Nutrition vs Radiation_cover image

Nutrition vs Radiation


  • Which Foods Protect Us?

  • Which Foods Should We Avoid?

  • Why Are Minerals Important?

  • What Part Do Enzymes Play?


How Safe Are We? Look Inside….

Nutrition vs Radiation_cover image


In the end, for all the world’s obsession with Japan’s nuclear disaster, Fukushima was almost wholly insignificant [for the rest of the world population] compared to the tragedy for [the Japanese]….

The country’s National Police Agency official tally as of December 2013 itemized the horror: Dead 15,878; Injured  6,126; Missing 2,713; Damages $300 billion+

– Craig Nelson, The Age of Radiance….., 2014, p. 360

Nutrition vs Radiation_cover image

Nutrition Vs Radiation

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article on radiation and Fukushima fallout by Craig Nelson, author of The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era (2014)*. In essence, Nelson’s message to Americans in this article was “Much ado about nothing”.

As Nelson’s book was released, the Fukushima Solutions World Forum was held at the University of Texas, Austin campus. Panelists included Dale Klein, former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2006-09) and Helen Caldicott, world renowned anti-nuclear activist. Yet another was John Apsley, a naturopath and chiropractor whose book Fukushima Meltdown & Modern Radiation: Protecting Ourselves and Our Future Generations (2011) helps inform this issue.

So, we have two major opposing opinions regarding the possible dangers ensuing from the Fukushima Catastrophe:

1) Nothing-to-worry-about;

2) Duck-and-cover.

That accounts for my recommendation, Better-safe-than-sorry. Always yours in good health — Siri

To discuss this topic, I researched online and drew from two books: Radiation Protective Foods: A Menu for the Nuclear Age, Sara Shannon, 2nd Edition, 2012, and Fukushima Meltdown: Protecting Ourselves and Our Future Generations, John W. Apsley, MD(E). ND, DC, 2011. Both works are documented in detail, but are very different in their presentation.

Shannon wrote,

“…radiation is the greatest contaminant in the world. It cannot be seen, felt, or heard. It is tasteless and odorless. It is in our food and in the air; it is in our blood and in our bones…. [Luckily] foods that have particular protective properties are the secret to helping us to live with radiation.”

Apsley wrote,

“…Fukushima and its potential impact on human health will play out most potently during the next 20-30 years.1 Our challenge is to understand [the impact of] radioactive materials and to determine what diet and supplement choices will give us the greatest opportunity to maintain good health….”

Nutrition Vs Radiation


1   Radioactive toxins are known to cause cancer, which grows unrecognized over the years, and are part of the reasoning behind discouraging women from regular mammograms.


2 This man, who passed in 2005, was a true hero, an inspiration for what it is to be a human being. He was 29 at the time of the Nagasaki blast. If you are unable to use the link above, please go to

Nutrition vs Radiation_cover image

How Does Nutrition Work?

The initiating story of nutrition at work comes from WWII. At a hospital in Nagasaki, one mile from ground zero, Tatsuichuro Akizuki, director of internal medicine, saved the lives of all staff members and most patients.2

He imposed a vegan diet of brown rice, fermented foods, sea algae, and vegetables. Sweets were forbidden. Another hospital the same distance from ground zero did not follow this diet. Fatalities there approached 100 percent.

We have the advantage of being able to protect our bodies with both food and supplements. Some of the substances we discuss work as antioxidants; others, as chelators; and still others work on principle of selective uptake. (Discussed below.)

In addition, there are supplements of substances that are not found in therapeutic amounts in food (e.g., N-acetyl-cysteine); not found in food at all (e.g., melatonin); or are non-nutritive chelating substances (e.g., bentonite clay).

Radiation poisoning is a deluge of free radicals. These free radicals are made up of  radiated particles.3 In essence, each is a tiny explosion, going off over and over in the body, disrupting our cells. That is how they cause harm. The specific half life of a radiated element is a reflection of how long it must break down before finding stability.

In order for nutrition to protect us, there must be

1) ample reserves of super nutrients;

2) an abundance of effective antioxidants;

3) the correct blood pH (slightly alkaline); and

4) adequate oxygen levels.4 In addition, the body must be

5) replete with the essential minerals.

When these requirements are met ongoingly, the body is protected from exposure to pollutants and toxins, including radiation. In addition, although these requirements can be stated separately, the substances indicated work concurrently and synergistically in the body.

Nutrition vs Radiation_cover image

Selective Uptake

Regard number 5 in the list above. Because of selective uptake, we need to keep our bodies replete with essential minerals.

Radioactive elements behave in the body as do healthy minerals. If the body is lacking a mineral, the radioactive equivalent is absorbed. For example, the body uptakes cesium-137 for potassium; strontium-90 for the minerals calcium and strontium; iodine with iodine-131, etc.

Because iodine deficiency is endemic in the US, we are particularly at risk for uptaking radioactive iodine, setting the stage for future throat and thyroid cancers.

