People are exposed to some amount of radiation each day. In addition to the widely feared nuclear radiation, there are many other forms, including thermal radiation, UV radiation and electromagnetic radiation, which come from x-rays, visible light or radio waves. Excessive exposure to radiation can be harmful to your health, but some vitamins can limit the negative effects. If you have been exposed to a large amount of radiation, seek medical treatment right away.
Vitamin A has been proved to speed up your body's recovery process after radiation damage. This nutrient has also been confirmed to offset the toxic effects of partial or full-body gamma radiation injury. Therapeutic doses of vitamin E are 25,000 to 35,000 international units, or IU, but critical situations may warrant use of higher dosages of 40,000 to 100,000 IU.
While other vitamins might improve the recovery of health after radiation injury, vitamin C is distinct in its ability to prevent radiation injury. However, dosages required to do this may be quite high, and too much vitamin C can increase your risk for developing kidney stones. Dosages will require management by a medical professional, and any attempt at self-medication may be dangerous.
Vitamin E and X-rays
Vitamin E is especially effective in reducing radiation injury from exposure to x-rays and radioactive cobalt, which is found in blue-colored ceramic and glass. It is also found to be helpful in protection from cesium-137 radiation, which is commonly used in nuclear reactors. This nutrient can prevent the chromosomal changes that usually follow a radiation attack on the cells.
Vitamins for Chemotherapy
Both vitamin E and vitamin C have been used in helping patients deal more comfortably with the painful side effects that are commonly associated with radiation therapy administered in cancer. Use of these nutrients helps cancer patients who have been affected in their reproductive organs. These vitamins have also been found to be useful in reversing the tissue changes of fibrosis. Recommended doses are 500 IU of vitamin C and 400 IU of vitamin E. Vitamin E has specifically been used to protect the highly sensitive neuron cells of the brain during chemotherapy, and it is capable of making cancer cells more vulnerable to radiation therapy. This particular ability of vitamin E is significant because it works well in forms of cancer that are otherwise highly resistant to radiation therapy.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency; Radiation Protection; Health Effects
- Gary Wade, M.S.; Scientific Advisor; National Health Federation; Glendale, California
- "The Journal of Nutrition"; Antioxidants and Radiation Therapy; American Society for Nutritional Sciences; November 2004
- Radiation Emergency Assistance Center; Guidance for Radiation Accident Management; Basics of Radiation
- United States Environmental Protection Agency; Radiation Protection; Cobalt
- United States Environmental Protection Agency; Radiation Protection; Cesium