An interview with Carolyn Dean, MD, ND -
-How exactly does radiation affect the body?
“When the body’s cells are exposed to radiation, the DNA and proteins inside the cell become “ionized”, which means that the electrons inside the atoms that make up the cell’s components are “knocked out”, and the DNA and proteins become damaged and lose proper function. ”
-What type of health effects does exposure to radiation cause?
“Since nearly every component of the body is comprised of protein and DNA, there is a head-to-toe fall-out from radiation exposure. For example, in the brain, nerve cells die, which can cause seizure; cataracts can form in the eyes; the thyroid loses function, which affects normal metabolism; risk of lung cancer is increased; blood vessels cells near the heart are damaged, which increases risk of cardiac failure; the cells in the GI tract are damaged, leading to indigestion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; eggs and sperm in the ovaries and testes can die; skin cells become burnt and damaged; and the cells of the immune system are not adequately replenished, leading to increased risk of infection. ”
-Is any amount of radiation safe? If so, how much?
“Radiation is measured in “sieverts”. Radiation leakage in an immediate area up to 0.8 sieverts can cause radiation sickness, and as little as 3 sieverts can cause death. In comparison, an airport scanner produces 0.0148 microsieverts, which is a comparatively miniscule amount.”
-Who is most sensitive to health effects of radiation?
“Adults are less sensitive to radiation than children. Children are more sensitive because they are growing more rapidly with more cells dividing and radiation has a higher chance of disrupting this process. Fetuses are also more sensitive to radiation.”
-What is the cancer risk of radiation?
“Nuclear plant reactors leak radioactive iodine 131 into the atmosphere. Nuclear disasters, such as what is being witnessed at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan and the earlier disasters at Three-mile Island in the U.S. and Chernobyl in the Ukraine, released huge quantities of iodine 131 into the atmosphere. Since most people are deficient in natural iodine, the body absorbs this harmful iodine 131 instead, which can lead to thyroid cancer.”
-What are some immediate health effects of radiation – things you might notice right away?
“Radiation puts a great strain on the immune system and destroys many nutrients in the body. The thyroid gland is affected by radiation. It sends out hormones into the body that helps to control many functions and if it is not working properly or is tired, you can experience low energy, slow weight loss, slow metabolism, slow bowel function, slow thought processes, low body temperature and infertility.”
-What are some long term health concerns of radiation exposure?
“Cancer and fetus/genetic mutations. These can include smaller head or brain size, poorly formed eyes, abnormally slow growth, and mental retardation.”
-Are there any ways to reverse the effect of radiation exposure or minimize the effects?
“Taking 150 micrograms of iodine 127 daily, you are likely to be protected from iodine 131 absorption. This can be done by eating 5-10 grams of seaweed daily which few people can easily do. There are natural products on the market that have been developed to make this easy. The richest type of wild grown seaweed is called Laminaria japonica brown seaweed also known as ‘Kombu’.”
“Another supplement that can be taken is potassium iodide, but these are to be taken only on an emergency basis if you are within 15 miles of a nuclear meltdown as these can have harmful high dose iodine side effects. Do not actually take the potassium iodide unless health officials are certain that the radiation is about to reach your area. The FDA-approved doses of potassium iodide are as follows:
infants less than 1 month old, 16mg; children 1 month to 3 years, 32 mg; children 3 years to 18 years, 65mg; adults 130mg.
“Another way to assist in the removal of radiation is to make a simple tea from the herb, Thyme. Use one level tablespoon of Thyme to one pint of boiling water and steep for twenty minutes. After cooling and straining it, suggested recipes say to drink two cups a day. The tea also works toward cleansing and building the blood lymphatics and the thyroid and thymus, in addition to assisting in the elimination of radiation poisoning. Kelp has also been known to help reduce radiation poisoning. Activated charcoal taken orally can also help neutralize radiation as well as other poisons.
“Rosemary tea, miso soup and seaweeds are also good anti-radiation measures that you can take. A very effective and relaxing way to assist in the clearing processes of radiation from the body is to take a radiation detox bath. These baths include natural specialty clays and detoxifying minerals such as magnesium. As an anti-stress and detox mineral, magnesium citrate in powder form as a hot or cold tea will also help support the immune system as well as the detoxification process. Niacin has also been known to help in the overall detoxification process. Niacin is essential for healthy skin and circulation. It is vital to normal brain and nerve function, enhancing memory and positive emotions. It is vital for digestion as it is needed for the manufacture of hydrochloric acid by the stomach. It aids in the digestion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins all of which are affected by radiation.”
-What should people be most concerned about when it comes to radiation and their health?
“The cumulative effects of radiation and the long term health effects. Therefore ongoing intake of seaweed and the above measures of detoxification can be very helpful.”
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
Medical Advisory Board Member
Nutritional Magnesium Association
The ideas, procedures and suggestions contained in this article are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your physical health require medical supervision. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be liable or responsible for any loss, injury or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestion in this article. The opinions expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and not the publisher.