The half life of iodine-131 is only 8.5 days, but the effects are cumulative. Iodine-131 can be cleared with nutrient iodine. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that 5 mg of iodine given over several days displaces about 80 percent of radioactive iodine.

Radioprotective Foods


3 Radioactive particles, also called nucleotides, are elements which have become radioactive. Elements are substances made up only of themselves, like oxygen; whereas, water is a compound made up of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen: H2O.

Some elements are minerals. When mineral elements are necessary to health, we just call them minerals. Thus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iodine are both elements and minerals.


4 Oxygenation is particularly important to individuals 55 and older. This group typically shows under-saturated tissue oxygenation, slowing cell regeneration.

Nutrition vs Radiation_cover image

Radioprotective Foods

Humans eat at the top of the food chain. Most of us eat meat, eggs, and dairy foods. When we do, we eat any toxins or pollutants that the animal ate. These are condensed into the resulting foods.

For instance, when radioactive rain falls across the US, it soaks into the soil and splashes into lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Plants grow and absorb radioactive particles through their leaves and roots. Animals eat the plants, concentrating the toxins, and we eat the animals.

Perhaps it’s time to take out the middleman(imal). First, do your best to eat at the bottom of the food chain. Living on plant foods (veganism) is the safest way to eat.5 Plants meet all the protective criteria mentioned above:

1) super nutritious;

2) high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory:

3) slightly alkaline state;

4) contain all the minerals we need.

5) help keep our cells oxygenated.

Shannon lists the following food groups as radio-protective.6 Although these plants may be exposed to radiation and other toxins, fallout pollutants are not as highly concentrated in plants as they are animal products.

1. Whole grains have high fiber and high phytate contents both of which chelate with toxins and help remove them from the body. (Phytates and phytic acid are antioxidant compounds found in whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.) Grains have a healthy acid-alkaline balance; plus, they provide vitamin B6, essential for thymus function. (a specialized organ of the immune system.) They also contain iron, zinc, calcium, and trace minerals.

2.  Vegetables and fruits are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, are anti-inflammatory, have fiber, and are generally alkaline. Their freshly squeezed juice is a tasty, mineral-rich water which is optimal for hydrating and regenerating.

Sulfur-containing vegetables are especially recommended. They are the cruciferous or cabbage family (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, arugula) and the onion family (onions, shallots, chives, scallions, leeks, garlic). Chard and the surprisingly popular kale are also sulfur carriers. The sulfur in these veggies is needed for the amino acids cysteine and methionine. These amino acids function in the body’s all important antioxidant enzyme system. They also chelate radioactive substances and heavy metal toxins, clearing them from the body.

3. Beans are rich in protein, especially soybeans. Beans contain a number of cancer-inhibiting and radioprotective substances, including fiber and phytates. The amino acids they contain complement the amino acids in grains, providing complete protein.7

Tofu and tempeh are complete  protein foods made from soybeans. Most people know tofu (soy curd). Tempeh is a fermented soy product that brings 15 grams of complete protein per ½ cup and the extra protection of microbes (probiotics).

4. Miso, is a superfood. It is an alkaline paste made of fermented soybeans and sea salt. Listed separately because of it’s many radioprotective qualities, miso is one of the few vegetable sources of vitamin B12 (cobalamin). This cobalt-based vitamin protects against the uptake of cobalt-60. In addition, miso contains a rare chelator called zybicolin. Microbes and live enzymes are also found in this superfood.8 Apsley notes that fermented foods neutralize radiation and support the immune system.

5. Seeds and nuts are high in protein, minerals (such as calcium and magnesium), and essential fatty acids, which implement oxygen transport. Seeds and nuts also contain fiber and phytates. Shannon says, “You’d be nutty not to include them in your diet”.

6. Sea vegetables are different kinds of edible seaweed, such as dulse, kelp, and nori.9 Sea vegetables are the most highly recommended radioprotective foods. The sea is much richer in minerals than soil. Sea vegetables are particularly high in iodine. They also contain calcium alginate, a powerful chelating agent.

    Here is the downside: China, Japan, Korea, and the West Coast of the US produce massive amounts of sea vegetables and also are the hardest hit by leakage from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Under the circumstances, it seems wise to purchase  North Atlantic sea vegetables.

Before we proceed to discussing radioprotective supplements, here are Apsley’s animal product compensators. Mix in per cup of dairy or per egg: 1/4 tsp bentonite (tasteless) or 100 mg calcium alginate or 100 mg pectin. (Sorry no meat compensators. Try double the amount per card deck size serving.)

Radioprotective Foods


5 FYI: My only stake in this game is our best health. I love dairy products. Eggs are a primary protein in my family. Apsley has a fix for chelating the radiation out of animal products so keep reading.


6 In her book, Shannon devotes a section to a discussion of the radioprotective advantages of each of the groups. We just hit the highlights.


