Natural-foods stores sell out of radiation-fighting supplements
Returning from the Natural Products Expo West on Monday, I discovered something very disturbing and yet fascinating as I went shopping at my local natural-foods store in my hometown of Boulder. All of the kelp dietary supplements were sold out.
This is a phenomenon that is occurring in natural-foods stores throughout the western USA. While government officials are saying risk of radiation exposure is low from the nuclear reactor catastrophe in Japan, US citizens aren’t buying it. Instead, they are buying foods, nutritional supplements and natural medicines to counter the effects of radiation, to the point where these products are out of stock in stores throughout the West.
At Natural Grocers in nearby Longmont, CO, all kelp and much of their green-foods supplements were sold out. I spoke with nutritionists in the store and with a fellow informed citizen who was shopping for supplements to help protect his teenage son from the risks of radiation fallout. He recommended kelp, chlorella, spirulina, green foods, selenium and lots of dark green leafy vegetables to help counter the effects of radioactive fallout.
Convinced that green foods are good for us anyway, we purchased a high quality superfood powder just in case. Maybe a good idea as the news worsens by the hour. That's what health blogs are for!
Just to check, I called Whole Foods Market in the San Francisco Bay Area, as California will be among the first to experience fallout from the jet stream. A team member there told me that yep, they’re sold out of all kelp supplements, too. Same phenomenon at Pharmaca locations and independent natural foods stores throughout the West, too, according to sources.
Additionally, I was told that Whole Foods would not carry any potassium iodide supplements in large “milligram” potencies. Since there is a great risk of iodine toxicity, these higher levels must be taken only under the supervision of a physician, Whole Foods says, and many experts agree. The natural grocery chain is exploring such supplements in safer “micro-milligram” potencies, as demand for these products has soared.
An herbalist’s advice
I also spoke with my friend, herbal-medicine expert and noted author Brigitte Mars (www.brigittemars.com) to ask how people can protect themselves from radiation through food, nutrition and natural medicine. Excerpts from her recommended list follow, which are posted on her Facebook page and on her website. Regarding any of the following recommendations, I urge you to do your homework and consult a physician and complementary alternative-medicine practitioner.
• Buckwheat and brown rice
• Seaweeds rich in iodine and microminerals, such as Hiziki, found in macrobiotic or Asian-food sections • Wheatgrass and barley grass • Sulfur-rich vegetables including broccoli, cabbage and mustard greens • High-pectin foods including carrots, sunflower seeds and apples • Liver-cleansing foods such as artichokes, beets and radishes • Fermented foods such as miso and unpasteurized sauerkraut • Nutritional yeast • Garlic, burdock, dandelion, milk thistle seed, nettles, yellow dock • Echinacea • Green and black tea • Eleuthero • Vitamins A, beta-carotene, B complex and C; and zinc, calcium and magnesium
A raw-food expert’s advice
In a letter to subscribers, raw-food specialist David Wolfe shared these sobering recommendations:
“How to protect yourself and your thyroid against radiation: kelp, ginseng, ashwaganda (recently found to regrow nerves), chlorella, zeolites, fulvic acid, nascent iodine, reishi mushroom, sea salt (also salty miso), botanical (plant-derived) or lipo-vitamin C, magnesium (chlorophyll), selenium (brazil nuts), coconut butter (coconut products), Megahydrate, Crystal Energy. Spread the word.
“Start small, but increase your dosages rapidly and dramatically if you live in Hawaii, Western Canada, and the Western USA. Start now. Fallout will descend upon North America sometime around March 22.
“If you live in Japan, start taking massive doses of these foods, superfoods, superherbs, and supplements immediately. These are all safe for children.
“Radioactive fallout lingers longest in medicinal mushrooms. If you live in North America, pick your mushrooms NOW. I wouldn’t recommend picking any medicinal mushrooms in the fallout zones (after the fallout begins) for several years, if not a decade depending on how bad the radiation is.
“If you live in North America, stock up on food NOW because fresh food may be contaminated for several months after the fallout comes down from the jet stream into the fallout zones.”
Another concern is how fallout from the crippled reactor in Japan might affect agriculture in the Western US, as so much of our fruits and vegetables come from California and the Northwest. Spring rains could well bring radioactive fallout to this year’s crop, and how will radiation in the soil affect future crops? I will be doing some more research in this regard for an upcoming post.
Between a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, and now the nuclear tragedy in Japan, the earth is being increasingly subjected to major environmental trauma. So are its people. As long as the costs of environmental destruction continue to be borne by the citizens and not the corporations and governments that cause it, we have no level playing field.
So we are left to buying out all the kelp off the shelf of our local natural foods store to try to protect our families from the fallout of a legacy of greed and destruction.