The radiation from Fukushima Japan has worked its way around the world via the winds. The French radiation watchdog agency CRIIRAD, found significant levels of radiation in the milk there and suggested that mothers of young children not let them drink milk, eat certain vegetables or drink rain water. It considered those activities “risky” behavior. 1
The atmospheric radiation moved west to east, and passed over the U.S. before it reached France. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found unacceptable levels of radioactive Iodine 131 in some U.S. milk samples. One batch registered at six times the EPA maximum safety threshold. 2 A sample from Hawaii also tested very high for Cesium 13 I and 134.
Instead of issuing warnings, the EPA proposed raising the acceptable levels of radiation by somewhere between 3000 and 100,000 times.3. They subsequently announced that since the Fukushima radiation is not really a problem, they wouldn’t bother checking the milk again for another three months.4 If asked, they can always say…”We have no recent figures on that”.
Since the radiation is turning up everywhere and in common foods, it becomes quite likely that everyone will consume it at some point. The obvious question is, “How can we protect ourselves?”
There are numerous substances which are rumored to offer protection against radiation. However, in a situation like this, rumor is not sufficient. Therefore, you will find below a list of substances whose efficacy is backed by at least some research. This is not an exhaustive list, but it will get you in the ballpark. You may evaluate these items and see which ones make most sense
for you. After the list of nutrients is a description of some homeopathic remedies whose symptom pictures fit the effects of radiation injury.
I invite readers to enlarge this list of researched substances having radio-protective effects.
Removal of Radionuclides from the
Decorporation of Chernobyl radionuclides
Nesterenko VB, Nesterenko AV.
Source – Institute
of Radiation Safety (BELRAD), 2-nd Marusinsky St. 27, Minsk 220053, Belarus.
email@example.com Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Nov;1181:303-10
“The curative-like use of apple-pectin food additives might be especially helpful for effective decorporation of Cesium-137. From 1996 to 2007 a total of more than 160,000 Belarussian children received pectin food additives during 18 to 25 days of treatment (5 g twice a day). As a result, levels of Cesium-137 in children’s organs decreased after each course of pectin additives by an average of 30 to 40%”.
Manufacture and application of various pectin-based food additives and drinks (using apples, currants, grapes, sea seaweed, etc.) is one of the most effective ways for individual radioprotection (through decorporation) under circumstances where consumption of radioactively contaminated food is unavoidable.
L-Carnitine ( a naturally occurring amino acid)
Comparison of protective effects of L-carnitine and amifostine on radiation-induced toxicity to growing bone: histopathology and scintigraphy findings.
“L-carnitine is equally as effective as amifostine at protecting growing bone against single dose irradiation damage”
Radiation-induced thyroid cancer
Radioactive iodine, especially 131I, may be released into the environment as a result of nuclear reactor accidents. Thyroid accumulation of radioactive iodine increases the risk of developing thyroid cancer, especially in children. The increased iodine trapping activity of the thyroid gland in iodine deficiency results in increased thyroid accumulation of radioactive iodine (131I). Thus, iodine-deficient individuals are at increased risk of developing radiation-induced thyroid cancer because they will accumulate greater amounts of radioactive iodine. Potassium iodide administered in pharmacologic doses (50-100 mg for adults) within 48 hours before or eight hours after radiation exposure from a nuclear reactor accident can significantly reduce thyroid uptake of 131I and decrease the risk of radiation-induced thyroid cancer. The prompt and widespread use of potassium iodide prophylaxis in Poland after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear
reactor accident may explain the lack of a significant increase in childhood thyroid cancer in Poland compared to fallout areas where potassium iodide prophylaxis was not widely used. In the U.S., the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requires that consideration be given to potassium iodide as a protective measure for the general public in the case of a major release of radioactivity
from a nuclear power plant.
Food sources of Iodine
Food sources of iodine in mcg : Salt (iodized) 1 gram 77mcg, Egg, boiled 1 large 12mcg, Navy beans, cooked 1/2 cup 32 mcg, Potato with peel, baked 1 medium 60 mcg, Turkey breast, baked 3 ounces 34 mcg, Seaweed 1/4 ounce, dried Variable; may be greater than 4,500 mcg (4.5 mg).
Beta 1,3, Glucan Derived from Baker’s yeast
Beta-1,3-glucan’s radiation protection effects were shown in 1985 when the U.S. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute announced the results of their recent experiments.
Myra D. Patchen, M.D., and her team at the Institute exposed mice to lethal doses of radiation.
