Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing

by | May 14, 2021 | Detoxing, Testing and Tools | 50 comments

*An important note before we dive in that you should always check with your healthcare team before undertaking any of the suggestions below; you want to make sure that you are doing the things that will help you the most and not interfere with or worsen what’s going on in your unique body.

I have had probably 6 breast MRIs in the last 4 years. I have dense breasts, and so mammograms don’t work well for me; the mammogram that we did in advance of a biopsy before I was diagnosed came back negative, even though I could literally see the tumour with my own eyes when I pressed my skin down. So, that means it’s MRIs for me for my annual scan, until I can convince my oncologist to order something else instead (I’ll get into the other options at the end of this post).

Another reason I liked MRIs at first over mammograms was that they don’t use any radiation. They do however use a contrast dye to get a clearer image, and for the first 3 or 4 scans after my diagnosis, I didn’t know that this dye is NOT benign. It contains a heavy metal called gadolinium, which a 2014 study showed can be deposited and accumulate in the brain [1]. There is massive debate over its safety (this is a great article to check out for the arguments on both sides), and while many doctors consider it safe, enough patients have raised concerns over side effects that some are questioning it and more research is being pursued.

Until we know more, as with most things under hot debate, I always err on the side of caution and say better safe than sorry! And if you are receiving a different type of scan such as a PET, CT, or Xray, there is the radiation to think about. So, whether its dye or radiation being used in your scan, it’s a good idea to be on the safe side and take steps to protect yourself as much as you can ahead of time and ensure that your body properly detoxes them out as much as possible (and promptly) afterwards.

The possible risk was something I had heard about in years previous, but I only looked into it properly shortly after my annual MRI in 2020. Because I will be getting an MRI annually for the foreseeable future, I wanted to know how I could support my body each year in its detoxing efforts. There is evidence that suggests that the MRI dye cannot be fully detoxed, but we don’t know for sure. Either way, we want to help ourselves out and increase the amount being detoxed as much as we can! Some of the following come from my own experience and research, some come from recommendations in my favourite breast cancer FB group run by consultant Layce Murray and many of which come from Dr. Nasha Winters, and some come from my favourite ND ever, Dr. Lori Bouchard at Inside Health.

Let’s dive in!


PET/CT/Xray (or Anything with Radiation)


With a PET/CT/Xray, you are going to be concerned first with protecting yourself from the radiation and then second detoxing it out. Before we get into what to do after the scan, there are a couple of things to do before the scan to offer radiation protection as well as some things to stop taking leading up to it (if they are things you are currently taking).

Things to do leading up to a PET/CT/Xray

*There is an easy-to-read recap list of all of these at the end of this section

There are two things that can interfere with your PET/CT scan and can therefore tamper with the results. If you are doing mistletoe injections as part of your protocol, take 72 hours off of mistletoe before getting a scan. Mistletoe’s purpose is to stimulate your immune system, so it can cause swelling and an immune response, and we want the system to be as calm as possible for the scan. Some research has shown that these mistletoe reactions can mimic nodular involvement on scans done with the radioactive sugar F-FDG, which is used in PET/CT scans [2]. This would of course lead to the potential of a false positive, which is extremely stressful and distressing and something that we want to avoid.


Additionally, if you do high dose IVC or take oral vitamin C as part of your protocol, take 48 hours off of IV or oral vitamin C before getting a PET/CT scan. Research has shown that vitamin C, especially high dose IVC, can lead to an inability to accurately measure a patient’s blood glucose levels before a PET/CT scan because the high levels of ascorbic acid interfere with the chemical reaction on a blood glucose test strip [3]. As already noted, PET/CT scans use the radioactive sugar F-FDG to detect cancer activity. This is because cancer cells love sugar and uptake it much more quickly and in higher amounts than healthy cells do. The radioactive sugar shows up in higher concentrations on the image, thereby showing areas where cancer may be active. It is important to have an accurate blood glucose reading before a scan using F-FDG because this sugar is in direct competition with glucose. This means, therefore, that if blood glucose levels are not in the optimal range for the scan and this is unable to be determined prior to the scan, it will cause a decrease in the absorption of the F-FDG and may lead to a false-negative on the resulting image [3]. This would not be good, for obvious reasons, and so it is best to avoid vitamin C before a PET/CT scan.


In addition to avoiding these two things, there is something you can do to increase the clarity and accuracy of the image. Since PET/CT scans use this radioactive sugar that we’ve been discussing, it helps to go into the scan in full ketosis, for two reasons. Being in full ketosis helps to improve the image and make it as accurate as possible; lower blood glucose levels mean not as much competition for the F-FDG sugar, so uptake of this sugar is improved and therefore so is the image. There is also preliminary evidence showing that because fasting puts healthy cells into a dormant, protective state, fasting helps healthy cells to withstand stressors like radiation in both scans and radiation treatments [4]. This might be a good time to do a 3-5 day fast, if you are able to do that. If not, try for at least a 24 hour fast.



