While acute radiation sickness is most worrisome as  the events unfolding at Japan’s Fujishima Nuclear Power Plant, long term exposure to low doses of radiation, which happened after Chernobyl’s meltdown in 1986 is a potential danger for not only Japan, but North America, as the jet stream delivers radioactive material emitted from the plant.

According to medical scientists, outside of Japan, the health risks caused by radiation exposure, are not going to be due to acute radiation poisoning. Instead, it will be due to the possibility of exposure to chronic low grade radiation. That exposure is a risk factor for cancer.

After Chernobyl, a significant portion of West Germany was heavily contaminated with nuclear material. Hungary, Sweden and Norway, Sweden. Hungary were also contaminated. The radiation was taken up into the vegetation, and food was radioactive. Cows ate contaminated grass, and, the radioactive particles in the milk remained in cheese.

Strontium-90 is the radioactive material that contaminated the ground and plants in those countries, Its radiation is incorporated into the bones and stays for a lifetime.”

Depending on the levels and length of time the power plants emit radiation, there is a potential impact on food grown in the Western hemisphere due to the period of time required to for the radioactivity to stop (usually 30 years and beyond).

Yes, certain vitamins can, as proven in laboratory studies. Fortunately, there are many vitamins with that have been proven to protect cells against radiation.

For example, researchers have found that glutathione, a potent antioxidant our cells create. If we take glutathione which is available for purchase in many health food stores, that does not raise our glutathione levels. It is digested in the liver. Unless glutathione is administered intravenously, the alternative is to take get the glutathione-elevating agents such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and Alpha Lipoic acid, to humans, protect normal tissues against radiation damage.

In addition to glutathione-elevating agents, dietary antioxidants such as vitamins E, C and Beta-carotene also provide protection against radiation. Unfortunately little attention has been given to these agents with respect to their use in protecting normal tissue against radiation damage in humans.

Other laboratory studies do provide supporting evidence for using antioxidants for radiation protection in humans have determined that Vitamins E, C, Beta-carotene, lycopene protected animals tissue during radiation therapy. A combination of vitamins A, C,E protected the bone marrow of animals exposed.

Also, other antioxidants including glutathione, selenium in the form of selenomethionine, n-acetylcysteine (NAC), lipoic acid and co-enzyme Q10 protected human cells (in laboratory experiments) and animals against the damage caused by ionizing radiation.

Keep in mind, as I discussed in Special Report Part 1 and Special Report Part 2, there are different types of radiation, and potassium iodide protects against the radioactive iodine, while these antioxidant vitamins protect against others.

Yours in good health,
Elaine R. Ferguson, MD