When the mice were given an oral dose of beta-1,3-glucan after the radiation exposure, 70% were completely protected from the damaging effects. Dr. Patchen also suggested that beta-1,3-glucan
should be considered as an effective way of rebuilding the immune system and preventing infection following chemotherapy and radiation in cancer treatment. Dr. Patchen further suggested that beta-1,3-glucan appears to work as a free-radical scavenger (anti-oxidant) and may even protect the macrophages from damage by radiation, toxins, heavy
Ascorbic acid gives different protective effects in human cells exposed to X-rays and heavy ions.
N- Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
Protective effect of N-acetylcysteine against radiation induced DNA damage and hepatic toxicity in rats.
“Results show that pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine offers protection against gamma-radiation induced cellular damage.”
Effect of N-acetylcysteine on radiation-induced genotoxicity and cytotoxicity
in rat bone marrow.
Green tea polyphenols
Bioactive components from the tea polyphenols influence endogenous antioxidant defense system and modulate inflammatory cytokines after total-body irradiation in mice.
Phytomedicine. 2011 Apr 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Hu Y, Guo DH, Liu P, Cao JJ, Wang YP, Yin J, Zhu Y, Rahman K.
Source Dept. of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacy, Centre of Pharmacy, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China.
Abstract – The present study aimed to evaluate the radioprotective efficacy of green tea polyphenols and the component ingredients against irradiated-induced damage in mice and elucidate the underlying mechanisms. GTP and its bioactive components (catechin, epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin-3-gallate) assisted in decreasing the leukocytopenia seen after whole mice irradiation and significantly reduced the elevated serum inflammatory cytokines (TNF-?, IL-1?, and IL-6). Green tea polyphenols have a potential to be developed as radioprotective agents against irradiated-induced
Protection against ionizing radiation by antioxidant nutrients and phytochemicals
Weiss JF, Landauer MR.
Office of Health Studies, US Department of Energy, EH-6/270 Corporate Square, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585-0270, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Results from animal experiments indicate that antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin E and selenium compounds, are protective against lethality and other radiation effects but to a lesser degree than most synthetic protectors. Some antioxidant nutrients and phytochemicals have the advantage of low toxicity although they are generally protective when administered at pharmacological doses. Naturally occurring antioxidants also may provide an extended window of protection against low-dose, low-dose-rate irradiation, including therapeutic potential when administered after irradiation. A number of phytochemicals, including caffeine, genistein, and melatonin, have multiple physiological effects, as well as antioxidant activity, which result in radioprotection in vivo.
Water soluble Vitamin E (TMG) as a Radioprotector.
Tocopherol monoglucoside (TMG), a water soluble derivative of vitamin E offers protection against deleterious effects of ionizing radiation
Embryonic mortality resulting from exposure of pregnant mice to ionizing radiation (2 Gy) was reduced by 75% by ip administration of TMG (0.6 g/kg, body wt) prior to irradiation. TMG offered protection to mice against whole body gamma-radiation-induced lethality and weight loss. The LD50(30) of mice increased from 6 to 6.72 Gy upon post irradiation administration of a single dose of TMG (0.6 g/kg, body wt) by ip.
Radioprotective potential of ginseng (genus Panax)
This review addresses the issue of the radioprotective effects of ginseng on mammalian cells both in vitro and in vivo. Results indicate that the water-soluble extract of whole ginseng appears to give a better protection against radiation-induced DNA damage than does the isolated ginsenoside fractions.
“Protective effect of Ginkgo biloba against radiation-induced cellular damage in human peripheral lymphocytes and murine spleen cells”
International Journal of Low Radiation, 2009, 6, 209-218.
The data demonstrated that EGb, through its free-radical scavenging and antioxidant properties, attenuates IR-induced apoptosis in radiosensitive cells, suggesting that EGb may have a potential benefit in enhancing radioprotective effects.
A 1989 study put forth by researchers from Zhongkai Agriculture and Technology College in China found in tests that Spirulina significantly reduces the gamma radiation-induced micronucleus frequencies in the bone marrow of affected mice. Bone marrow, of course, is responsible for producing new blood cells and maintaining the lymphatic system (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/…).
PEONY -Chinese Herb
Protective effect of paeoniflorin on irradiation-induced cell damage involved in modulation of reactive oxygen species and the mitogen-activated protein kinases.