Things to do the day of, before a PET/CT/Xray

1. High-dose melatonin, 300mg 2 hours before the scan: It’s not just for helping you sleep! High-dose melatonin has a lot of indications when it comes to cancer, and many take it regularly as a part of their supplement protocol (anywhere from 60mg-180mg daily). Some of its effects that have been observed in studies include antioxidant activity, stimulation of apoptosis (programmed cell death), regulation of tumor metabolism, inhibition on angiogenesis and metastasis, and antiestrogenic effects through estrogen pathway signalling and the inhibition of aromatase activity [5]. Most important in the context of PET/CT scans, melatonin has been shown to have protective effects against radiation. “Melatonin has beneficial properties for the reduction of radiation toxicity in healthy tissue […] Potent antioxidative effects of melatonin reduce oxidative DNA damage and cell death during radiation treatment.”, and it has been shown to achieve these effects through the modulation of various things including the DNA repair system, antioxidant enzymes, immune cells, and transcription factors [6]. The recommended dosage for a scan is 300mg of melatonin 2 hours before the scan. Many people are fine with this dose, but some people experience drowsiness at this high level, so it might be a good idea to do a test run before your scan on a day where you don’t need to go anywhere to determine whether you will need someone to drive you home afterwards. Some people experience some pretty vivid dreams after a high dose as well, so don’t be worried if that happens to you! It’s a normal side effect.


2. Oxicell Cream: This is a glutathione cream. Glutathione is often referred to as the master antioxidant, and maintaining healthy levels of it in our bodies is extremely important. Its benefits include protection from mercury and other toxic metals, from alcohol, and from organic pollutants, but in the context of scans that involve radiation, its most important benefit is protection from oxidative stress [7]. Radiation causes the production of free radicals, and free radicals in turn lead to oxidative stress, which can have a number of negative effects in the body including mitochondrial dysfunction, DNA damage, and epigenetic dysregulation [8]. These are all things that can impact our cancer risk, and while one scan likely won’t cause long-term issues, annual scans year after year are more concerning. Using Oxicell Cream in targeted areas before and after a scan can help to protect your body from oxidative stress by supporting the scavenging of free radicals produced as a result of the scan. Use 1/4 tsp on your hands up to 3x the day of your scan, then rub over your liver and gallbladder (under your right rib cage) as well as your thyroid and adrenals (over your throat and on the left side of your lower back, below the ribcage).


3. To keep your blood sugar as low and even as possible (for the reasons listed above when it comes to F-FDG), do not have any food or drink other than water for 6 hours prior to your scan. This includes gum or anything that contains sugar; plain water only up until the time of scan.


4. Diet: If you cannot do a prolonged fast before your scan, follow a high protein, low carb diet for 24 hours prior to the test to increase the quality of the image by reducing the competition for absorption of the scan’s F-FDG sugar. For the same reason, it is also a good idea to avoid the following foods the day of your scan in addition to avoiding all food and drink other than water in the 6 hours prior: refined sugar, all fruits, raisins, beets, carrots, corn, beans/peas, all grains, yams, cereal, all breads, muffins, tortillas, potatoes, pretzels, chips, rice, granola, oatmeal, pasta, sodas, and fruit juices, and use pure olive oil or coconut oil for cooking.


5. Exercise: You should not engage in any strenuous exercise 24 hours prior to your scan. As we have discussed already, PET/CT scans rely on the love that cancer cells have for sugar and their increased need for it. These scans are very sensitive however, and exercise can cause issues with differentiating between normal sugar uptake and cancerous sugar uptake. Because muscles use glucose to burn for energy, muscles that have been exercised around the time of a scan can show increased sugar uptake that may mimic cancer and result in a false positive [9], something we definitely want to avoid!


6. It is fine to take any medications you are on as long as you can tolerate them on an empty stomach.

Things to take the day before, the day of, and for three days afterwards:

1. Vitamin D3,20,000 iu a day:

The many benefits of vitamin D, especially its most active form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, are becoming more and more apparent with continued research. Research suggests that vitamin D may be protective against various forms of radiation, potentially by helping to transcribe proteins that protect the body from the effects of radiation [10].




2. Fish Oil, 6g in split doses (for example, 2g 3x a day):

Radiation can reduce levels of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in addition to causing oxidative stress, as discussed above. Research, including one study using rats to look specifically at fish oil and radiation on the brain, has shown that fish oil can reduce the severity of oxidative stress from radiation as well as counteract the decrease in EPA and DHA levels [11].


3. Probiotics, 1 capsule 3x a day:

Radiation can cause some serious disruptions to our gut health. It can damage the intestinal barriers and mucous layer, which are not good in and of themselves, but these also lead to leaky gut and bacteria escaping the intestines [12]. This results in the activation of an inflammatory response and contributes to systemic inflammation in the body. Cancer thrives in inflamed environments, and so this is definitely something we want to mitigate. Our intestinal health is also closely linked to our immune health, with 70% of our immune cells being housed in the gut. For these reasons, we want to support our gut health around the time of a scan that uses radiation by pumping up the number of probiotics (good gut buddies) that we are taking.


