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Comments on Radiation, Iodine, and Healthy Foods 4/3/11: Back to Articles
by Lauren Feder, MD

April 3, 2011 Newsletter

Dear Community,
Happy Spring. I am relieved that March and its madness are behind us, and Spring has just begun!  I share a touching note from the Zen Center (San Francisco) if you are interested in on-line donation.  Also, I have been reviewing more information regarding the tragedy in Japan and its consequences, and I hope this newsletter will help to remind us about the importance of taking good care of ourselves, including a healthy diet.   I also recommend that families organize and update emergency supplies and kits for home, work and cars.
In good health,

Dr. Lauren

In this issue:
A note from the San Francisco Zen Center
Comments about KI
Food Sources of Iodine (from Weston Price/ Sally Fallon)
Staying Healthy: Information on Radiation by Homeopath Dr. Mary Grace
Upcoming Workshops - Fertility Regulation, Newborn Care and Vaccine Safety


A Note from the San Francisco Zen Center
There has been an outpouring of support from people around the globe for the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit northeastern Japan. We are collecting relief funds which will be sent directly to the Sotoshu Shumucho, the administrative headquarters of the Soto Zen sect in Tokyo. 70% of the money will be given to the Japanese Red Cross Society to aid people who were harmed in the disaster and 30% will be used to aid Soto Zen temples that were destroyed.  Click here to learn more how you can help.


Food for Thought- Iodine and Beyond
Our office is being inundated with the common question - What to do now?
Amongst my colleagues’ suggestions, the common theme is a general recommendation to improve our general health first and foremost.  This includes improvement in our diet (also healthy foods high in iodine – see below), rest, activity, harmony, and natural medicinals. Read more on food, Vitamin D,  and baking soda in Dr. Mary Grace’s article  Staying Healthy, Information on Radiation

Food Sources of Iodine
Weston Price Foundation & Sally Fallon Morell
PLANT FOODS: Any food grown near the sea is likely to contain iodine, but especially rich sources include asparagus, garlic, lima beans, mushrooms, strawberries, spinach, pineapple and leafy greens. Coconut products, which always grow near the ocean, are good sources of iodine. Blackstrap molasses also provides iodine.
SEAFOOD: Iodine levels vary widely in fish and shellfish, but all seafoods contain some iodine. In published reports, cod, haddock, whiting, oysters and mussels test high. The hepatopancreas (yellow “butter” or “mustard”) in lobster tested as an extremely rich source and it is likely that the hepatopancreas of other saltwater shellfish would contain high levels of iodine as well.
BUTTER: Butter from cows pastured on iodine-rich soil will contain iodine. Look for butter from farms located near the ocean, or that have used seaweed or fish meal as a soil amendment. The cows should also be fed sea salt. The combination of iodine with selenium and vitamin A in butter make this traditional fat an ideal food for the thyroid gland.
SEAWEED: Levels of iodine in seaweed vary widely according to species and how the seaweed is dried. One study found a huge range of 2-817 mcg iodine per 100 grams. Iodine content is reduced when seaweed is dried in the sun, and iodine may vaporize during cooking and humid storage conditions. Some Asian seaweed dishes contain in excess of 1,100 mcg iodine. Seaweed contains lignans, phytoestrogens that can depress thyroid function. This may explain why thyroid problems (except for goiter) are common among the Japanese, even though they eat a lot of seaweed.
SALT: Five grams (one teaspoon) of unrefined sea salt, a conservative estimate of the amount typically consumed in a day, provides only about 3 mcg iodine; iodized salt provides over 1,500 mcg iodine per five grams. The FDA’s Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for adults is 1,100 mcg per day; thus, it is possible to greatly exceed the UL by using iodized salt.

For ongoing thyroid protection, it is important to avoid sources of bromide, fluoride and chloride (including environmental perchlorates, often found in drinking water). That means drinking purified or filtered water instead of tap water, consuming organic food (conventional produce and grains are treated with bromide-, chloride- or fluoride-containing pesticides and fumigants), avoiding bromated breads and consuming plenty of unrefined sea salt along with an iodine-rich diet.


A Note from Dr. Lauren
With reports about glitches in the California’s radiation warning system to traces of radiation detected in U.S. milk and drinking water supplies (both West and East coast), many of us are left with questions of what we can do to protect our families.

From Dr. Brownstein's (expert on Iodine) most recent blog (April 3, 2011)
It is clear that there has been a meltdown at the reactor core. The amount of radioactivity released into the air and the ocean is very large. This may surpass the amount released at Chernobyl.  Read more

Should I be taking Iodine (also referred to as Potassium Iodide/KI)?
We have received many inquiries about taking iodine.
CDC and KI.  The dosage form of KI recommended by the CDC is to be used only after a radiologic or nuclear emergency locally.   According to homeopath Mary Grace, Before you take Potassium Iodide, I highly suggest that you take some time and research the subject and substance and even talk to an expert.  I feel it is important to know this solution was originally recommended for those at radiation sites.
Comments:  I believe it is good to have this KI in your medicine cabinet just in case. Read the CDC article for more info. The FDA has approved two different forms of KI—tablets and liquid—that people can take by mouth after a nuclear radiation emergency. Tablets come in two strengths, 130 milligram (mg) and 65 mg. and can be purchased at a pharmacy or online.  This is not available in our office. 

Natural Forms of KI
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 as a supplement

Who can take KI and are there any side effects?
Homeopathic KI 6X has no side effects and can be taken by everyone. Take 3 pellets once daily for children, adults, and pets. If giving to a baby, pregnant, 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.

The nonradioactive, inorganic iodine is taken by many people on a regular basis as a supplement. This is the form of iodine recommended by Dr. Brownstein. Currently we carry limited supplies of I-throid which is Lugol Solution in powdered form 12.5 mg,  and Pure Encapsulation KI 225 mcg in the office, they are not recommended for people with the following conditions:
-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.

Radium bromatum  homeopathic medicine for after-effects of radiation.  Use following x-rays, CAT scans, and any other types of radiation exposure.  Use weekly, for all ages.

Superfood Seaweed Soup Recipe

According to Raw Gourmet chef and herbalist Christian Bates, the following is a delicious elixir that contains essential nutrients that fill up your cells receptor sites, inhibiting the absorption of radioactive chemicals that mimic these nutrients (such as radioactive iodine).

1 quart spring water (or less for a thicker soup)
2 cups freshly brewed hot tea of reishi mushroom slices, ginseng, other medicinal mushrooms, goji berries and other tonic herbs of choice
1/4 cup organic unpasteurized miso (or chickpea miso)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup (or up to 1 cup) whole sea vegetables of choice (kelps, dulse, etc.)
2 cloves garlic
squeeze of lemon juice
OPTIONAL: more spices like cayenne, chipotle, peppercorn, etc.
 
Blend on high in a high-speed blender for 2-3 minutes. Should be warm with sea vegetables well blended. Enjoy in your favorite mug.


 
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