MARIOS DIMOPOULOS

MARIOS DIMOPOULOS
Marios Dimopoulos Clinical Nutritionist, Author, Fellow of the American Council of the Applied Clinical Nutrition

Κυριακή, 9 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Iodine, tocotrienols, berries, and lipoic acid to protect against radiation exposure

The unfolding events relating to Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors is raising the concern in the U.S. of a worst-case scenario of a meltdown with a consequent cloud of radioactive particles following the jet stream over to the U.S. The prevailing jet stream winds would impact Los Angeles to Alaska, and would include Hawaii. Radioactive pollution would reach the U.S. within 36 hours. It would then travel the typical jet stream across the U.S that you see on your daily weather programs. While we all hope this does not happen, and various experts may debate the severity of public health issues involved if it should, it never hurts to have a better understanding of the subject. What would you do if such a cloud was headed your way?
Japanese health authorities are passing out iodine tablets to those in the vicinity of these reactors, as it is common knowledge that the thyroid gland is a weak spot when it comes to radiation exposure. By flooding the body with iodine, the iodine is taken up by the thyroid which then blocks radiation uptake into the thyroid. This reduces the risk for future thyroid cancer (which is already an epidemic cancer in the U.S. in part likely due to excess CT scans).
Such iodine saturation should occur 24 hours prior to exposure and be maintained during the duration of excess exposure. This solution is not without risks, especially when potassium iodide is used. That is because excess iodine can clog thyroid function, inducing either hypo or hyper thyroid. However, that risk is trivial compared to acute radiation exposure – thus iodine makes sense. I like water-soluble iodine that in my experience is much less problematic when higher doses are used. Liquids can be applied directly over the neck region or taken orally, and reapplied as desired based on concerns.
Protecting the thyroid with iodine seems to be about all that public health officials are willing to recommend to the public. However, there are other important steps every person should consider. Radiation interaction within your body generates massive amounts of damaging free radicals, in turn potentially inducing DNA damage that may lead to future cancer – often manifesting a decade or two later. This means it is a good idea to maximize your overall antioxidant defenses. Ideally, this system would be bolstered in advance to provide maximum defense. Unfortunately, the antioxidant defense systems of a majority of Americans are in shoddy condition.
Many nutrients contain antioxidants and many of these behave in your vital antioxidant network to protect your DNA from damage. In your diet, these nutrients come from fruits, vegetables, whey protein, and whole grains. Additionally, almost any nutrient supplement with antioxidant properties, such as vitamin C, will help bolster your antioxidant team. I would suggest to everyone a broad-base of antioxidant support as the minimum. Indeed, a cocktail of antioxidants1 (selenium, vitamin C, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid, alpha-tocopherol succinate, and co-enzyme Q10) started 24 hours after a lethal level of radiation exposure has been show to be highly protective.
I would like to highlight three specific nutrients that have science showing they can protect your body against radiation damage:  tocotrienols, berries, and lipoic acid.
Tocotrienols are a unique form of vitamin E that offers protection that regular vitamin E does not. In a recent animal experiment carried out by the U.S. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute it was shown that gamma tocotrienol32 can protect against whole body radiation exposure.
Excessive radiation exposure damages DNA, especially DNA relating to the system in our bone marrow that produces all the red and white blood cells that are vital for survival. Therefore, radiation exposure has adverse consequences on circulatory health and immune system competence, disturbing energy balance and increasing the risk for cancer. Of particular importance are the haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that constantly rejuvenate blood and can become any of the white or red blood cells, as well as the haematopoietic progenator cells (HPCs) that transform into specific blood cells. Both HSCs and HPCs are the life force of blood cell rejuvenation and essential to your good health.
In this armed forces experiment, mice were exposed to non-lethal amounts of whole body radiation; there was a control group and a group fed gamma tocotrienol. Stem cell colonies (HSCs) were 80 - 86% maintained in the gamma tocotrienol treated mice, while they were 50% reduced in controls. Similarly, progenator cells (HPCs) had recovered completely within 7 days in the gamma tocotrienol treated mice, while they remained at 30% for weeks in the controls. A detailed analysis of the bone marrow showed that gamma tocotrienol maintained the regenerative integrity of bone marrow cells. The authors concluded that gamma tocotrienol “protected hematopoietic tissue by preserving the HSCs and HPCs and by preventing persistent DNA damage.”
Another recent animal study shows that gamma tocotrienol32 can offset the adverse effects of radiation exposure, including the reduction of peroxynitrite, the most damaging free radical. This is important because as free radicals begin forming, their reactions can cascade into producing large amounts of the most damaging of all free radicals, peroxynitrite. Short-circuiting peroxynitrite formation in response to radiation exposure is of immense importance to protecting DNA.
Lipoic acid is a very small and versatile fat- and water-soluble antioxidant. Animal studies show that it helps maintain the antioxidant defense system4 in multiple body tissues upon radiation exposure, especially protecting the brain, liver, spleen, kidney, and testes.
The health status of some 6,000 workers from Latvia5 who went to clean-up the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant has been followed for several decades. These workers suffered higher-than-normal rates of problems in their nervous, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine (especially thyroid) and immunological systems.
A study conducted on some of these workers 10 years after the fact showed that 600 mg of lipoic acid6 for two months was able to normalize many, but not all, of their lab abnormalities. Too bad they didn’t have protection prior to and during exposure. Pretreatment with lipoic acid7 has been shown to significantly reduce radiation exposure damage to the brain.
Recent animal research conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture showed that blueberry and strawberry extracts8 helped prevent brain damage from radiation exposure. Interestingly, the polyphenols of each fruit protected different areas of the brain – supporting a variety of dietary berry intake and/or supplements with multiple berries.
Having an adequate antioxidant defense system for more optimal health is common sense. During times of increased stress your needs for antioxidants rise – and this relates to any type of stress. Radiation exposure is simply one more type of stress – a rather nasty type. The demands in your life or existing health concerns may already be testing your antioxidant reserves. Bolstering your antioxidant defense system to compensate for a potential challenge is also common sense.

 Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist



http://www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/iodine_tocotrienols_berries_and_lipoic_acid_to_protect_against_radiation_ex/

Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Antioxidants Protect Against Lethal Level of Radiation Exposure  Radiat Res.  Brown SL, Kolozsvary A, Liu J, Jenrow KA, Ryu S, Kim JH.
  2. ^ Gamma Tocotrienol and Radiation Exposure  Radiat Res.  Kulkarni S, Ghosh SP, Satyamitra M, Mog S, Hieber K, Romanyukha L, Gambles K, Toles R, Kao TC, Hauer-Jensen M, Kumar KS.
  3. ^ Gamma Tocotrienol and Radiation Damage  Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys.  Berbee M, Fu Q, Boerma M, Pathak R, Zhou D, Kumar KS, Hauer-Jensen M.
  4. ^ Lipoic Acid Protects Against Radiation Exposure  Cell Biol Toxicol.  Manda K, Ueno M, Moritake T, Anzai K.
  5. ^ Long-Term Consequences of Radiation Exposure  Inflammopharmacology.  Eglite ME, Zvagule TJ, Rainsford KD, Reste JD, Curbakova EV, Kurjane NN.
  6. ^ Lipoic Acid Helps Radiation Exposed Workers  Lik Sprava.   Zueva NA, Metelitsa LA, Kovalenko AN, Efimov AS.
  7. ^ Lipoic Acid Potects Brain from Radiation Damage  Behav Brain Res.  Manda K, Ueno M, Anzai K.
  8. ^ Blueberries and Strawberries Protect the Brain from Radiation Damage  Neurobiol Aging.   Shukitt-Hale B, Carey AN, Jenkins D, Rabin BM, Joseph JA. 
Brown SL, Kolozsvary A, Liu J, Jenrow KA, Ryu S, Kim JH. Antioxidant diet supplementation starting 24 hours after exposure reduces radiation lethality. Radiat Res.  2011 April  173(4):462-8.
Henry Ford Hospital, Department of Radiation Oncology, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA

Study Abstract:

Antioxidants mitigate radiation-induced lethality when started soon after radiation exposure, a delivery time that may not be practical due to difficulties in distribution and because the oral administration of such agents may require a delay beyond the prodromal stage of the radiation syndrome. We report the unexpected finding that antioxidant supplementation starting 24 h after total-body irradiation resulted in better survival than antioxidant supplementation started soon after the irradiation. The antioxidant dietary supplement was l-selenomethionine, sodium ascorbate, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, alpha-tocopherol succinate, and co-enzyme Q10. Total-body irradiation with 8 Gy in the absence of antioxidant supplementation was lethal by day 16. When antioxidant supplementation was started soon after irradiation, four of 14 mice survived. In contrast, 14 of 18 mice receiving antioxidant supplementation starting 24 h after irradiation were alive and well 30 days later. The numbers of spleen colonies and blood cells were higher in mice receiving antioxidant supplementation starting 24 h after irradiation than in mice receiving radiation alone. A diet supplemented with antioxidants administered starting 24 h after total-body irradiation improved bone marrow cell survival and mitigated lethality, with a radiation protection factor of approximately 1.18.

