Keep your iodine levels up with kelp
Kelp (otherwise known as seaweed or brown algae) is the best natural source of iodine and a nutritious food in itself, found in ‘floating forests' under the ocean.
Packed full of the nutrients and minerals it absorbs from the waters surrounding it in the sea, kelp has a surprising number of health benefits that can support weight control, the immune system, appropriate blood sugar levels and even the digestive tract.
One kelp health benefit that you may not be familiar with is its ability to aid in situations of radiation exposure.
What you need to know about radioactive isotopes
An isotope is a specific form of chemical element where the atoms have different numbers of neutrons.
A radioactive isotope or radioisotope is the name given to species of the same element that have different masses. Unlike other isotopes, the nuclei of radioisotopes are unstable, emitting spontaneous radiation in alpha, beta or gamma rays in order to get rid of excess energy.
Radioactive isotopes are actually in use all around us in many modern inventions and products, and some are also found in nature, which means that humans are typically exposed to low levels of radiation every day.
These can come from the environment, such as natural elements in the soil or high-energy cosmic rays from the sun.
Synthetically-produced radiation activity occurs from some types of electronic equipment such as older television sets. Radioisotopes are also important in x-rays, cancer treatments and other types of equipment and diagnostic tests.
There is also a risk of potential exposure to radiation as a result of widespread nuclear contamination. Nuclear power plant accidents, such as the 2011 incident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, can lead to radiation being spread over a much larger area.
How the thyroid copes with radiation
Dangerous levels of exposure to radiation can have a significant impact on the thyroid gland in the body, an endocrine gland which produces thyroid hormones.
These hormones are released into the bloodstream, from where they are carried to body tissues. They are essential for many functions in the body, from supporting healthy brain, heart and muscle function to regulating energy and metabolism.
However, the thyroid gland requires iodine to help it produce these essential hormones, which it gleans from what is available in the bloodstream.
Unfortunately, the gland is unable to differentiate between stable or unstable (radioactive) iodine, so if there are high levels of radioactive iodine in the atmosphere and these are absorbed into the bloodstream, it can be picked up by the thyroid gland.
Thyroid cells that absorb too much radioactive iodine can develop thyroid cancer even years after the initial exposure.
All about iodine
Stable iodine is crucial for supporting healthy thyroid function, so it’s important to ensure your body has the right levels. Although we only need small amount of this nutrient, it’s an essential part of the production of thyroid hormones.
Iodine deficiency has been a common issue in many countries around the world, especially as people become more aware of the harmful effects of too much salt and look for other sources of iodine.
A deficient level of iodine in the body can lead to an overworking of the thyroid system as it seeks to compensate, which can cause an enlargement of the gland. Having low levels of the thyroid hormone can also lead to ovulation problems and infertility in women.
According to the US National Institute of Medicine, the recommended dietary amount (RDA) for iodine is 90 micrograms (mcg) a day for children aged between 1 to 8 years.
For people aged between 9 and 13, the RDA is 120 mcg per day, and for people aged 14 years and above it is set at 150 mcg a day.
However, boosting your intake of iodine needs to be done carefully. It’s important to consider the source of your iodine and where it was grown, as radiation levels can leak into the groundwater and oceans and contaminate natural sources of iodine.
Kelp is one of the best sources of natural iodine, containing over 70 vitamins, minerals and trace elements that can boost the health of your body. New Zealand is one of the best environments for harvesting organic kelp as the coastal waters around the country are relatively pure.
If you have been exposed to low levels of radiation, there are measures you can take to get rid of radioactive materials on your body.
Take off any contaminated clothes and seal them in a plastic bag for safety and wash skin gently to remove any residue, making sure no radioactive material enters the body through the mouth.
BioBalance Certified Organic Kelp Powder is a highly nutritious food and the best natural source of iodine. This NZ sourced Kelp powder contains over 70 vitamins, minerals and trace elements, has antioxidant properties, supports blood sugar levels, immune system, the digestive tract and weight management. Salud ThyRadGard Transdermal Iodine Roll-On keeps your thyroid levels of Iodine at optimal levels, not only allowing this gland to properly regulate your metabolic rate but also helping to prevent the absorption of the radioactive isotope Iodine 131 when nuclear events/emissions occur. Both these products are available for secure order from our online shop.
We’d Love Your Feedback
Are you worried about contamination from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant?
Have you tried an iodine supplement or using a natural source such as kelp?
If yes, what benefit’s have you experienced?