How to protect yourself from nuclear fallout

Trump and Kim: What will you do when they push that nuclear button? A tongue in cheek analysis…

The 5 things that may reboot your health in radiation dangerous days

To me it feels like there’s a faint whiff of danger in the air. Missile launches, nuclear tests and rantings of destruction. One minute Donald Trump is threatening North Korea with ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’. The next, the two world leaders are going to be building condos on the white sands of the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea. The politics of superpowers is beyond the whit of most of us at the best of times, but this, right now, feels hideously on the edge.

Last year, there were secret midnight re-fuellings of North Korean vessels with illicit oil supplies contrary to UN sanctions. Straight faced denials despite the video evidence. Months back, Trump and Xaio Ping proclaim their brotherhood and commitment to peace; the next day Trump publicly declares that the Chinese ‘Lie, Cheat and Steal in all International Dealings’. Inflammatory words, and inflammatory times - and leaders with very short fuses.

Last year, Trump and Kim Jong-un bandied deranged insults at each other - ‘mentally unhinged’, ‘a madman on the loose’, ‘bereft of reason’. Then they met in Vietnam earlier this year to sign a treaty to de-nuclearise the Korean Peninsula. Vast self-congratulations and publicity followed – until Trump stormed out and returned on his waiting jet back to the States. And now North Korea is at it again, firing a new ‘tactical guided weapon’ to general global – yet impotent – concern. It’s a bit of a soap opera, but with life-changing possibilities for us all if it goes hideously wrong. Is Trump heading for a Nobel Peace Prize? Or being taken for a fool? These, currently, are the men that hold the safety of our globe in their unstable hands. Which side are they all on really? Who will press that nuclear button first? And where will Russia and China stand when the end of days comes to pass? It feels like it’s time to gear up, as they said in the movie, to ‘be afraid, be very afraid’.

How to protect yourself from nuclear fall-out

So what will you do when the sirens go, and it becomes clear that somewhere, hopefully far away on the other side of the world, a vast nuclear cloud has been released into the atmosphere that we all of us, everywhere, breathe? The world is tiny now, and the winds blow rapidly round the reaches of the earth, unstoppable, and uncontainable. Remember Chernobyl? For years afterwards we were forbidden to eat Welsh lamb because the rain blown from the East had so badly contaminated the soil the sheep grazed on. And Fukushima? Radiation soaking seaweed sold out globally in a matter of days.

What is nuclear radiation? And why is it so dangerous?

When a nuclear explosion goes off, there is a huge shock wave – a blast of heat, pressure and radiation, and radioactive particles scatter into the air that are lethal for human health. The closer you are to the centre of the zone the higher your exposure, and if you don’t die immediately, vaporised by the high temperature, the side effects (only they aren’t ‘side’ effects, but hideously painful ‘actual’ effects) which include radioactive burns, injuries from collapsing buildings and burns from fires, will kill you shortly afterwards. If you are further away from the blast and manage to survive the initial fallout, your fate is likely to be a slower but equally lethal one. The radioactive particles enter your body, attacking your liver, thyroid, bones and brain with high doses of alpha, beta or gamma radiation. They are impossible to escape, spread by the wind, and sucked into the earth and the water supply.

In the 20 years after Chernobyl, more than a million people died from the fallout damage - from nerve damage, seizures, brain damage and mental retardation, leukaemia or from other cancers. Even low level exposure will damage your digestive system, your organs and affect your blood. Exhaustion, skin problems, headaches, mood swings and memory problems are more minor but distressing side effects. Fertility issues include still births, genetic mutations, sterility and birth defects.

Nutrients and nuclear fallout

Vitally important fact: Your body can’t tell the difference between a destructive radiation laden radioactive isotope and a nutrient; to it they both look the same. So when the bomb goes off, reach rapidly for your supplements and get them in first, flooding your receptors so there is no room for uptake of the wrong substances.

