Category: Holistic Radioprotection

Vitamin D has been largely ignored by mainstream medicine except when it comes to the very minimum levels required to prevent severe deficiency, a common cause of rickets in the past.

Vitamin D has been primarily associated with it’s role in helping the body to metabolize calcium, but it’s functions in the body go way beyond that.

Recently, the remarkable properties of Vitamin D are gaining more attention due to a long list of studies proving that it deserves its place as one of our most important medicines.

Some of the evidence on Vitamin D:

Vitamin D has some very specific benefits when it comes to radioprotection.  Vitamin D is an anti-oxidant, and anti-oxidants should be considered front-line defense against damage due to radiation.
Dr. Mercola writes: 

The protective mechanisms are so strong that researchers suggested vitamin D3 should be considered among the prime (if not the primary) non-pharmacological agents to protect against sub-lethal low radiation damage and, particularly, radiation-induced cancer.

It’s unclear how much vitamin D is necessary to protect against radiation-induced cancer, but researchers have found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4,000-8,000 IU are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers by about half.

Secondly, Vitamin D is an outstanding cancer fighting medicine.  Here are some eye-opening facts about Vitamin D and Cancer from the Vitamin D council:

Top 10 facts about vitamin D and cancer

  1. Many studies have found solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) vitamin D associated with reduced risk of breast, colon, and rectal cancer.
  2. A randomized controlled trial with 1100 IU/day vitamin D3 plus 1450 mg/day calcium found a 77% reduction in all-cancer incidence.
  3. Geographical studies have found reduced risk in mortality rates for 15-20 types of cancer in regions of higher solar UVB doses.
  4. Observational studies found risk of breast, colon, and rectal cancer falls as vitamin D blood levels rise to over 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L).
  5. Mechanisms have been proposed to explain how vitamin D acts to reduce the risk of cancer from starting, growing, and spreading.
  6. Those who develop nonmelanoma skin cancer may have produced enough vitamin D to reduce their risk of internal cancers.
  7. Those with higher vitamin D blood levels at time of cancer diagnosis had nearly twice the survival rate of those with the lowest levels.
  8. African-Americans have an increased risk of cancer in part due to lower vitamin D blood levels because of darker skin.
  9. Higher UVB exposure early in life has been found associated with reduced risk of breast and prostate cancer.
  10. Those diagnosed with breast, colon and prostate cancer in summer in Norway had higher survival rates than those diagnosed in winter.
How does Vitamin D fight cancer so effectively?  Here are some of the mechanisms involved: 

  • prevents angiogenesis, the process by which cancerous tumors ‘steal’ blood supply from other tissues by building their own networks of blood vessels
  • increases apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancerous tissues
  • switches off ‘oncogenes’ that are involved with the growth of tumors
  • switches on tumor suppressing genes
Vitamin D plays a role in many natural approaches to cancer treatment, including Dr. Burzynski’s antineoplaston therapy, due to it’s ability to flip genetic switches that turn on our bodies’ defenses against cancer.

Some more info on VitaminD3 from Dr. Mercola:

It’s unclear how much vitamin D is necessary to protect against radiation-induced cancer, but researchers have found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4,000-8,000 IU are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers by about half.

Earlier studies have shown that optimizing your vitamin D levels could help you to prevent at least 16 different types of cancerincluding pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers, so it’s not a stretch to add radiation-induced cancer to that list.

It has been my experience that many are still nervous about taking doses larger than 1,000 to 2,000 units per day. This is unfortunate as most adults without sun or safe tanning bed exposure will need 6,000-8,000 units of vitamin D per day to attain healthy vitamin D levels.

