A horrifying effect of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan may be the damage to the nuclear plants especially Fukushima Daiichi, with potential risk of a nuclear meltdown. According to analysis by accuweather.com, prevailing winds and rain over the region can send potential radioactive fallout to Alaska in seven days and to West coast (LA) in eleven days. The estimates are for as much as 750 Rads exposure (1 CT scan is equal to 1 Rad).
The Japanese are in the process of distributing high dose iodine (actually potassium iodide KI) to saturate the thyroid glands to prevent uptake of Iodine-131 nuclear radioactive material. The best time to use the high dose iodine is 1-2 days before the expected exposure. Iodine was also distributed in 1986 during the Chernobyl nuclear disaster when people in neighboring communities were exposed to I-131 radio-active gas (also used in radiology procedures). It is estimated that over 11,000 exposed children developed thyroid and other cancers, along with significant morbidity due to the Chernobyl nuclear fallout.
The question that comes up is that if iodine is being used to treat radiation exposure to prevent thyroid and other cancers during a nuclear holocaust, then why are we not using iodine to prevent the everyday radiation exposures that we all are getting from X-rays, CT scans, angiograms, and so many other sources?
There is considerable evidence that there is iodine deficiency worldwide. It is the #1 reason for reversible brain damage, according to UNICEF in 2006. “Iodine deficiency during pregnancy affects fetal brain development,” said UNICEF Deputy Director Kul Gautam. “It is the world’s leading cause of mental retardation. It is a danger to pregnant women and young children. Even mild forms of iodine deficiency can lower the IQ level of children by 10 to 15 per cent, leading to poor performance in school and reduced productivity as adults.”
Lack of iodine in the diets of most people has made them more susceptible to cancers, goiter, cysts, infections, immune disorders, and other illnesses. There are some estimates that 70% of the population may be deficient in iodine. Iodine is essential for every cell and tissue of the body, with high concentrations needed in thyroid, brain, breasts, ovaries, heart, skin, immune system, gastrointestinal system, and during pregnancy.
Why are so many people deficient in iodine?
There are several halides including fluoride (toothpaste, water supply), chlorine (water supply, automobiles, computers, etc), bromine (automobiles, fire retardants, clothes, computers, breads, dough, etc) plus mercury & perchlorate which are all toxic to the human body, and actively block iodine absorption and metabolism. Iodine is the only natural halide that is essential for breasts, ovaries and other tissues, while the iodide form is essential for the thyroid. Both iodine and iodide forms are needed for life.
At the Anti-Aging & Wellness Center, we routinely test our patients for iodine deficiency. We recommend the use of iodine and iodide in appropriate amounts to prevent and treat disease. Many of our patients are routinely using iodine and iodide replacement and are well protected from everyday radiation exposures, as well as the more serious exposures from potential nuclear fallout.
About the Authors: Shivinder S. Deol MD is board certified in family medicine and anti-aging & wellness medicine, specializes in thyroid, auto-immune diseases, cancer support, chelation and more. Dr. Deol has been practicing in Bakersfield for 29 years. Dr. Jennifer I. Salcido ND is a naturopathic doctor who specializes in nutrition, detoxification and bio-identical hormones. Dr. Salcido recently joined the Anti-Aging & Wellness Center.