You may already know that radiation therapy has some severe side effects. But what should you do if your doctor says you must have it? Fortunately, there's a simple way to protect you from its toxicity. Researchers have just discovered that a popular herb can do just that.

The researchers performed the small study on 25 patients with Grave's disease. Grave's disease is a condition where your thyroid spills too much hormone into your blood. This can cause severe hyperthyroidism. Your body can almost literally burn up. The usual orthodox treatment is to blast it with radioactive iodine. But radiation can damage your DNA as well. Protection sure would be nice.

In the study, the researchers gave the participants radioactive iodine. Then they split them into two groups. One received gingko 120 mg daily or a placebo. The researchers then measured DNA damage from the treatment. Gingko prevented the expected damage to the DNA. But it didn't stop the iodine from knocking out their overactive thyroids.

Radioactive iodine emits both beta and gamma rays. Clinical radiation therapy can use either or both. Beta rays are high-energy electrons. Gamma rays are even higher energy. Gingko seemingly protects against both. And it can do so without reducing the treatment's effect on the health problem. That's exciting!

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I'm not a fan of radiation therapy for cancer. However, sometimes it's necessary. The cancer could be in a critical location. But many doctors simply cajole their patients into it regardless of the cancer's location.

If you must have radiation (if you're not sure, ask your integrative doctor), it would be a good idea to take gingko to protect yourself. Take 120 mg daily.

I typically have radiation patients take antioxidants and hyperbaric oxygen as well. Most people experience less toxicity than expected. And, their outcomes surpass expectations. I usually use vitamin E (1,200 IU), selenium (400 mcg), vitamin C (200 mg), alpha lipoic acid (300 mg), and NAC (1,000 mg) in daily divided doses.

Ref: "Anticlastogenic Effect of Ginkgo biloba Extract in Graves' Disease Patients Receiving Radioiodine Therapy," Dardano A, Monzani F, et al, J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2007 Aug 21.
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