4. Liposomal Glutathione (DFH), 2 pumps 2x a day or get a Glutathione Push (800mg) the day of or day after the scan:

We discussed glutathione up above with Oxicell Cream, so for the same reasons it is a prudent idea to get a glutathione push (IV) the day of or day after your scan. Many naturopathic clinics offer glutathione IVs, so do a search for one in your area if you don’t currently have an ND. If you cannot find one, you can opt for the liposomal glutathione instead, although some people find that it does upset their stomach when taken orally.


5. Binder of some sort, 1 tsp a day (not needed the day before the scan):

Binders do exactly what it sounds like they do: they bind to toxins and radioactive elements and carry them out of the body to more effectively detox these things from our system. Two recommended binders are Pectasol-C and Quick Silver Ultra Binder. If you don’t have either of these on hand or you find them to be too expensive, you can mix up a jar of equal parts bentonite clay, activated charcoal, and spirulina powders (note: if you struggle with high copper, leave out the spirulina, as it has high levels of copper). Each day add 1 tsp of the mix to water with a tablespoon each of aloe vera juice/gel and fresh-ground flax (unless you are taking the Quick Silver binder, as it already has fibre and aloe in it). Binders can be quite constipating, so the aloe and flax help with that.


6. Radium 30c (X-ray 30c) homeopathic medicine:

Homeopathic medicine is one of those things from the alternative world of medicine that is debated, like so much. Some believe it’s nothing more than sugar pills and the observance of the placebo effect, while others dedicate their entire professional careers to it as homeopathic doctors. My motto when it comes to things in my protocol has always been, “If it’s not going to hurt me and there’s a chance it will help me, I’m going to do it.” So, following the suggestion of taking one dose (3 pellets) of radium 30c (X-ray 30c) the night before, morning of, and for three days after your scan may help to mitigate some of the effects of the radiation from the scan.


7. If your body is really sensitive to radiation, you can also continue your use of the Oxicell Cream on these days as well.


Recap for PET/CT/Xray

Leading up to your scan:

  1. Take 72 hours off from mistletoe
  2. Take 48 hours off from oral or IV vitamin C
  3. If you can, fast for at least 24 hours prior to your scan, or even better, do a 3-5 day fast if you are able, so that you go into your scan in full ketosis

The day of, before your scan:

  1. High-dose melatonin, 300mg 2 hours before
  2. Oxicell Cream, 1/4 tsp up to 3x a day on your hands, over your liver and gallbladder, and over your thyroid and adrenals
  3. Do not eat or drink anything other than water in the 6 hours before a scan
  4. If you cannot do a prolonged fast leading up to your scan, adhere to a high protein, low-carb diet for 24 hours prior to your scan, especially avoiding simple carbs and sugary foods
  5. Do not engage in strenuous exercise for 24 hours prior to the scan
  6. Do continue to take your medications, as long as you can tolerate them on an empty stomach

The day before, the day of, and for three days after take:

  1. Vitamin D3, 20,000 iu a day
  2. Fish Oil, 6g in split doses
  3. Probiotics, 1 capsule 3x a day
  4. Liposomal Glutathione (DFH), 2 pumps of oral liposomal glutathione 2x a day for the 5 days, or get a Glutathione Push (800mg) the day of or day after imaging
  5. Binder of some sort (not needed the day before), 1 tsp a day in water + aloe and flax, if needed
  6. Radium 30c (X-ray 30c) homeopathic medicine, one dose (3 pellets) each of these 5 days

MRI (or Any Scan Done with Gadolinium-Containing Contrast Dye)


Unlike with a PET/CT/Xray, MRIs do not use radiation. Instead, as I discussed above, you are concerned with detoxing out the contrast dye which contains the heavy metal gadolinium. However, the recommendations for an MRI are very similar to those for a scan involving radiation, with the difference being a few things that can be left out.

Things to do leading up to your scan:
  1. Just like with a radiation scan, you should take 72 hours off of mistletoe before getting an MRI to avoid a false positive.
  2. Because an MRI doesn’t involve radioactive sugar, it may be unnecessary to stop vitamin C before an MRI; but, to be on the safe side, you can always leave it out for 48 hours prior to the scan.
  3. Because we want to prevent cells from absorbing the gadolinium as much as possible, it is also a good idea to go for an MRI in full ketosis as well so that your cells are in that protective, dormant state. Try for a 3-5 day fast, or at least 24 hours if a much longer fast is not possible for you.
Things to do the day of, before your scan:
  1. Just like radiation, gadolinium also causes oxidative stress, particularly in the brain [13]. For this reason, it is also a good idea to make use of Oxicell Cream, or another glutathione cream, the day of your MRI, following the same instructions as for a PET/CT/Xray above.
  2. If you cannot do a prolonged fast, take at least 6 hours off from food and drink (other than water) the day of your MRI.
  3. For an MRI, you should also avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours prior to the scan to avoid abnormalities in tissues that can lead to a false positive [14].
  4. Do continue to take your medications, again as long as you can tolerate them on an empty stomach.
Things to take the day before, the day of, and for three days after:

The gadolinium can cause similar issues with oxidative stress and gut health that radiation can cause. Therefore, take the same protocol as suggested for a PET/CT/Xray, minus the radium 30c homeopathic medicine.

