Radioactivity is a phenomenon where atomic nuclei, when cleaved or other nuclear reactions, emit radiation. Isotopes susceptible to radioactive decay are called radionuclides. Radioactive radiation can in practice be divided into electromagnetic (X-ray, gamma) and particle (alpha, beta, neutrons).
- A radiation - in fact, the nucleus of the helium (two protons and neutrons) without the electron shell. It is already a thin film and the skin layer is already in the body. It is very dangerous, however, that radiation occurs when the radioactive isotope is absorbed into the body by radiation and radiates the cells close up.
- Radiation β - fast moving electrons. It is a bit more pronounced than a radiation, but it is dangerous especially if the β-radioactive nuclide from the infested environment gets inside the body.
- C radiation often (but not always) accompanies the nuclear reactions α and β radiation. There are also pure γ-emitters. The penetration of gamma rays is given by their enormous energy, otherwise they are just photons.
- Neutron Radiation - Neutron flow from a radioactive source. Neutrons pass through the matter almost without any hindrance and stop them, popularly speaking, only a frontal impact on the atomic nucleus. Though solid matter may seem dense enough, it is the finest quantum foam made up of emptiness on a microscopic scale. Atomic nuclei are incredibly small. The collision of the neutron with the nucleus of an atom when it passes through the mass (such as the iron block) is even less likely than the air crash caused by the air collision of two planes. Neutrons in the mass fly many meters before finally seizing somewhere. Neutron radiation is odd in that when the kernel collides finally, the neutron can get stuck in it and turn it into a radioactive isotope. That's why neutron radiation is so dangerous - the irradiated object itself becomes radioactive. If neutrons are irradiated by the human organism, radionuclides are generated in the body, where they are much more dangerous than in the external environment (because of their a and b radiation).
The properties of penetrating radiation also show the way of protection:
- Square of distance. The most effective protection against penetrating radiation is not at source. The intensity of the radiation decreases with the second magnitude of the distance - when we increase our distance from the source tenfold, we get 100 times smaller doses of radiation.
- Heavy shielding. Heavy materials are used, but ordinary materials (clay, concrete, stone, water) are also effective at the appropriate thickness (many meters). Usually lead is, but depleted uranium, although weakly radioactive, is even more than twice as shielding material than lead.
Protection against penetrating radiation is important for nuclear weapons. In the case of civilian radiation disasters, we are more likely to encounter a more insidious radioactive contamination, where the nuclides get into the environment, soil, water and the food chain, often over long distances. It can be said that Chernobyl radioactive infestation (where it has evaporated to the atmosphere about 100 tons of enriched uranium), or the Fallujah type, is somewhat worse than the Hiroshima atomic explosion. The radioactive nuclei that come into our body irradiate the cells up close and non-penetrating alpha and beta radiation is as harmful as the penetrating radiation. This is why we are advised not to open windows and avoid consumption of food from contaminated areas during radiation injuries. If the radionuclides reach the body, there is no way to shade or neutralize them. It is possible to try to get radioactive isotopes out of the body (for example, chelates) and then rely on self-repairing ability of living tissue.
Biological effect of radiation
Properly energetic radioactive radiation is called ionizing ionization - it is the radiation that damages the most. Our biomolecules do not care about the isotopic changes in the atomic nuclei, except for the rare cases of elemental transmutation, but they bother them when the α, β and γ rays excite the electrons and thus break the covalent bonds or create a free radical. The free radical is an excited state with an unpaired electron that has a relatively long life (even tens of minutes, although it usually has no place to spin), but ultimately causes the same - it mixes covalent bonds. The most sensitive to inappropriate interference is DNA, in which even a small change (mutation) can have a lethal effect (eg, cause a tumor). With a certain amount of damaged linkages, maintenance maintains DNA alignment, but if it is too much, the cell concludes that its further existence would be undesirable due to the possibility of cancerous overthrow and undergo controlled disassembly - apoptosis . This is the cause of death in acute illness from radiation: Patients have a seemingly good time for a few days (so-called walking corpse), but then they quickly die of massive apoptosis, mainly mucous membranes of the digestive tract (bloody diarrhea, dehydration), but also skin, They do not even have to lose their hair. If they survive long enough for their hair to appear, they have a chance of convalescence, but with the permanent effect of partial to complete sex sterilization. They have an increased risk of cancer for the rest of their lives: Survive cells with damaged DNA are more likely to develop into malignant tumors.
Another interesting harmful effect of radiation is genetic damage in the germline line - ie in offspring. Mutations occur even in the sex cells and increase the probability of congenital deviations. This can be both negative and positive, but since our genetic parameters are in the evolutionary local minimum, it is practically always negative (except for the Simpsons series). The situation is not that terrible. Genetic damage in the germinal line is largely eliminated by natural correctional mechanisms, so the health price that children and grandchildren pay for irradiating ancestors is quite low (with the exception of Fallujah, which is worse in this respect than Hiroshima ).
