The Anti-radiation Diet:
An anti-radiation diet should focus on the following food factors:
- High nucleotide content foods for cellular repair
- Miso soup, Spirulina, chlorella and the algaes
- Cruciferous and high beta carotene vegetables
- A mineral rich diet including lots of potassium and calcium
- Avoid sweets and wheat!
Eat A "Nucleotide Rich" Diet to Maximize Cellular Repair
Nucleotides are precurser molecules or building blocks that when combined with a purine or pyrimidine nucleobase,
a pentose sugar, and a phosphate group . . . form the nucleaic acids RNA and DNA. In the case of RNA . . . a single-stranded molecule, while in the case of DNA . . . a double helix structure.
Nucleaic acids carry our genetic code and play a vital role in gene exprression.
DNA is involved in replication, a critical part of cell motosis. RNA directs the synthesis
of proteins and is synthezied itself, using DNA as a template, in a process known as transcription.
Nucleotides also perform the following functions:
- Increase the body's ability to heal and repair itself
- Increase cellular metabolism and the production of energy
- Neutralize toxins and enhance the effects of antioxidants
- Improve the response and efficiency of the immune system
The importance of nucleaic acids and thus their nucleotide precursers can not be understated.
After exposure to radiation, when you will need a lot of help with RNA/DNA repair,
it makes sense to adapt a diet which includes
abundant amounts of high nucleotide foods on a daily basis, so that as many cells of yours, as possible
can make use of these RNA/DNA precursers.
"Nucleotide rich" foods, which include breast milk, sardines, brewer's yeast, anchovies, mackerel, lentils,
most beans, animal liver, oysters, chlorella and spirulina, have been shown to exhibit radioprotective qualities.
Numerous studies have confirmed that injestion of "nucleotide rich" foods prolong the survival rate of animals exposed to radiation. All sorts of animals have shown these effects -- mice, rats, and dogs.
We have already discussed the radioprotective benefits of consuming spirulina and chlorella, irregardless of their high nucleotide content, but if you factor in how "nucleotide rich" they are, their inclusion in an anti-radiation diet is a "no brainer", as is the inclusion of other "nucleotide rich" foods such as yeast and sardines as well.
Yeast is extremely helpful for radiation from a preventative, detoxification and
physical rebuilding aspect. It has been proven to help recovery from radiation
damage and can be made quite palatable by mixing it with tomato juice or
fermented beet juice (that also aids the body after radiation exposure) which
creates, in effect, a drink with two benefits instead of one.
Russian researchers have reported that radiation damages could be influenced
favorably by yeast, which they found could help build and regenerate cells
damaged by radiation (Dokl. Akad., Nauk S.S.D.R., BD. 126, p. 417).
In Germany, researcher Holger Metz found that feeding patients certain types of
beer yeast -- while they underwent radiation therapy -- prevented an entire list of
systems usually associated with acute radiation syndrome: skin redness, hair
loss, depression, inflammation of the mucus membranes (in the throat and
gullet), and other sorts of radiation damage.
A study performed at Montefiore Hospital in New York involved giving cancer
patients heavy daily doses of yeast, before undergoing radiation treatment.
The researchers found that those patients receiving the yeast remained free of
radiation symptoms, while the untreated patients experienced anemia, a decrease
in hemoglobin and vomiting (Samachson et al. Arch Biochem Biophys 1960, 88: 335).
Part of yeast's protective and cancer fighting effects come from its high vitamin
content and sulfur content which is the key element found in glutathione, NAC
and alpha lipoic acid, which are powerful body antioxidants. It also is a great
provider of the mineral selenium, which seems to play an anti-cancer role in the
body, and iron, which can help prevent anemia and inhibit the uptake of
It is worth noting that nucleotides perform their functions best in an alkaline environment,
which means that after radiation exposure, in addition to increasing your dietary nucleotide intake,
you should also eat plenty of vegetables, less meat and increase your calcium intake as well.
Eat Miso Soup Several Times A Week
In the anti-radiation supplements section we discussed the story of
Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki, who after the Nagasaki atomic bomb, saved
his patients and staff from acute radiation sickness, at near-by
St. Francis hospital, by providing a strict diet devoid of sweets
and included daily miso soup, vegetables, seaweed and brown rice.
