Radiation Exposure and the Immune System

Since the tragic March 11, 2011 Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant accidents, several customers have asked, “Can Del-Immune V® help with radiation exposure?” We decided to look through our original Soviet and Ukrainian documentation, as we know the grandparent of Del-Immune V®, called Extrabiolate, was researched after the Chernobyl accident in 1986 at the State Cancer Hospital in St. Petersberg, Russia, according to Dr. Vasiliy Kravitz, M.D., PhD. The primary research was conducted by the Institute of Experimental Pathology, Onocology and Radiobiology, National Academy of Science, Kiev, Ukraine.

Ukrainian and Russian documentation of animal studies state that “Usage of the cell fragment material [grandparent of Del-Immune V®] leads to the reduction of mortality by as much as two times.” The animals had been exposed at the Chernobyl accident site via “external background radiation and also radiation (radio nucleotides) present in food and water.”

“Animal consumption of the cell fragments before radiation not only increased the rate of survival by twice, but also increased average life duration,” the study states.

This study of radiation and cell fragments, called ”extrabiolate,” the grandfather of what is now known as Del-Immune V®, and immune function is a small part of a large body of Russian/Soviet scientific research on lactobacillus cell fragments.

The Greenpeace Chernobyl Study

Greenpeace, founded in 1971, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to environmental protection. In 2006, Greenpeace released an exhaustive eight-year study on world-wide health issues after the Chernobyl accident titled, “The Chernobyl Catastrophe: Consequences on Human Health.” With over 50 accredited scientific contributors, the study compares the type and numbers of post-accident health issues against pre-accident data. Geographically, researchers found health impacts as far away as the British Isles.

The report states that the accident was, “The most significant and wide ranging technological catastrophe in the history of humankind. Twenty years later, several million people (by various estimates, from 5 to 8 million) still reside in areas that remain highly contaminated by Chernobyl’s radioactive pollution. The radiological (and hence health) consequences of this nuclear accident are expected to be experienced for years to come, since the half-life of the major (though far from the only) radioactive element released, caesium-137 (137Cs), is a little over 30 years.

“At least 14 other countries in Europe were contaminated by radiation above the limit used to define areas as “contaminated.” Lower, but nonetheless substantial quantities of radioactivity linked to the Chernobyl were detected all over the European continent, from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, and in Asia.”1

Effects of radiation on the immune system

Our ten years of experience with Del-Immune V® has confirmed that the product provides immediate immune system support. The following information is intended to help answer customer questions regarding potential health and immune issues relating to the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents.

There has been sixty years-worth of research and experience with radioactive substances; researchers worldwide strive to understand the impact of radiation on all forms of life. What is known is that high levels of radiation exposure are generally a death sentence, while lower degrees of exposure, i.e. small amounts of radiation in food, water and air bring less obvious issues and can affect health for many years after a nuclear incident.2

Scientific lessons were learned from the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident and the nuclear bombing of Japan in August 1945. Now, with the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, new concerns about radiation-linked health issues are emerging. We can look to the science already documented by researchers after the Chernobyl accident for a glimpse of the possible health implications of the Fukushima accident, specifically for the immune system.

Researchers now know that there are multiple levels of health issues and impacts on the immune system after radiation exposure. It is also known that in the early period following exposure, there is a significant outbreak of auto-immune disease, systemic bacterial infection and other types of infection. According to Dr. Luba Shynkarenko Sichel PhD, the cytokine Interleukin-2 (IL2), which functions like a master on-off switch in the immune system, is disrupted. “IL-2 is crucial for the generation of an effective immune response.”3 In other words, if the immune system is a highly organized army, IL-2 would be the supreme commander. When IL-2 is disrupted, other components of the immune system fall out of balance.

‘Immune cells are known to be vulnerable to radiation induced cell death, especially in the long-lived white blood cells responsible for adaptive (secondary) immunity. Other lethal damage occurs in the bone marrow stem cells, precursors of short-lived white blood cells as well as natural killer cells, both responsible for innate (primary) immunity.”4 In other words, damage to the bone marrow disrupts precursors to stem cells and natural killer cells that are responsible for neutralizing infectious disease.

The Greenpeace study also states that disruption of the immune system has a direct relationship to the incidence and severity of infectious disease. “Some of the statistics gathered post-Chernobyl suggested that radiation exposed-populations may be more vulnerable to infectious disease.”5

Post-radiation syndrome

After the Chernobyl accident, researchers observed a group of symptoms that became known as ‘Post-radiation Syndrome’ (PRS) When referenced to post-WWII data on radiation exposure in Japan, the same symptoms were also found in those populations.

According to Dr. Martin Pall of the School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, “PRS has been most studied among those exposed to ionizing radiation after the Chernobyl nuclear accident with some additional studies of atom bomb survivors. The complex chronic symptoms have typically been found in persons both shortly after exposure and continuing for years after such exposure. Symptoms include fatigue, sleep and mood disturbances, impaired memory and concentration and muscle and/or joint pain. Symptoms also reported are persistent fatigue, irritability, headache, vertigo, pain in the chest area, emotional reactivity, lack of concentration and memory, cognitive deterioration, depression and sleep disorders.

“These symptoms and the chronic nature of the illness are quite similar to those described in a group of chronic multisystem illnesses including chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS, fibromyalgia (FM) and multiple chemical sensitivity CFS, FM and MCS have been linked to each other because they share a set of common symptoms.”6

Cancer and radiation

After radiation exposures the he body loses its ability to control the growth of cancer cells. “Today, it is clear that the pollution from Chernobyl has indeed caused increases in cancers. In patients from Belarus, for example, incidences of kidney, urinary/bladder and thyroid cancer were significantly higher for the period of 1993 to 2003 than in a comparable group.”7

After Chernobyl, thyroid cancer rates increased in the Czech Republic, Southern Germany, Armenia, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, Greece and even as far away as Northern England.

“Thyroid cancer was significantly elevated in Northern England, particularly in Cumbria, the area that received the most fallout from the accident.”8

Simply put, radiation exposure is detrimental and disruptive to immune function, and the effects can continue over the long-term. “Immune system radiation effects are cumulative. All forms of radiation interfere with cellular activity and suppress immune system function,” says Immunesystemetc.com. The Greenpeace Chernobyl study also states that “Overall it appears that since 1986 in the former territories of the USSR, life expectancy has decreased, with increase in infant mortality and mortality rates in older age groups.”9

As we have said, Del-Immune V® is a broad-spectrum immune modulator that offers immediate immune support. Pure Research Products, via the Japanese Consulate in Denver, Colorado, has offered 200,000 doses of Del-Immune V® to help support the immune systems of workers and others in the vicinity of the Fukushima nuclear reactors. We are also working the International Rotary Club to assist with this proposal. We will report the results of our efforts in future newsletters and blog posts.

[1] Greenpeace, pg. 10
[2] http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/
reports/chernobylhealthreport.pdf
[3] http://www.hon.ch/Library/Theme/Allergy/Glossary/il2.html
[4] From the Radiation Effects Research Foundation,
A cooperative Japan-US Research Organization
(www.rerf.or.jp/radefx)
[5] Greenpeace pg. 16
[6] http://www.cfids-cab.org/rc/Pall.pdf ARTI
[7] Greenpeace pg. 12
[8] Greenpeace, pg. 136
[9] Greenpeace, pg. 24

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