Detoxify or Die: Natural Radiation Protection Therapies for Coping With the Fallout of the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown

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Foot-dragging in recognizing obvious problems and the resultant delays in preventing exposure and mitigating the effects lies at the door of nuclear power advocates more interested in preserving the status quo than in helping millions of innocent people who are suffering through no fault of their own. – Nesterenko, A. V., Nesterenko, V. B. and Yablokov, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.

Smoke ascends from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant's Unit 3 on Monday 14 after a second hydrogen explosion.

Smoke ascends from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant’s Unit 3 on Monday 14 after a second hydrogen explosion.

We have had conflicting reports from mainstream news sources regarding the nuclear emergency in Fukushima, Japan. Some say that it is not nearly as bad as the Chernobyl catastrophe, others say that it will be much worse than Chernobyl. What are we to make of this? Who can we trust?

With the current state of affairs, I think it is reasonable enough to expect and prepare for the worst, hope for the best and take what comes. It is with this state of mind that I set out to review the available literature about accessible and alternative therapies in case of nuclear disasters as well as data about the Chernobyl catastrophe. What I found was shocking enough but know that there is also well-documented essential knowledge that can protect you and your loved ones.

This article includes an overview of the publication Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment which appeared in Annals of the New York Academy (2009). The authors – Alexey V. Nesterenko (Institute of Radiation Safety (BELRAD), Belarus) and Alexey V. Yablokov (Russian Academy of Sciences) along with Vassily B. Nesterenko – synthesized information from several thousand cited scientific papers and other materials, including successful and widely available natural therapies that worked. There are also other numerous studies about alternative effective treatments in case of radiation. It will give you a clear idea of what to expect and what you can do in case of a nuclear disaster in Japan.

This is a matter that concerns all of us as no country in the world is capable of providing complete protection from radiation for those living in affected areas and from eating locally grown foods that are contaminated with radiation.

A Lesson from History or What to Expect: The Chernobyl Catastrophe

We have to look only as far back to Chernobyl to understand why we are having so many conflicting reports and little information about what is happening in Japan.

In the last days of spring and the beginning of summer of 1986, radioactivity was released from the Chernobyl power plant and fell upon hundreds of millions of people. The resulting levels of radionuclides were hundreds of times higher than that from the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

The normal lives of tens of millions were destroyed. Today, more than 6 million people live on land with dangerous levels of contamination. More than 20 years after the catastrophe, due to the natural migration of radionuclides, the dangerous consequences in these areas have not decreased, but have actually increased and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Authorities typically provided the least possible financial means for detoxification therapies and disaster control while they denied the facts and documented data concerning dangerous levels of radiation among the population, in foods and the environment.

Sound familiar? This attitude has been the norm rather than the exception.

As a result of the catastrophe, 40% of Europe was contaminated with dangerous radioactivity. Asia and North America were also exposed to significant amounts of radioactive fallout. According to Yablokov et al., the claim by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), and several other groups that the Chernobyl radioactive fallout added “only” 2% to the natural radioactive background ignores several facts:

“First, many territories continue to have dangerously high levels of radiation. Second, high levels of radiation were spread far and wide in the first weeks after the catastrophe. Third, there will be decades of chronic, low-level contamination after the catastrophe. Fourth, every increase in nuclear radiation has an effect on both somatic [body] and reproductive cells of all living things.”

Another important lesson from the Chernobyl experience is that experts and organizations tied to the nuclear industry have dismissed and ignored the consequences of the catastrophe. It was only after 8 or 9 years from the catastrophe that the medical authorities began to finally admit the universal increase in cataracts among the population. The same occurred with thyroid cancer, leukemia and organic central nervous system disorders.

In addition to that, it is known that the percentage of food products with radioactive contamination in excess of official permissible levels did not decrease for 14 years after the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. On the contrary, this percentage began to increase in 1996. In spite of official secrecy, the full picture of Chernobyl food contamination in countries as far away as the United States has finally begun to emerge:

“Many people suffer from continuing chronic low-dose radiation 23 years after the catastrophe, owing primarily to consumption of radioactively contaminated food. An important consideration is the fact that given an identical diet, a child’s radiation exposure is three- to fivefold higher than that of an adult. Since more than 90% of the radiation burden nowadays is due to Caesium-137, which has a half-life of about 30 years, contaminated areas will continue to be dangerously radioactive for roughly the next three centuries.

“When children have the same menu as adults, they get up to five times higher dose burdens from locally produced foodstuffs because of their lower weight and more active processes of metabolism. Children living in rural villages have a dose burden five to six times higher than city children of the same age.