Three Points to Remember About Vitamin D

When using vitamin D therapeutically, it’s important to remember the following:

  1. Your best source for vitamin D is exposure to the sun, without sunblock on your skin, until your skin turns the lightest shade of pink. While this isn’t always possible due to the change of the seasons and your geographic location (and your skin color), this is the ideal to aim for. Vitamin D supplementation or use of a safe tanning bed can fill the gaps during the winter months outside of the tropics, when healthy sun exposure is not an option.
  2. If you supplement with vitamin D, you’ll only want to supplement with natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Do NOT use the synthetic and highly inferior vitamin D2, which is the one most doctors will give you in a prescription unless you ask specifically for D3.
  3. Get your vitamin D blood levels checked! The only way to determine the correct dose is to get your blood tested since there are so many variables that influence your vitamin D status. I recommend using Lab Corp in the United States. Getting the correct test is the first step in this process, as there are TWO vitamin D tests currently being offered: 1,25(OH)D and 25(OH)D.
    The correct test your doctor needs to order is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is the better marker of overall D status. This is the marker that is most strongly associated with overall health.

Some people may be concerned about the risk of Vitamin D toxicity, but most of the studies showing such toxicity involve long-term doses of 40,000 or 50,000 iu.  That is 500 to 1000% higher dosage than what Dr. Mercola recommends.  

I prefer to synthesize vitamin by exposure to sunlight when possible.  I live in Los Angeles where it is sunny all the time.  I try to work in the garden a little bit every day, often shirtless.  But during winter or when I am traveling (especially in Japan), I do sometimes supplement with Vitamin D at 5,000 iu per day.  That’s me, do your own research and decide what is right for you. is one of my favorite sources for information on natural therapies, and an important source for this blog.

In the following video, Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo explains a resource that is the byproduct of two years of information gathering on the topic of reducing Radiation Disaster Associated Toxicity. There are over 100 substances listed which are foods, spices and nutrients which may contribute greatly to reducing suffering associated with this event. The relevant research is located here

This video goes into some detail about why the official radiation risk models are not realistic and the real dangers are much worse than governments lead you to believe.

All the best,


This is a very good video covering the radioprotective qualities of Vitamin C as well as some of the social and political issues, including the resistance by the Japanese government to care for their citizens.





Previously, I wrote about the affinity of certain mushrooms for cesium and their use for bioremediation.  It seems fungi are not alone in their appetite for radionuclides.  There is a class of bacteria that have been known for a long time to feed off of ionizing radiation.  When exposed to x-rays, these bacteria are known to move towards the source of radiation, rather than away from it.

Now there are a number of researchers in Japan who are busy demonstrating that these photosynthetic bacteria can be an effective force for bioremediation of nuclear fallout.  Here is a brief video from NHK world:

More on the work by Ken Sasaki:

The researchers mixed 90 grams of photosynthetic bacteria with alginic acid and other chemicals, forming the resulting granular material into marble-sized spheres. These were injected into 50 liters of concentrated sludge, whose radiation levels were monitored for three days.

Radiation levels ranging from 12.04 to 14.54 microsieverts per hour at the start of the experiment were found to have dropped to between 2.6 and 4.1 microsieverts per hour by the end of the third day. Subtracting the 1.2 microsieverts of radiation that was detected in the area around the pool during the experiment due to the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster, the bacteria was found to have reduced radiation levels in the sludge by a maximum of 89.4 percent.

The negative charge of the surface of the bacteria used in the experiment has the property of attracting positively-charged materials, which it did with the positively-charged cesium. Moreover, the bacteria feed on potassium, and Sasaki says the bacteria likely absorbed the cesium because of its resemblance to potassium.

Through dehydration and incineration, the volume of the used bacteria mixture can be reduced to a seventy-fifth of its original volume, and weight to a hundredth. Cesium turns into gas and is dispersed at 640 degrees Celsius, which can be avoided if temperatures are kept at 500 degrees or lower.

Sasaki, who is planning to run demonstration experiments, is hopeful that the technology can be applied to the decontamination of radiation-tainted soil. “The strength of this technology is that it makes decontamination possible at regular temperatures and pressures,” he said. “It is low cost as well, and we’d like to see it used in Fukushima’s reconstruction efforts.”

