Posted on May 24th, 2009 2 comments
In 1980, Professor T.D. Luckey, a biochemist at the University of Missouri, published a study, entitled Hormesis With Ionizing Radiation (CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; also in Japanese, Soft Science Inc., Tokyo), of over 1200 experiments dating back to the turn of the century reporting the effects of low-level radiation on biota ranging from viruses and bacteria through various plants and animals up to vertebrates. He found that, by all the criteria normally used to judge the well-being of living things, modest increases of radiation above the natural background make life better: they grow bigger and faster; they live longer; they get sick less often and recover sooner; they produce more offspring, more of which survive. The phenomenon of “hormesis”–whereby things that become harmful at high concentration are actually beneficial in small doses–is established in chemical toxicology. The effect is believed to result from stimulation and exercising of the natural immune system. What Luckey showed was that it applies also to radiation.
Some further facts that are consistent with this conclusion:
* Iowa, the state that the EPA found as having the highest average level of radon in the home, also has below-average cancer incidence. The mountain states, with double the radiation background of the US as a whole, show a cancer rate way below Iowa’s. Data from a study of 1729 U.S. counties shows the correlation between radon and lung cancer mortality to be about the same as for cigarette smoking; except that it’s negative: the more radiation, the less cancer.
* The same extends worldwide. The waters of such European spas as Lourdes, Bath, and Bad Gastein, known for their beneficial health effects since Roman times, all have high radioactivity levels. Areas noted for high radiation backgrounds, such as the Caucasus, southwest England, northwest India, have high longevity and low cancer incidence.
* British data on over 10,000 UK Atomic Energy Authority workers show cancer mortality to be 22% below the national average. For Canada the figure is 33%. (Imagine the hysteria if those numbers were the other way around!)
It appears, however, that the political consequences of announcing this to a public that has been saturated with contrary propaganda for over 20 years would be unacceptable. Although papers and conferences on radiation hormesis are now regular features of the scientific scene, they are ignored by the lawmakers and regulatory authorities. The continuing assumption of proportionate damage by tiny doses contradicts everything that has been discovered about cell metabolism and the mechanism of DNA repair since the early sixties.
If a little extra radiation is good for you, what optimum dose should our local health-food store recommend? Work reported from Japan puts it roughly at two “millirems,” per day. That’s about a tenth of a dental X-ray, or one coast-to-coast jet flight, or a year’s worth of standing beside a nuclear plant. For comparison, the level where the net effect becomes harmful is around two rems per day; 50 (note, we’re talking rems now, not millirems) causes chronic radiation sickness; 100 is lethal.
Perhaps tablets for those who don’t get enough regular exposure wouldn’t be a bad idea. A good way to use radioactive waste might be to bury it under radon-deficient homes. And perhaps cereal manufacturers should be required to state on their boxes the percentage of the daily dietary requirement that a portion of their product contributes. After all, if radiation is essential for health in minimum, regular amounts, it meets the accepted definition of a vitamin!
As a further note to put things in perspective, her are some figures comparing radiation exposures experienced by the average American from various sources, natural and man-made.
Annual estimated doses in mREMs per year:
All rocks contain traces of uranium. Radiation from the granite used in Grand Central Station exceeds the NRC limits for nuclear-plant operation. Grand Central Station wouldn’t get a license as a nuclear plant. Neither would the piers of the harbor at Dun Laoghaire, near where I live in Ireland.Nuclear, Radiation Hormesis Atomic Energy Authority, Bad Gastein, benefits, Cancer Incidence, Cancer Rate, Chemical Toxicology, Cigarette Smoking, European Spas, Ionizing Radiation, Level Radiation, low level radiation, Lung Cancer Mortality, Natural Immune System, Northwest India, Plants And Animals, Radiation Background, Radiation Hormesis, Radioactivity Levels, Soft Science, Southwest England, Uk Atomic Energy Authority, Viruses And Bacteria, vitamin R, Worke Top
Posted on May 23rd, 2009 2 comments
Evidence of health benefits and longer average life-span following low-dose irradiation should replace fear, “all radiation is harmful,” and “the perception of harm” as the basis for action in the 21st century. Hormesis is the excitation, or stimulation, by small doses of any agent in any system. Large doses inhibit. “Low dose” is defined as any dose between ambient levels of radiation and the threshold that marks the boundary between biopositive and bionegative effects. That threshold negates the “linear no
threshold” (LNT) paradigm. This overview summarizes almost 3,000 reports on stimulation by low-dose irradiation.
“Hormesis with Ionizing Radiation” presented evidence of increased vigor in plants, bacteria, invertebrates and vertebrates. Most physiologic reactions in living cells are stimulated by low doses of ionizing radiation. This evidence of radiogenic metabolism (metabolism promoted by ionizing radiation) includes enzyme induction, photosynthesis, respiration and growth. Radiation hormesis in immunity decreases infection and premature death in radiation exposed populations. Increased immune competence is a major factor in the increased average life-span of populations exposed to low-dose irradiation. “Radiation Hormesis” presented evidence for radiation hormesis in major physiologic functions of vertebrates. Evidence of radiation hormesis in reproduction emphasizes the safety of low-dose irradiation. “Low-Level Radiation Health Effects: Compiling the Data” summarizes recent papers on radiation hormesis.
During the previous decades, statistically significant evidence showed that whole body exposures of humans to low doses of ionizing radiation decreased total cancer mortality rates. This is based on information compiled from 7 million person-years of exposed and control workers in nuclear shipyard and atomic bomb plants in Canada, Great Britain and the United States. Other human experiences with unusual exposures confirm radiation hormesis in cancer mortality. A variety of external sources are
beneficial. Internal sources (plutonium, radium and radon) are also effective.
The conclusions have both personal and national significance. Ionizing radiation is a benign environmental agent at background levels. We live with a subclinical deficiency of ionizing radiation. Low doses of ionizing radiation significantly decrease premature cancer death. Health benefits should replace risk and death as the guide for safe exposures to ionizing radiation. Safe supplementation with ionizing radiation would provide a new plateau of health.
Posted on May 22nd, 2009 1 comment
1-DNA repair (Mollecular level)
According to this theory, low doses of ionizing radiation induce the production of special proteins, that are involved in DNA repair processes (Ikushima 1996). Studies using two dimensional gel electrophoresis indicated new proteins in cells irradiated with low doses of radiation. Also, it was further shown that cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor blocks this hormetic effect. The function and importance of these radiation induced proteins is still unknown. Also it was foud that inhibitors of poly ADP-ribose polymerase, an enzyme implicated in DNA strand break rejoining could prevent the induction of adaptive response (for a review see Wolff 1998).
2-Free radical detoxification (Molecular level)
In 1987 Feinendengen and his co-workers indicated that low doses of ionizing radiation cause a temporary inhibition in DNA synthesis (the maximum inhibitionat 5 hours after irradiation). This temporary inhibition of DNA synthesis would provide a longer time for irradiated cells to recover (Feinendengen et al. 1987). This inhibition also may induce the production of free radical scavengers, so irradiated cells would be more resistant to any further exposures.
3-Stimulation of immune system (Cellular level)
Despite the fact that high doses of ionizing radiation are immunosupressive, many studies have indicated that low doses radiation may stimulate the function of the immune system. In 1909 Russ first showed that mice treated with low-level radiation were more resistant against bacterial disease (Russ VK 1909).Later in 1982 Luckey published a large collection of references supporting immunostimulatory effects of low doses of ionizing radiation (Luckey TD 1982).
I would also add that other observed benefits include but are not limited to elimination of yeast/fungus/mold/candida in your body, anti-aging/longer life span, and alkalizing effect on the body.