Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Radioactive health

19.06.2008
For decades, we have been told that exposure to radiation is dangerous. In high doses it is certainly lethal and chronic exposure is linked to the development of cancer.

But, what if a short-term controlled exposure to a low dose of radiation were good for our health. Writing in today's issue of the Inderscience publication the International Journal of Low Radiation, Don Luckey, makes the startling claim that low dose radiation could be just what the doctor ordered!

Luckey, an emeritus professor of the University of Missouri, was the nutrition consultant for NASA's Apollo 11 to 17 moon missions and has spent the last several years developing the concept of improving health through exposure to low-dose radiation.

"When beliefs are abandoned and evidence from only whole body exposures to mammals is considered, it becomes obvious that increased ionising radiation would provide abundant health," Luckey explains. He suggests that as with many nutritional elements, such as vitamins and trace metals it is possible to become deficient in radiation. "A radiation deficiency is seen in a variety of species, including rats and mice; the evidence for a radiation deficiency in humans is compelling."

In the first part of the twentieth century at a time when our understanding of radioactivity was only just emerging, health practitioners began to experiment widely with samples of radioactive materials. Then, exposure to radiation, rather than being seen as hazardous, was considered a panacea for a wide variety of ailments from arthritis to consumption.

The discovery of antibiotics and the rapid advent of the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the fact that it became apparent that exposure to high doses of radiation could be lethal led to the demise of this "alternative" approach to health.

Today, radioactivity is used in targeted therapies for certain forms of cancer, however, the use of radiation sources for treating other diseases is not currently recognised by the medical profession.

Luckey hopes to change that viewpoint and argues that more than 3000 scientific papers in the research literature point to low doses of radiation as being beneficial in human health. He points out that, as with many environmental factors, we have evolved to live successfully in the presence of ionising radiations. His own research suggests that radiation exposure can minimise infectious disease, reduce the incidence of cancer in the young, and substantially increase average lifespan.

Studies on the growth, average lifespan, and decreased cancer mortality rates of humans exposed to low-dose irradiation show improved health, explains Luckey. This represents good evidence that we live with a partial radiation deficiency and that greater exposure to radiation would improve our health, a notion supported by 130 on the health of people living in parts of the world with higher background levels of ionising radiation than average.

Luckey suggests that the medical use of small samples of partially shielded radioactive waste would provide a simple solution to radiation deficiency. Of course, there are several questions that will have to be answered before a health program based on this study could be implemented. How much should we have and what is the optimum exposure?

Evidence suggests that low dose exposure increases the number and activity of the immune system's white blood cells, boosts cytocrine and enzyme activity, and increases antibody production and so reduces the incidence of infection, assists in wound healing, and protects us from exposure to high doses of radiation.

"It is unfortunate that most literature of radiobiology involves fear and regulations about the minimum possible exposure with no regard for radiation as a beneficial agent," says Luckey, "Those who believe the Linear No Threshold (LNT) dogma have no concept about any benefits from ionising radiation. Many radiobiologists get paid to protect us from negligible amounts of ionising radiation. Our major concern is health."

Professor André Maïsseu, the journal's Editor-in-Chief, and President of the World Council of Nuclear Workers WONUC) says: "This is a very bright, interesting and important paper about the real effects of ionising radiation - radioactivity - on humans, mammals and biotopes." He adds that, the paper, "is part of the movement we - nuclear workers - promoting good science and fighting obscurantism in this scientific field.

Maïsseu points out that the European Union recently refused to support a world-wide study on related work. "This was the first time nuclear workers have asked the European Union to support a scientific study," Maïsseu says, "We received nothing yet for more than thirty years, so-called 'green' organisations have received hundreds of millions euros, and with what results?" He adds that, "It is a shame and a scandal that political reasons are being used to decide on science funding."

Albert Ang | alfa
Further information:
http://www.inderscience.com

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht New insight into the brain’s hidden depths: Jena scientists develop minimally-invasive endoscope
27.11.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Photonische Technologien e. V.

nachricht New China and US studies back use of pulse oximeters for assessing blood pressure
21.11.2018 | University of British Columbia

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>