Even more interesting, but a bit more obscure is work being done that suggests bacteria may actually speed the decay of radioactive cesium by as much as 30 times the normal half life!  Still looking for more documentation on this.  Here’s what I have so far:

According to V. Vysotskii and A.Kornilova, the radioactive 137Cs (half-life 30 years) can be destroyed by bacteria. In an experiment described at (1) they introduced 260,900 Bk of 137Cs into a solution containing several chemical substances and bacteria. By natural decay the activity after 100 days would be reduced by 1670 Bk. But the actually measured reduction of radioactivity, after 100 days, turned out to be 51,100 Bk, plus or minus 1000. In other words, the reduction due to bacteria was 29 times larger than the reduction due to natural decay.

All activities were measured by placing small solution-containing flasks (2 by 2 by 2 cm) on top of the 1- cm-wide detector (2). Flasks were hermetically sealed, to make sure that cesium does not escape into the air, in the form of a volatile compound. Absence of accumulation of a solid cesium compound, gradually precipitating toward the bottom of the flask, was confirmed in a control experiment (during which 137Cs was decaying in the same chemical solution but without bacteria.) The decrease of radioactivity, during that experiment, was very close to the expected 1670 Bk.

And here is a PDF that is fairly technical from the scientists in Kiev who performed this research:

One of the interesting takeaways from that PDF is that what was most effective were synergistic communities of micro-organisms, rather than monocultures of one strain of bacteria or yeast.  This should not surprise us at all from what we know about the web of multitudinous life forms that make up soil or the complex ecologies of bacteria that inhabit our own guts.  Nothing in nature works in isolation.

What we are talking about here is biological transmutation, which is based on theory outside of the mainstream of physics.  One prominent promoter of this theory in Japan was reknowned macrobiotic teacher George Ohsawa.  Considering the success macrobiotics has shown over the years in treating radiation illness, perhaps the theory should not be lightly dismissed.

Here is a little more about research being done on a particular bacterium by the US Department of Energy (who created the nuclear waste problem in the first place):

The contamination of groundwater with radionuclides and metals is one of the most challenging environmental problems at Department of Energy former nuclear weapons production sites. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have previously found that Geobacter species can precipitate a wide range of radionuclides and metals (including uranium, technetium and chromium) from groundwater, preventing them from migrating to wells or rivers where they may pose a risk to humans and the environment.

The analysis of the genome sequence revealed a number of capacities that had not been previously suspected from past research on this microbe. “We’ve provided a comprehensive picture that has led to fundamental changes in how scientists evaluate this microbe,” said Barbara Methe, the TIGR researcher who led the genome project and is the first author of the Science paper. “Research based on genome data has shown that this microbe can sense and move towards metallic substances, and in some cases can survive in environments with oxygen.” G. sulfurreducenswas previously thought to be an anaerobic organism.

The other main project collaborator was Derek Lovley, a professor of microbiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who discovered the Geobacter family of bacteria and has led projects to assess their biology and their potential for bioremediation. Lovley said, “Sequencing the genome of Geobacter sulfurreducenshas radically changed our concepts of how this organism functions in subsurface environments.” The genome analysis, he said, “revealed previously unsuspected physiological properties” of the bacterium and also gave scientists insight into the metabolic mechanisms that the organism uses to harvest energy from the environment.

Geobacter reduces metal ions in a chemical process during which electrons are added to the ions. As a result, the metals become less soluble in water and precipitate into solids, which are more easily removed. Small charges of electricity are also created through the reduction process. Geobacter is also of interest to the Department of Energy because of its potential to create an electrical current in a “bio-battery.”

Geobacter microbes are widely distributed in nature and are commonly found in subsurface environments contaminated with radionuclides and metals. Researchers have demonstrated that if they “feed” the microbes simple carbon sources such as acetate they will grow faster and precipitate more radionuclides and metals. These findings are now serving as the basis for a test of a bioremediation strategy aimed at removing uranium from groundwater at a Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action site near Rifle, Colorado.

Geobacter sulfurreducens is not the only bacterium with the ability to induce profound changes in radioactive elements.  There are a vast number of different types of bacteria that may be helpful in decontaminating land.