  1. Vitamin D3, 20,000 iu/day
  2. Fish Oil, 6g in split doses
  3. Probiotics, 1 capsule 3x/day
  4. Liposomal Glutathione (DFH), 2 pumps of oral liposomal glutathione 2x a day for the 5 days, or get a Glutathione Push (800mg) day of or day after imaging
  5. Binder of some sort (not needed the day before), 1 tsp a day in water + aloe and flax, if needed

General Detoxing Good for After Any Scan


Whether your scan includes radiation or contrast dye, there are a number of general detoxing habits that you can include in the days around your scan to support your body in getting rid of as much of the gadolinium and radioactive elements as possible.


1. Take a detox bath the day of and for three days after: mix 1 pound of sea salt and 1 pound of baking soda (about 1 ½ cups of each) in the hottest water you can stand. Soak for 30-45 minutes, and if you feel the need to shower after, refrain for at least 4 hours (I can’t find any info on why this is the case, it’s just the recommendation I received; if I discover the reason, I will update this).


2. Include chelating foods in your diet (foods that pull out toxins from your body): parsley, cilantro, brazil nuts, garlic and onions are all chelators and pull stored toxins out of tissues and fat.


3. Include natural binders, as discussed above: modified citrus pectin, chlorella, bentonite clay, spirulina, and charcoal powder are all great binders (clay and charcoal also help with chelation), which are super important to include when detoxing otherwise some of the toxins will just be reabsorbed in your gut.


4. The day before, day of, and for at least 3 days after you can include some of these supplements (in addition to those listed above) that support the gut, liver, and kidneys (some of your major detoxing organs) and protect against radiation:

  • Milk thistle, 150-600mg daily
  • R-lipoic acid, 300mg a day
  • Beta-carotene, 25,000 iu or 75mg daily
  • CoQ10, 100-400mg a day
  • Siberian ginseng, 1000mg daily
  • EGCG green tea extract, 725mg 3x a day (note here that if you have done any epigenetic testing from Nutrition Genome, 23 and Me, SelfDecode, etc., it is wise to check your genetic SNPs and avoid EGCG if you have a potentially problematic COMT genetic mutation, as EGCG can clow COMT activity further; the COMT gene is involved in estrogen metabolism, among other things, and it is important to support and not inhibit its activity)
  • N-acetylcysteine, 200-600mg daily
  • MSM, 1000mg daily
  • Selenium, 200-1000mcg a day
  • Drink some of these detoxing teas: pau d’arco, dandelion, fennel, lemongrass, and nettle teas support the liver and liver detoxification.


5. Try these detoxing activities:

  • Apart from keeping your blood sugar in an optimal range and protecting your cells, fasting for 24 hours the day of your scan or doing a 3-5 day fast (if you are an experienced faster) with your scan in the middle of those days is a great idea so that your body can focus on detoxing versus digesting as well
  • Do a coffee enema daily for at least a week after the scan: coffee enemas get the gallbladder to open up and dump its contents (bile and toxins) into the intestines to be shuttled out of the body (you can learn more about coffee enemas, like what you will need, how to do them, and what to expect, in my full blog on them here)
  • Do a colonic the day of or day after your scan: colonics help to flush out the colon and can help get rid of candida, parasites, and toxins, among other things; this both supports a healthy gut and helps to keep this major detoxing pathway open and optimal
  • If you have access to one, do an infrared sauna for 30-45 minutes a day for at least a week after your scan (you can read all about the benefits of infrared saunas in my full blog on them here)


6. Exercise helps us to detox in a number of ways, so make sure you are getting lots of exercise after your scan; exercise helps us to sweat toxins out, to move waste (and therefore toxins) through the gut more efficiently, and increases blood flow and oxygen levels to many organs including those that are major detoxers like the liver and kidneys (you can read about the detoxing benefits of exercise in my full blog on that here)



7. Drink lots and lots of water throughout all of this to help your kidneys flush everything out; aim for at least 2 litres a day, but the more the better


A final reminder here that you should ALWAYS run anything new by your healthcare team (in this context, preferably a naturopathic, integrative, or functional doctor who has knowledge of the risks and mitigating factors that accompany these scans) before embarking on a detoxing or supplement protocol.

Safer Alternatives to These Scans


There are a few alternatives to these types of scans, but you may run into problems accessing them. Ultrasounds are an alternative that don’t use radiation or contrast dye, but your oncologist may refuse to order it since an MRI or PET/CT is more sensitive and is usually the standard of care. Always good to ask though if this is something you are interested in.


