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Comments on Japan and the Radiation Fallout (3/17/2011): Back to Articles
by Lauren Feder, M.D.

Posted 3/17/2011

Dear Community,
As Japan struggles with the after-shocks from last week's devastating earthquake and Tsunami, scientists are beginning to assess the damage to several Japanese nuclear reactors. 

Questions are being raised regarding the radiation fallout and the effect it could have around the world, including people living in the Western United States.  In our medical office in Los Angeles, we are being inundated with phone calls from local families asking for health recommendations regarding this crisis.  Currently there is information about radioactive iodine damaging the thyroid gland, and the use of potassium iodide as a protection. 

After discussion with colleagues about various approaches, I have decided to take a proactive approach – just in case!  As we wait for more information, I am collecting information from different sources. (see below)  According to Iodine expert and author Dr. David Brownstein,” Iodine  is  necessary to prevent radioactive iodine from damaging the thyroid gland Please keep in mind it is not just the thyroid gland that is at risk with exposure to radioactive iodine. The breasts, ovaries, uterus, prostate, skin, and other organs all bind and require iodine for optimal functioning. In fact, every cell in our body requires iodine for optimal functioning.. Around 13mg/day prevents approximately 96% of radioactive iodine from binding to the thyroid gland.”

Until we receive more updates, my recommendation is to consider the following information. (see below)
-Keep Potassium Iodide (KI) on hand.  KI comes in several forms
-Kali iodatum 6X* (homeopathic Potassium iodide/KI). Take 3     tablets once daily for children, adults, and  pets.*    
-Standard Potassium Iodide (KI see CDC article below )
-Nonradioactive, inorganic iodine  (i.e. i-Throid, and Pure Encapsulation available at our office. There are other brands in the healthfood store).  1 capsule daily. For ages 12 and up.
-Radium bromatum, 3 pellets, once a week
-Rescue Remedy - Bach Flower Remedy for calming during stressful times. 1 to 2 drops in a beverage, sip as needed for children and adults.
-Consume foods high in iodine (seafood, animal foods, seaweed, sea vegetables, kelp, egg and dairy)
-Store water, food, and all the usual emergency supplies.

In my household, we will begin with the homeopathic KI (once daily). Our office is carrying both the homeopathic and nonradioactive, inorganic iodine.  Homeopathic KI has no side effects and can be taken by everyone. However, in general, potassium iodide (KI) recommended by the CDC as well as the i-Throid is not recommended for the following people:
-allergies to iodine
-skin disorders (such as dermatitis herpetiformis or urticaria vasculitis)
-thyroid disease such as multinodular goiter, Graves’ disease, or autoimmune Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  Though may be treated with KI, under the supervision of a doctor.

*Kali iodatum 6X (homeopathic Potassium iodide/KI.  Take 3 pellets once dailiy for children, adults, and pets. If giving to a baby or need to ration, use the Water Method: Place 3 pellets in 1/2 glass of water and let stand for 5 minutes. If you are using the hard pellets, they will not dissolve immediately, but the water will become medicated. Stir ten times and take 1 teaspoonful.

What to do now?
I am recommending that people consume healthy foods high in iodine.  Many people are interesting in taking some form of KI, to be proactive.  My family and I are taking the homeopathic Kali iodatum 6X. Alternatively, the nonradioactive, inorganic iodine  is taken by many people on a regular basis, and can be used instead of the homeopathic KI.  In addition,  Radium bromatum can be taken weekly. I also recommend that families organize and update emergency supplies and kits for home, work and cars.

Sources: CDC , Dr. Brownstein

From Dr. Brownstein (see above) " At this point, with the disaster still progressing, I would say it is time to begin supplementation with iodine." 

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