“Daily exposure to small amounts of radionuclides (mostly Cs-137) is virtually unavoidable as they get into the body with food (up to 94%), with drinking water (up to 5%), and through the air (about 1%). Accumulation of radionuclides in the body is dangerous, primarily for children, and for those living in the contaminated territories where there are high levels of Cs-137 in local foodstuffs. The incorporation of radionuclides is now the primary cause of the deterioration of public health in the contaminated territories.

“Experience has shown that existing official radioactive monitoring systems are inadequate (not only in the countries of the Former Soviet Union). Generally, the systems cover territories selectively, do not measure each person, and often conceal important facts when releasing information. The common factor among all governments is to minimize spending for which they are not directly responsible, such as the Chernobyl meltdown, which occurred 23 years ago. Thus officials are not eager to obtain objective data of radioactive contamination of communities, individuals, or food.

“We have to take responsibility not only for our own health, but for the health of future generations of humans, plants, and animals, which can be harmed by mutations resulting from exposure to even the smallest amount of radioactive contamination. [Nesterenko, A. V., Nesterenko, V. B. and Yablokov]

Chernobyl Disaster

All people living in territories heavily contaminated by Chernobyl fallout continue to be exposed to low doses of chronic radiation. Without special equipment to identify levels of environmental contamination, it is impossible to know what radionuclide levels are in our food and water or have been incorporated into our bodies.

The radioactive elements Caesium-137 (Cs-137), Strontium-90 (Sr-90), Plutonium (Pu), and Americium (Am) released in Chernobyl concentrate in the roots of plants and it is now known that they will continue to be mobilized for decades, even up to several hundreds of years into the future. Agricultural products have contained – and will continue to contain – radioactivity in all of the Northern Hemisphere countries contaminated by Chernobyl.

The level of radionuclide incorporation in our bodies varies according to each organ. In Chernobyl the most affected organs (from autopsies) were the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands, the pancreas, the thymus, the skeletal muscle, the spleen, the heart and the liver (in decreasing order).

The thyroid gland is the most affected since radioactive iodine (Iodine-131) binds to it, making supplemental non-radioactive iodine a key therapy in the case of nuclear radiation. The natural iodine will bind to the thyroid, blocking the radioactive iodine from binding to it. The affliction of the adrenals is worthy of attention, since there were many “new” diseases that emerged after the Chernobyl disaster whose symptoms resemble those of adrenal fatigue.

The total Chernobyl death toll for the period from 1987 to 2004 has reached nearly 417,000 in other parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and nearly 170,000 in North America, accounting for nearly 824,000 deaths worldwide. This number of Chernobyl victims will continue to increase for several generations.

A Note on Radiation

Radiation poisoning damages organ tissues by excessive exposure to ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation consists of particles or electromagnetic waves that are energetic enough to detach electrons from atoms or molecules, thus ionizing them. Direct ionization from the effects of single particles or single photons produces free radicals, which are atoms or molecules containing unpaired electrons, and which tend to be especially chemically reactive due to their electronic structure.

This means that they become chemically unstable and highly reactive ions as free radicals are formed. These unstable metabolic by-products strive to stabilize by ‘stealing’ a replacement electron from any neighboring molecule, leaving even more damaged molecules in their wake. This is how free radicals in our bodies are produced and cause inflammation, a process that is best known as oxidative stress, oxidative damage or lipid perodixation. Oxidation can even cause debilitating changes to your DNA. This is why anti-oxidants are so important. Antioxidants help to counteract or neutralize the free radicals before they can damage our healthy cells by lending a hand (actually, an electron) when stabilization is needed. This is the reason why we are fond of so many antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, carotenoids, resveratrol, taurine, coenzyme Q10 and melatonin, to name but a few.

Medical Syndromes

Nuclear or ionizing radiation that penetrates the body can affect your body in a number of different ways, and the adverse health effects of extreme radiation exposure may not be apparent for many years.

Among the specific health disorders associated with Chernobyl radiation there was increased morbidity and prevalence of the following groups of diseases:

  • Circulatory system (owing primarily to radioactive destruction of the endothelium, the internal lining of the blood vessels).
  • Endocrine system (especially nonmalignant thyroid problems).
  • Immune system (“Chernobyl AIDS,” increased incidence and seriousness of all illnesses).
  • Respiratory system.
  • Urogenital tract and reproductive disorders.
  • Musculoskeletal system (including pathologic changes in the structure and composition of bones: osteopenia and osteoporosis).
  • Central nervous system (changes in frontal, temporal, and occipitoparietal lobes of the brain, leading to diminished intelligence and behavioral and mental disorders).
  • Eyes (cataracts, vitreous destruction, refraction anomalies, and conjunctive disorders).
  • Digestive tract.
  • Congenital malformations and anomalies (including previously rare multiple defects of limbs and head).
  • Thyroid cancer (All forecasts concerning this cancer have been erroneous; Chernobyl-related thyroid cancers have rapid onset and aggressive development, striking both children and adults. After surgery the person becomes dependent on replacement hormone medication for life.)
  • Leukemia (blood cancers) not only in children and liquidators, but in the general adult population of contaminated territories.
  • Other malignant neoplasms.