The objective of this study was to investigate the radioprotective effect of paeoniflorin (PF, a main
bioactive component in the traditional Chinese herb peony
In vivo radioprotection with garlic extract
Garlic extract was evaluated in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test for its possible protective effects against gamma-radiation-induced chromosomal damage.. The irradiated garlic-extract pre-treated animals showed a significant reduction in sulfhydryl content and glutathione S-transferase activities
Mutat Res. 1995 Dec;345(3-4):147-53. Singh SP, Abraham SK, Kesavan PC.
Source – School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
Radioprotective effects of citrus extract against gamma-irradiation in mouse bone marrow cells.
The radioprotective effects of citrus extract were investigated by using the micronucleus test for anticlastogenic and cell proliferation activity. The flavonoids contained in citrus extract reduced the clastogenic effect of radiation on mice bone marrow. Therefore fruits and vegetables containing flavonoids may be useful under such stress conditions as irradiation.
J Radiat Res (Tokyo). 2003 Sep;44(3):237-41. Hosseinimehr SJ, Tavakoli H, Pourheidari G, Sobhani A, Shafiee A.
Source Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. email@example.com
Radioprotective effects of miso (fermented soy bean paste) against radiation in B6C3F1 mice: increased small intestinal crypt survival, crypt lengths and prolongation of average time to death.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11833659 Hiroshima J Med Sci. 2001 Dec;50(4):836.
Ohara M, Lu H, Shiraki K, Ishimura Y, Uesaka T, Katoh O, Watanabe H.
Source – Department of Environment and Mutation, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Japan.
Abstract – The radioprotective effect of miso, a fermentation product from soy bean, was investigated with reference to the survival time, crypt survival and jejunum crypt length in male B6C3F1 mice. Miso at three different fermentation stages (early-, medium- and long-term fermented miso) was mixed in MF diet into biscuits at 10% and was administered from 1 week
before irradiation. Animal survival in the long-term fermented miso group was significantly prolonged as compared with the short-term fermented miso and MF cases after 8 Gy of 60Co-gamma-ray irradiation at a dose rate of 2Gy min(-1). Delay in mortality was evident in all three miso groups, with significantly increased survival. At doses of 10 and 12 Gy X-irradiation at a dose rate of 4 Gy min(-1), the treatment with long-term fermented miso significantly increased crypt survival. Also the protective influence against irradiation in terms of crypt lengths in the long-term fermented miso group was significantly greater than in the short-term or medium-term fermented miso and MF diet groups. Thus, prolonged fermentation appears to be very important for protection against radiation effects.
Mentha piperita and M. arvensis protected mice against the ?-radiation-induced sickness and mortality.
Ocimum tenuiflorum (also tulsi, tulas?, or Holy Basil)
Tulsi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely known across South Asia as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea. It also shows some promise for protection from radiation poisoning.
Note:Contraindications – Holy Basil should not be taken while pregnant or nursing or for an extended period of time. Use caution if you have high blood pressure or rheumatic heart disease.
Devi, P. Uma; Ganasoundari, A.. Modulation of glutathione and antioxidant enzymes by Ocimum sanctum and its role in protection against radiation injury. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, v.37, n.3, 1999. March,:262-268.
Echinacea (E.) purpurea
This herb is commonly known as the purple coneflower.
Phytotherapeutic effects of Echinacea purpurea in gamma-irradiated mice.
Milk Thistle Extract
Radioprotection of plasmid and cellular DNA and Swiss mice by silibinin
Tiwari P, Kumar A, Ali M, Mishra KP.
Source –Radiological Physics and Advisory Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400 085, India. Mutat Res. 2010 Jan;695(1-2):55-60. Epub 2009 Nov 27.
Abstract -The radioprotective effect of a non-toxic bioactive component in plant milk thistle, silibinin against genotoxicity induced by gamma-irradiation was investigated in vivo/in vitro. Our extended animal studies suggest that oral administration of silibinin (70mg/kg for 3 days)
to mice prior to whole-body gamma-exposure (7.5Gy) resulted in significant protection to radiation-induced mortality and DNA damage in blood leukocytes. However, silibinin treatment after irradiation was not as effective as pre-administration.
Evaluating the radioprotective effect of hesperidin in the liver of Swiss albino mice.
Concentration-Dependent Protection by Ethanol Extract of Propolis against ?-Ray-Induced Chromosome Damage in Human Blood Lymphocytes.
A significant and concentration-dependent decrease is observed in the frequency of chromosome aberrations in samples treated with EEP (ethanol extract of propolis)..
