(NaturalHealth365) Every year, one out of every four people in the U.S. will follow the advice of their physician and undergo a CT scan and exposing themselves to ionizing radiation. But the National Cancer Institute warns that those 72 million CT scans performed each year are increasing the risk for cancer. In fact, the Institute estimates that CT scans alone may be responsible for about 29,000 new cancer diagnoses each year.
CT scans and x-rays have important medical advantages, however. They enable physicians to diagnose everything from fractures to cancer to aneurysms, and often uncover health risks and conditions that would otherwise go unnoticed. That’s why it’s critical to take precautions in reducing the effects of ionizing radiation caused by CT scans.
CT scans contribute to growing numbers of preventable cancers
Over the course of the past two decades, the total amount of radiation exposure from medical imaging has grown six-fold. At the same time, there has been an associated increase in the rate of new, preventable cancers.
Each CT scan is equivalent to a series of individual x-ray images, organized by a specialized computer to produce a high-contrast, 3-D image. The scans not only reveal the inner workings of the head and body, but also any abnormalities, such as tumors or abscesses. A single scan can expose a patient to an amount of radiation comparable to multiple X-rays, significantly raising the risk of cancer.
Understanding ways to reduce the effects of medical radiation can lessen your risk of cancer. The following are examples of natural ways to prevent the negative effects of ionizing radiation caused by CT scans.
1. Lemon balm can help reduce the risks of ionizing radiation by preventing the formation of damaging chemicals triggered by medical imaging. Known for its ability to preserve meats and other foods by preventing the oxidative stress that causes spoilage, lemon balm works in similar fashion to prevent a form of chemical stress that ionizing radiation causes to the human body.
Lemon balm is also known to boost levels of superoxide dismutase, or SOD, an important component in the body’s own ability to fight off the detrimental effects of radiation stemming from medical technologies. Research has shown that lemon balm also safeguards the body by defending lipid cell membranes as well as protecting DNA.
A study involving radiologists, exposed to low-level radiation on a daily basis, showed measurable protective results from lemon balm tea consumed at a rate of 1.5g/100 ml twice a day for 30 days.
2. Ginkgo biloba is a well-known plant can be used to reduce the adverse effects of medical imaging by reducing the levels of DNA strand breaks that directly lead to cancer. In one of several studies, treatment with ginkgo reduced the number of abnormal chromosomes in subjects exposed to ionizing radiation by nearly 60 percent.
In another human study, patients exposed to radiation were provided 40 mg of gingko three times daily over a two-month period. They showed marked improvement, with their plasma exhibiting DNA-impacting activities at levels no higher than that of control subjects.
3. Spirulina extract boosts the body’s production of white blood cells following exposure to ionizing radiation. Bone marrow is especially susceptible to the effects of toxicity following radiation exposure. Often, the effects can lead to fatal, overwhelming infections, sometimes popping up much later.
Spirulina extract spurs the production of bone marrow stimulating growth factors. It is also increases production of antibodies. Antibodies have the ability to bind to invading organisms and flag them for destruction.
4. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, has been proven to be very effective at treating radiation exposures. The Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, for example, illustrated that even when vitamin C is given in moderate doses, it has the ability to prevent the damage to cells normally seen after radiation exposure.
Growing amounts of research have shown vitamin C’s ability to reverse or prevent damage caused by radiation exposure, both in the lab and with patients undergoing radiation therapy. It is recommended that as much vitamin C as possible be taken prior to exposure to maximize the antioxidant, cancer-preventing benefits.
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