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 plutonium isotopes.

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 miso.

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
Radioisotopes and help Protect Against Cancer

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.

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 by radioactivity.

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 tested.

Rebuild your blood by eating Red Beets,
Liver & Spleen Extract and Alkylglycerols

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.

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 Korean restaurants.

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.