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 an electron pack. The film is already thin and the skin layer is already in the skin. It is very dangerous, however, that radiation occurs when the radioactive isotope is absorbed into the body by irradiation and radiates cells close up.
- Radiation β - fast moving electrons. It is a bit more pronounced than a radiation, but dangerous especially when a β-radioactive nuclide from the infested environment gets inside the body.
- C radiation often (but not always) occurs in 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. Although solid matter may appear sufficiently dense, at microscopic scale, it is the finest quantum foam made up mostly of emptiness. Atomic nuclei are incredibly small. The collision of a neutron with the nucleus of an atom when it passes through matter (such as a block of iron) is even less likely than an 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. When neutrons are irradiated by the human organism, radionuclides under the influence of captured neutrons arise directly in the body, where they are much more dangerous than in the external environment (because of their α and β 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. Materials of heavy elements 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 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 the more insidious radioactive contamination, in which the nuclides get into the environment, soil, water and the food chain, often over a long distance. 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. Radioactive nuclei that reach our body irradiate the cells closely, and non-prominent alpha and beta radiation are 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 (eg 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 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 maintenance enzymes are evening out, 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 an acute illness from radiation: Patients have a seemingly good time (so-called walking corpse) for a few days, but they quickly die of massive apoptosis, mainly mucous membranes of the digestive tract (bloody diarrhea, dehydration) 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: Surviving cells with damaged DNA are more likely to develop into malignant tumors.
Another interesting harmful influence of radiation is genetic damage in the germinal line - the offspring. Mutations occur even in sex cells, increasing 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 repair 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
Information on radiation is good, but there is no need to worry too much. It is necessary to realize that the radiation damage of the cells is not in any way worse than the ultraviolet radiation on the beach. UV radiation destroys bacteria because it is ionizing. If we were transparent as a lanceolate, the beach stay 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 accustomed 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 gizzards, which always clean 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 increased 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 prestigious textbooks of biophysics. The topic of radiation is not exhausted - it could be written about lethal and harmful doses, radiation measurements, 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" ammunition, what Einstein said after the war, how electronics spoiled 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 it, cosmic radiation and airborne radiation, X-rays and radiotherapy, on the radiation control of welds, on radiation sterilization of foodstuffs, on the breeding of Deinococcus radiodurans , sterilized food survives, microwaves, mobile phones, and radio transmitters ... But that would not be the case here. If you have an unusual page about one of these topics, write, I'm sorry.
Protection against radiation
Radiation is the less important 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 by avoiding excess radiation. Like oxygen and radical poisons, radiation also increases the risk of cancer. Against aging and cancer, we will also help 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 before, and in the active period they need a higher salary. We, who are moving on the Earth's surface, are largely protected from the atmosphere by cosmic radiation. Attempts to protect ourselves from radiation from space 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 have been harvested and taken abroad by political prisoners back in the 1950s, uranium dispersed in the rocks has remained here and exposing itself directly to radon emanation ( ). From the uranium generated radon rises upward in the country and cracks especially into cellars and unventilated ground floors of older buildings (where the crack is more). Radon concentration can be measured free of charge by the State Institute for Radiation Protection . Radon and radiation, however, are not a hastrman that we would have to irrationally fear. That's why our standards allow up to 4x higher radon concentrations than usual elsewhere in the world. The best protection against radon is well solved by constant ventilation (not enough to ventilate once a week). 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 area of radiation protection, adaptogens on the forehead with ginseng stand out over other drugs. Ginseng should be a standard part of medication for oncological radiotherapy. Apparently the first person to describe his radioprotective properties was Israel Brechman, author of the adaptogen definition ( Brekhman1960ecp ). Soviet research was followed by the Japanese ( Yonezawa1976rri , Takeda1981rri , Yonezawa1981rri , Takeda1982rri , Yonezawa1985rri ). Their experiments have shown that ginseng promotes the regeneration of the immune system and protects against death even when severe irradiation. Radiologist from Morio Jonezava of Osaka University considers ginseng to be the most effective means of protecting against radiation damage . After Jonezav is also named Jonezav's effect - the radioprotective ( adaptive ) effect of low doses of radiation ( Yonezawa2006irb , Wang2013rrd ), which is now well known . The effect of ginseng against radiation has been confirmed by many other organisms, tissues and types of radiation (RTG, γ, UV). From specific studies I choose:
- Kumar2003rep - radioprotective effect of ginseng (mouse).
- Verma2011arh - Improvement of blood count after exposure to P. ginseng extract (mouse).
- Kim1998pgp - P. ginseng effective against the loss of irradiation hair (mouse).
- The 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 phytomegalplex, 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 has protected mice from the lethal effect of ionizing radiation. In addition, ginsan specifically improved the immune response of type 1 ( Han2005git ) after irradiation, had an antimutagenic effect ( Ivanova2006aep ) and promoted 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 peculiar report on the selective effect of Compound K , the intestinal metabolite of protopanaxadiol panaxosides, against the 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.
Scientific reports summarizing the radioprotective effect of ginseng ( Lee2005rpg , Jia2009cem , Chen2008cpe , Christensen2009gcb and later) for this reason are strongly recommended for radiotherapy and chemotherapy of tumors.
Other radioprotective plants
While scientists are pleased to investigate effects on model plants such as ginseng, the practical TCM favors the use of multiple plant combinations. For example, according to Kim2002reb , radiation is an effective combination of ginseng ( Panax ginseng ), radix angelicae , rhizoma cimicifugae and radix bupleuri . Chinese gang has, as well as ginseng, proven anti- rabies effects ( Zhao2012scr ), and Taiwan is the most commonly prescribed TCM vermin in patients with gonadal cancer ( Lai2012ppc ) undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy. From the point of view of content substances, Chinese crowns resemble other types of holes, including our medical crown ( Angelica archangelica ).
All adaptogens can be said to have a greater or lesser cytoprotective effect, which also results in a greater or lesser increase in resistance to radiation. Since the beginning of the adaptogen research, their attention has been paid to their anti-radiation effect. For example, even the eleutherococcus ( Benhur1981epg , Miyanomae1988rhc ) was investigated . The Indian study, Jagetia2007rpp, found greater or lesser radioprotective potential in the bivalve gentian , Asian umbilical cord , Sagittarius, Basil Sacred , Genuine Ginseng , Podophyllum hexandrum , Amaranthus paniculatus , Phyllantus amarus , Pearl Pepper longum , Tinospora cordifolia , Mentha arvensis , Mentha piperita , Syzygium cumini , Ginger Agaratum conizoides, Aegle marmelos, and Aphanamixis polystachya .
Natural adapters, the anti-radiation effect of which can be investigated, is, of course, much more. It can be said that the effect of ionizing radiation of low intensity is identical with oxidative damage, so that natural antioxidants (blackberries, blueberries , black currants, gherkin , garnet, grapes, cvikle and many others) are used here. However, the antioxidant word is not magic yet - the benefits of fruit, vegetables, and juice from sprouted seeds (tip!) Are not just their antioxidant action and can not be reduced to any antioxidant score measured in the tube.