The folks over at Uncanny Terrain offer this post related to the use of EM (effective micro-organisms) which is a proprietary culture which has been popular as an agricultural application in Japan and abroad:

Ishii used to deliver food to Japanese restaurants in Maryland.  For years he studied EM (effective microogranisms) as a hobby.  Now he grows organic vegetables in Sukagawa, 60 km southwest of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  He believes the EM prevents his crops from absorbing radioactive cesium—they have tested “ND”: no detectible radiation.

Controlled experiments have been done using EM in Iitate Village, which was heavily affected by fallout from the Fukushima nuclear accident.  The results are stunning.  

1. The Results in Iidate Village

A summary report is presented here, while a detail report will be presented in October. A plot of 24a blueberry field was divided into a control section (with no EM application) and two experimental sections (with EM application). The experiment began in the 2nd week of May by making twice-a-week spraying of a mixture of 80 parts EMA (EM activated) and 20 parts phototrophic bacteria solution: 100L of the mixture per 10a in one experimental section and the same amount of the mixture with one time application of 250Kg rice bran per 10a in other experimental section.

The preliminary measurement showed that cecium-137 level reached 20,000Bq per 1Kg soil. In order to reduce the radiation down below 5,000Bq (considered allowable for farming by Japanese government), EM mixture was sprayed twice per week. Interim report presents the results after 19 sprays (in about two months). Soil sampling was made in accordance with the sampling standards for environmental data prescribed by the Ministry of Education and Science and sent to a highly reputable Isotope Research to determine the level of cesium-137.

(1-1) The Field Experiment in Iidate Village

The results were as follows. The level of 20,000Bq decreased by 40% in one month and by 75% by the end of the 2nd month to 5,000Bq which was allowable for planting rice. Farming is allowable now.

A half-life of cesium-137 is about 30 years. When left as is in the nature, the level in the experimental field will be 10,000Bq after 30 years. It will take 60 years to reach the level of 5,000Bq.

Other than rice farming, allowable level of radiation exposure has not been established for other crops and vegetable farming. The allowable level of cesium-137 for farm and marine produce is set below 500Bq. Needless to say; it is desirable when “not-detected”.

In addition, there is a group of farmers in Fukushima Prefecture a little further from ground zero who have had their produce tested for radiation.  Again, the results are remarkable:

In the area of Date city of Fukushima prefecture, there are many farmers who have used EM well over 15 years. Mr. Makuta Takehiro has organized about 50 EM farmers under a supply chain management called “Agri-SCM”. The recent Tsunami and earthquake has forced approximately 10 farmers out of farming, leaving only 40 farmers in the group.

In order to prevent unfounded conjecture, Mr. Makuta took the harvested crops and vegetables of “Agri-SCM” farmers to Isotope Research for radiation measurement, all of which results showed “not-detected”. According to Mr. Makuta, some farm products from low contamination areas have shown high concentration above the allowable level when EM application has not been made. All EM applied farm products from Kohriyama and Fukushima cities have proved “not-detected” level of radiation, which seems to indicate that EM farming can solve radiation problems.

A lot more on the use of EM for bioremediation can be found here.

While EM products are excellent products, they are often criticized for being costly.  The bacteria and yeasts in the EM formula are abundant naturally-occurring bacteria normally present in soil and natural bodies of water.  Anyone can brew their own version with a little effort and a dash of adventurousness.

Iiyama Ichiro has been a professional in agricultural and bioremedial use of beneficial bacteria for many years in Japan, China and Korea.  Iiyama is promoting the practice of homebrewing bacteria (fermenting) for internal use, for bathing, cleaning radiation around the home and for bioremediation of farmland.  

Here is his website in Engrish, which is barely comprehensible due to translation software, and not very informative anyway.  There are also Japanese and Chinese versions, not sure how informative they are.  His far-ranging Japanese blog is here.    

Here is a brief summary from a blogger whose Japanese wife is following Iiyama’s method of homebrewing.  