[Nesterenko, A. V., Nesterenko, V. B. and Yablokov, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.]

Other health consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe include:

  • Changes in the body’s biological balance, leading to increased numbers of serious illnesses owing to intestinal toxicoses, bacterial infections, and sepsis.
  • Intensified infectious and parasitic diseases (e.g., viral hepatitis and respiratory viruses).
  • Increased incidence of health disorders in children born to radiated parents (both to liquidators and to individuals who left the contaminated territories), especially those radiated in utero. These disorders, involving practically all the body’s organs and systems, also include genetic changes.
  • Catastrophic state of health of liquidators (especially liquidators who worked in 1986 – 1987).
  • Premature aging in both adults and children.
  • Increased incidence of multiple somatic and genetic mutations.

Chernobyl actually “enriched” the medical vocabulary with such terms as “cancer rejuvenescence,” as well as three new syndromes:

  • “Vegetovascular dystonia” – dysfunctional regulation of the nervous system involving cardiovascular and other organs (also called autonomic nervous system dysfunction), with clinical signs that present against a background of stress.
  • “Incorporated long-life radionuclides” – functional and structural disorders of the cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, reproductive, and other systems owing to absorbed radionuclides.
  • “Acute inhalation lesions of the upper respiratory tract” – a combination of a rhinitis, throat tickling, dry cough, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath owing to the effect of inhaled radionuclides, including “hot particles.”

[Nesterenko, A. V., Nesterenko, V. B. and Yablokov, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.]

Several other new syndromes, reflecting increased incidence of some illnesses, appeared after Chernobyl. Among them:

  • “Chronic fatigue syndrome” – excessive and unrelieved fatigue, fatigue without obvious cause, periodic depression, memory loss, diffuse muscular and joint pains, chills and fever, frequent mood changes, cervical lymph node sensitivity, weight loss; it is also often associated with immune system dysfunction and CNS disorders.
  • “Lingering radiating illness syndrome” – a combination of excessive fatigue, dizziness, trembling, and back pain.
  • “Early aging syndrome” – a divergence between physical and chronological age with illnesses characteristic of the elderly occurring at an early age.

Specific Chernobyl syndromes such as “radiation in utero“, “Chernobyl AIDS”, “Chernobyl heart”, “Chernobyl limbs,” and others await more detailed and definitive medical descriptions.

But deterioration of public health (especially of children) in the Chernobyl-contaminated territories 23 years after the catastrophe is not due to psychological stress or radiophobia, or from resettlement… it is mostly and primarily due to Chernobyl irradiation. Other than the first powerful shock in 1986 there is the continual chronic low-dose and low-dose-rate radionuclide exposure.

Psychological factors (“radiation phobia”) simply have no bearing on the pathologies described because morbidity continued to increase for some years after the catastrophe, whereas radiation concerns have decreased.

Infections on the Rise

There is evidence of increased incidence and severity of diseases characterized by intestinal toxicoses, gastroenteritis, bacterial sepsis, viral hepatitis, and respiratory viruses in areas contaminated by Chernobyl radionuclides (Batyan and Kozharskaya, 1993; Kapytonova and Kryvitskaya, 1994; Nesterenko et al., 1993; Busuet at al., 2002; and others). Genetic instability markedly increased in the contaminated territories and has resulted in increased sensitivity to viral and other types of infections (Vorobtsova et al., 1995).

Chernobyl children

Whether activation and dispersion of dangerous infections is due to mutational changes in the microorganisms (which render them more pathogenic), impaired immunological defenses in the populations, or a combination of both, has not yet been fully answered.

