a wide range of environmental pollutants. Because algae are at the bottom of the food chain, they are very rich in trace minerals and other nutrients, and at the same time very low in toxic contaminants which tend to accumulate the further up we go in the food chain.
Quality however is not always a given as not all spirulina is grown in a natural and organic way. The one I stock at my office is of the highest quality. Apart from the benefits outlined above, most people who take it report an improvement in energy levels or general well being. Adults as well as children often report feeling mentally sharper and more able to focus when they take it. Because of these positive effects spirulina is one of my favorite supplements and, though of course not everyone needs it, I think that anyone can take it and benefit from it.
To read more about radiation and the Soviet research go to http://www.radiationdetox.com/depleted-uranium-detox.htm