There are ten 2-liter plastic bottles standing together under
the sun in our living room which my wife Minako is
cultivating–yogurt germs, which supposedly can fight against
radiation. It’s a very simple recipe: rice bran (multi-purpose:
once used for miso, as well as for detergent, via gamma-
globlin), brown sugar, sea salt, and mineral water.

Each bottle needs to be shaken several times a day and
the cap removed to allow the germs to breathe.
Eventually the water is carbonated because the germs breathe
out CO2. When the germs become sufficently cultivated, the
water turns caramel-colored and smells like fruity vinegar.
When it’s ready, you can dilute it and pour it around
contaminated areas such  as sewer openings, leaf piles, or
poorly drained areas. Basically, the water can be scattered

Here’s the rest of the blog post.

Obviously, if bioremediation using bacteria is as effective as early results suggest, this is exhilirating news for Japan, Ukraine and the rest of the world.  The ability to decontaminate the landscape quickly and inexpensively is a game-changer.

The implications for human health are also very important.  In my post on probiotics, I touched on the radioprotective power of probiotic foods.  The ability of bacteria to transform radionuclides into harmless elements may be one of the reasons why probiotic foods are so effective in supporting the health of those affected by radiation.

That’s all for now.  Below is a list of links related to this topic.  I hope to post more over the next few months.

Be well,



Ginger is among my favorite foods.  Love the taste and love the health benefits which are too numerous to list.  Here is a brief synopsis of the radioprotective qualities of ginger:

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been shown to display radioprotective effects, and is the subject of a Food & Functionreview by Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga and co-workers from Karnataka and New Delhi, India.

In their review, the team highlight that ginger and its phytochemicals dehydrozingerone and zingerone possess radioprotective effects in in vitro tests. The mechanism of this action is proposed to be due to the free radical scavenging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clastogenic effects which may contribute towards the observed radioprotection. The observation that zingerone was selective in protecting only the normal cells and not the melanoma cells indicates its potential attractiveness for clinical development.

Ginger is pretty easy to grow.  Find a fresh looking piece of organic ginger at the supermarket, soak it in water for several hours and toss it in a pot with some soil.  As long as it stays reasonably warm, it should sprout OK.

Flax seed and flax seed oil have been touted for their health-promoting benefits for decades.  I have been a regular consumer of flax oil for years.  Flax oil is one of the better sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, one of the most important nutrients out there for good reason:

61 Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Recently, Mike Adams drew my attention to the radioprotective qualities of flax.  Here is a snippet:  

The research focused on Flax seed’s ability to protect lung tissue prior to exposure and the ability of flax to repair damaged lung tissue after exposure. They used mice for their published study, but now they’re doing a clinical study on humans receiving radiation for cancer treatment.

Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou and his research team fed some mice flax seeds both before and others after radiating them. They found that both the before and after radiation flax fed mice survived even lethal doses of radiation in good health while many that weren’t fed flax died.

Not only did the flax fed mice survive, but they also managed to get healthier. They had higher body weight and minimal lung inflammation, which is common with radiation therapy treated cancer patients

Learn more:

Here is the abstract of the study itself:

Flax as Anti-Cancer

People have shrunk tumors or healed themselves of cancer by following the Budwig Diet, which includes lots of flax oil, for over 50 years.  Evidence for the Budwig diet is largely anecdotal, however it is supported by research such as this study suggests that dietary flax seed may reduce the growth of tumors in patients with breast cancer.

Other Sources of Omega-3 Oils:

Many of the benefits of flax are due to it’s omega 3 oils, and it is reasonable to assume that other foods containing high amounts of  Omega 3 oils may confer similar radioprotective benefits.

Fish have long been one of the best sources of omega 3 fats, however, with radioactive tuna showing up 6,000 miles away from Japan, people may want to limit the amount of fish (particularly larger fish from the pacific) they are eating.  This is, of course, in addition to the load of heavy metals, such as mercury, which have been present in fish for some time.