One gram of soil contains some 2,500,000,000 microorganisms (bacteria, microfungi, and protozoa). Up to 3 kg of the mass of an adult human body is made up of bacteria, viruses, and microfungi. In spite of the fact that these represent such important and fundamentally live ecosystems, there are only scarce data on the various microbiological consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe. – Nesterenko, A. V., Nesterenko, V. B. and Yablokov

There was activation of retroviruses (Kavsan et al., 1992). Tuberculosis became more virulent in the more contaminated areas of Belarus (Chernetsky and Osynovsky, 1993; Belookaya, 1993; Borschevsky et al., 1996). From 1993 to 1997 the hepatitis viruses B, C, D, and G became noticeably activated in the heavily contaminated areas of Belarus (Zhavoronok et al., 1998a,b). Herpes viruses were activated in the heavily contaminated territories of Belarus 6 to 7 years after the catastrophe (Matveev, 1993; Matveev et al., 1995; Voropaev et al., 1996). Among soil bacteria that most actively accumulate Cs-137 are Agrobacterium sp., Enterobacter sp. and Klebsiella sp. Sharp reduction in the abundance of healthy gut bacteria (bifidus bacteria) and the prevalence of microbes of the class Escherichia; in particular, a sharp increase in E. coli has been noted in the intestines of evacuee children living in Ukraine.

All microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa) and microbiological communities as a whole undergo rapid changes after any additional irradiation. The mechanism of such changes is well known: inclusion and increase in the frequency of mutations by natural selection and preservation of beneficial novel genes that for whatever reason appear more viable under the new conditions. This microevolutionary mechanism has been activated in all radioactively contaminated areas and leads to activation of old and the occurrence of new forms of viruses and bacteria. All but a few microorganisms that have been studied in Chernobyl-affected territories underwent rapid changes in heavily contaminated areas.

Our contemporary knowledge is too limited to understand even the main consequences of the inevitable radioactive-induced genetic changes among the myriad of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi that inhabit the intestines, lungs, blood, organs, and cells of human beings. The strong association between carcinogenesis and viruses (papilloma virus, hepatitis virus, Helicobacter pylori, Epstein – Barr virus, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and herpes virus) provides another reason why the cancer rate increased in areas contaminated by Chernobyl irradiation (for a review, see Sreelekha et al., 2003).

Not only cancer, but also many other illnesses are connected with viruses and bacteria. Radiologically induced pathologic changes in the microflora in humans can increase susceptibility to infections, inflammatory diseases of bacterial and viral origin (influenza, chronic intestinal diseases, pyelonephritis, cystitis, vaginitis, endocolitis, asthma, dermatitis, and ischemia), and various pathologies of pregnancy.

The long-term consequences for microbial biota may be worse than what we understand today.

– Nesterenko, A. V., Nesterenko, V. B. and Yablokov

A Note on Environmental Consequences

All the initial forecasts of rapid clearance or decay of the Chernobyl radionuclides from ecosystems were wrong, it is now known that they are taking much longer than predicted because they recirculate. The overall state of the contamination in water, air, and soil appears to fluctuate greatly and the dynamics of Sr-90, Cs-137, Pu, and Am contamination still present surprises to Chernobyl scientists.

“As a result of the accumulation of Cs-137, Sr-90, Pu, and Am in the root soil layer, radionuclides have continued to build in plants over recent years. Moving with water to the above-ground parts of plants, the radionuclides (which earlier had disappeared from the surface) concentrate in the edible components, resulting in increased levels of internal irradiation and dose rate in people, despite decreasing total amounts of radionuclides from natural disintegration over time.

“In 1986 the levels of irradiation in plants and animals in Western Europe, North America, the Arctic, and eastern Asia were sometimes hundreds and even thousands of times above acceptable norms. The initial pulse of high-level irradiation followed by exposure to chronic low-level radionuclides has resulted in morphological, physiological, and genetic disorders in all the living organisms in contaminated areas that have been studied – plants, mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, bacteria, and viruses.

“What happened to voles and frogs in the Chernobyl zone shows what can happen to humans in coming generations: increasing mutation rates, increasing morbidity and mortality, reduced life expectancy, decreased intensity of reproduction, and changes in male/female sex ratios.

[Nesterenko, A. V., Nesterenko, V. B. and Yablokov, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.]

Proven Effective Detox Protocols

The therapies described here are widely available as over-the-counter supplements in most countries.

Green stuff and other sea food

In Chernobyl, 5 grams of spirulina for 45 days was used successfully against radiation poisoning. Chlorella algae also has shown radio-protective effects. A study showed that spirulina reduced urine radioactivity levels by 50% after only 20 days and so the Institute of Radiation Safety in Belarus developed a special program to treat 100 children every 20 days with spirulina. Furthermore, the healing occurred during the continuous presence of radiation as well as the presence of radiation contaminated food and water sources. In particular, spirulina given to children with accumulated high doses of radionuclides reduced radioactive cesium. No side effects were registered. Only buy spirulina or chlorella from a certified heavy-metal free source.

