Weekly Summaries

Chernobyl Birds

Fukushima Radiation, Can Antioxidants Help Me?- Issue # 111/3

posted by: Joe Vargas Monday 05/19/2014


Antioxidants : Can Chernobyl Help Us Adapt To Fukushima?

I believe there is way to little coverage of the continuing contamination that is eminating from Fukushima, I mean it is not like that Nuclear disaster in Japan has been permanantly contained, cleaned up and dealt with in any way that we can feel comfortable with. There is still radiation polluting the water and air, Earth. Aside from an occasional mention here and there the only steady voice on the issue has been the good folks over at  naturalnews.com. The subject can certainly be concerning to say the least, that is why I wanted to share this summary of an article that can give us some comfort in that it speaks to what has been learned from that other big disaster of our times, the disaster at Chernobyl, seems antioxidants may help us adapt to low levels of radiation, that is great news:  

Antioxidant Fruits

Study on birds living near the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe location includes more evidence that anti-oxidants have the ability to shield the body from radiation damage. The study was released in the journal Functional Ecology on April 24.

The meltdown, surge and fire at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine on April 26, 1986 was, at the time, the worst civilian nuclear catastrophe the world had ever seen (today, scientists are divided over whether the Chernobyl or Fukushima disaster was even worse). The catastrophe widely infected the surrounding location with radiation, leading the Soviet government to completely evacuate a three-kilometer location around the nuclear power plant.

The negative effects of the ongoing radioactivity in the area have actually been well recorded, consisting of changes in abundance, circulation, life history and mutation rates of numerous types. Birds in the location have smaller sized than typical brains and are more vulnerable to cataracts, and radiation appears to be obstructing the typical activity of decomposers such as bugs and germs.

But the absence of people has actually likewise led to increase in biological variety, with lots of unusual plants and birds returning to the region, and wolves and boars even seen wandering the streets of a deserted town.

Adjustment and anti-oxidants.

The new research sought to identify whether any species of bird had actually been able to adjust to the raised radiation levels in the Chernobyl exemption zone. Lab studies have shown that gradually, many organisms have the ability to adjust to low dosages of radiation, making themselves less vulnerable to damage triggered by later, higher dosages.

Much of the damage from radiation exposure happens because ionizing radiation leads to the production of free radicals, which in turn damage (oxidize) cells and DNA inside the body. The presence of anti-oxidants inside the body, nevertheless, can neutralize free radicals prior to they’re able to do damage.

In order to see whether wild birds were able to increase antioxidant levels to decrease radiation damage, the analysts captured 152 birds from 16 types at eight sites around the Chernobyl exemption zone. They took blood and feathers samples from each bird then launched them, and also measured the background radiation levels at each site. Blood samples were checked for DNA damage, oxidative stress and levels of the essential antioxidant glutathione. Feathers samples were tested for levels of the melanin pigments pheomelanin and eumelanin.

The body requires much higher levels of anti-oxidants to produce pheomelanin than it does to produce eumelanin.

Antioxidant-rich blood is shielded.

The researchers found that birds in greater radiation locations really had greater levels of anti-oxidants (along with less DNA damage and less oxidative stress) than birds in lower radiation areas. This suggests that the higher radiation levels had triggered the birds’ bodies to better adjust by enhancing antioxidant levels and therefore better securing them from radiation.

The researchers also discovered that two types of birds,, fantastic tits (Parus significant) and barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), really did worse in high radiation areas. Notably, these were the types with higher levels of pheomelanin in their feathers. This suggests that since the birds needed more antioxidants to make their feather pigments, they had less available to protect their bodies from the damaging results of radiation.

The research does not imply that radiation direct exposure is a good idea, the authors warned.

“The effects of radiation at Chernobyl on populations of organisms, and for birds in specific, have been adverse general,” they composed.

Exactly what it does show is that the body seeks to shield itself from radiation – and anti-oxidants are among the main tools it makes use of to do so.



I don’t know about you but radiation of ANY level concerns me, I mean just going to the Doctor, Airport or even just dealing with Electronic Devices and Cell Phones may expose us to everday doses of radiaton. Then add Fukushima to the mix and we have the possibilty of radiation rich sea food, air and water, now to be clear, as far as they tell us these are still registering in “safe” levels but it all adds up and who knows what the real levels are?  So when we have an easy to aquire protection from such a threat, it becomes a complete “no brainer” people, eat antioxidant rich foods, raw fruits and veggies and/or supplement your diet with a natural multivitamin.

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Author: Joe Vargas


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