 Kulkarni S, Ghosh SP, Satyamitra M, Mog S, Hieber K, Romanyukha L, Gambles K, Toles R, Kao TC, Hauer-Jensen M, Kumar KS. Gamma-tocotrienol protects hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in mice after total-body irradiation. Radiat Res.  2010 June  173(6):738-47.
Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland 20889, USA.


Study Abstract:

We analyzed the radioprotective effects of gamma-tocotrienol (GT3) on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progenitor cells (HPCs) in sublethally irradiated mice. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that radiation depleted HPCs (c-Kit(+), Lin(-)) to 40% at days 2 and 4 after total-body irradiation (TBI) in all treatment groups. The HPC numbers in GT3-treated mice recovered almost completely (90%) at day 7 but remained depleted in vehicle-treated mice (30%) even at day 13 after TBI. An in vitro colony-forming assay on sorted HSCs (Lin(-), Sca1(+), c-Kit(+)) indicated that TBI reduced the number of colonies to 40% and 50% at day 17 and 60, respectively, in vehicle-treated groups compared to unirradiated controls (naïve). GT3-treated irradiated mice maintained higher numbers of colonies (86% and 80% compared to naïve mice), thereby preserving the self-renewable capacity of HSCs. Histopathology of sternal bone marrow indicated more regenerative microfoci for myeloid cells and megakaryocytes and higher overall cellularity in GT3-treated mice compared to vehicle controls at days 7 and 13 after TBI. GT3 treatment also reduced the frequency of micronucleated erythrocytes significantly in irradiated mice. Our results demonstrate that GT3 protected hematopoietic tissue by preserving the HSCs and HPCs and by preventing persistent DNA damage.

Berbee M, Fu Q, Boerma M, Pathak R, Zhou D, Kumar KS, Hauer-Jensen M. Reduction of Radiation-Induced Vascular Nitrosative Stress by the Vitamin E Analog γ-Tocotrienol: Evidence of a Role for Tetrahydrobiopterin. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys.  2010 October
Berbee M, Fu Q, Boerma M, Pathak R, Zhou D, Kumar KS, Hauer-Jensen M.


Study Abstract:

PURPOSE: The vitamin E analog γ-tocotrienol (GT3) is a powerful radioprotector. GT3 reduces postradiation vascular peroxynitrite production, an effect dependent on inhibition of hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase. Hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors mediate their pleiotropic effects via endothelial nitric oxide synthase that requires the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). This study investigated the effects of radiation on BH4 bioavailability and of GT3 on BH4 metabolism.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Mice were exposed to 8.5 Gy of total body irradiation (TBI). Lung BH4 and total biopterin concentrations were measured 0, 3.5, 7, 14, and 21 days after TBI by use of differential oxidation followed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The effect of exogenous GT3 and BH4 treatment on postradiation vascular oxidative stress and bone marrow colony-forming units were assessed in vivo. The effect of GT3 on endothelial cell apoptosis and endothelial expression of guanosine triphosphate (GTP) cyclohydrolase 1 (GTPCH), GTPCH feedback regulatory protein (GFRP), GFRP transcription, GFRP protein levels, and GFRP-GTPCH protein binding was determined in vitro.
RESULTS: Compared with baseline levels, lung BH4 concentrations decreased by 24% at 3.5 days after TBI, an effect that was reversed by GT3. At 14 and 21 days after TBI, compensatory increases in BH4 (58% and 80%, respectively) were observed. Relative to vehicle-treated controls, both GT3 and BH4 supplementation reduced postirradiation vascular peroxynitrite production at 3.5 days (by 66% and 33%, respectively), and BH4 resulted in a 68% increase in bone marrow colony-forming units. GT3 ameliorated endothelial cell apoptosis and reduced endothelial GFRP protein levels and GFRP-GTPCH binding by decreasing transcription of the GFRP gene.
CONCLUSIONS: BH4 bioavailability is reduced in the early postradiation phase. Exogenous administration of BH4 reduces postirradiation vascular oxidative stress. GT3 potently reduces the expression of GFRP, one of the key regulatory proteins in the BH4 pathway, and may thus exert some of its beneficial effects on postradiation free radical production partly by counteracting the decrease in BH4.