Studies on sea vegetables with sodium alginate have shown that they selectively bound with radioactive strontium and eliminated it from the body. Sodium alginate is found in many seaweeds, especially kelp. Sodium alginate binds tightly to such substances as strontium, calcium, barium, cadmium and radium. Some seaweeds are contaminated with lead or arsenic so you only want to consume seaweed that is deep ocean harvested or has been tested to be free of metal toxicity (such as kelp from the west coast of South Africa).

Black and green tea have shown radioprotective effects when taken either before or after exposure to radiation. This anti-radiation effect was observed in several Japanese studies, and studies from China also suggest that the ingredients in tea are radioactive antagonists. Tea catechins are associated with antioxidant properties and can have radio-protective effects when taken both before and after irradiation.

Kelp also has organic iodine which will saturate the thyroid so radioactive iodine will not be absorbed. You can take 1 or 2 tsp or 5 to 10 tablets.


Pectin is one of the most effective means of protecting against radiation when consumption of contaminated food becomes unavoidable. Pectin preparations, along with vitamins and minerals, have demonstrated a high efficiency in eliminating incorporated radionuclides. The recommended dose is 5 grams once or twice a day for one month, 4 times a year.

“In 1999 BELRAD together with “Hermes” Hmbh (Munich, Germany) developed a composition of apple pectin additives known as Vitapect® powder, made up of pectin (concentration 18 – 20%) supplemented with vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, beta-carotene, folic acid; the trace elements K, Zn, Fe, and Ca; and flavoring. BELRAD has been producing this food additive, which has been approved by the Belarussian Ministry of Health, since 2000.

“The pectin additive Vitapect with clean nutrition appears to be 50% more effective in decreasing the levels of Cs-137 than clean nutrition alone (Nesterenko et al., 2004).

“A clinical study of 94 children, 7 to 17 years of age, divided into two groups according to their initial level of Cs-137 contamination determined by whole body counting (WBC) and given Vitapect orally for 16 days (5 g twice a day) revealed both a significant decrease in incorporated Cs-137 and marked improvement in their electrocardiograms.

“From 1996 to 2007 a total of more than 160,000 Belarussian children received pectin food additives during 18 to 25 days of treatment (5g twice a day). As a result, levels of Cs-137 in children’s organs decreased after each course of pectin additives by an average of 30 to 40%.

“Based on long-term experience, the BELRAD Institute recommends that all children living in radioactive contaminated territories receive a quadruple course of oral pectin food additives annually along with their conventional food ration. Eleven years of BELRAD’s activities in controlling levels of incorporated Cs-137 in more than 327,000 children has not caused alarm in the population or radiophobia and has led to the spread of knowledge concerning radiation protection and an increased sense of personal responsibility for one’s health.”

[Nesterenko, A. V., Nesterenko, V. B. and Yablokov, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.]

Antioxidants and Sulfur Compounds

DMSO is available in various formats.

Sulfur has a long history of use as an antidote for acute exposure to radioactive material. Antioxidants have the capacity to reduce toxic effects of radiation in our bodies. Early research identified sulfur-containing antioxidants as among those with the most beneficial therapeutic effects.

Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) is the classical sulfur compound and a powerful anti-oxidant, exactly what we need for detoxification and protection from radiation. A Japanese study showed that even low concentrations of DMSO had radio-protective effects through the facilitation of DNA double-strand break repair, providing protection against radiation damage at all cellular levels in the whole body. The information and experience on DMSO is so fascinating that it can be described only as miraculous. Due to its importance, we have dedicated an entire article to it. See DMSO: The Antidote for Radiation Poisoning.

The use of anti-oxidants such as alpha lipoic acid, Vitamin E, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin B, selenium, N-acetylcysteine and other sulfur compounds becomes crucial. It is important to use several of them, as they work best as a team. In addition to that, individual anti-oxidants can act as pro-oxidants when they themselves are oxidized, therefore individual anti-oxidants could enhance the progression of post-irradiation damage to tissues and organs. Several studies have shown the importance of anti-oxidant supplementation to be an effective therapy against radiation hazards.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a crucial supplement. It is water and fat soluble and it is also capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. This means that it is capable of reaching and preventing damage in our fatty tissues, our brains, and every single organ for that matter. ALA also repairs DNA. It is a good heavy metal chelator, it protects the heart and brain from cell death, stimulates the regeneration of liver tissue and is rapidly absorbed high up into the digestive tract. ALA recycles other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione which is an indispensable antioxidant for detoxification and is synthesized within the mitochondrion. Glutathione may not reliably be augmented by oral supplementation because it cannot always pass over the mitochondrial membrane, therefore it must be synthesized within the mitochondrion. ALA and its metabolite DHLA provoke the cell to produce significantly higher levels of glutathione (even by 70%). So if the glutathione levels in a cell are kept up to a satisfactory level by ALA, even if the cell is poisoned, the cell will have a better chance of recovering instead of dying. It is of critical importance in order to reduce or reverse radiation-induced oxidative damage after radiotherapy. The recommended dose of ALA is 100mg twice a day with meals, although others have used higher doses of between 300mg and 600mg. A study conducted on some of those who worked on the Chernobyl clean-up operation 10 years after the accident showed that 600 mg of lipoic acid for two months was able to normalize many, but not all, of their lab abnormalities.

