By Carl Robinson, MH
Radio isotopes, such as uranium derivatives, are even more dense and heavier than iodine, which is why radiation spillage/blooms into the environment are such a critical event since the heavy radio isotopes have a profound affinity for the heavy iodine element – a sort of "likes attracts likes" scenario. Here the "two edged sword" quality of iodine really manifests itself. Iodine has a strong affinity for radio isotopes, and, iodine also has a strong affinity for the tissue proteins of the body, provided the iodine is able to embed itself into those tissues protein matrix and not be displaced by the other halogen group of elements (e.g. bromine, chlorine and fluorine) that undermine iodine tissue bonding.
If the tissues of the body, especially the thyroid gland, are not saturated with adequate amounts of tissue-bound iodine those tissues are not capable of turning away the heavier radio isotope, many already bound with free iodine in the body's fluid systems, and those toxic molecules will have easy passage into the tissues and once tissue invasion takes place the much heavier radio isotopes and radio-bound iodine is difficult to remove, including the accompanying toxicity and problems.
If the body should be subjected to an incursion of radio isotopes/radio-bound iodine and intrinsic iodine saturation is already present in the tissues of the body, especially the thyroid, the combination of the pre-saturation of iodine (called "Iodine Loading") and the cells own intrinsic biological processes are able to block radiation and accompanying radio-bound iodine from entering the tissues, this allows the body to keep toxic molecules in a free unbound state and eliminate them from the body via its elimination systems.
In fact, if the body has high tissue levels of iodine to the point of saturation, continued intake of iodine will allow the free iodine/iodide to act as a sort of "chelator" wherein the free iodine will bind with radio isotopes and in turn carry the radiation out of the body.
This phenomenon of the free body-wise iodide letting go of a mineral carrier it is bound to in favor of bonding to the radio isotope is due to the stronger attraction the iodine has for a radio isotope as opposed to the former lesser attraction the iodine, as a body-wise iodide, had for the mineral (e.g. potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, etc).
This is not to say that free radio-bound iodine circulating throughout the body will not have some effect on tissues it comes into contact with, but because tissues are pre-saturated with tissue-bound iodine and the radio isotope/radio-bound iodine is blocked from entering 'into' the cellular matrix of the tissues, the eliminatory systems of the body are able to expel radio isotopes and radio-bound iodine from the body. This is why pre-saturation of the body's tissues, especially the thyroid, are essential to dealing with and eliminating radio isotope incursions into the body.
Fact is, our environment has much higher levels of radio isotopes and radiation particulates than prior to the "Atomic Age". In fact, the height of the "Industrial Age" (early 1900's) was the beginning of radiation residue and its effects making its way into the atmosphere, water shed and ground water supplies. The problem is not sudden but has been building for generations as a result of the compounding effects of BOTH environmental phenomena (volcanic eruptions being one) and industrial waste/after effects.
The world's humanity has seen a steady increase in environmental radiation levels, both environmental and man-made, for well over a century now, that went exponential during the 1950's and 1960's due to surface (both land and oceans) and underground nuclear explosions, and high atmosphere detonated atomic weapons testing (which ironically was done solely by the United States) that ripped and thinned the ionosphere and spewed radio isotopes onto the high altitude jet streams, all while world-wide human tissue iodine levels have concurrently experienced a steady and precipitous decline.
This is why a catastrophic radiation spillage/bloom is considered a tipping point of consternation for a major health crisis (that is also a national security issue) for people in the path of the after effects of a catastrophic radiation event. It's like adding insult to an already festering injury.
I believe this is why populations who suspect they are in the path of a catastrophic radiation event or will be affected by such an event now intrinsically know the need to not wait for an arrival of radiation before they do something, but take immediate action to procure a source of adequate iodine supplementation to begin the process of iodine loading their bodies with a safe and effective form of iodine. Sadly, governments tend to minimalize such impending crisis, typically for stated 'national security' reasons, and as such a critical timeline passes for effective, appreciable and sustainable iodine loading of the population. The population at large must take the initial initiative on an individual basis to see to the viable iodine loading of themselves and their families for effectively facing a radiation crisis.
However, in the final analysis, humanity, on a world-wide basis, is woefully deficient in tissue iodine levels. Sadly, attention and public demand for iodine supplementation seems to spike only when a catastrophic radiation event is imminent. Nuclear weapon stockpiles and their potential consequences aside, in a world in which an appreciable percentage of electrical power is generated with nuclear power facilities, and such facilities are dotted around the globe, usually within a short distance of high population locations, such radiation spills/blooms crisis will undoubtedly come and go.
That's the nature of the technology, including the nuclear waste stock piles dilemma, especially when environmental events, such as earthquakes or deep seismic events (resulting in tsunamis), are factored in. That said, it seems logical that since tissue iodine levels of people are woefully deficient in the first place, the need to simply supplement one's iodine needs on a daily level (first iodine loading the body's tissues, then falling back to a decreased adequate daily maintenance level of supplementation) would be akin to hitting two birds in the bush with one stone – taking care of a daily need while at the same time preparing the body for that possible catastrophic radiation event (or incursion through food, water or the environment) since available supplies of supplemental iodine may not be adequate enough to meet a large populations emergency need for immediate iodine loading for saturating the body's tissues in the event of a crisis.
Such a crisis and concurrent shortages in the industry took place due to the March 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami caused Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant meltdown/explosions, when world-wide supplies of raw iodine were in short supply within 1 day of the event and many iodine supplement manufacturers were not able to meet demand. Here the old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure," aptly applies in the case of one taking care of their tissue levels of iodine on a daily iodine supplemental basis well before they are confronted with a crisis.