 Manda K, Ueno M, Moritake T, Anzai K. alpha-Lipoic acid attenuates x-irradiation-induced oxidative stress in mice. Cell Biol Toxicol.  2007 March  23(2):129-37.
National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba, Japan.

Study Abstract:

The development of nontoxic but effective radioprotectors is needed because of the increasing risk of human exposure to ionizing radiation. We have reported that alpha-lipoic acid confers considerable radio-protective effect in mouse tissues when given prior to x-irradiation. In the present study, alpha-lipoic acid supplementation prior to x-irradiation with 4 and 6 Gy significantly inhibited the radiation-induced decline in total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of plasma. Radiation-induced decline in non-protein sulfhydryl content (NPSH) of different tissues, namely, brain, liver, spleen, kidney, and testis, was also ameliorated significantly at both 4 and 6 Gy doses. Maximal augmentation of radiation-induced protein carbonyl content was observed in spleen followed by brain, kidney, testis, and liver. Maximal protection in terms of carbonyl content was observed in spleen (116%) at 6 Gy dose, and minimal protection was found in liver (22.94%) at 4 Gy dose. Maximal increase in MDA (malondialdehyde) content was observed in brain, followed by testis, spleen, kidney, and liver. Protection by alpha-lipoic acid pretreatment in terms of MDA content was maximal in brain (51.67%) and minimal in spleen. The findings support the idea that alpha-lipoic acid is a free-radical scavenger and a potent antioxidant.

Eglite ME, Zvagule TJ, Rainsford KD, Reste JD, Curbakova EV, Kurjane NN. Clinical aspects of the health disturbances in Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident clean-up workers (liquidators) from Latvia. Inflammopharmacology.  2009 June
Institute of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health, Riga Stradins University, 16 Dzirciema Street, Riga, 1069, Latvia,

Study Abstract:

The health status of some 6,000 workers from Latvia who went to clean-up the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) site following the explosion on 26 April 1986 has been analyzed. The data on these workers have been recorded in the Latvian State Register of Occupational disease patients and people exposed to ionizing radiation due to Chernobyl NPP accident (Latvian State Register) that was established in 1994. From these data, estimates have been made of external ionizing radiation to which these workers were exposed together with observations on the impact of exposure to heavy metals (especially lead and zinc) and radioactive isotopes released during the reactor ‘meltdown’. These factors along with psycho-emotional and social-economic stresses account for a marked excess of mortality and morbidity in the group of CNPP accident clean-up workers compared with that of the non-exposed normal Latvian population adjusted for age and sex. The number of diseases or conditions in the CNPP accident clean-up workers has progressively risen from an average of 1.3 in 1986 to 10.9 in 2007. This exceeds for the Latvian population when adjusted for age and sex. The most serious conditions affect the nervous, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine (especially thyroid) and immunological systems. While the morbidity associated with diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems has decreased in recent years that in the other systems is increasing. In recent years, there has been an increased occurrence of cancers affecting the thyroid, prostate and stomach. Clinical and laboratory investigations suggest that surviving CNPP accident clean-up workers exhibit signs of immuno-inflammatory reactions causing premature aging with evidence of autoimmune diseases and immunological deficiencies or abnormalities. It is suggested that the CNPP accident clean-up workers may have a specific syndrome, the ‘Chernobyl post-radiation neurosomatic polypathy’, due to sustained oxidant stress injury, as a result of exposure to radiation and lead.

Zueva NA, Metelitsa LA, Kovalenko AN, Efimov AS. Immunomodulating effect of berlithione in clean-up workers of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident. Lik Sprava.   2002 January  :24-6.