Eggs from pastured chickens tend to be much higher in omega 3’s than factory chickens.  Grass fed beef and dairy may have 2 to 4 times more omega 3’s than their grain fed counterparts.  Organic is a must when it comes to animal products due to hormones and antibiotics.

Besides flax, other excellent vegetarian sources of omega 3 oils include chia seeds, hemp seeds and purslane (common edible weed).   Chia and hemp seeds both deserve the term of superfoods.  In addition to omega-3 oils, they offer superior quality protein.  Purslane deserves mention because it is tasty, high in vitamin c and omega 3 fats, and grows like a weed because it is one.  Chances are you have some growing in your neighborhood, if not your yard or driveway.

Be well,


Here is the latest from Mike Adams at Natural News.  Nothing earth-shattering, but a concise summary with a few good links.

What must we do?


Vitamin C:This antioxidant is effective against radiation. Radioactive atoms (radionuclides) have missing electrons that they replace by stealing electrons from other atoms causing cellular and DNA damage. That’s oxidation in a nutshell. An antioxidant gives those atoms the electrons they need, thus neutralizing oxidative stress.

It’s not easy swallowing 10 grams total of ascorbic acid at intervals daily. Injected C or IV C is hard to come by. Here’s a way to maximize cellular absorption of vitamin C without force feeding to the point of diarrhea or injection and IV intake –check out the sources(

Vitamin D3:Make sure you supplement with vitamin D3, not just D or D2. Despite conventional dermatology’s advice, strong sunlight exposure to skin is the safest way to up your D3 blood levels. Despite conventional medicine’s standard, 25(OH)D tested D3 levels at 20 nanograms/milliliter are not enough; 50 to 70 ng/mg would be optimum.

Whey:Pure whey provides all the precursors for the master oxidant glutathione, details here (

Other neutralizing supplements should include iodine or potassium iodide. Most of us are iodine deficient. Potassium itself works well at inhibiting radionuclides. The sleep supplement melatonin protects against radiation.

Sulfur supplements are recommended, and bicarbonate of soda is also effective at neutralizing radiation in our organs.

Magnesium intake should be increased along with calcium; both are effective at protecting against radiation poisoning.

Superfoods, chlorella and spirulina, have actually been used effectively where radioactive leaks occurred. Kelp is another possibility.

Bentonite clay or zeolite may help rid radionuclides from internal tissues.

Herbs:Those helpful for preventing radioactive poisoning are milk thistle, ginkgo, and rosemary (

Explore the sources below for more details.

Sources for this article include:

Learn more:

Been a long time since I updated this blog.  Long overdue.  Anyway, I ran across this short blog post covering the radioprotective qualities of baking soda and thought I would put up a quote and a link…

So deep are the protective, buffering and neutralizing properties of bicarbonate that it is used even with radiation exposure to protect the kidneys and other tissues. In a world that is already overexposed to uranium and mercury, sodium bicarbonate becomes even more important because mercury and uranium oxide directly attack the nuclear material and mitochondria of the cells.

The oral administration of sodium bicarbonate diminishes the
severity of the changes produced by uranium in the kidneys.[1]

The kidneys are usually the first organs to show chemical damage upon uranium exposure. Old military manuals suggest doses or infusions of sodium bicarbonate to help alkalinize the urine if this happens. This makes the uranyl ion less kidney-toxic and promotes excretion of the nontoxic uranium-carbonate complex. The oral administration of sodium bicarbonate diminishes the severity of the changes produced by uranium in the kidneys.[2]

It does this for all the heavy metals and other toxic chemicals including chemotherapy agents, which are highly lethal even in low dosages. After depleted uranium weapons were used starting in the first Gulf War, the United States has polluted the world with uranium oxide and it is showing up more and more in tests doctors perform. With a half life of several billion years we had better be prepared to get used to dealing with the toxic effects and help our bodies clear it more easily through the kidneys. Sodium bicarbonate is an absolute must item in any field hospital and it should be in used and recommended in all clinics and be present in every home medicine cabinet.

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. I started writing about baking soda after discovering that the United States Army recommends the use of bicarbonate to protect the kidneys from radiation damage.