Radiation is not a ghost
Radiation information is good, but there is no need to worry too much about it. It is necessary to realize that radiation damage to cells is not in any way worse than ultraviolet radiation on the beach. UV radiation destroys bacteria because it is ionizing. If we were transparent as a lanceolate, the stay at the beach would be equivalent to a smaller nuclear explosion at a distance of 10km. Radiation α, β i γ is basically no worse than UV, only deeper into the body. Neutrons are somewhat stronger, but in the end they cause the release of ionizing radiation, so the qualitative effect is the same. If there is an internal contamination of the body with radioactive isotopes, our cells are still in the sun that can not be turned off. But we are used to it, not so much from the natural radiation background (which is very low), but rather from the various radical poisons that we still get into the body. Radicals act almost on hair as well as radiation. The worst of these poisons is normally oxygen - the poison we have learned to tolerate because we feed it. But otherwise, our cells are full of enzymes and dandruffs that clean up the damage to oxygen. Another important source of radicals is our own immune cells, which use peroxides, superoxides and other exotic molecules as a common part of their equipment and armaments.
Suma Sumarum, if we keep the appropriate diet, so we do not have to worry about normal or slightly elevated levels of radiation.
I wrote this text after my memory. It is not canonical, but perhaps it will illuminate some facts that you will not find in neurotic Wikipedia, nor in the prestigious textbooks of biophysics. The topic of radiation is not exhausted - it could be written about lethal and harmful doses, measurements of radiation, sievertes, rakes, rams, becquerels, grays, curiech, when the head is spinning, about radon emanation, polonium 210, And about Litvinenko, who was poisoned by him, about the Chernobyl disaster, Fukushima and other nuclear power plants, depleted uranium in "conventional" munitions, what Einstein said after the war, how the electronics were being damaged in the radioactive environment, Hydraulic, pneumatic and human brains, iodine pills and their seaweed substitution, radiation in the fly ash of thermal power plants, radioactive building materials made from them, cosmic radiation and radiation in airplanes, x-rays and radiotherapy, On the radiation control of welds, on radiation sterilization of food, on the breeding of Deinococcus radiodurans , Sterilized food survives, microwaves, mobile phones, and radio transmitters ... But that would not be here. If you have an unusual page about one of these topics, write, I'm sorry.
Protection against radiation
Radiation is the less important one of the two main mechanisms of aging - the more important is oxidation by air oxygen and other radical poisons. We can slow down the aging process by avoiding excess radiation. Just like oxygen and radical poisons, radiation also increases the risk of cancer. In addition, aging and cancer can help us with natural adaptogens.
Who is at risk of radiation
The two most important practical sources of radiation in our country are (1) cosmic radiation and (2) radon emanation . Increased cosmic rays are exposed by pilots and airborne staff. In terms of radiation, pilots and astronauts are worse than nuclear power station employees. For this reason, these professions are retired and need higher salary during the active period. We, who are moving on the Earth's surface, are largely protected from the atmosphere by cosmic radiation. Attempts to protect us from radiation from the universe even more by staying indoors could be replaced by radon emanation. Especially in the Czech Republic we have radon blessed. Radon originates naturally in the earth's crust of uranium, which is present in low concentrations everywhere. Although concentrated uranium deposits were extracted and taken abroad by political prisoners in the 1950s, radon dispersed in the rocks remained in the Czech Republic and remained here and continues to endanger us ). In the country, radon penetrates cracks, especially in older buildings (where there is a crack in the masonry more) and accumulates mainly in cellars and unventilated ground spaces. Concentration of radon can be measured by the people in the Czech Republic free of charge, which is done by the State Institute for Radiation Protection . Radon and radiation in general, however, are not a hastrman, which we would have to irrationally fear. That is why our standards allow up to 4x higher concentration of this gas than elsewhere in the world. The best radon protection is well-ventilated. Radiologists and smokers are also exposed to slightly increased radiation loads - because smoke contains considerable amounts of radionuclides.
Radioprotective effect of ginseng
It is true that in the field of radiation protection, adaptogens on the forehead with ginseng stand out over other drugs. Ginseng should be a standard part of oncology radiotherapy. Probably the first to describe his radioprotective properties was Israel Brechman, the author of the adaptogen definition ( Brekhman1960ecp ). Soviet research was followed by the Japanese ( Yonezawa1976rri , Takeda1981rri , Yonezawa1981rri , Takeda1982rri , Yonezawa1985rri ). These experiments have shown that ginseng promotes the regeneration of the immune system and has the ability to reduce the likelihood of death or irreversible damage even with severe irradiation. Morio Jonezava, author of the studies, considers ginseng to be the most effective means of protecting against radiation damage . Jonesava is not specialized in herbs - a well-known radiologist at Osaka University, named after Jonezava's effect - the radioprotective effect of low doses of X-ray radiation ( Yonezawa2006irb , Wang2013rrd ). The radioprotective effect of ginseng has confirmed a large number of other trials in various organisms, tissues and types of radiation (X-rays, gamma-rays, UV rays). Scientific reports ( Lee2005rpg , Jia2009cem , Chen2008cpe , Christensen2009gcb and later) clearly recommend ginseng as an adjunct to radiotherapy and chemotherapy of tumors. From specific experimental studies I choose:
- Kumar2003rep - radioprotective effect of ginseng (mouse).