Study Abstract:

Effects of the antioxidant berlithione (alpha-lipoic acid) on indices for the immune system, such as complement titer, C3-component of the complement, reaction of the autorosette formation were studied together with those on parameters characterizing cell-bound and humoral immunity. 11-12 years following the Chernobyl accident, nine liquidators of its aftermaths were examined, aged 51.8 +/- 7.2 years, body mass (BM) 27.3 +/- 4.2 kg/m2, radiation dose 73.2 +/- 35.3 rem, who took part in the elimination of the effects of the accident for no more than 3 months in 1986—at the beginning of 1987. All examinees were prescribed the drug berlithione (alpha-lipoic acid), 600 mg per day over two months. A two-month treatment with berlithione, 600 mg/day, resulted in normal levels of indices for unspecific defence; among these were phagocytic activity of neutrophiles, content of the complement, its C3-component, and reaction of autorosette formation in the accident effects liquidators, but no impact was found on cell-mediated and humoral immunity

Manda K, Ueno M, Anzai K. Memory impairment, oxidative damage and apoptosis induced by space radiation: ameliorative potential of alpha-lipoic acid. Behav Brain Res.  2008 March  5;187(2):387-95.
National Institute of Radiological Science, Chiba, Japan.

Study Abstract:

Exposure to high-energy particle radiation (HZE) may cause oxidative stress and cognitive impairment in the same manner that seen in aged mice. This phenomenon has raised the concerns about the safety of an extended manned mission into deep space where a significant portion of the radiation burden would come from HZE particle radiation. The present study aimed at investigating the role of alpha-lipoic acid against space radiation-induced oxidative stress and antioxidant status in cerebellum and its correlation with cognitive dysfunction. We observed spontaneous motor activities and spatial memory task of mice using pyroelectric infrared sensor and programmed video tracking system, respectively. Whole body irradiation of mice with high-LET (56)Fe beams (500 MeV/nucleon, 1.5 Gy) substantially impaired the reference memory at 30 day post-irradiation; however, no significant effect was observed on motor activities of mice. Acute intraperitoneal treatment of mice with alpha-lipoic acid prior to irradiation significantly attenuated such memory dysfunction. Radiation-induced apoptotic damage in cerebellum was examined using a neuronal-specific terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end-labeling method (NeuroTACS). Radiation-induced apoptotic and necrotic cell death of granule cells and Purkinje cells were inhibited significantly by alpha-lipoic acid pretreatment. Alpha-lipoic acid pretreatment exerted a very high magnitude of protection against radiation-induced augmentation of DNA damage (comet tail movement and serum 8-OHdG), lipid proxidation products (MDA+HAE) and protein carbonyls in mice cerebellum. Further, radiation-induced decline of non-protein sulfhydryl (NP-SH) contents of cerebellum and plasma ferric reducing power (FRAP) was also inhibited by alpha-lipoic acid pre-treatment. Results clearly indicate that alpha-lipoic acid is a potent neuroprotective antioxidant. Moreover, present finding also support the idea suggesting the cerebellar involvement in cognition.

Shukitt-Hale B, Carey AN, Jenkins D, Rabin BM, Joseph JA. Beneficial effects of fruit extracts on neuronal function and behavior in a rodent model of accelerated aging. Neurobiol Aging.   2007 August  28(8):1187-94.
USDA-ARS, Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, United States.

Study Abstract:

Exposing young rats to particles of high-energy and charge (HZE particles) enhances indices of oxidative stress and inflammation and disrupts the functioning of the dopaminergic system and behaviors mediated by this system in a manner similar to that seen in aged animals. Previous research has shown that diets supplemented with 2% blueberry or strawberry extracts have the ability to retard and even reverse age-related deficits in behavior and signal transduction in rats, perhaps due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This study evaluated the efficacy of these diets on irradiation-induced deficits in these parameters by maintaining rats on these diets or a control diet for 8 weeks prior to being exposed to whole-body irradiation with 1.5 Gy of 1 GeV/n high-energy (56)Fe particles. Irradiation impaired performance in the Morris water maze and measures of dopamine release 1 month following radiation; these deficits were protected by the antioxidant diets. The strawberry diet offered better protection against spatial deficits in the maze because strawberry-fed animals were better able to retain place information (a hippocampally mediated behavior) compared to controls. The blueberry diet, on the other hand, seemed to improve reversal learning, a behavior more dependent on intact striatal function. These data suggest that (56)Fe particle irradiation causes deficits in behavior and signaling in rats which were ameliorated by an antioxidant diet and that the polyphenols in these fruits might be acting in different brain regions.

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