The Earthquake in Japan: The aftershocks continue
Learn why you’re at risk... and the steps you can take to protect yourself from the coming nuclear disaster
As I’m writing this to you, the world is in the midst of mourning for those affected by the devastating earthquake in Japan. Of course, by the time this newsletter reaches your mailbox, much of the initial sock will have died down. But there are plenty of aftershocks that will still be rocking the world. One of the biggest: radiation exposure.
With talk of nuclear fallout, containment breaches, “China syndrome,” and the like, it’s hard to know what’s a legitimate concern, and what’s just more media hot air. One thing that this natural disaster has made undeniably clear, however, is that the threat of radiation exposure is not limited to nuclear war. A bomb doesn’t have to drop on U.S. soil in order for radiation to be a real-life health concern.
Whether it’s now or sometime in the future, there is always the possibility of being exposed to radiation. But you can rest assured, because when and if that happens, you’ll know what to do to be prepared.
Your survival guide for radiation damage
When radiation interacts with your body, it creates a substantial amount of free radicals, molecules that are known to cause the kind of DNA damage that can lead to all sorts of health problems——including cancer. It doesn’t happen right away——it’s the beginning of a process that could take decades before it rears its head. But make no mistake: It WILL come back to haunt you... unless you take the steps necessary to shield your body against the damage in the first place.
Step 1: Defend your body’s most vulnerable organ
If a nuclear event were to occur (even on a small scale, and even halfway across the globe), radioactive iodine-131 could be released into the upper atmosphere. At that point, where it drops down into the lower atmosphere is anyone’s guess.
If you come in contact with radioactive iodine, your thyroid gland will soak it up like a dry sponge. The result would be either a badly injured thyroid—— or a dead one . Trust me, you don’t want either.
The good news is you can protect your thyroid from injury or death by loading up on non-radioactive iodine shortly before exposure. Your thyroid can only absorb so much iodine. If you load up on the “good stuff,” there won’t be any room for the kind that could kill you.
Get some iodine and have it on hand for an emergency, but don’t jump the gun and start taking it as part of your daily supplement regimen——especially if you’re over 40 years old. When it comes to iodine, more doesn’t mean better. Don’t take it more often than recommended, and don’t take it in higher doses than recommended. Not only could it make you sick, it also wouldn’t do any good. For iodine to be the most effective in the event of a radiation emergency, you need to take it as close to exposure time as possible.
Step 2: Build a DNA defense system
Start with tocotrienols.
The U.S. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute found that this unique form of vitamin E has the potential to protect the whole body from radiation damage . It does this by protecting the stem cells in your bone marrow that are responsible for creating new cells for your entire body.
Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and haematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) are the life force of blood cells rejuvenation and are must-haves——not just to stay healthy, but to stay alive . When these cells are damaged, you’re at an increased risk of circulatory problems, immune system damage, and cancer.
That’s where tocotrienols come in.
Researchers exposed mice to non-lethal amounts of radiation, and then fed one group tocotrienols, and the other served as the control group. After being exposed to the radiation, the control group lost 50 percent of their HSCs. The mice fed the tocotrienols, on the other hand, only lost between 14 and 20 percent of their HSCs.
That’s great news, but it only gets better from there. Because while the HPCs in the control group only operated at a meager 30-percent for weeks after exposure, those fed tocotrienols experienced a 100-percent recovery after just seven days of being treated .
A bone marrow analysis revealed that taking tocotrienols enabled the bone marrow cells to continue regenerating properly. In other words, it helps prevent persistent DNA damage.
Another animal study showed that treating mice with tocotrienols protected the mice against the most damaging of the free radicals, peroxynitrite. Cutting this free radical off at its knees goes a long way toward protecting your DNA——and keeping you healthy overall, not just now, but for years to come.
Of course, one of the best ways to build your body’s natural defense against free radicals is to load up on antioxidants.
The shining star in radiation protection
If you build up antioxidant protection prior to exposure to radiation, you can significantly reduce damage to your brain——as well as most other major organs of your body. If there’s one antioxidant that research has proven to be a shining star when it comes to radiation protection, it’s a fat- and water-soluble antioxidant called lipoic acid.
Animal studies have shown lipoic acid can protect the tissues of the brain, liver, spleen, kidney, and testes against damage caused by radiation exposure.
Researchers followed the health status of 6,000 of the Latvia workers who cleaned up the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant. They found that all of the workers suffered from above-average rates of nervous, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, cardiovascular, endocrine system, and immunological system problems.
Ten years after the incident, the researchers discovered that taking just 600mg of lipoic acid for two months was able to bring many of their lab “abnormalities” back to normal.
Hopefully you’ll never have to take such heroic doses of lipoic acid. However, in order to build up antioxidant protection, it’s safe to take 25 to 50mg on a daily basis (unless you’re prone to atrial fibrillation, in which case you may not be able to tolerate it).
Repair radiation damage with this tasty treat
I’m talking about green tea. The tasty antioxidant-rich beverage I write about so often——the same green tea that promises protection against heart disease, kidney disease, skin damage, and more——could also offer some of the strongest protection against radiation damage.
Studies have shown that the polyphenols in green tea can not only protect against—— but can actually repair ——white and red blood cells that have been damaged by radiation.
The National Cancer Institute has even looked into green tea’s shield-like properties, and they came to the same conclusion: “Green tea and other plant polyphenols can protect human cells against radiation-induced DNA damage.”
And in a study conducted by Royal Cornall Hospital, researchers found that when they isolated the green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), it could prevent ultraviolet radiation-induced DNA damage.
When it comes to protecting yourself against radiation damage, the key is to “stock up and build up.” Stock up on iodine so that you have plenty on hand ——God forbid you ever need it. And build up your body’s defense system. Not only will it help prevent long-term DNA damageif you’re ever exposed to radiation——it’ll also give you the protection you need to stay healthy and disease-free.