In a 1972 follow up study, Dr. Akizuki and his co-workers were found to
be completley free of any ill effects from the radiation exposure. The evidence
that his anti-radiaiton diet works is quite complelling.
Further evidence comes from the former Soviet Union, which since the 1950's had
been dumping nuclear waste into Karachar Lake in Chelyabinsk. Many of the local
residents started suffering from radiation symptoms and cancer.
In 1985 the medical doctors there changed their treatment approach with these patients
and began incorporating miso soup into their diet. Doctors Lidia Yamchuk and Hanif
Sharimardanov wrote: "Miso is helping some of our patients with terminal cancer
to survive. Their blood improved as soon as they began to use miso daily."
In another Japanese study that spanned a 25-year period, the Japanese Cancer
Institute tracked 260,000 subjects and divided them into three groups. The first
group ate miso soup daily, the second group consumed miso 2-3 times a week,
the third group ate no miso at all. The results showed that those who had not
eaten any miso had a 50% higher incidence of cancer than those who had eaten
In 1972, zybicolin was isolated from miso and found to be the active ingredient which
acts as a binding agent to detoxify and eliminate radioactive elements (such as strontium)
and other toxins from the body.
Eat Lots Of Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables from the brassica family including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower,
brussel sprouts, kale, collards, arugula, turnips, radishes, mustard greens, bok choy,
watercress and spinach. are very rich in sulfur compounds and as a result have
tremendous radioprotective beneifts and abilities to help repair radiation damage.
We mentioned previously (in the anti-radiaiton supplements section)
that guinea pigs bombarded with radiation lived a lot longer if they ate
cabbage or broccoli. In fact, cancer researchers have found that all the
brassica family plants protect cells from the damaging effects of radiation.
As we've already said, one of the benefits of the brassica plants is that they are rich in
sulfur compounds, however a common misconception is that it is the sulfur compounds
themsleves which bind to the heavy metals. Actually the sulfur compounds don't bind to
the heavy metals directly, but rather indirectly as they are involved in the synthesis of
glutathione, which is the real hero in heavy metal detoxification and free radical neutralization.
Sulfur helps the mitochondria in cells resists radiation, helps repair DNA
molecules, and prevents the absorption of radioactive sulfur-35. Most of the
sulfur containing vegetables contain cysteine and those with the highest sulfur
contents are, of course, the members of the cabbage family.
Clearly, after radiation exposure, one should increase their consumption of sulfur-containing vegetables,
kelp, cysteine (thiol) and antioxidants.
Eat Lots Of Beta Carotene Rich Vegetables
Numerous studies have shown beta carotene to be especially helpful in fighting
radiation and strengthening the immune system. For instance, researchers
have reported the radio-protective effect of beta-carotene from a study conducted on over
700 children exposed to the Chernobyl radiation. Japanese researchers found that diets high
in carotenes significantly reduced DNA damage in humans exposed to radiation. Natural beta-
carotene protects against the lipid oxidation and acts as a fatty acid antioxidant radioprotector.
To increase your natural consumption of carotenes after radiation exposure you
can eat more yams, squash, carrots, swiss chard or spinach. Eating lots of
orange and dark green foods (sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, carrots,
kale, collards, chard, and spinach, for example) is what protects you from
radiation effects that might damage your DNA. While supplements of beta-
carotene did not show this effect, you can consume products with mixed
carotenoids to help increase your carotenoid consumption.
Eat a Mineral Rich Diet
Consuming an abundance of minerals is an essential part of an anti-radiation diet.
Minerals are difficult for the body to absorb, so it is important to eat mineral rich foods
such as algaes, yeasts, green and black teas and certain mushrooms, which provide
minerals to the body in a highly absorbable form.
JRJ Sorenson published a comprehensive review of the body of research that has been
done, regarding radioprotection by metals and minerals ("Essential metalloelement metabolism
and radiation protection and recovery," Radial Res., 132, 19-29, 1992.).
In his publication, Sorenson states: "The recognized biochemical roles of essential
metalloelements and their observed pharmacological effects predict the therapeutic
usefulness of essential metalloelement complexes in the prevention and/or treatment
of radiation injury. Copper complexes have radiation protection and radiation recovery
activities and cause rapid recovery of immunocompetenceand radiation-induced damage
to cells and tissues. Recently, iron, manganese, and zinc complexes have also been found
to prevent death in lethally irradiated mice"
In other words, after radiation exposure, a mineral rich diet can offer radioprotection and help
in cellular repair as well. One reason for this is that when our bodies are mineral deficient,
the absorption of radioisotope "sisters" becomes much more likely.