7 Though best eaten within 24 hours, the beans and grains don’t have to be eaten at the same time. The body puts the amino acids in a “protein pool” and draws from it.


8 Added to hot water to yield a broth, miso can be delicious. (Don’t bring to a boil. It is important that the enzymes and probiotics in the miso remain active.)

Add cooked brown rice, tofu cubes, sauteed ginger and mushrooms, chopped scallions, and green leafy veggies for a simple, delicious radioprotective soup.


Nutrition vs Radiation_cover image

Chelation/Creation Smoothie

Apsley provides a thorough set of protocols for building health and protecting the body.

This is one of several smoothies he has created. As the name implies, the chelation smoothie contains a number of chelators to help remove radiation. [This recipe has been modified somewhat by me. Ed.] Makes 32 ounces.

3 cups non-dairy “milk”

2 scoops organic whey or organic hemp protein

1 banana

4 ice cubes

The Chelators:

2 T organic pectin

1/2 tsp potassium or calcium alginate

2 tsp bentonite clay

1 capsule IP-6 (a form of phytic acid, open and add)

1 gram glucosamine sulfate*

I T Hawaiian spirulina powder

1/4 tsp vitamin C (for freshness)

Blend and have one drink per day, based on your weight:

10-12 oz, weight ^150lbs; 8 oz, weight = 100-149lbs.

*Don’t use if you have a shellfish allergy or are vegan.

Nutrition vs Radiation_cover image

Antioxidant Enzymes To The Rescue

Our most important defense against radiation is the body’s antioxidant enzyme system.

Enzymes are catalysts. Made up of proteins (which are made up of amino acids), enzymes allow the cell to carry out chemical reactions very quickly, building things up and breaking them down as needed. (Ditto, digestive enzymes.)

Among other jobs, they run our metabolism (makes energy). This means that antioxidant enzymes work much faster than nonenzymatic antioxidants.

Hence, catalase, which forms using sulfur, works more quickly than vitamin C which is also life-sustaining, works into some enzyme systems, but is not an enzyme. (All enzymes have the suffix -ase.)  

Here is a list of the antioxidant enzymes produced by the body and the nutrients needed to sustain them.


• S.O.D., superoxide dismutase, is a group of three enzymes, which differ by the mineral informing their function. They are zinc-, copper-, and manganese- dependent. S.O.D. plays a huge role by quenching the superoxide free radical, considered the most lethal oxygen radical. Our body increases the amount of this enzyme when there are plenty of minerals, veggies, and vitamin C. CoQ10 helps make up for deficits.


• Catalase, next in importance, can increase quickly when needed. To support catalase quantities, Apsley recommends high quality whey protein to supply sulfur-containing cystine and cysteine. Some algae are also recommended.10


• Glutathione is named “The Mother of All Antioxidants” by  Mark Hyman, MD, who says it is the most important molecule we need to stay healthy and prevent disease.

He notes that it is a champion radiation fighter. Apsley remarks that the body is slow to build glutathione (gloo-ta-thigh’own).

The solution is to keep our reserves up. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), glycine, glutamine, selenium, and melatonin all support glutathione production. Again, CoQ10 may compensate for deficits.

Methionine Reductase

• Methionine Reductase is essential to quench the hydroxyl radical, another dangerous free radical. It requires selenium as well as methionine, folic acid, and vitamin B12.


• Thioredoxin regenerates the antioxidant systems and is known to prevent free radical damage to the heart.

It works with glutathione and is essential to protect our genetic code and nervous system.

In addition, this antioxidant system is fat soluble, restoring and protecting the cell membrane.

Thioredoxin levels are maintained by the sulfur-containing foods and supplements listed above as well as by curcumin, the active ingredient in the golden spice turmeric.

Antioxidant Enzymes To The Rescue


9 Seaweed is a $6 billion annual business. China is the largest producer. Around the world, demand has outpaced the supply of wild seaweed such that it is now farmed.


10 Apsley opines that California blue-green algae and Hawaiian spirulina are suspect since Fukushima.

I contacted New Earth, producers of Klamath blue-green algae. Their PR person sent me documentation that they began testing for fallout particles after Fukushima, implying that their product is safe.

I received documentation from the chief science officer at Nutrex, stating that their Hawaiian spirulina is grown on water 2000 feet below the surface from a river beneath the ocean originating at the Arctic.

Antioxidant Enzymes To The Rescue

*ALL FOOTNOTES FOR THIS ISSUE from  Nelson’s mind blowing documentation of the SNAFU at Fukushima.

Go to; look up the book; go to “Look Inside” and find the chapter in the table of contents. OMG! The best argument ever against the use of nuclear energy.

Related Resources

These three Nutrition News titles support our main topic. These titles are:

“Protein the Great”, “Dancing With Antioxidants”, and “The Perils Of Sugar”

Protein over image
Nutrition News Dancing With Antioxidants Cover
Perils of Sugar cover image