The next is thermography, which uses thermal imaging to pick up heightened inflammation and increased blood flow. Cancer thrives in inflamed environments, and the area around a tumour is often inflamed; with inflammation comes heat that thermography can pick up on. Tumours also make use of something called angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels with which they feed themselves; this extra blood flow again creates extra heat, which can be picked up by thermography. Though thermography can’t diagnose, any unusual, asymmetric heat patterns give a heads up that something is potentially wrong and that additional scanning or testing is needed.


And finally, there are two relatively new scans that many of us are hoping become the standard of care, or at least more widely available. Prenuvo is very sensitive and specific and doesn’t use radiation or contrast dye, but it is currently only available in limited countries and cities and the cost is out of pocket; this may prevent it from being an option for you. If you would like to learn more about it however, you can do so here. And the second is specifically for breast cancer screening, and it’s called SonoCiné. It is a whole-breast ultrasound that is more sensitive than a traditional ultrasound. Again, it isn’t widely available and is out of pocket, so it may not be an option for you but is definitely worth looking into if you are screening for breast cancer. You can learn more about it, including where the closest one is to you, on their website here.


Whether a PET, CT, Xray, or MRI, there are definite risks for each from either radiation exposure or gadolinium toxicity. Even if you haven’t had issues in the past, these substances can accumulate in the body and cause issues down the road, so it is a prudent idea to protect your body ahead of time and do everything you can to support it in detoxing as much as possible afterwards. There was some heavy science in this one, so well done for making it all the way here! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or shoot me a message using the Contact Me page. And as always, there is a list of references below if you would like to do any further reading and researching of your own.


Happy Healing ❤️



  1. High signal intensity in the dentate nucleus and globus pallidus on unenhanced T1-weighted MR images: relationship with increasing cumulative dose of a gadolinium-based contrast material –
  2. Homeopathic mistletoe adverse reaction mimics nodal involvement in F-FDG PET/CT performed for evaluation of response to chemotherapy in lymphoma –
  3. The Impact of High-Dose Vitamin C on Blood Glucose Testing in 18F-FDG PET Imaging –
  4. Early Evidence Shows Fasting, Keto Diet May Make Chemo and Some Other Cancer Treatments More Effective and Easier to Tolerate –
  5. Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of cancer –
  6. The melatonin immunomodulatory actions in radiotherapy –
  7. Glutathione –
  8. Radiation-Induced Normal Tissue Damage: Oxidative Stress and Epigenetic Mechanisms –
  9. Think Twice Before Exercising When Getting That PET Scan –
  10. Could Vitamin D Save Us From Radiation? –,International%20Journal%20of%20Low%20Radiation.
  11. Fish oil omega-3 fatty acids reduce the severity of radiation-induced oxidative stress in the rat brain –
  12. Radiotherapy and the gut microbiome: facts and fiction –
  13. Impaired mitochondrial function and oxidative stress in rat cortical neurons: implications for gadolinium-induced neurotoxicity –
  14. Can You Exercise Before an MRI? –


  1. Lesli Remington

    This is a wonderful article. It came at a perfect time as one of my clients will be having a CT scan w/contrast and she asked me if I had info how to detox from the contrasting dye. Very well written and packed full of great suggestions. Many of which I offer and suggest for overall health and reducing inflammation and supporting full body wellness.
    Thank you for sharing this valuable information.

  2. Lesli Remington

    In your article you said you couldn’t find any info on why to refrain from standing after a detox bath. My experience and knowledge is some people are very sensitive after the hot water and the blood pressure can drop for some time., I think it’s more a “precaution” than anything. 2 more things that can be added to the water is bentonite clay and powdered ginger. The bentonite will bind with the heavy metals in the water that’s excreted and the ginger opens up the pores to help eliminate toxins. My one suggestion is to empty these powders under the water so they don’t cause respiratory issues when the particle are released in the air.

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Lesli, those are such great suggestions! Thank you for sharing them 🙂 And yes, that makes sense; thermal stress can really affect some people.

  3. Kaye Ivanoff

    I had numerous MRIs and CTs of my brain and heart with dye and gadolinium 3 1/2 years ago. I did not receive any IV fluids to flush it out nor was ever told to drink alot of water afterwards. I still struggle with short term memory loss, verbal response and other areas of executive functioning. What can I do, at this point, to try to rid my body of these poisons? I am obese so I am certain that I have a lot stored in my fat cells.

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Hi Kaye,

      I’m so sorry to hear this! I would definitely work with the support of a naturopath or holistic doctor who has experience with detoxing heavy metals. There are some supplements and teas that support detoxing (search “detox” in the search bar above to find some info on that), but if there is a lot being stored in your body, you will need some advanced therapies to help flush them out. In addition to that, because our bodies try to protect us from them by storing heavy metals in fat cells, once you start detoxing and losing weight, more of those metals will be released into your body. It will be very important that you are on a plan that will both bind and get rid of those toxins as well as help to mitigate the side effects that they can cause once they are released. You may feel like you have the flu during this process for example, and so having a healthcare professional who knows what to expect and who can support you through it is very helpful. I would start with a Google search for naturopaths in your area. Good luck to you!