The anti-oxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), as a source of glutathione and sulfur, is an excellent supplement to take. Studies have suggested that it might prove efficient in saving individuals exposed to lethal and sub-lethal radiation doses with few or no side effects on individuals exposed to lower doses. It is also widely available. Around 500mg twice a day is a good dose, although some have used with great success around 5 grams of NAC (per day, in a hospital setting) in 7 day cycles in order to detoxify heavy metals.

Other important supplements include magnesium and vitamin C. For more information on the many forms of magnesium and dose recommendation, see here. Calcium and magnesium both help your body to pass off Strontium 90, but make sure to take enough magnesium in order to properly metabolize the levels of calcium.

For vitamin C (ascorbic acid), 1-4 grams as a daily maintenance is a good dose, but during detox or acute exposure, more will probably be required. Vitamin C cannot only protect against radiation but also repair damage from previous exposure. It will also be very handy in case of infections. You can try taking 4 grams of vitamin C 3 times per day. If you have diarrhea or abdominal bloating, cut out one dose. If there are no signs of intestinal “gurgles”, you can increase your dose throughout the day.

Consider taking also a good B complex which help to normalize the red and white blood cell count, since the destruction of white blood cells by radiation can last for extended periods of time.

Vitamin E 800-1000 IU per day and selenium 200 mcg per day are also important since radiation studies support evidence for the synergistic effects of vitamin E and Selenium in protecting from oxidative damage.

Zinc has been successfully used to chelate americium-241 from a nuclear accident victim. Natural zinc will also help the body eliminate several toxic heavy metals including cadmium, aluminum and lead. The recommended dose is 50 mg per day. You might want to supplement yourself with a good mineral complex in order to avoid deficiencies or imbalances brought on by increasing your zinc intake.

If there is a deficiency in potassium , radionuclides like cesium-137, cesium-134, potassium-40 and potassium-42, are absorbed through selective uptake. Too much potassium supplementation can be dangerous, so make sure to follow label instructions.

Melatonin, other than being our “sleeping hormone”, also has powerful antioxidant properties. Animals subjected to whole-body irradiation and given melatonin exhibited increased survival and the protection against radiation-induced oxidative damage was apparent throughout the body. More importantly, melatonin administered orally results in higher circulating levels and more rapidly increasing tissue concentrations. As soon as an exposure occurs, depending on the wind direction after radiation explosion, people living at a distance could protect themselves by oral administration of melatonin, which can be ingested repeatedly as required.

Curcumin is a naturally occurring compound contained in the spice turmeric. Curcumin has been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activity in a variety of animal models of human diseases including radiation-induced pulmonary diseases.

Breathing and meditation techniques

The Éiriú Eolas Healing and Rejuvenation program is a key ingredient in detoxing

The proven and effective Éiriú Eolas program includes well-known stress control techniques that stimulate the vagus nerve, which then activates the parasympathetic system which is a powerful anti-inflammatory system. It also includes well known emotional releasing techniques. It can be applied to improve symptoms associated with breathing difficulties, autoimmune diseases and mood problems. It reduces oxidative stress with an improvement of the overall antioxidant status, and thus it has application in numerous diseases including, chronic radioactive exposure.

There is no question but that social and economic factors are dire for those sick from radiation. Sickness, deformed and impaired children, death of family and friends, loss of home and treasured possessions, loss of work, and dislocation are serious financial and mental stresses. – Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko.

During the breathing exercises and the meditation portion of the program, levels of the anti-stress hormones GABA, melatonin, and serotonin are increased, and levels of the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine are decreased. Learn more about the many benefits of this program here. The program is available for free at


There are several simple cooking techniques that decrease radionuclides: boil foods several times and discard the water, wash food thoroughly, soak some foods and discard the water, avoid the peels of fruits and vegetables, salt and pickle some foods but throw away the pickling juice! Avoid eating strong broths, use butter, etc.