Did you know that Iodine deficiency is, in fact, the leading preventable cause of mental retardation in the world?
Did you also know that iodine deficiency, as low tissue levels of iodine, is not only implicated as a primary causative factor in thyroid and cardiovascular problems, including cholesterol, but is being implicated in many of the most debilitating conditions affecting humanity today, including cancers and an exploding plethora of auto-immune disorders? Being a clinical & formulary herbalist does not preclude me from making some fact-based and observational conclusions and assertions concerning the issue of iodine deficiencies, especially since these observations and assertions are referenced to clinical, nutritional and extensive cadaver autopsy studies among the populations being studied, not to mention my own years as a clinical herbalist and nutritionist who has often dealt with conditions that should have resolved or seen results with a prescribed protocol but in some instances didn't.
These baffling outcomes became more prevalent over the years, setting me on a course of research, studies and inquiries. It was not until a colleague gave me a book by Mark Starr, MD that the iodine factor came into focus, especially his references to groundbreaking work on the thyroid/cardiovascular/iodine triangle of health and well-being by Broda O. Barnes, MD. In the past seven years over a dozen books written by eminent physicians, many who also refer to Dr. Barnes research and conclusions, have made their way into bookstores and libraries. The subject of deficient iodine and thyroid function are no longer fringe ideas but have become an accepted fact among a growing cadre of medical doctors and endocrine specialists.
One of the most outstanding things that has stood out in my studies of iodine deficiencies is the listed established RDA levels for optimal iodine intake that appear to not be high enough for current population needs, and in fact may be woefully insufficient. Many physicians who specialize in thyroid related endocrinology have gone on record agreeing with this assessment.
First things first however. No doubt, that where health issues are concerned iodine is a element that is both essential to health and yet if used wrongly or in the wrong form can result in serious health problems, for some even death. Of all the minerals declared essential to health and well-being and that require a daily intake, iodine, because of its extremely powerful nature (it is the most dense and heavy of the minerals in its class and most dense and heavy of the essential minerals needed for daily health), is most like the legendary Sword-of-Damocles in its consequences if iodine is misused, intentional or not.
Like the legendary sword, which only hung by a single horse's hair tied to its hilt with its tip pointed down directly above the one seated at the throne of power, so iodine is with the body. Most importantly, where general supplemental use is concerned, iodine must be in the right non-toxic form to be relatively safe, and secondly, only taken in a manner that benefits health and well-being. Where thyroid and/or cardiovascular problems exist or a person is taking medications, iodine supplementation should only be done under the direction of a qualified licensed physician. It's that simple!
The most reoccurring observation alluded to in iodine deficiency based studies is that the American (and world-wide) population is consistently showing a profound increase in health problems that can be traced back to deficient iodine/thyroid problems and low general tissue iodine levels both statistically and concurrent with when iodine added to certain foods ceased (e.g. no longer added to bakery products since the early 1980's).
These factors are bringing the current RDA levels for daily iodine intake into serious question. In fact, there is mounting evidence that current RDA levels for iodine were set too low in the first place putting the daily intake at too precarious a threshold level leading to imminent deficient daily intake, especially as society, over the ensuing years, has become more stressed that in turn shocks the endocrine system, especially the thyroid. There are numerous facts and considerations, both anecdotal and scientific, that support this premise.
First, is the history upon which the original iodine RDA levels was based. When it was established that iodine needed to be supplemented into the daily diet the next step was to ascertain what the RDA level would be for the general population. By "general population" it is meant to imply a normal fairly healthy population, not sick or infirmed subjects. This means a study taking a cross section of a generally healthy population would be required to perform such a study.
Goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland caused by profoundly deficient tissue iodine levels was the catalyst for concern, since it was at epidemic levels across the America in the late 1800's/early 1900's. In the early 1900's a landmark clinical run study was initiated by government and science to ascertain the maximum safe daily intake of iodine. During the study's early phase all of the participants experienced good results from the iodine intake protocols, however, part way through the study one of the participants suddenly died of a cardiac incident. This frightened the researchers who attributed her death to too high iodine intake during the study. It was an erroneous assumption as related to the 'healthy' subjects of the study. As a result of this death the study was immediately closed down and the scientist rashly set a highly subjectively and arbitrarily low RDA level for iodine, an RDA level many times lower than the researchers had originally thought would be the case and many endocrinologists, especially those specializing in thyroid issues today, have now gone on record as saying are woefully low to meet current population needs.
A thorough investigation of this study shows that it was flawed from the beginning. The woman who had died from the too high iodine intake should not have been part of the study as she had already had experienced two life threatening cardio events prior to her participating in the iodine intake study. Her being included in the study was totally counter to the study's standard that participants were supposed to be representative of a 'healthy' segment of the general population, and was not supposed to include any participants with a prior history of serious health problems, especially of a cardio-vascular nature. Sadly, that study, so essential to health and wellbeing of the population, has never been redone according to sound scientific protocol for accurately ascertaining optimal RDA levels, and so the woefully low RDA level for iodine continues to be based on a flawed interpretation of a badly crafted and executed study, done by 'scientists' no less!
Interestingly, iodine is the heaviest of the elements required (e.g. "essential") by the body for health and well-being. This is important from an energetics point of view as it also tells us something about the alchemical-based qualities of iodine. These alchemical-based qualities are of course meant to be approached from a metaphorical perspective, however, metaphor often has profound implications and ramifications of a direct cause-and-effect temporal nature. Such is the case with iodine's density and heaviness.
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*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.