Which nutrients will protect you? What are the radioactive isotopes released in a nuclear bomb?

Iodine protects you against iodine-131 which affects and destroys your thyroid;

Potassium protects against cesium-137 which has the same chemistry as potassium and is rapidly taken up into the blood and tissues. Potassium is found in bananas, but for a faster, more effective supplementation take potassium orotate. If you dose yourself immediately, you can prevent your body absorbing the cesium -137. Cesium-137 is also neutralised by Prussian Blue, which was originally developed as a dye, but is now used in medicine to speed up elimination rapidly. 10 grams daily will remove approx 70%, but only take it if you know you have been exposed to Cesium-137.

Calcium protects against strontium-90; Strontium-90 has the same chemistry as calcium so is taken rapidly into your teeth and bones. Supplement with calcium which lowers strontium absorption by up to 90%. Magnesium is also protective so take them together daily - they work best together rather than separately.

Iron supplements prevent the uptake of Plutonium-239 which affects your lungs and bones and has a half-life of a terrifying 24,000 years. Take it daily during exposure, but not as a long term option.

Vitamin B12 protects the body from exposure to Cobalt-60, which penetrates human skin and tissue. Follow the instructions on the label.

Are you prepared?

Probably not, so here is a list of the things that may at best save your life, or at least keep you relatively healthy if Armageddon blows. Buy them now while you can and keep them in your medicine cabinet for a nuclear day! And pray that that day never comes…

The 19 things that may save you:

1 Invest in a radiation removing water filtration system. Reverse osmosis clears radiation from water. Drink at least two litres of filtered water daily. Radiation will contaminate most natural water sources, and current municipal filtration systems don’t allow for the results of acts of God (or acts of Kim Jung-un).

2 Up your iodine levels: a nuclear bomb will release huge amounts of Iodine-131 into the air. This is rapidly sucked up by the thyroid and if you haven’t already topped up with iodine, will wipe it out entirely. Have a bottle of nascent iodine in your cupboard, which is one of the easiest forms of iodine for your body to work with, or take a dose of potassium iodide, which will immediately fill the iodine receptors on the thyroid. Iodine can only protect you from contamination by radioactive iodine if you quickly take it once exposed. A single dose will give you 24 hrs of protection, so supplement daily to counteract the radiation effects.

3 Eat seaweed: Seaweeds naturally contain large quantities of iodine, helping to protect you against radiation. Boost your iodine levels with dry seaweeds - kombu, wakame, dulse, nori, arame or kelp. Make sure you buy from a company that regularly tests its products for radiation and toxic metals. Kelp is particularly high in iodine and other nutrients too, but has a strong flavour and is best taken in capsule form. A McGill University study showed that seaweeds can reduce the amount of radioactive strontium absorbed by your gut by between 50 and 80%. They store happily in the cupboard for months, but stocks run out quickly, so get prepared, just in case.

4 Blue green algae and chlorella: binds to toxic substances, making it easier to excrete them from your body

5 Spirulina is an effective metal chelator. Check out which sells BioSuperfood, a spirulina combination which is iodine rich and binds with caesium-137, strontium-90 and postassium 40 and eliminates them from the body. Take 5 grams daily to reverse severe radiation poisoning.

6 Up your anti-oxidants. Radiation releases vast quantities of free radicals which damage DNA, protein and fats. Supplement with vitamins C, E and D and selenium, which are all powerful anti-oxidants that will help guard against free radicals and protect against radiation fallout and cancer. Eat more fruits and vegetables, particularly broccoli, cabbage, blueberries, sweet potatoes, cherries which have high levels of antioxidants. Fruit contains pectin, which reduces levels of cesium-137. Make sure, however, that your fresh produce is not already radiation contaminated.

