Radiation Protection

Introduction and Summary from my article Radiation Protection

Many, many supplements and foods offer radiation protection and are non-toxic. These nutrients have been researched in scientific studies easily accessible to anyone on the website of the United States’ National Library of Medicine, also known as PubMed.

Here is my short list of the most important radiation-protecting supplements, compiled from a review of this research: Vitamins C and E (particularly mixed tocopherols and succinate forms); the essential fatty acid DHA; the minerals selenium, calcium, and iodine; probiotics; the hormonal supplement melatonin; the herbs mint, lemon balm,  curcumin, ginseng, ginger, rosemary, and gotu kola; and the detoxifiers laminaria (seaweed) or its extract sodium alginate,  sodium bicarbonate, apple pectin, and possibly  vitamin D.   Certainly no one would wish to ingest all the herbs on this list.  I document several herbs for your information.  Suggested amounts of each supplement are given in Appendix I.

Certain foods also offer demonstrated radiation protection:  beets, spinach, grapefruit, apricots, mustard greens, black grapes, Indian gooseberry or aamla, and Amaranthus gangeticus (“Elephant ears,” eaten as salad greens).

Other herbs may protect from radiation damage, but the evidence supporting their use is less compelling.  These are listed here in descending order from most to least corroborating evidence: rhodiola, grape seed extract, spirulina, lycopene, cat’s claw, chlorella, gymnema, and aloe vera. The evidence for the radiation protection qualities of these less-studied supplements is contained in Appendix III.

Several supplements are promoted on the Internet as offering protection from radiation, but many of these claims are not backed by published research, or the published research is negative or troubling for other reasons.  These questionable supplements include glutathione (as an oral supplement), bentonite clay, liquid zeolite, miso, alpha lipoic acid, and N-acetyl-cysteine.   My reasons for excluding these items from my short list appear in section XI.  Of course, the lack of published evidence is not evidence of ineffectiveness.

Vitamins, minerals and herbs may interact with prescription drugs.    Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking supplements if you are already taking drugs.  The issue of whether persons currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiation for cancer can safely take antioxidant supplements is discussed briefly in Appendix II.    Cancer patients should consult a nutritional-oriented oncologist.



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