What Do I Need to Know About Japan, Iodine, Radiation Sickness and More?The situation in Japan continues to unfold.  Are you confused by all of the conflicting information about how best to protect yourself?  Here is a good summary of resources on the current situation with regard to Japan, what to do to protect yourself from radiation sickness, and more.

This is what we now know:

  • The jet stream is now expected to move north, over Alaska, Russia and the North Pole, taking the radiation plume away from the west coast of North America
  • see:  http://www.youtube.com/user/dutchsinse
  • The risk of additional release of radioactive material continues, but the facts are unclear and controversial.  Stay abreast of the current situation, and be prepared.

Here are links to conservative sites for additional information on what is happening in Japan:

You can follow radiation counts in the United States at these two sites:

Read related articles on this website:

What Do I Need to Know About Japan, Iodine, Radiation Sickness and More?

What You Need to Know:

  • If you have adequate amounts of iodine/iodide on hand start taking a daily dose now (see Daily Dose below)
  • This dose will protect you 95%
  • If you have a limited supply you have to decide for yourself what gamble you want to take
  • Protect yourself from the low level exposure now
  • OR Wait and save it for a possible catastrophic event and severe exposure, when you may need as much as the Emergency Dose (maybe less)
  • If you take a daily amount now this will also give you some protection in the event of a catastrophic event

If you have no iodine, do everything else on this page

I am recommending to take a Daily Dose of iodine now, as I believe the risk of ongoing low level exposure is greater than the risk of a catastrophic event.  But you have to decide for yourself.

Emergency Dose
If there is a catastrophic event and large amounts of radiation are released, then you will want to take this higher emergency dose as recommended by the CDC.  You will know because this information will be widely broadcast by all media sources.  DO NOT take this amount now.  Wait until you are instructed to.

  • 130 mg for adults and women who are breastfeeding
  • 65 mg for children age 3-18.  Children who are adult size (>70kg or 150lbs) should take the adult dose.
  • 32 mg for children 1 month – 3 years of age
  • 16 mg for newborns from birth – 1 month of age


Daily Dose

  • Adults take 12-14mg/day of a combination of iodine and potassium iodide (Iodoral or Prolamine Iodine).  If all you have is potassium iodide, take 12-14 mg/day of that.  Eventually you want to get a source of the combination iodine/potassium iodide, as your body requires both forms.
  • Children will need smaller amounts. You can dose a child down for his/her size. A general rule of thumb for children is 0.08mg per pound of body weight.
  • If a newborn is breast feeding, they do not need iodine supplementation if the mother is iodine sufficient. Iodine can be excreted in the breast milk.

This daily dose is not the dose recommended for a severe exposure to radiation (see Emergency Dose above).

Start taking a daily dose of iodine now, to protect yourself from even small amounts of radiation.  You should be taking iodine every day anyway, to protect from exposures you are already getting (independent of the current situation) and to supply iodine for the normal daily needs of your body.  Iodine is necessary for every cell in your body.  Large concentrations of iodine are found in the thyroid, but also in the breast, ovary, uterus and prostate. 

The ideal dose for you may be different than this, but under the current circumstances this dose will help to protect you now.  This is the amount that the average Japanese consumes every day.  Trust your experience and take less if appropriate.  Make sure and do everything recommended here, do not just take iodine alone.  Stop taking iodine and consult your physician if you have any problems.

This amount will prevent nearly 95% of radioactive iodine from binding to the thyroid gland and still leave iodine available for the rest of the body’s need.

When you take iodine you must get plenty of the following things in your diet:

  • Selenium:  best source is 2-4 Brazil nuts/day.  Also other nuts, tuna, beef, cod, turkey, and whole grain sourdough bread.
  • Magnesium:  dairy products, nuts, vegetables, fish, meat and seafood.
  • Vitamin C:  many fruits and vegetables and organ meat. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat. Whole food sources include acerola, camu camu, and amla.  I do not recommend ascorbic acid.  An excellent product is “Pure Radiance C” from The Synergy Company (Click Here to BUY).
  • Unrefined salt: such as Celtic Sea Salt (Click Here to BUY).  Remove all refined salt and processed foods from your diet.  Use 1/2 to 1 tsp unrefined salt per day.
  • Fat soluble vitamins, especially vitamin A:  yellow butter, egg yolks, organ meat, fish, shellfish and cod liver oil.  Preferably from grass fed or naturally raised animals.