For example, potassium has a chemical composition similar to Cesium-137.
If there is a potassium dificiency in our diet, our body's are more prone to absorb Cesium-137 (if present).
Likewise, Strontium-90 competes with calcium (and also lowers vitamin D reserves),
so taking extra calcium and vitamin D during radiation exposure can help prevent radioactive
strontium from being absorbed and ultimately stored in our bones. The calcium also helps
alkalize our bodies which contributes to the therapeutic effect.
Natural iodine, of course, helps prevent the uptake of iodine-131 while iron
inhibits the absorption of plutonium-238 and plutonium-239, sulfur blocks sulfur-35
absorption by the body, and zinc inhibits zinc-65 uptake.
Furthermore, our bodies need minerals in order to form various enzymes, some of which
play an important role in protecting against and repairing radiation damage.
Selenium (found in yeast), in particular, has been shown to protect human DNA from
radiation damage and helps prevent skin damage, too. Good sources of selenium
include: green and black teas, and garlic as well as many mushrooms. The best sources
however are nettles, kelp, burdock, catnip (Nepeta cataria), ginseng, Siberian ginseng , and astragalus.
The bottom line is that eating mineral rich foods will help the body produce radioprotective enzymes and will also help
block the absorption of many radioisotopes as well. Hence a mineral rich diet is vital after radiation exposure.
What foods supply an abundance of minerals in an easily digestible, absorbable
form? The same ones we keep talking about . . . seaweeds, spirulina, chlorella and yeasts.
Drink Black and Green Tea to Remove
In his book, "Fighting Radiation and Chemical Pollutants with Foods, Herbs, and Vitamins"
(Vitality Inc, 1992), author Steven Schecter wrote that both black and green tea
showed "radioprotective effects" whether consumed either before or after
exposure to radiation. This anti-radiation effect was also observed in several
other Japanese and Chineses studies subsequent to Schecter's work.
Radioisotopes and help Protect Against Cancer
One of the reasons that tea offers anti-radiation effects similar to seaweeds is
that the tea catechins absorb radioactive isotopes and removes them from the
body, just like the active ingredient sodium alginate in kelp seaweed. Epigallo-
catechin-gallate (EGCG), which is found in some green tea extracts, has also
been shown to protect the body's cells against the free radical damage caused
Rooibis tea, which contains the flavonoid compound luteolin, also helps the
body withstand radiation ("Radioprotective effect of antioxidative flavonoids in
gamma-ray irradiated mice," Carcinogenesis 1994 Nov;15). In particular, it
protects DNA from radiation-induced free radicals.
When Japanese researchers gave mice pure luteolin, it dramatically protected
their bone marrow and spleen against radiation damage, and this flavonoid's
radioprotective properties were better than any other plant compound ever
Rebuild your blood by eating Red Beets,
Exposure to radiation can negatively effect your body's ability to produce blood cells.
A well known holistic remedy for guickly increasing the red blood cell count and fighting
anemia is the consumption of either raw or fermented beet juice, which helps build hemoglobin.
Beet root is also consumed as a natural remedy for nerve cell inflammation which is another
bonus, since severe radiation exposure affects the nervous system.
Liver & Spleen Extract and Alkylglycerols
Naturopaths say that eating spleen extract helps build blood, because it helps regenerate the spleen, which is the primary organ responsible for producing red blood cells. They also say that eating spleen extract helps repair
immune system damage caused by exposure to radioactivity.
Eating organic liver extract or liver (a high nucleotide content food) can also
help build the blood, as does eating bone marrow soup, like that served in
Shark liver oil has been used for over 40 years as both a therapeutic and preventive agent. The active ingredients in shark liver oil is a group of ether-linked glycerols known as alkylglycerols (AKG's).
AKG's stimulate the production of white blood cells, encourage the growth of antibodies and with in just two weeks can dramatically increase blood platelet counts.
The initial clinical use for AKG's was for treating leukemias, and later to prevent radiation sickness from cancer x-ray therapy. Studies over the last 30 years have shown that alkylglycerols are multifunctional, usefull in the treatment of neoplastic disorders and as an immune booster in infectious diseases.