What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
by Steve Hickey, PhD; Atsuo Yanagisawa, MD, PhD; Andrew W. Saul, PhD; Gert E. Schuitemaker, PhD; Damien Downing, MD
People have been misinformed about the tragedy at Fukushima and its consequences. There is a continuing cover up, the reactors have not been stabilized, and radiation continues to be released. The Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy (JCIT) has recently released a video for people wishing to learn more about how to protect themselves from contamination by taking large doses of vitamin C.
Japanese Government Minimizes Danger; Ignores Vitamin C
In the fall of 2011, JCIT presented a study that Fukushima workers had abnormality gene expression, which may be avoided using dietary antioxidants, especially vitamin C. The data was presented in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. The JCIT sent letters to the government urging the government to tell the people how they may protect themselves from radiation. To date, the recommendation has been ignored by Japanese government and TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company).
Linus Pauling gained the Nobel Peace Prize in part based on his calculations of the number of deaths from nuclear weapons fallout (1). He was supported by physicist and father of the Soviet bomb Andrei Sakharov, who also later received the Nobel Prize for peace (2). These and other scientists estimated that there would be an extra 10,000 deaths worldwide for each megaton nuclear test in the atmosphere. A nuclear reactor can contain much more radioactive material than a nuclear weapon. Fukushima had six reactors, plus stored additional radioactive material and nuclear waste.
How Radiation Damages Cells
Ionizing radiation acts to damage living tissue by forming free radicals. Essentially, electrons are ripped from molecules. Removing an electron from an atom or molecule turns it into an ion, hence the term ionizing radiation. X-rays, gamma rays, alpha- and beta-radiation are all ionizing.
Most of the damage occurs from ionizing radiation generating free radicals in water, as water molecules are by far the most abundant in the body. While avoiding unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation is clearly preferable, people affected by Fukushima do not have the luxury of avoiding contamination.
Antioxidants: Free-Radical Scavengers
Free-radical scavengers, as the name suggests, mop up the damaging radicals produced by radiation. The more common term for free radical scavenger is antioxidant. Antioxidants replace the electrons stripped from molecules by ionizing radiation. Antioxidants have long been used in the treatment of radiation poisoning (3-7). Most of the harm from ionizing radiation occurs from free radical damage which may be quenched by the free electrons antioxidants provide. Fortunately, safe antioxidants are widely available as nutritional supplements. Vitamin C is the prime example.
Why Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is of particular importance and should be included at high intakes for anyone trying to minimize radiation poisoning. High dose vitamin C provides continual antioxidant flow through the body. It is absorbed from the gut and helps to replenish the other antioxidants. When it is used up, it is excreted in the urine. Importantly, it can chelate, or grab onto, radioactive heavy metal atoms and help eliminate them from the body. Large dynamic flow doses of vitamin C (about 3,000 mg, taken 4 times a day for a total of 12,000 mg) would exemplify antioxidant treatment. Higher doses have been used by Dr. Atsuo Yanagisawa and colleagues (8-9).
Shortly after the disaster, Dr. Damien Downing described how supplements can help protect against radioactive fallout (10). OMNS issued an update on the response to Fukushima in Japan (11). Recently, Dr. Gert Schuitemaker has provided a review of vitamin C as a radio-protectant for Fukushima contamination (12).
Persons living in the areas affected by radioactive contamination can take antioxidant supplements, especially high doses of vitamin C, to counteract the negative consequences of long-term low dose radiation exposure, as well as to protect the health of coming generations.(12, 13). People who have a possible internal or external radiation exposure should take antioxidant supplements to maintain an optimal antioxidant reserve. Because of the enormous size and oceanic spread of Fukushima contamination, this literally applies to everyone.
“The International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine is pleased to have participated in the making of this important DVD on the protective effects of intravenous vitamin C on radiation exposure from the Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011. We are in full support of the valuable work of Dr. Yanagisawa and his colleagues, and we very much appreciate the commitment of Mr. Daisuke Shibata, who has made it possible for the free distribution of the video around the world. May this orthomolecular message raise awareness and foster improvement in the treatment of radiation exposure.”
Director, International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine
1. The Nobel Foundation (1962) The Nobel Peace Prize 1962, Linus Pauling Biography.
2. Sakharov A. (1975) The Nobel Peace Prize 1975, Andrei Sakharov, Autobiography.
3. Brown SL, Kolozsvary A, Liu J, et al: Antioxidant diet supplementation starting 24 hours after exposure reduces radiation lethality. Radiat Res 2010; 173: 462-8.
4. Zueva NA, Metelitsa LA, Kovalenko AN, et al: Immunomodulating effect of berlithione in clean-up workers of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident [Article in Russian]. Lik Sprava 2002; (1): 24-26.
5. Yamamoto T, Kinoshita M et al. Pretreatment with ascorbic acid prevents lethal gastrointestinal syndrome in mice receiving a massive amount of radiation. J Radiat Res (Tokyo) 2010; 51 (2): 145-56.
6. Gaby A. Intravenous Nutrient Therapy: the “Myers’ Cocktail”. Alt Med Rev 2002; 7 (5): 389:403.
7. Narra VR, Howell RW, Sastry KS, Rao DV. Vitamin C as a radioprotector against iodine-131 in vivo. J Nucl Med 1993; 34 (4): 637-40.
8. Yanagisawa A. Orthomolecular approaches against radiation exposure. Presentation Orthomolecular Medicine Today Conference. Toronto 2011.
9. Green MH, Lowe JE et al. Effect of diet and vitamin C on DNA strand breakage in freshly-isolated human white blood cells. Mutat Res 1994; 316(2):91-102
10. Downing D. (2011) Radioactive Fallout: Can Nutritional Supplements Help? A Personal Viewpoint. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, May 10.
11. OMNS (2012) Vitamin C Prevents Radiation Damage, Nutritional Medicine in Japan. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, February 1.
12. Schuitemaker GE. Vitamin C as protection against radiation exposure. J Orthomolecular Med 2011, 26: 3; 141-145. [Also in Dutch: Schuitemaker G.E. Radioactiviteit in Japan: Orthomoleculair antwoord. Ortho 2011:3, June.
13. Yanagisawa A, Uwabu M, Burkson BE, Weeks BS, Hunninghake R, Hickey S, Levy T, (2011) Environmental radioactivity and health. Official JCIT Statement, March 29.