Freeze dried products in powder form may be your best bet so add to your store in advance. Alpha lipoic acid protects against radiation damage. Cysteine, which is an amino acid, also wipes out free radicals. Supplement with papein, made from papaya. One study showed that lab rats dosed with papain survived a lethal dose of radiation that killed the control group. Beetroot reduces the effects of Cesium-137, and detoxifies the body. Radiation poisoning breaks down the bloods haemoglobin: beetroot rebuilds it.

7 Astragalus - a 2011 study carried out in China found that this herb increased the survival rates and immune strength of rats exposed to radiation. It also restored their DNA damage. So worth adding a bag to your nuclear disaster stores.

8 Visit a herbalist and get an anti-radiation tonic made up and at the ready. Dandelion, peppermint and chrysanthemum all detoxify. Ginkgo biloba reduces radiation levels after exposure. Holy basil or tulsi (ocimum basilicum) has anti-radiation effects and protects your bone marrow cells.

9 Buy a macrobiotic cookbook: When the bomb went off in 1945 in Nagasaki, Dr Akizuki at St Francis Hospital fed all his patients a combination of brown rice, miso soup, seaweed and sea salt to detox and reduce radiation levels. He kept them on a strict macrobiotic diet and saved every one of them while many other survivors in the city died from radiation sickness. The bacteria in Misko’s bean paste speed up healing, binding with the radiation and rapidly excreting it. (Must be made from non-genetically modified soybeans). Gomasio, made from un-hulled sesame seeds and salt, is a potent anti-radiation condiment. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon a day onto a bowl of organic brown rice.

10 Stock up on sea salt (not table salt) and add it to your bath. It will pull out radiation from your body and help the detoxification process. Soak for at least 30 minutes daily, and add in a cup of baking soda for a deeper detox. Baking soda also neutralises radiation. It binds with uranium and protects your kidneys from radiation damage.

11 DMSO is a sulphur compound that protects and detoxifies against radiation. It neutralises exposure from radio-isotopes. One Japanese study found that it protects both your DNA and cellular structure.

12 Bentonite clay, Fullers Earth or French Free clay all absorb radiation if taken internally.

13 Activated charcoal absorbs radiation and can neutralise up to 70% of its weight in radioactive toxins. 10 grams can neutralise up to 7 grams of toxic waste.

14 Bee pollen - this is a natural immune booster, and has been shown to lower the side effects of radiation exposure.

15 Try coconut oil pulling to detoxify from radiation. Or drink 4oz of the oil which will create a protective layer over your cellular membranes and bind any radioactive toxins to be more easily excreted from your body. Drink it as soon as possible after exposure. Olive oil will do something very similar.

16 Organic brewer’s yeast is said to protect against radiation damage and help with cellular repair. In case of exposure, the recommended amount is 15 to 45 mg for children and 75 to 150 mg for adults.

17 Organic Germanium-132 is a compound that soaks up radioactive rays, preventing them from damaging your cells and bloodstream. Recommended dosage 100 mg daily.

18 Rad-erase – This is a specially designed formula you can buy on the internet. Said to be the only product that eliminates radioisotopes and electro-pollution, the description specifically says for ‘ionising radiation including nuclear fallout and radiation smog.

19 And last but not least if you are thinking ahead – build a shelter. Avoiding nuclear fallout is the number one survival strategy. The thicker the walls between you and it, the better. No windows is best, so head for your basement if you have one. That should expose you to 1/200 of the outside radiation. Stay in your sitting room and you only cut the radiation by half. Steel or lead linings to your shelter reduce the levels further. Stay there as long as you can – the radiation from fallout decreases rapidly in the first hour and then more slowly. After 7 hours it will have fallen by 9/10th and after two days to one hundredth.

Best of luck. Get your radiation medicine chest at the ready and keep this post in your handbag. Let’s all pray you never need to get it out!

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Written by health advocate Sara Davenport, founder of one of the UK's leading breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Haven. With over twenty years' experience in holistic health, Sara's digital dose of wellness teaches you to listen to your body, tweak your lifestyle and improve your health. 

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