Natural sources of iodine:

  • Most sea foods
  • Unrefined salt
  • Kelp and other seaweed
  • Fish broth
  • Butter, especially from grass fed cows on iodine rich soils
  • Pineapple, artichokes, asparagus and dark green vegetables
  • Foods must be grown in iodine rich soils.  This is more likely with local organic foods and those grown bio-dynamically.
  • Certain vegetables, such as raw, unfermented cabbage and spinach, can block iodine absorption when eaten in large amounts

Radioactive exposure includes more than just radioactive iodine.  Other radioactive isotopes include americium, cesium, plutonium, strontium, uranium, etc.

10 THINGS TO DO NOW to support your overall health and protect yourself as broadly as possible.  Nutrition is critically important.

  1. Eat a nutrient dense diet that includes plenty of fat soluble vitamins and minerals: good fats, meat from natural sources, raw dairy products, bone broth, lacto-fermented foods (unpasteurized sauerkraut, kimchee, beet kvass, kombucha, kombu), greens, and properly prepared whole grains (soaked, fermented, sourdough)
  2. Include some seaweed from the kelp family – kombu, sea palm, wakame (confirmed free of heavy metals).  Product recommended Modifilan (Click Here).
  3. Drink miso soup
  4. Avoid junk foods, including sugar and refined flour
  5. Take Cod Liver Oil (Click Here):  2 capsules per day or 1/2 tsp liquid.  Or take Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil (Click Here):  4 capsules per day or 1 tsp gel (even better).  This Cod Liver Oil is from Green Pasture, and the ONLY kind I recommend.  Others can be detrimental due processing and too much vitamin A without adequate vitamin D.
  6. Take BioKult probiotics (Click Here).  Other comparable probiotics are available.
  7. Take Epson salts baths every few days.  This is a good source of magnesium and is relaxing.
  8. Take bentonite clay:  1/2 tsp per day.  Will help to bind radioactive elements and excrete them.  Take 2 hours away from medications.  Use with caution and guidance of your physician if pregnant or elderly.
  9. Get plenty of sleep

How long should you take iodine/iodide?

  • Right now I would take it at the daily dose until the current risk is passed
  • Only take the emergency dose if instructed to do so by the authorities
  • After the current crisis find a source and an amount to take on a daily basis for the rest of your life, adjusting as needed
  • The dose is usually between 3 and 50 mg/day.  This requires understanding your individual situation.
  • You can be tested for your current iodine levels to help find the appropriate dose for you
  • Educate yourself about the need for iodine.  Read “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It” (click here to learn more) by David Brownstein, MD.

Here are links to other sites with information about how to protect yourself from Radiation Sickness so you can make your own informed decisions:

What should you do for your animals?  All mammals need iodine.  Seaweed is a good source.

  • Consider adding kelp to their diet
  • Make free choice kelp available to livestock
  • Be careful with birds, as they are more sensitive to iodine
  • Check with your veterinarian to determine what is right for your particular animals
  • Probably dose mammals with iodine 0.08mg per pound of body weight

Before taking iodine:
Be cautious if you have Hashimoto’s Disease.  Of course, a true iodine allergy is also a problem. This is rare.  An allergy to radioactive iodine dye does not necessarily mean there is an allergy to inorganic iodine/iodide.  Most allergies are not life-threatening.  An allergy can take any form, including rash, fatigue, congestion, headache and fever.  Talk to your physician if you have concerns.  Follow all of the above suggestions.  Do not just take iodine alone, as you need the other nutrients for it to benefit you without side effects.  If you are taking thyroid medication for low thyroid, taking iodine may eventually cause a need to change your medication dose.  Make sure and discuss this with your physician.

To Your Vibrant Health!

Veronica Tilden, DO

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