Unfortunately, this article from the Japan Times repeats the brainwashing that radiation levels are negligible, as well as nonsense such as hydrogen explosions are what spread the radiation around, when we know their was more than one nuclear criticality at Fukushima.  I will also add that radionuclide contamination from Fukushima has been detected in every US state.   Due to the continued leakage of the reactors and the reckless policy of incineration of contaminated debris and agricultural wastes, fallout it going to continue to be an issue in North America for some time to come.  

Regardless, a couple of tips that may be useful:

News photo
Simple solutions: Cesium-134 and -137 are easily dissolved in water, which means rinsing vegetables and fruit can help reduce radiation levels. Cutting vegetables into smaller pieces and soaking them in water is even more effective.

Noguchi says that radiation, though invisible and odorless, can be treated and cleaned up like a stain, noting that by rinsing the food well before cooking, preferably with hot water, and/or boiling or stewing it, a large portion of radioactive elements can be removed. In his book, published in Japanese in mid-July, “Hoshano Osen kara Kazoku wo Mamoru Tabekata no Anzen Manyuaru” (“The Safety Manual for Protecting Your Family From Radiation Contamination”), Noguchi offers tips on how to prepare food, item by item, so consumers can reduce their radiation intake at home.

In the book, he refers to data released in 1994 by Japan’s semi-public Radioactive Waste Management Center (now the Radioactive Waste Management Funding and Research Center). The center’s report, titled “Removal of Radionuclides during Food Processing and Culinary Preparation,” compiled results of detailed tests conducted in Europe and Japan following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

“This is not something we must absolutely do,” he said about radiation-removal steps. “But since we don’t know how much — within the safety limits — food is irradiated, taking these steps can safeguard us further.”

Here are some of Noguchi’s tips on preparing major food groups:


News photo

A series of hydrogen explosions at the plant in March resulted in the release of large amounts of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, tainting vegetables and fruits grown outdoors. They also contaminated soil with iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137. Iodine-131 is no longer detectable due to its short half-life of eight days. The cesium isotopes, meanwhile, need long-term monitoring because cesium-134 takes two years to decrease by half and cesium 137’s half-life is 30 years.

The good news is, cesium can be easily dissolved in water. So the best way to prepare vegetables and fruits is to rinse them well before cooking. If possible, cut vegetables into small pieces and soak them in water for a while.

More radiation in spinach and other leafy vegetables can be removed if they are boiled. As for lettuces, throw away the outer leaf and rinse the rest well. Data from Chernobyl shows that rinsing lettuce can remove up to half of the cesium-134 and two thirds of the cesium-137. Cucumbers can be pickled with vinegar, which cuts radiation by up to 94 percent. Peeling carrots and boiling them with salted hot water would also help reduce cesium levels.

Meat and fish

News photo

Livestock can be tainted through the grass and water they consume. Well-grilled, salt-sprinkled beef poses less risk than anything cooked to a medium-rare or medium state, by cutting 28 percent of cesium, according to a Chernobyl-tied study. Boiling leg meat has been proved to reduce cesium by about 50 percent. Make sure to drain off the hot water. Don’t worry about the pork bone broth; cesium accumulates mostly in meat, not bones, and the levels of strontium-90, which does accumulate in bones, are negligible.

For fish and other seafood, however, watch out for strontium-90, which has a half-life of 29 years. According to Noguchi, far greater quantities of strontium-90 were released into the ocean than into the air and ground. Contrary to popular thinking, large fish are not necessarily riskier to consume. Though large fish do eat smaller fish, which leads some to believe they accumulate more radioactive materials, Noguchi says it is the small fish and flat fish that have stayed close to the Fukushima plant that pose more risk. Unlike large fish that swim longer distances, small fish cannot move far from contaminated areas.

With tuna fish, rinse with water before eating or cooking. Boiling or marinating salmon helps remove cesium-137, and avoid eating fish bones, as they could contain strontium-90.

