We’ve discussed blocking radioiodines with iodine/iodide supplements, now let’s talk about what to do about some of the longer term radioactive elements. Using the same blocking strategy, we can take minerals to block the uptake of radioactive isotopes such as cesium 137, strontium 90, plutonium and uranium.
Cesium 137 is a potassium analog so is absorbed by the body the same way potassium is. Cesium 137 tends to concentrate in the heart muscle. If you take plenty of potassium, you won’t be as likely to absorb the environmental cesium. There is no RDA for potassium, but adequate intake is considered to be up to 5g (5000mg) a day. Most of this you get through your diet, but potassium is thought to be safe to supplement for most people and is essential to the body on many levels. It might even lower your blood pressure! Be advised if you have kidney disease or diabetes you may not want to take potassium in the form of a supplement or use salt substitutes heavily.
Some Sources of Potassium
Potassium supplements may be needed for those whose diets don’t contain a lot of fruits and vegetables. People with a more “healthy” diet may get all the potassium they need from foods.
Many salt substitutes contain a large amount of potassium chloride and can be a good source of dietary potassium. “Lite” salt is half and half potassium chloride and sodium chloride. I use this all the time myself, just to improve my potassium/sodium ratio.
Many fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium. Fruits and vegetables in general are also good sources of antioxidants, and fruits like apples have the added benefit of a high pectin content, which can help radiation to “slide” right through.
Here’s a list of some high-potassium fruit and veg:
High Potassium Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower etc.)
High Potassium Fruits
Grapes and Melons
Peaches, Pears and Apples
Many other plant foods contain potassium. Meat, nuts and dairy are also minor sources.
If you are supplementing with Lugol’s Solution it contains a little bit of potassium. Same thing if you are taking KI (potassium iodide) during a short-term nuclear emergency.
Calcium and Magnesium Supplementation to Block Absorption of Strontium 90, Plutonium and Uranium
Strontium is a calcium analog, and as such is likely to be taken up by your body and concentrated in the bones and teeth.
Uranium tends to accumulate in the bones and kidneys. Uranium exposure via the airways is the primary way it gets into the body. Uranium is poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract.
While uranium is a natural component of large areas of the earth, plutonium is mostly man-made. It is also poorly absorbed through ingestion and may enter the body via inhalation or through wounds in the skin. Once in the body, plutonium is primarily deposited in the liver, on bone surfaces and bone marrow (where it can perhaps do the most damage). It is also deposited on non-calcified areas of bone.
All three of these elements can also negatively effect your DNA, so we’re trying to avoid getting them in the body. The absorption of strontium, uranium and plutonium can be blocked with a calcium/magnesium supplement (Ca/Mg). These formulations often contain zinc as well, which is fine. I would not count on dairy products as a source of calcium in this case, as radioactive isotopes often first enter the food supply in dairy products.
Many vegetables are good sources of calcium, like spinach and broccoli, but on the main I supplement. I want to make sure I get the recommended amount of calcium (800mg and up for adults) and Magnesium (350mg for adults). Kids get lower amounts according to weight. The RDA for teenage girls is north of 1500mg now, which is well above the 800mg recommended for the blockage of radioactive isotopes. Go with the higher RDA number if you are a female of any age.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from radiation in your body is to block the radioactive elements from being absorbed in the first place. You can block the absorption of cesium 137, strontium 90, uranium and plutonium by:
Getting plenty of potassium in your cells both through diet and supplementation. The recommended intake for potassium is up to 5g per day (5000mg) and fruits and vegetables can provide a lot, but unless your diet is high in plants, supplementation may be needed to get the full amount (see health considerations above).
Take a calcium/magnesium supplement to supply at least 800mg Calcium and 350mg Magnesium (for an adult). Calcium is absorbed better when taken with citrate (or just take your minerals with orange juice). Vitamin D might also boost calcium absorption.
This is not medical advice. Do your own research, and feel free to comment if you find errors here.