As a result of the Chornobyl accident, a radioactive cloud saturated with isotopes of iodine, strontium, and caesium was released, which landed in the form of radiation precipitation in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and all over the planet.
And today we are again faced with the threat of radiation damage due to the terrorist actions of the Russian Federation, so it is very important to know about radiation and the possibility of protection against it.
Radiation affects our organism, but our bacteria protect us
Damage to the body due to high levels of radiation, whether accidental radiation, radiation therapy for cancer, or targeted radiation attacks, can lead to serious illness and even death (1). Blood cells in the body, as well as tissues in the gastrointestinal tract, are rapidly renewed, cell types known as differentiated cells are particularly susceptible to radiation damage. It has been suggested that these mechanisms date back to the emergence of eukaryotic cells and multicellular organisms about 2.3 billion years ago, or even earlier when background radiation levels were about ten times higher than they are now. More than 10 trillion microbial microorganisms contained in the gastrointestinal tract play an important role in limiting radiation damage. Numerous studies in recent years have shown that the intestinal microbiome plays a major role in maintaining and deteriorating human health (2). Its role depends on the number and species composition of the microbial group. Thus, disbalance in the intestinal microbiome has already been associated with multiple sclerosis, radiation protection, propensity to gain weight, sleep disorders, fear of infants, and inflammatory diseases. Such studies have identified groups of microbes that may be involved in the development or prevention of disease.
Research on microbiome abilities to protect showed great results
There have been a lot of symbiotic germs in our gut lately. The trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in our gut, known as our microbiome, are crucial to our health (3). Without this intestinal flora, we would die. Poor nutrition, overuse of antibiotics, and some diseases can kill some good guys and raise some bad guys, damaging our immune system and making us susceptible to diabetes, some cancers, and even brain dysfunction. So it was really amazing to see that the gut microbiome can also protect us from radiation.
High levels of radiation can cause damage to tissues that may not recover quickly enough, leading to injury or death. In this study, bacteria mitigated the effects of radiation and enhanced the recovery of blood cell production, as well as the recovery of the gastrointestinal tract, indicating the crucial role of intestinal microbiota as the main regulator of radiation protection, as a hematopoietic system and gastrointestinal systems (4).
The researchers found that mice that had many two types of bacteria in their gut, Lachnospiraceae and Enterococcaceae, strongly resisted the effects of intense radiation. These two types of bacteria are found in humans and are abundant in patients with leukemia with mild gastrointestinal symptoms who have undergone radiation therapy.
A study by Hao Guo and his colleagues found that the presence of these two bacteria led to an increase in the production of small bacterial metabolic molecules such as propionate and tryptophan. These metabolites provide long-term protection against radiation by adjusting the host’s resistance to high doses of radiation, promoting hematopoiesis and gastrointestinal recovery, reducing damage to bone marrow stem cell production, and alleviating the development of serious gastrointestinal problems (5).
By taking care of your microbiome you protect yourself from radiation and different diseases
So, our microbiome has a really great impact on our health and wellbeing, especially now, because it may protect us against radiation. What to do to balance it and to raise the number of “good” bacteria?
There are 6 rules for a healthy microbiome:
- Eat fruits and vegetables.
- Add stable starch to your diet
- Experiment with different types of fiber
- Increase physical activity – for yourself and your microbiome
- Include probiotic foods in your diet
- Take supplements containing beneficial bacteria for faster recovery and strengthening of the microbiome
Regarding supplements, it can be recommended to take Multi EM ferment® – a multi-stage fermented beverage with 31 different strains of beneficial bacteria (EM) and 31 different plant metabolites. Multi EM ferment® contains carefully selected effective microorganisms – EM, which mimic a healthy human intestinal microbiome and is capable of colonization, and the ingredients of plant origin in the product are broken down into such small particles that they are easily and optimally absorbed by the body and full us with especially bioavailable nutrients for cells such as antioxidants, enzyme particles, minerals, vitamins, (L +) right-handed lactic acid, prebiotics, and bioflavonoids. This product helps to renovate the microbiome, prevent different diseases in the whole organism, and protect our cells from radiation’s harmful effects (6; 7).
Dr. Oksana Klymenko M.D., PhD, SNHS Dip. (Holistic Nutrition), Medical Doctor, Researcher in the fields of molecular physiology and pathophysiology, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology
- Thomas, G A, and P Symonds. “Radiation Exposure and Health Effects – is it Time to Reassess the Real Consequences?.” Clinical oncology (Royal College of Radiologists (Great Britain)) vol. 28,4 (2016): 231-6. doi:10.1016/j.clon.2016.01.007;
- Ogunrinola GA, Oyewale JO, Oshamika OO, Olasehinde GI. The Human Microbiome and Its Impacts on Health. Int J Microbiol. 2020;2020:8045646. Published 2020 Jun 12. doi:10.1155/2020/8045646;
- Young V B. The role of the microbiome in human health and disease: an introduction for clinicians BMJ 2017; 356 :j831 doi:10.1136/bmj.j831;
- Li Yangyang, Zhang Yiming, Wei Kongxi et all. Review: Effect of Gut Microbiota and Its Metabolite SCFAs on Radiation-Induced Intestinal Injury. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 11, 2021;
- Guo, Hao et al. “Multi-omics analyses of radiation survivors identify radioprotective microbes and metabolites.” Science (New York, N.Y.) vol. 370,6516 (2020): eaay9097. doi:10.1126/science.aay9097;
- Kumar Singh A, Cabral C, Kumar R, et al. Beneficial Effects of Dietary Polyphenols on Gut Microbiota and Strategies to Improve Delivery Efficiency. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2216. Published 2019 Sep 13. doi:10.3390/nu11092216;
- Filosa S, Di Meo F, Crispi S. Polyphenols-gut microbiota interplay and brain neuromodulation. Neural Regen Res. 2018;13(12):2055-2059. doi:10.4103/1673-5374.241429.