One of the biggest health risks that no one talks about is daily exposure to radiation. We all know that big doses of radiation are dangerous. That's why technicians have you wear a lead shield when you have an X-ray. But we're all exposed to radiation every day that can have a dramatic impact on our health over time. Fortunately, there's an easy way to protect yourself.
The problem with radiation is that it can cause cancer. At least some of it can. There are two types of radiation. There's high-energy ionizing radiation and low-energy non-ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation includes X-rays, far ultraviolet light, radon (the gas they test for in basements), and gamma rays. But it also includes the radiation we're exposed to when we travel by plane. The higher you go up in a plane, and the further toward the poles you fly, the more cosmic ionizing radiation you'll encounter.
Low-energy non-ionizing radiation includes radiation from light bulbs, microwaves, cell phones, electromagnetic fields, sunlight, radio waves, lasers, radar, and sonar. Non-ionizing radiation isn't strong enough to damage your DNA quickly like ionizing radiation can. But there's some evidence that over time, non-ionizing radiation can cause damage to your health. So it's important to protect yourself from both types of radiation.
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With that said, though, I'm not a scare-monger when it comes to non-ionizing radiation. I think small amounts of radiation can have beneficial effects on your health. Sunlight is the best example. You need some sunlight to stay healthy. This includes the radiation that comes with it. Other examples include soft-tissue healing appliances, hyperthermia for cancer treatment, and diathermy. Each of these expose the patient to radiation, but are beneficial to their health.
This is why I'm a big proponent of protecting yourself with supplements. Obviously, supplements can't protect you against major doses of radiation. But they can protect you from the negative effects of daily radiation without eliminating the potential benefits you might get along the way. One of the best nutrients to use to protect yourself is selenium.
We know that selenium is a powerful anti-cancer nutrient. So it makes sense that it would protect against radiation. But the reason it protects you is quite interesting. It turns out that radiation damage and oxidative stress are very closely related. I've told you in the past about oxidative stress. It's a lot like rust on metal. When your tissues "rust," they break down and the cells die. Selenium (and antioxidants) prevents this damage.
So if you're exposed to daily radiation (which includes almost all of us), make sure you're protecting yourself with a daily dose of selenium (200 mcg). It's a great way to help protect all of your tissues against radiation damage and it still allows your body to absorb the beneficial effects of non-ionizing radiation.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.