Remember that another way of boosting your body’s detox capabilities and overall anti-oxidant levels is through the foods we eat which then become key to survival in these stressful times. Being on a detox diet is crucial to regaining health in a toxic environment. Our extensive experience and research shows that those on a no grain/low carb (no gluten) and non dairy diet fare MUCH better.

Chronic ailments often involves an imbalanced immune/defense system in which food sensitivities are involved even if they are not the cause of the problem, leading in turn to chronic inflammation – which translates into disease. This is why it is important to undergo an elimination diet in order to balance the body’s immune system. Some of our immune cells take 6 months to regenerate, so it can take that much time in order to see results if you are very sick. But often you can see positive results in the first two weeks on an appropriate diet, even when you can’t afford any other detox therapies. You can find the diet and how to transition to it here.

Everyone is different and it is only by testing foods that we can discern our individual problematic foods. Having said that, no one should be eating cereals or dairy products or high processed foods because the human system is simply not constructed to digest them properly. What we eat is crucial in recovering our health and it is a great healing medicine when done correctly.

Garlic and onions, being sulfur containing foods, help bind and deactivate both the radioactive isotopes and toxic metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. The sulfur will help the kidneys and liver detoxify the body.

The most direct way of decreasing radionuclide intake is to avoid foods that are potentially heavily contaminated and to consume foodstuffs with lower levels. However, this is not easy to do because the average level of radionuclide bio-accumulation differs in each region owing to differences in soils, agricultural techniques, etc.

The Chernobyl experience tells us that soaking in water, boiling, salting and pickling foods such as vegetables can decrease the amount of radionuclides in some foods several-fold. Milk always contains high levels of radiation; processed products that reduce contamination levels, such as butter and ghee butter, are safer.

Radionuclide concentrations in the visceral organs of animals are usually significantly higher than in muscle tissue. Among visceral organs the order of decreasing levels of Cs-137 is: lung > kidney > liver > fat.

The Chernobyl experience showed that in contaminated territories the same species of fish taken from rivers and streams have significantly lower radionuclide levels than those from lakes and ponds. Plant feeding fish had three to four times lower radionuclide levels than predatory species (catfish, pike, etc.). Fishes at lower levels of the ocean (crucian, tench, etc.) had several times more contamination than fish which live in the top water layers (small fry, chub, etc.).

It is very important to avoid radionuclides in food and if they are consumed to try to eliminate them from the body as quickly as possible. In a baby, the biological half-life of Cs-137 is 14 days; for a 5-year old it is 21 days; for a 10-year old, 49 days; for teenagers, about 90 days; and for a young male, about 100 days (Nesterenko, 1997).

From the Chernobyl experience, the order of decreasing levels of Cs-137 were: chicken > beef > lamb > pork. Meats from older animals have more radionuclides that meat from younger ones owing to accumulation over time. Bones of young animals have more Sr-90. Eggs: shell > egg-white > yolk.

Pork and fats were not only the safest, they also prove to be a very healthy option for detox and healing purposes. For more information, see ‘I have high cholesterol, and I don’t care‘.

The biological properties of Cs-137 are similar to those of stable potassium and Rubidium, and Sr-90 and Pu are similar to calcium. These properties determine where they concentrate in the body so the use of stable elements may help to decrease the absorption of radionuclides.

Foods rich in potassium include potatoes, beets, raisins, dried apricots, bananas, tea, nuts, lemons, and dried plums. Calcium rich foods include butter and ghee butter, eggs, horseradish, green onions, turnip, parsley, dill, and spinach. Green vegetables, apples, sunflower seeds, black chokeberries are rich in iron; and Rubidium is found in red grapes.

A diet to protect against radioactive contamination should include uncontaminated fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in pectin such as apples to promote the rapid elimination of radionuclides.

Sleeping in Total Darkness

Low melatonin production leaves you not only susceptible to radiation damage, but it also leaves you vulnerable to accelerated aging, depression, weight gain. People with lower levels of melatonin have lower immune/defense function, less antioxidant activity and accelerated cancer cell proliferation, and they also tend to have more unhealthy imbalances in gut bacteria. But sleeping in total darkness is a natural way of enhancing the secretion of melatonin during the night. The room where you sleep has to be completely dark to the point of not been able to see anything. If lights seeps underneath your door, put a towel along the base. Cover your electric clock radio with something. Even the smallest light can decrease melatonin secretion, even if you’re not able to see it with your own eyes.


Natural zeolites (i.e., those found in volcanogenic sedimentary rocks) is a mineral which possesses attractive properties that contribute directly to their use in the extraction of Cs and Sr from nuclear wastes and the mitigation of radioactive fallout, but also as a dietary supplement for heavy metal detoxification. It also has anti-bacterial properties and it stimulates the immune system. It was used during successfully during Chernobyl.