Rice and wheat

News photo

Much has been said about the nutritiousness of brown rice, but when it comes to radiation, it is the bran layer beneath the husk that absorbs and accumulates cesium from soil. That means white, polished rice, which has no bran layer, is a safer option — though it does contain fewer vitamins, minerals and fiber than brown rice. If you rinse white rice well before cooking, you can also remove radiation-emitting residue on the grain.

Wheat products such as bread, spaghetti and noodles pose very little risk, since 90 percent of wheat in Japan has been imported from overseas. For those concerned with radiation in pasta or noodles made from wheat in Japan, the thinner the noodle, the more cesium released when cooked.

Dairy products

News photo

Fresh milk from Fukushima Prefecture was suspended from the market from mid-March until the end of April after it was found to contain radioactive iodine. The air and grass consumed by dairy cows had been contaminated. Authorities have since been keeping an eye on levels of radiation in milk, so you need not worry too much about the products currently on sale.

Cheese and butter are fine, too, because, during their production, the milk whey — the liquid that gets separated from curd — is removed. While rich in nutrition, cesium and strontium tend to remain in whey. Yogurt, which usually has whey floating on top, also undergoes radiation checks before going on the market, but if you are still worried, pour off the whey before you eat the yogurt.


News photo

Wakame (soft seaweed) and kombu (kelp) are integral parts of the Japanese diet. They flew off store shelves in the wake of the nuclear disaster, when consumers heard that the natural iodine in them might help them fight radiation contamination.

Seaweed from the sea close to the nuclear plant, however, will likely absorb high levels of radiation in the coming years. You can rinse it before cooking, or choose seaweed harvested elsewhere.

Kunikazu Noguchi’s book, “Hosha no Osen kara Kazoku wo Mamoru Tabekata no Anzen Manyuaru” (“The Safety Manual for Protecting Your Family from Radiation Contamination”), was published by Seishun Shuppansha in July, in Japanese only, priced at ¥1,000.

Ionizing radiation is defined by the ability to cause electrons to break off from molecules.  Some of the ionization will happen directly to your tissues.  Some will create electron-hungry free radicals, which then go looking for electrons and usually get them by binding with tissues (oxidation), causing further damage.  The greatest concern is when the damage happens to DNA, leading to breaks in the DNA that can eventually lead to cancer.  Anti-oxidants come in handy because they supply extra electrons to the body, thus neutralizing those electron-hungry free radicals.

Thus, anti-oxidants are one of the first lines of defense for those exposed to very high levels of ionizing radiation.  Vitamins A, C and E are commonly used for acute radiation exposure.  However, it must be noted that there are thousands of different antioxidants that occur naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables and particularly herbs.

Vitamin C is considered one of the premier radioprotective anti-oxidants.  Vitamin C is relatively cost-effective.  But what makes Vitamin C the champion of  anti-oxidants is that it is non-toxic even at extreme doses, which may be necessary when there is life-threatening illness or toxicity.

At high doses of oral vitamin C, the worst side effect is that people may begin to experience diarrhea.  This is not dangerous, and simply means they need to back off a little bit on the dosage.  Much larger doses of vitamin C can be tolerated via intravenous solution.

There is also a relatively new form of vitamin C called ‘lyposomal’ vitamin C which is taken orally, but boasts cellular absorption rates that are many multiples better than even intravenous treatment.

The following video is an excellent introduction to Vitamin C as a treatment for radiation-induced illness and how Vitamin C can help to prevent or repair DNA damage:

Vitamin C has also been demonstrated to have anti-cancer effects, separate from it’s radioprotective qualities.  The following video with Dr. Thomas Levy goes into Vitamin C as a cancer treatment, as well as giving a background on why anti-oxidants are so important for human health generally.

Below are a series of videos that give a large amount of information on vitamin c and its role in detoxification that go way beyond radioprotection:

This is the dramatic story of a man who was terminally ill with swine flu who recovered due to vitamin c:—Miracle-Cure/tabid/371/articleID/171328/Default.aspx

Here’s a couple of videos on how to make your own lyposomal vitamin c:

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