  4. Janet Orlando

    Best thorough article I read on this topic!!

    Definitely will be more prepared this time… pre & post PET scan

    Much appreciated!

    • Solis Cancer Community

      You’re most welcome Janet! Glad that you found my article and enjoyed it 🙂 I hope the info helps you the next time you have a scan!

  5. Christine

    My daughter is having a PET scan. Would Lipoic Acid IV be helpful afterwards?

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Hi Christine! And my apologies on the late reply. I was on a reduced schedule in the summer and not checking the website as often, and so I missed your comment at the time!

      There is evidence for Alpha Lipoic Acid IVs supporting the detoxing pathways, especially the liver, and as the supplement form is often included in detoxing protocols, I would assume (like with most IVs of this type) that the IV would provide a more concentrated delivery and therefore a more effective action than taking the supplement alone. I cannot say this for sure though as I am not a naturopath, so the best thing to do would be to ask about this wherever she gets her IV therapies. If you don’t already have a clinic you visit, do a Google search for naturopathic doctors or integrative doctors in your area with experience in cancer care and detoxing.

      Good luck to you and your daughter!

  6. TL

    Thank you for this information!
    I am praying about which path to take diagnostically after my colonoscopy last year showed an NET tumor grade 1. My symptoms have continued to increase & new ones have popped up.
    Last year, my gastro recommended a CT scan with contrast dye & I refused. My breast care specialist mentioned it to me years back & I rejected it then, too.
    I would prefer to start with an ultrasound or even an mri without contrast, but not sure if this is the way to go.

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Diagnostics are a tough decision for a lot of us. I myself refuse mammograms because, due to my young age and therefore the high number I would be getting over my lifetime, they would expose me to more radiation than I can be comfortable with and, more weighty, because I have dense breast tissue so they really aren’t effective (my mammogram was negative two weeks before my diagnosis even though I could see the tumour with my eyes when I pressed my skin down, as you may have read).

      I have tried asking for ultrasounds, but my oncologist doesn’t believe they are sensitive enough, so the only thing she will order besides a mammogram is an MRI with contrast. So far, I haven’t had any issues with the dye. You can absolutely ask for an ultrasound or a CT or MRI without contrast. These options are safer but won’t result in as sensitive an image, so you have to weigh those pros and cons for yourself and see what feels right for you. There is also the possibility that your doctor won’t order those since they aren’t the standard tests for this.

      As I said, I haven’t had any issues so far with the contrast dye, but that of course doesn’t mean that you won’t. The way my ND monitors and determines if it’s safe enough for me to continue getting MRIs with contrast is to check my kidney function with a blood test before I go in for my scan and throughout the year. If there are any issues at all, I would opt for no dye, as filtering through the kidneys is how the dye is removed from your body. You can support this process with the protocols outlined above in the blog.

      So really, my best advice is to take all the info in – the options, the pros, and the cons – and then sit with it and listen to what comes up in your body. What is your gut instinct telling you is the right way to go for YOU? Cancer and all of these decisions are unfortunately one of those times in life where no one can make the decision for us, it ultimately has to be all us. Good luck with your decisions! You will find the right path forward for you 🙂

  7. Kas

    My gastro dr wants to do a CT colon scan with contrast. He won’t do a regular colonoscopy, as my only symptom is long constipation.

    I have Smoldering myeloma and stage 3 kidney disease. I have had way too much radiation in my life , and had a bad reaction to the CT dye that caused my throat to close up. Haven’t had a dye since then, but I hear this colon scan requires it

    If they can’t guarantee my kidneys won’t get worse, this scan scares me more than whatever is going/ not going on in my bowel.

    I will try to do most of your detox before and after- if I have it- but I’m still petrified.

    • Solis Cancer Community

      I’m sorry, Kas, that you have experienced such side effects from scans and that you’re going through all of this.

      I would think that with your previous reaction to a contrast dye, you could request the colon scan without it and that it would be likely that your request would be approved by your doctor. They usually take past allergic reactions very seriously and are one of the only reasons I’ve seen them actually agree to do a scan without the dye. Your kidney function too is another reason I would think that they would agree to do it without the dye; the hospital requires I bring blood test results showing good kidney function before they will do the MRI with contrast that I get every year to ensure my kidneys will be able to process it optimally.

      I would definitely speak with your doctor and voice your concerns, even if you already have before. You could take him some research articles on the effect of poor kidney function on your body’s ability to get rid of the dye as well as any paperwork you have (if you have any or can request your records from the hospital/clinic where you had the reaction) documenting your allergic reaction. My hope is that he’ll do it without the dye! Good luck 🙂

      • Richard T O'Brien

        What a fantastic article thank you 🙏

        I have 2 question re
        vitamin D (the most active form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3),

        1. Is it much better than regular D3? I use D3 & K2 combined tablet as they compliment each other.
        2. Where can you get the active form D3?