- Verma2011arh - Improvement of the blood picture after irradiation with P. ginseng extract (mouse).
- Kim1998pgp - P. ginseng effective against the loss of irradiation hair (mouse).
- Ginseng extract protects against mutagenic and carcinogenic effects of in vitro ( Rhee1991imt ) and in vivo ( Kim1993vra ) radiation , as well as nervous system damage, digestive epithelial damage and cellular apoptosis ( Kim2001mrr ). All three studies were positive for diethyldithiocarbamate.
- Zhang1987mrr - ginseng is best protected as a phytoplex, the total extract is more effective than any fraction.
- Lee2006ivr - in three parameters of radiation protection (leukocyte regeneration, epithelial protection and inhibition of apoptosis), five ginsenosides dominate the Rg 1 , Re , Rc , Rb 2 and Rd .
- Song2003reg - Ginseng ginseng polysaccharide protected mice from the lethal effect of ionizing radiation. In addition, after irradiation, ginsan specifically improved the type 1 immune response ( Han2005git ), had an antimutagenic effect ( Ivanova2006aep ) and supported the repair of natural antioxidant systems after irradiation ( Han2005mrd ), all mice.
- Kim2007rea - Acid Ginseng Polysaccharide (APG) has protected the bone marrow from radiation (mouse).
- Kim2008erg , Kim2009sed - skin protection from ultraviolet radiation (mouse).
- Lee2009per , Kim2009egs - Protects against aging of the skin due to UV radiation (mouse).
- Chang2013pek - red ginseng ( ginseng radix rubra ) protected human keratocytes from apoptosis from irradiation.
- Lee2004grm - repair of lymphocytes.
- Han2005git - repair of T lymphocytes.
- Lee2008en - The same methodology, similar to American ginseng ( P. quinquefolius ).
- Tamura2008grp - Ginsenoside Rd protects against intestinal death in acute radiation illness.
- Park2011app - a similar effect on ginsan polysaccharide.
- Kostyleva2009gpb - Increased age on mouse model of aging accelerated by radiation.
- Kang2009erg - red ginseng ( giseng radix rubra ) effective against aging of skin exposed to UVB (mouse).
- Kostyleva2010rab - red ginseng effective against the development of skin neoplasms in radiation-accelerated aging (mouse).
- Chae2009ecm - A strange report on the selective effect of Compound K , the intestinal metabolite of protopanaxadiol panaxosides, against irradiated cancer cells . The mechanism of such selectivity would be of great interest to me.
- Lee2009agm , Lee2010rea - American ginseng ( Panax quinquefolius ) protects white blood cells from 137 Cs (human peripheral lymphocyte) radiation model.
Other radioprotective plants
While scientists like to study effects on model plants such as ginseng, the practical TCE uses a combination of multiple plants. For example, Kim2002reb is an effective combination of herbs against ginseng ( Panax ginseng ), radix angelicae , rhizoma cimicifugae, and radix bupleuri . The Chinese gang itself is effective against radiation ( Zhao2012scr ), and Taiwan is the most commonly prescribed TCM vermin in patients with breast cancer ( Lai2012ppc ). From the point of view of content substances, Chinese crowns resemble other types of holes, including our medical crown ( Angelica archangelica ).
In scientific perception radioprotective herbs more or less cover with the category of adaptogens. Already from Brechman's time, ginseng has been given attention in parallel to the use of electuterooks of the splinter against radiation damage ( Benhur1981epg , Miyanomae1988rhc ). The Indian study, Jagetia2007rpp, has found greater or lesser radioprotective potential in bivalve gin , Centella asiatica , Hippophae rhamnoides , Sacred basil , Ginseng right , Podophyllum hexandrum , Amaranthus paniculatus , Emblica officinalis , Phyllantus amarus , Piper longum , Tinospora cordifolia , Mentha arvensis , Mentha piperita , Syzygium cumini , Medicinal ginger , Unhealthy ginger Ageratum conizoides , Aegle marmelos and Aphanamixis polystachya .
This does not exhaust the list of plants with radioprotective potential. In a low dose, the effect of radiation is identical to oxidative damage, so the radioprotective properties of natural drugs are to some extent covered with antioxidants . In other words, some anti-oxidant sources provide sources of antioxidants (blackberries, blueberries , black currants, gherkins , garnet, blue grapes, cvikle ...) Note: The antioxidant slogan is no longer magical nowadays - the benefits of fruits, vegetables and juice from germinated seeds Tip!) Has a broader explanation and can not be reduced to the antioxidant score measured in the tube.