Organic Germanium (Ge-132) protects cells exposed to cesium-137 without affecting cellular growth or survival. 25 mg to 100 mg per day has been typically used. (My favorite colon cleanser has organic germanium on it).

Activated charcoal has the ability to absorb and neutralize radioactive substances and some toxic materials. Researchers report that 10 grams or 1 tablespoon of charcoal can absorb about 3 to 7 grams of materials.

There are excellent articles out there focusing on iodine, clays, magnesium therapies and sodium bicarbonate. For more information, see:

Treatments for Nuclear Contamination

Iodine Treatments for Radiation Exposure – Radioprotective

All this information will help you to not only protect yourself from chronic radiation exposure, but it will also help you to regain your health by improving your mood and mental functions in these crucial and stressful times.


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  1. Rich Shamon  April 1, 2011

    Potassium iodide does not protect the body from the acute effects radiation has on the bone marrow. Dr. Grace, founder of ActoKine Therapeutics ( has identified AK-1 that protects against acute radiation damage through the induction of intracellular protective proteins.

  2. Kelly Ann Thomas  April 17, 2011

    Thank you for a very informative article. I have a question that hasn’t been answered: If we have no choice but to consume food contaminated with radiation, will we still get the anti-oxidant benefits from the food?

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  April 17, 2011

      That is a good point Kelly. I think you will still be able to get some nutrition from that food, but you have to choose it very carefully.

      Our research and experience shows that there is a significant benefit in a low carbohydrate and gluten and dairy free diet. It not only minimizes toxic exposure, but it also helps to balance our metabolism, promoting healing and well-being.

      One may argue that eating meat will eventually increase the exposure to cesium levels, but that is unavoidable in a world polluted with radiation. It is also possible to minimize radioactive cesium’s detrimental effect by taking some kind of supplementation like pectin or spirulina. Vitamin C and magnesium are also a must have.

      There were 2053 nuclear bomb testings between the 1945 and 1998 ( and very few people had taken into consideration the deterioration on health problems due to nuclear testings.

  3. Adam  June 5, 2011

    Would this protocol be the same for hep c patients. Liver inflamation? I’m guessing it would be. Thanks

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  June 5, 2011

      Hi Adams,

      Yes, especially liver protecting supplements such as alpha lipoic acid (very important in hep. C) and milk thistle as well.


  4. Bob  August 28, 2013

    Very good info but how do you know if your air were you live or the food you eat has radiation?

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  August 29, 2013

      It is probably best to assume it is radiated, but I would try to keep perspective and make an effort towards doing some detoxing and eating as physiologically as possible in order to help out the body. Professor Chris Brusby, Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, explains that we are probably only looking at the tip of a very nasty radioactive iceberg. In a meeting which took place in Stockholm 2009, he said:

      “The global death yield of the nuclear age to 1992 has been horrifying. According to objective calculations by the European Committee on Radiation Risk (using weapons fallout radiation exposure) there have been (up to 2003) 61 million cancer deaths; 1,600,000 infant deaths; 1,880,000 fetal deaths. There has been a loss of life quality of 10% (in terms of illnesses and ageing effects). The blame for this can be squarely placed at the door of those scientists and administrators (WHO, UNSCEAR, ICRP) who developed and supported the scientific risk models. This is a war crime far greater in magnitude than any that has occurred in recorded human history.”

  5. Damian  December 18, 2013

    Hi Gabriela, Thank you very much for this excellent article.
    I will be travelling to Hokkaido Japan next week to visit relatives and will be definitely be taking precautions to reduce the impact of any exposure to radiation.
    I am scared about going there, just as I am scared for my family who cannot leave their home.
    Like most of the population there, they have either been misled or misinformed by the powers that be, on the dangers of radiation.
    Is there any information in Japanese, that you know of, that I can present to them to better inform them of the inherent dangers they face from this catastrophe ?

  6. William  December 20, 2013

    Hello Gabriela,

    You write that for pickled foods we should “throw away the pickling juice”. Why? I regularly purchase fermented vegetables as a source of probiotics and I don’t like to see the brine go to waste, as it must also be rich in probiotics.

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  December 20, 2013

      Hi William,

      I love brine too, these are tips specifically dealing with radiation and it is based on information from Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment. Some foods, as lovely as they were, did concentrate more radiation.

  7. William  March 18, 2014

    Dr. Segura,

    Thank you for your reply. You seem to be encouraging me to refer to the article. Perhaps I can find it through my library’s online academic journal resources.

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  March 18, 2014

      It is a good source to have, if you can get a hold of it, you’ll have a mine of information.


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