Friday, April 29, 2011
As everyone knows, exposure to high levels of radiation can quickly sicken or kill us. Here's an illustration from Columbia University:
But as I've previously noted, even low level radiation can cause big problems. Columbia provides an illustration:
Radiation can sicken or kill us by directly damaging cells:
Or indirectly ... by producing free radicals:
Indeed, some radiation experts argue that the creation of a lot of free radical creation is the most dangerous mechanism of low level ionizing radiation:
During exposure to low-level doses (LLD) of ionizing radiation (IR), the most of harmful effects are produced indirectly, through radiolysis of water and formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The antioxidant enzymes - superoxide dismutase (SOD): manganese SOD (MnSOD) and copper-zinc SOD (CuZnSOD), as well as glutathione (GSH), are the most important intracellular antioxidants in the metabolism of ROS. Overproduction of ROS challenges antioxidant enzymes.Scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Science claim in the Archive of oncology:
Chronic exposure to low-dose radiation doses could be much more harmful than high, short-term doses because of lipid peroxidation initiated by free radicals.(See this for more on the Petkau effect.)
Peroxidation of cell membranes increases with decreasing dose rate (Petkau effect).
Countering free radicals is therefore one of the most important ways we can help protect ourselves from the effects of low-level radiation from Japan, from Chernobyl and elsewhere.
Now that you know, I invite you to read the following articles to learn how to help counter free radicals:
- What Foods Are Highest in Antioxidants? Some Inexpensive Foods Are Higher In Antioxidants than the Newest Pricey "Superfoods"
But whether or not chronic, low doses of radiation cause more or less damage than acute, higher doses is beyond the scope of this article. The point is that they both can cause damage.
Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional.