Radiation Protection: Broccoli and Red Wine May Increase Survival from Exposure

Friday Dec 20 | BY |
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Broccoli

Compounds in broccoli may help protect body cells from radiation exposure.

The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster catapulted radiation concerns to center stage. People want protection. Unfortunately, there are no drugs that neutralize radiation exposure, so scientists have been working hard to find natural compounds that might help. A few look very promising.

What can you do to protect yourself and your family from impending radiation exposure? It’s not likely that just eating more broccoli, kale, and drinking red wine will have much effect. However, the natural compounds in these products have shown significant effect in recent studies.

Broccoli Indoles

A comound called “3,3’-diindolylmethane (DIM)” is getting a lot of attention lately, including from the NASA scientist who believe it may be useful to protect astronauts from solar and cosmic radiation during space travel. It also protects patients from radiation exposure during routine medical imaging like x-rays and CT scans, and it’s used to protect cell damage during radiation therapy for breast cancer.

A recent scientific study from the Natural Academy of Sciences found that DIM provides significant DNA protection against radiation exposure.

DIM has been studied as an anticancer supplement for years. It promotes healthy estrogen metabolism for women taking hormone replacement therapy, making it helpful for preventing breast, uterine, and even colorectal cancer. DIM is also used to prevent an enlarged prostate, a common condition in older men, and may guard against prostate cancer.

For people between 20-40, peak reproductive ages, taking DIM may add a protective edge from the effects of radiation. As with resveratrol, I prefer a diindolylmethane complex derived from cruciferous vegetables (standardized to contain 25% diindolylmethane). The average daily dose is 100 mg.

Red Wine Polyphenols

Besides broccoli extracts, red wine compounds offer protection against radiation exposure. Like DIM, resveratrol improves the effectiveness of radiation therapy for prostate and other cancers. And, taking resveratrol before and after exposure reduces chromosome damage.

Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound found in red grape skins and seeds, as well as in other plants. It has powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects. It’s the antioxidant effect of red grape polyphenols that offer significant damage protection for chromosomes, which helps prevent radiation-induced cancer.

Most medical grade resveratrol comes from the Japanese knotweed. Since we don’t know which source is best for radiation protection, I prefer a blend of resveratrol from Polygonum cuspidatum root extract (standardized to contain 20% trans resveratrol), red wine (Vitis vinifera) whole grape concentrate (standardized to contain 25% total polyphenols), and grape seed extract (standardized to contain 92% oligomeric proanthocyanidins). The average daily dose is 500 mg.

The Age of Error

No doubt we’re in a time of increasing potential for massive error. Global warming, rogue terrorist states, and the melt down of nuclear reactors are real.

The radioactivity released by the damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant is far reaching. In 2011, shortly after Fukushima, the radiation in rainfall in Berkeley, California spiked 181 times the U.S. standard.

The website livescience estimates that a plume of radioactive cesium-137 will reach the Pacific coast of the U.S. in 2014. Though experts predict that this radiation will concentrate in pockets in the western U.S. and Canada, from there, it will keep going reaching across the planet.

Combined artificial background radiation from nuclear accidents, nuclear bomb testing, coal plants that emit radiation in the burnt ash, and occupational exposure is accumulating. Typhoons and hurricanes pushed swells of the Fukushima radiation forward, at times spiking to 6,500 times normal radiation levels.

There will be more Fukushima type disasters. Limited nuclear war is a very real possibility. Insidious radiation from medical tests is a daily risk for patients.

Humans have evolved to effectively manage a stable level of naturally occurring background radiation. But, all levels above that have health risks. We know that even low doses of radiation can cause cancer. And, high doses kill. However, scientists are unclear about the effects from low levels of chronic exposure.

One thing is sure; we’ll experience more exposure in the coming years. Instead of protecting people and limiting unsafe industrial radiation methods, governments cover up rising radiation levels. We have to have safe ways to protect against radiation. For now, DIM and resveratrol are options that work.

Will radiation detectors like Geiger counters be commonplace in American homes to check rainfall, or to test fish before eating sushi? Not yet, but give it time. For now, the highest levels are in areas around nuclear reactors. Worldwide, these areas include Western Europe, Northeastern United States, and Japan. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, from Big Sur to Vancouver, consider adding DIM and resveratrol to your nutritional supplement plan.

Dr. J. E. Williams

J. E. WILLIAMS, OMD, FAAIM

Dr. Williams is a pioneer in integrative and functional medicine, the author of six books, and a practicing clinician with over 100,000 patient visits. His areas of interest include longevity and viral immunity. Formerly from San Diego, he now resides in Sarasota, Florida and practices at the Florida Integrative Medical Center. He teaches at NOVA Southeastern University and Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine.

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