Naringin, a citrus flavonone, protects against radiation-induced chromosome damage in mouse bone marrow
Ganesh Chandra Jagetia1, V.A. Venkatesha and Tiyyagura Koti ReddyDepartment of Radiobiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal 576 119, India
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the radioprotective action of 2 mg/kg naringin in the bone marrow of mice exposed to different doses of 60Co ??radiation. Treatment of mice with 2 mg/kg body wt naringin before exposure to various doses of ??radiation resulted in a significant reduction in the frequencies of aberrant cells and chromosomal aberrations like acentric fragments, chromatid and chromosome breaks, centric rings, dicentrics and exchanges. Our study demonstrates that naringin can protect mouse bone marrow cells against radiation-induced chromosomal damage.
The radioprotective effects of aqueous extract from chlorococcal freshwater algae (Chlorella kessleri) in mice and rats.
Alginic acid and Alginate (found in seaweed)
Biomaterials for the decorporation (removal) of (85)Strontium in the rat.
Health Phys. 2010 Sep;99(3):394-400.
Levitskaia TG, Creim JA, Curry TL, Luders T, Morris JE, Peterson JM, Thrall KD.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PO Box 999, MSIN P7-22, Richland, WA 99352, USA. Tatiana.firstname.lastname@example.org
Strontium is chemically and biologically similar to calcium, and is incorporated primarily into bone following internal deposition. Alginic acid (alginate) obtained from seaweed (kelp) extract selectively binds ingested strontium in the gastrointestinal tract blocking its systemic uptake and reducing distribution to bone in rats. Alginate exhibits the unique ability to discriminate between strontium and calcium and has been previously shown to reduce intestinal absorption and skeletal retention of strontium without changing calcium metabolism.
Homeopathic Remedies for Radiation Effects
These homeopathic remedies are not suggested as prophylaxis and as always, must be chosen on the symptom complex. This is only a sample of the possible remedies.
Radium bromatum –Severe aching pains and great restlessness. Anxious, fear of being alone in the dark and desires company. Dreams of fire. Violent cramping in abdomen. Severe pain in all limbs. Itching all over body. Necrosis and ulceration. Internal chill with heat of skin.
Cadmium sulph – Terrible nausea, black vomit, freezing cold and can’t get warm. Also vomits green mucus, blood, or “coffee grounds”. Bloody-black offensive stools. Extreme exhaustion.
Ipecacuanha – Constant nausea not relieved by vomiting. Bloody slimy stools. Bleeding from lungs with nausea. Tongue clear. Profuse salivation and thirstless. Worse from the slightest motion and from warmth.
Phosphorus – Bleeding bright red blood from any orifice. Craves ice cold drinks but vomits them soon after. Heightened sensitivity to noise, odors, lights and startles easily.. Fear of being alone. Exhausting diarrhea.
Arsenicum album – Anxious, chilly, restless, exhausted, thirsty for small sips. Burning pains relieved by heat, fear of being alone, worse after midnight.
Xray –Stiff neck, sticking pains in head and face. Nausea, rheumatic pain, tired, sick feeling. Tongue dry, rough , sore. Dry skin and painful cracks. Chronic itching eruptions.
Ginseng and Ruta (potentized)
Khuda-Bukhsh, A.R., Banik, S.,Assessment of Cytogenetic Damage in X-irradiated Mice and its Alteration by Oral Administration of Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Ginseng D200, Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 1991, 1,4/5:254. Also Khuda-Bukhsh, A.R. Maity, S., Alteration of Cytogenetic Effects by Oral Administration of Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Ruta graveolens in Mice Exposed to Sub-lethal X-radiation, Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 1991, 1, 4/5:264.
White mice were exposed to X radiation with a power of 100 to 200 rad (non lethal dosage) and were then evaluated after 24, 48 and 72 hours. Ginseng 6X, 30CH and 200CH and Ruta graveolans 30CH and 200CH were given before and after the radiation. In comparison to mice who received placebo, those who were administered with homeopathic medicines presented significantly less damage in cells and chromosomes. (A.R. Khuda-Bukhsh, S. Banik, “Assessment of Cytogenetic Damage in X-irradiated Mice and its Alteration by Oral Administration of Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Ginseng D200,” Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 1991, 1,4/5:254. Also Khuda-Bukhsh, A.R. Maity, S., “Alteration of Cytogenetic Effects by Oral Administration of Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Ruta graveolens in Mice Exposed to Sub-lethal X-radiation,” Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 1991, 1, 4/5:264).