THE BLOG
12/07/2010 04:39 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

How Iodine May Help Protect You From Radiation Damage

While Scientists debate the dangers of the increased radiation airline travelers are being exposed to, and government officials dismiss concerns, there is little question that it is babies, children and those with compromised immune systems who are at risk.

Those at greatest risk also include cancer patients, anyone over the age of 65, pregnant women and HIV-positive patients.

According to a study from Los Alamos National Laboratory, terahertz wave radiation (THz) emitted by the new scanners creates effects that may interfere with DNA replication. And a study in the journal Radiation Research concluded that THz radiation causes DNA instability.

The adult human body makes a billion new cells an hour. Ideally each one of these cells is a perfect replication of a perfect parent cell. DNA damage means that the code to manufacture the new generation of cells is altered.

So, there can be no liability in everyone guarding against extra radiation exposure. Radiation does cause cancer. How much radiation a person can handle without developing cancer is very individual.

Eyes, skin and blood cells may be most susceptible to damage from the TSA scanners. The thyroid gland is also very susceptible to radiation. The thyroid will uptake radiation instead of iodine, which damages the cells of the thyroid. The thyroid is key to the endocrine system of the body, working in harmony with the other glands to regulate all systems. Low thyroid function is linked to depression, infertility and immune problems.

You can help protect yourself and your loved ones by ensuring that you have enough iodine in your diet. Iodized table salt is not ideal. Table salt is from underground mines and is processed to remove all trace elements so that only sodium chloride is left. Sea salt contains 80 trace elements, in addition to the mineral sodium chloride. It is always better to use a nutrient that is not isolated, as you never find high doses of single nutrients occurring in nature.

The best sources of iodine may be protein bound. Look for kelp or seaweed supplements. It's best to start iodine supplementation slowly and build up to a higher dose.

Iodine is concentrated in the skin, and in the thyroid gland. The thyroid must have iodine to make thyroxin, the main thyroid hormone. Iodine has been shown to be protective against breast and prostate cancer. Iodine in the breast tissue may buffer estrogen.

Iodine can help protect eyes against UVB radiation. Iodine has been shown to be vital for the heart, as thyroid hormones help regulate the heart. In some cases, severe iodine deficiency causes mental retardation called Cretinism, and iodine deficiency may be causative in other types of retardation.

Iodine is one of the best antiseptics, and is used daily in medicine for surgery to create a sterile field. It can also be used on cuts and to sterilize water.

The amount of iodine needed by adults is about 200 micrograms, so don't overdo supplementation. But having sufficient iodine can help protect your body against many types of radiation. The incidence of thyroid cancer was off the charts after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Neighboring Poland dispensed iodine supplements, and avoided the devastation.

So, if you are undecided about choosing to be scanned or groped, at least you can be proactive about your health by ensuring you have sufficient iodine to help offset the radiation.