Did you know that flying in an airplane exposes you to radiation? In fact, one cross-country trip can net you the equivalent radiation of one chest x-ray. That's one x-ray too many for me. Each time you expose your body to radiation, it increases your risk for DNA damage, premature aging, and cancer.

If you fly a lot, this is especially bad news. But a new study shows there's an easy way to protect yourself when you fly.

This study showed that cells cultured with my favorite free radical scavengers (i.e., antioxidants) almost completely protected the cells from radiation. The researchers used vitamin C, CoQ10, alpha lipoic acid, selenium, N-acetyl cysteine, and vitamin E succinate.

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The antioxidants completely or nearly completely protected the cells from a variety of radiation sources. That includes even the highly damaging gamma radiation.You will find all of the radiation sources they tested in space or high altitude.

Action to take: If you fly, look for a single supplement containing the above nutrients. Further, if you need an x-ray or any other diagnostic test that uses radiation, make sure you take these nutrients before the test. There are multitudes of quality antioxidant supplements on the Internet and in health food stores.

Ref: Wan, X.S., J.H. Ware, et al. "Protection against radiation-induced oxidative stress in cultured human epithelial cells by treatment with antioxidant agents," Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 2006; 64(5): 1475-81.

Correction: My editors made a few word switches in my e-alert on homocysteine that may confuse you. The e-alert was about the polyphenols in green tea that help to lower your homocysteine levels. Here's what the alert said: "What's more interesting is that the tea intake did not reduce the levels of folate in your blood. It's never good to reduce the folate levels in your blood, as it can cause vascular disease. "So conventional therapies, wich do lower folate levels, essentially save you from one cause of vascular disease, but give you another."
It should have read polyphenols didn't "raise" folic acid levels as a mechanism to lower homocysteine. You see, if polyphenols did raise folic acid levels, then we would expect to see a fall in homocysteine. Folic acid is essential in getting rid of that bad compound. But since the polyphenols in green tea lowered homocysteine without raising folic acid, that means there must me another mechanism in your body to get rid of the homocysteine. That's the exciting part.

Conventional therapies for homocysteine don't lower folate levels. In fact, conventional medicine accepts that folate and B12 vitamins are the way to go to lower elevated homocysteine.
I'm sorry for the confusion. I hope this sets the record straight.

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