        Many thanks again

        • Solis Cancer Community

          Hi Richard,

          I am by no means an expert on this, but my understanding is that we need the different forms of vit D (Cholecalciferol (D3)], 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D or Calcifediol], and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D or Calcitriol) for different functions, so all three forms are needed. Your body takes in D3 (via sunlight, food, supplementation, etc.) and then converts it to the other two forms. So, I’m not sure what you mean by “most active”, as each form performs different actions in the body. This is a great article explaining the three forms and what they do:

          As far as I know, D3 is the only form considered to be a nutrient (while 25(OHD) is a hormone and 1,25(OH)2D is a metabolite of D3), so it’s the only one that you would supplement. To answer your second question, D3 is certainly the only form that I have seen as a supplement, so I don’t know if it’s possible to get 1,25 in supplement form.

          I also take D3 and K2, and from my knowledge, you’re taking the right thing! If you are concerned about your D levels, you can get a blood test done. You want to be as close to the the highest end of the normal range as possible. And as always, I am not a healthcare professional, so this information should not be taken as medical advice and you should always check with your doctor (medical or naturopathic) before adding anything new to or changing your protocol.

          Hope that clarifies things!

  8. Michael Boxenbaum

    Excellent article. One possibility post MRI with gadolinium is IV vitamin C. According to the book “Primal Panacea” by Tom Levy, MD,JD, cardiologist/attorney and world expert on high dose IV vitamin C, vitamin C can neutralize 9 heavy metals like mercury, lead and arsenic, etc. Our patients get a high dose IV vitamin c post MRI w/gadolinium.

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Thank you, and excellent addition! How soon after an MRI with gadolinium should one get the IVC?

      • Michael Boxenbaum

        Same day if possible.

        • Solis Cancer Community

          Excellent. Thanks!

    • Kathy Johnson

      Yes, I always thought vit c was used , I know after for sure, but I am not sure about before. I’d like more research on this. Explanation seems to make sense to not, but need the info of not taking BEFORE.

  9. Beth

    Is it OK to use ACV before a CT with contrast?

    • Solis Cancer Community

      As in apple cider vinegar? I’ve never heard anything to suggest that ACV would mess with a CT scan in any way, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something about ACV that means you should avoid it before a scan. This is something that the doctor ordering the scan would be able to answer, since one thing conventional doctors are usually very good about keeping on top of is negative interactions like that.

  10. Gorgeta

    300 mg of Melatonin?
    Sounds so much.

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Hi Gorgeta!

      It is indeed a lot, but this is the recommended amount for radiation protection. It’s always a good idea to do a test run with this amount to see how it affects you so that you know whether you need a ride home from the scan, for example, in the event that it makes you too drowsy to drive. In addition to scan protection, melatonin in high doses has additional effects, such as having anticancer and immune modulating effects. For anticancer effects, the amount recommended might be anywhere from 20mg to 180mg nightly (I myself take 60mg). If you are looking for more information on higher doses of melatonin, check out this article:

      Thanks for reading!

    • Chris

      Would fulvic acid foot bath be beneficial to detox?

      • Solis Cancer Community

        Hi Chris,

        That’s one that I haven’t heard anything about specifically in the context of scan detoxing. The research I’ve seen on fulvic acid helping with radiation protection/detox was done with rats and given to them internally, so I’m not sure if there would be a benefit to doing an external foot soak. I’m assuming you’re thinking about this based on the theory that toxins can be excreted through the soles of the feet? So perhaps for heavy metals it would help, though no guarantees obviously. I’m not 100% sure, so I would do your own research on this, but I don’t think it would do anything to counteract or interfere with your detoxing steps, as long as you follow safety recommendations for fulvic acid.

  11. Pauline

    For more info on high dose melatonin, check out Dr. Frank Schallenberger
    Expert on it. Also, the Riordan clinic in Wichita, KS uses it per Dr. Schallenberger. He has all his cancer patients on 60mg 3x/day with 120 – 180 MG at bedtime.
    Dr Schallenberger recommends even higher dose prior to scans.

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Excellent! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. Ann

    Do you suggest the same protocol for Mammogram as the one for PET/CT/Xray?

    • Solis Cancer Community

      I would think so, as it’s appropriate for anything that involves radiation, which a mammogram does.

  13. Akramul Kabir

    What need to do before and after a nuclear bone scan? Will be grateful if you reply thanks

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Hi Akramul,

      For the bone scan, I’m assuming you are taking a nuclear substance orally or intravenously, similar to the intravenous contrast dye for an MRI? And nuclear trackers, as far as I know, are radioactive, so I would combine the protocols for both types of scans and do everything from both. They are quite similar but have a few differences, like high dose melatonin for protecting against radioactivity. I would of course though consult with a naturopath or other healthcare professional to ensure that you are doing everything you should be to detox and not doing anything you shouldn’t be.

      Hope that helps!

  14. Jenny

    Hello! Great info here. Would you recommend biofulvic after a CT with contrast ? Thank you!

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Hi there,

      I can’t make formal recommendations as I’m not a healthcare professional, but there is some research with rats to suggest that humates increased their lifespan after exposure to lethal levels of radiation. It is also suggested that they support your immune system and increase the bioavailability of other nutrients, so it sounds to me like it could be a supportive supplement to take before and after a scan involving radiation. Of course though, always check with your healthcare team before introducing supplements or anything else into your protocol.

  15. Akramul

    Rebecca, finding difficulties to buy Melatonin 300 mg and Oxicell Cream. Where I get get these?

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Both of these are challenging to find in Canada! I get my melatonin from my naturopath, and even then, 60mg is the highest she can order. You can contact them about it, but you may need to be a patient. Perhaps you can become one just for this? This is their website, just send them an email or give them a call: The other option is to get someone to bring you a higher dose from the states (their regulations are much more lax on maximum supplement dosages) or to go yourself. Even the supplement section of a grocery store will have higher doses! So frustrating that that’s not the case here.

      And for the Oxicell, you can find it on Amazon, it’s just very expensive. Just search it up on Amazon. Last scan, I used a glutathione face cream instead from Swanson, but I don’t think it’s as effective; I figured some glutathione was better than none though, and I just couldn’t dish out $100 for Oxicell! Just go to and search glutathione cream.

  16. Sarah Myers

    I had my MRI two months ago and thought I had a substance that would help me detox the metal from an MRI. Come to find out that yes it does detox the bad metals but takes the good metals we need too. I didn’t where to search for another option of eliminating the metal. Eventually I asked the right people and I was given this article! What would you suggest doing since it’s been a lot of days since my MRI?

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Hi Sarah,

      I would follow the same protocol laid out here, regardless of how long it’s been. Follow the same number of days just pretending that today (or whatever day you start) is the “day of” the MRI. I didn’t know that I should be doing anything like this for the first few years of getting regular MRIs, so I had at least 4 (two the year I was diagnosed and one a year after that) without doing anything extra to support the elimination of the gadolinium. So don’t worry! These methods will be supportive no matter long it’s been. The sooner the better obviously, but there will still be a benefit.

      If you are concerned about gadolinium and other heavy metals being more deeply/firmly fixed in your body, in fat cells for example, then I would find a naturopath or functional doctor (if you don’t have one already) who has experience with detoxing. There are some more advanced therapies that they can do in-clinic that support more extensive detoxing.

      Hope that helps!

  17. Sheila

    I had to have a cat scan to check on a lesion on my solemn. I took apple pectin for a few days, not quite a week before and will continue after. I was told I should do an mri but ins denied it. I didn’t find out about apple pectin bought it and started taking it next day. Am I going to be ok? I had severe headache after and very tired. My eyes hurt and neck. I drank tons of water before and after more then suggested amount. I drink a lot of water regularly. Can I take a Benadryl if need be?

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Hi Sheila,

      I’m so sorry that you are experiencing discomfort. In terms of your being okay, I can’t speculate on your symptoms and how long they will last, if they will resolve, etc. as I’m not a healthcare professional. That would be a question for your naturopath or functional doctor. If you are still experiencing symptoms, there are definitely advanced therapies that a naturopath, holistic, or functional doctor could do in-clinic to help support your body in recovering. So, I will suggest that you start there 🙂

  18. Debra

    I need all of this info for future scans! Thank you!!!

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Not a problem! I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

  19. Susan

    I need to fast 8 hours before the MRI contrast scan. How do I incorporate high dose melatonin in this instance? Thank you.

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Hi Susan,

      Melatonin does not have sugar or carbs, so it will not break your fast. The capsule shouldn’t either. You just need to ensure you are getting a melatonin supplement that doesn’t contain any additional ingredients that could break your fast (like a melatonin gummy for example).

  20. KSadler

    I had a CT scan with contrast at the ER a few days ago, so unfortunately was not able to prepare, will doing the after protocol be beneficial at this point? Or is it too late for that?

    • Solis Cancer Community

      Hi there,

      Especially because you had contrast dye with the CT, I would still follow the same protocol laid out here, regardless of how long it’s been. Follow the same number of days just pretending that the day you start is the “day of” the scan. These methods will be supportive no matter how long it’s been. The sooner the better obviously, but there will still be a benefit.

      If you are concerned about heavy metals and other toxins being more deeply fixed in fat cells for example, then I would find a naturopath or functional doctor (if you don’t have one already) who has experience with detoxing. There are some more advanced therapies that they can do in-clinic that support more extensive detoxing as well as doing a heavy metal test to see which ones in particular are an issue for you. Different methods work better for different metals, so this can be helpful for refining the approach.

      Good luck 🙂

  21. Leilani

    Thank you so much for this information! Wondering if there is a child-specific protocol for X-rays at the Dentist/Chiropractor?? Thank you!


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