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Iodine Supplementation – Update

March 19, 2011

Radiation-Network-radiation-monitoring-map
Image from: www.radiationnetwork.com

Here’s an update to my previous post, “Precautionary Measures Against Potential Radiation From Japan – Iodine Supplementation.”

I now have my little radiation survival kit ready…. I don’t plan to take any of this stuff unless I feel that we’re actually being exposed to increased radiation. But if that happens, my first line of defense will be kelp. I found some more natural stuff at Whole Foods, now that they’ve re-stocked: Nature’s Way iodine from ascophyllum nosodum (kelp). It’s one tablet (396 mcg of iodine) a day. The only other ingredient is gelatin for the capsule. If I start taking kelp, what I might take alongside it is blue-green algae, which I probably dismissed too quickly earlier. Iodine only protects your thyroid, whereas the blue-green algae is supposed to help protect the rest of your body. I heard spirulina and chlorella are supposed to be good. And then, only in case of a real emergency, there is the potassium iodide. I’ve heard conflicting advice on how many consecutive days that’s safe to take – anywhere from a few days to two weeks.

So far, the radiation that has reached the West Coast from Japan doesn’t seem to have exceeded regular background radiation levels. This radiation monitoring site, “Radiation Network” is the best source I’ve seen for checking current radiation levels locally. Although it’d be nice to find something for Canada as well, it looks like one of the monitoring sites is very close to Vancouver, British Columbia.

If you’re on the West Coast, are you taking any precautions?

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stoics July 27, 2013 at 1:52 PM

I should note that, partly due to these radiation scares, I started taking kelp roughly about this time… about 1/4 tsp per dose, at least once and sometimes 3 times a day… I kept it up for several years, and I was just diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I cannot say with certainty that the kelp did it, since it could be related to a viral infection among other factors, but it is entirely possible. One 1/4 tsp of kelp has something like 2000 times the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of iodine. Some days I was taking close to 10,000 times RDA, and too much iodine can definitely lead to hyperthyroidism…which is not fun at all. Your best bet if you’re thinking about taking kelp daily is to take it in very small amounts, and better yet have your thyroid tested to see if it would be helpful or counterindicated. Many people have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) as it says on the bottle, but many other people have thyperthyroidism. This is one case where self-treatment with food supplements may not always be a good idea, unless you have accurate and timely information (blood work).

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