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Successful Strategies to fight Obesity and Weight Gain
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Radiation & Radioactive Nuclear Fallout Protection

      Warning - The recent accidents at the Japanese nuclear complex has caused a run on all iodine supplements and a depletion of supplies. At the time this is being written, all available information suggests that only very small trace of radioactive isotopes are reaching the USA, and they do not pose a measurable health threat. While there is no cause to panic, the recent run on and depletion of iodine supplements suggests that one should have enough stored to protect one's family in case of a more local accident. Most of the spent fuel rods and radioactive waste generated by domestic nuclear reactors is stored on site in the same manner that it is stored at Japanese reactors. If there is a more local accident, the next run on iodine supplements will be more dramatic than this one.

      With the cold war over, nuclear testing banned and nuclear power plants out of favor, we thought we were safe. Then came the threat of nuclear terrorism and a new threat of nuclear war waged by radicals and rogue states. And finally, accidents involving existing nuclear plants in Chernobyl and more recently in Japan. And the nuclear lobby is pushing hard to build more nuclear plants, presumably to combat global warming. Now we don't feel safe from radioactive fallout and nuclear hazards anymore.

      While the political prejudice, religious prejudice and greed of others may be beyond our influence as individuals, the ability to protect ourselves is within our reach. There are specific defensive measures that we can take to protect ourselves and minimize the harm from radiation exposure and radioactive fallout.

      Radioactive fallout exposure can come from inhalation and intake from contaminated water and food. When radioactive materials are taken into the body, they can be deposited in bones, glands and other tissues where they cause ongoing damage.

      There are many radioactive isotopes produced by nuclear reactors. Four isotopes of primary concern are: by nuclear reactions.

      Iodine - Radioactive iodine has a half life of 8.3 days. It is easily absorbed and concentrates in the thyroid gland and results in increased thyroid cancer and hypothyroid function. The treatment is to take a large dose of iodine either as potassium iodide, KI, or potassium iodate, KIO3. The strategy is to saturate the thyroid gland with iodine so that none of the radioactive material can be absorbed. This has proven effective but the timing of the dose is critical. It has to be taken before of at the time of initial exposure. Any iodine supplementation probably offers some protection with no risk and would seem to be a good idea. If you are on thyroid medication or have a thyroid condition or are pregnant or nursing, please contact your doctor before using iodine.

      Because iodine has a short half life, it will not linger in the environment for a long period of time. Nevertheless, many of the health problems that have been associated with the chernobyl accident have been attributed to radioactive iodine exposure.

      Strontium - Radioactive strontium has a half life of about 30 years so it hangs around for a while. It is chemically similar to calcium so it concentrates in the bones and contributes to bone cancer if the concentrations are high. The protective strategy is to take supplements of strontium and calcium to minimize any absorption of strontium from the environment.

      Cesium - Radioactive cesium also has a half life of around 30 years so it too hangs around for a while. It acts biologically in a manner similar to potassium. It concentrates in the muscles and soft tissues and can contribute to cancer if the concentration is high enough. Recent news articles show that cesium from the 1986 chernobyl accident is concentrating in the wild boars in German forests and causing the boars to be dangerously radioactive and unsafe to eat.

      Increasing potassium intake may be helpful. Potassium supplements are readily available but you can get a lot from bananas and especially potatoes. If you take potassium supplements, check with your doctor if you have a heart, blood pressure or kidney condition.

      Plutonium - Plutonium has a half life of about 2000 years, concentrates in the bone marrow and reproductive organs, and is chemically toxic in very low concentrations. The only real protection is to stay away from it.

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