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  • What Does Low-Dose Radiation From An A-Bomb Have To Do With Resveratrol and Longevity?

    January 4, 2019: by Bill Sardi

    The title of unluckiest and unhappiest man in the world was assigned to Mr. Tsutomu Yamaguchi who during WWII was A-bombed at Hiroshima, Japan and then was evacuated to Nagasaki where he survived a second A-bomb attack.  The A-bombs did not shorten his life.  He lived 93 years.  Another survivor, Sunao Tsuboi, at the age of 20 was 1.2 kilometers from the A-bomb epicenter in Hiroshima.  He is alive and healthy today at age 93 (2018).

    Most people believe exposure to any dose of atomic radiation or radon gas that escapes from clefts in the earth would be potentially harmful.  But then we read a current report entitled LOW-DOSE RADIATION FROM A-BOMBS ELONGATED LIFESPAN AND REDUCED CANCER MORTALITY RELATIVE TO UN-IRRADIATED INDIVIDUALS in the December 2018 issue of Genes & Environment.  How could this be?

    What toxicologist Shizuyo Sutou of Shujitsu University in Japan calls to the world’s attention is that mistakes were made in estimating mortality from A-bomb radiation in Japan.  That residual radiation, poured down in “black rain” increased the fallout area which was used as a comparison in mortality data.  The people living immediately outside of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the cities that were targets of A-bombs, were exposed to considerably more radiation than first estimated.  It is these survivors, who were not burned to death by the thermal or blast energy emitted from an A-bomb, who exhibit lower (not higher) rates of cancer and are living longer than the average unexposed population in Japan.  Japanese people exposed to A-bomb radiation are living on average ~88 years while their counterparts in unexposed areas are living ~83 years.

    Dr. Sutou says the idea that homes must be abandoned in Fukushima area where radiation was released from an atomic power plant is now revealed as folly and there is a call to abolish such harsh measures.  Dr. Satou points to an adaptive response in the human body to protect against radiation damage (explained below), once activated, will afford an advantage in health span and lifespan.

    Dr. Satou reveals people in Japan are exposed to 20,000 radiation hits a second from environmental sources of radiation (cosmic, ground, background).  Humans are constantly exposed to radiation (0.04 milli-Sieverts) during jet-liner flight compared to 0.02 mSv from a chest x-ray).  [A Sievert (Sv) is a measure of ionizing radiation and a milli-Sievert is 0.001 of a Sievert].

    Dr. Satou notes that living cells in the human body are subjected to ~9 billion hits/day from toxic by-products of cellular respiration, that is, unbalanced oxygen lacking an electron that are called oxygen free radicals generated as cells utilize oxygen for energy.  The human body obviously has an internal mechanism to protect against oxygen or radiation toxicity or homo sapiens would not survive.  Most animals pour electrons to counter oxygen-generated free radicals by virtue of their ability to secrete ascorbate (vitamin C) from their liver.  Humans and a few animals (guinea pigs, monkeys, fruit bats) are victims of a gene mutation that blocks the internal synthesis of vitamin C, making mankind more vulnerable to radiation or oxygen-generated free radicals than most animals.  But even with this vulnerability, humans produce internal antioxidants (glutathione, catalase, SOD) in response to radiation or any other biological threats.

    Dr. Satou goes so far as to say low-dose radiation is necessary for life.  He says evacuation from Chernobyl and Fukushima is unnecessary and states the radiation hazard in these areas (1.65 Sieverts) should be compared to Ramsar, Iran where people continuously endure 260 milli-Sieverts from natural radium springs with no health problems.

