In writing this series there were two primary controversies I wanted to address. The first, which most directly relates to the practices utilizing critical nutrition, is that clinical nutrition, through the use of dietary changes and/or supplementation that not only includes potassium iodide but goes so much farther, can have a major impact on reducing the adverse health impact of ionizing radiation. However, the second, which I feel is just as important even though it does not directly relate to the practice of clinical nutrition, is thta fear about both ionizing and non-ionizing (cell phones) radiation has not only led to reactions that are not only non-productive but sometime detrimental to health. The best example of the idea that fear of radiation can lead to ineffective and unhealthy reactions is the desperate pursuit of potassium iodide supplements that occured by many in this country right after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. It seemed that fear that the Fukushima disaster would, within a few short weeks or months, lead to a radiation-induced apocalypse in this country blinded many thousands to the fact that potassium iodine only protects the thyroid against the effects of I-131, a radioactive isotope that has such a short half life that most of it would dissipate before reaching the continental United States. In contrast, as we subsequently learned, Cesium-137, which has a much longer half life than I-131 and is totally immune to any protective effects of potassium iodide, presents a much greater threat to health worldwide. Then, as we all know, the adverse impact of the almost irrational pursuit of potassium iodide in those days immediately following the tsunami was magnified by the fact that so many were so blinded by the fear that they could not or were unable to realize that, at milligram doses significantly higher than the RDI for iodine, potassium iodide can lead to often serious health concerns.
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