    Dr. Satou states: humans can tolerate 1000 milli-Sieverts/year if the daily exposure dose is low.  He says the Japanese government limit of 1 mSv has only stirs up “radiophobia.”  Cancer incidence in Fukushima is negligible.  [Genes & Environment 2016]

    Dr. Satou says the idea that any dose of atomic radiation is hazardous only serves to ”terrorize innocent people.”  He says there have been tremendous human, social and economic losses caused by the idea that any dose of radiation is harmful. [Journal Pharmaceutical Society Japan 2015]

    Indeed, laboratory animals subjected to a similar amount of radiation as humans in Chernobyl and Fukushima exhibit a reduction in arterial plaque and an increase in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant gene expression.  [Radiation Research 2018]

    What does all this have to do with resveratrol?

    Plants also have an adaptive defense against biological threats such as radiation (solar), insect invasion and plant viruses.  Plants produce noxious properties to deter insects and other pests.  When humans consume these plants they acquire the defensive molecules the plant produced, a phenomenon called xenohormesis.  [Neuromolecular Medicine 2008]  (Xenohormesis is defined as exposure to a low-dose toxin in plants that evokes a protective biological response that is transferred to humans upon consumption of that plant as food.)  [Cell Stress Chaperones 2010].

    There are a number of environmental triggers of hormesis which includes exposure to low amounts of radon gas, other forms of radiation including solar, high altitude/low oxygen environments, heat (such as sauna baths), food deprivation (fasting) or calorie restricted diets or molecular mimics of the same.  [ Dec 16, 2011]. Resveratrol is the best known molecular mimic of a calorie restricted diet.

    The gene that controls the protective adaptive response to these environmental threats is Nrf2 (nuclear transcription factor erythroid 2p45 factor 2). [Annals New York Academy Science 2011]

    Low doses of plant “biological stressors” are known to activate the Nrf2 gene switch that alerts the body to a biological threat and induces cells in the body to produce internal enzymatic antioxidants (glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase/SOD).  [Current Molecular Medicine 2011]

    Resveratrol, consumed in modest doses, initially activates oxidation that triggers the Nrf2 defensive response.  Upon its introduction, resveratrol promotes oxidation and in turn triggers major internal antioxidant protection. [Free Radical Biology Medicine 2016]

    Given there is no approved and safe countermeasure against sub-lethal radiation exposure, the impetus to demonstrate an agent like resveratrol that activates the built-in Nrf2 antioxidant switch is of considerable importance. [Redox Biology 2014]

    Resveratrol has been shown to protect the ovaries of laboratory animals exposed to ionizing radiation. [Biochemical Pharmacology 2016]. In fact, resveratrol is considered a “radiation protective drug.” [International Journal Molecular Sciences 2013]

    Therefore, resveratrol both promotes and counters oxidation.  Its daily use would pre-protect vulnerable organs of the body not only from damage caused by heart attacks and strokes but also from unexpected sources of radiation.

    The impending rollout of 5G Wi-Fi in mobile phones pose an unknown health threat.  Human populations have not been widely exposed to the 3500 megahertz median bandwidth of electromagnetic energy used in 5G technology.  Long-term exposure to a lower band width (900-1800 MHz) has been shown to have adverse effects on the hippocampus, the thinking part of the brain.  A consortium of physicians and scientists has called for a moratorium on 5G rollout, but the cell phone companies are licensing cities now for the technology.  One expert says this is a game of Russian roulette.  [International Journal Radiation Oncology Biology Physiologys 2018].

    The 5G health threat

    Whether exposure to 5G microwave radiation activates a protective Nrf2 response or exerts toxicity, or even alters mood or mental capacity or even induces cataracts, is unknown.

    Resveratrol is a radioprotective agent that may serve to protect human populations from the aggregate exposures of many sources of radiation, a threat that has not been evaluated to date.  [International Journal Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research 2017]

    To re-emphasize, ironically resveratrol like an atom bomb – it is both antioxidant and prooxidant, is perceived by the body as a biological threat (molecular mimic of food deprivation), and activates the body’s internal antioxidant protection prior to radiation exposure or any other potential damage induced by heart attacks, strokes, trauma or toxins.  #### Ó2019 Bill Sardi,

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