What Is It?
Cosmic radiation is electronically charged atoms known as ions that originate from outer space and from our own sun. We are all exposed to radiation in our everyday lives and cosmic radiation makes up approximately 17% of ground level radiation.
The vast majority of people are not at high risk of any potential adverse effects of exposure to cosmic radiation because the dense atmosphere of the earth, relative to the low level of exposure, acts as a protective barrier.
The sun is an essential component for all our lives and supports our very existence, but it can also pose a threat to the healthy functioning of the human body, as well as our way of life.
The sun gives us light, sustains all life on earth, and therefore our supply of food. It is essential to us for a great number of things such as warmth, light, photosynthesis, and vitamin D production. However, radiation from the sun can also damage DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), affect the growth of plants, and contribute to the development of immune, and metabolic related disease conditions.
Cosmic radiation is made up of particles that can permeate matter, displacing molecules, a process known as ionization. Ionizing radiation can damage cell DNA, (genetic material) by breaking down chemical bonds that change how cells divide, communicate or die. Free radicals are produced. At higher doses the biological function of cells can be damaged. The potential effects can cause genetic damage to human egg and sperm cells, which may lead to complications in a developing foetus.
- Altitude: The higher the altitude, the greater the amount of cosmic radiation exposure. This is because at higher altitudes the atmosphere of earth is less dense so the earth’s shield effect is weaker.
- Location: Earth’s magnetic field deflects much cosmic radiation. However protection is more effective around the equator. There is around twice the protection around the equator compared to the North and South poles.
- Duration: The longer we spend at higher altitudes, the larger the cosmic radiation dose.
- Solar Cycles: When normal solar activity is high, cosmic radiation is low, and the opposite is also true.
- Solar Flares: These are large eruptions of charged particles from the sun that travel at high speed through space. The dose of cosmic radiation can be significantly increased if they hit the earth.
Who Is At Highest Risk?
Cosmonauts, pilots, cabin crew and frequent fliers who spend extended periods of time at high altitudes and consequently can be exposed to levels of radiation 100-300 times stronger that the levels measured at sea level. The FAA consider flying staff to be occupationally exposed to the effects of ionizing radiation. The increased number of flying hours accumulated, the greater the risk of radiation exposure, so crews that regularly fly over the North Pole, from Alaska to Japan for example, would be exposed to larger doses compared to crews flying routes that are geographically closer to the equator. The adverse effects will also be cumulative, so flying staff are at greater risk than passengers, and pilots are at greater risk than cabin crew, because the aircraft fuselage provides slightly more protection than inside the cockpit. Studies have suggested that pilots and cabin crew may be at higher risk for cataracts and cosmic radiation may contribute to the development, over time, of certain cancers.
In 2010, the Moscow based Institute for Medical and Biological Problems, cooperating with the European and Chinese Space authorities, simulated a 250-day journey to Mars, a 30-day surface exploration and a 240 days return trip for 6 cosmonauts. The main aim of the Mars Project 500 experiment was to study the many physical and psychological health effects on the Mars 500 cosmonauts who were closely monitored throughout the mission. The preliminary results of all the tests performed are very positive, and the research findings will serve to support future space crews and a planned mission to Mars.
This link shows International maps with indications of environmental radiation levels that can be accessed by anyone at any time. It is live and updated every minute.
How Can I Minimise and/or Reverse Damage?
Human cells have the most amazing capacity to repair damage if afforded the opportunity.
Step one would be to evaluate the systemic damage and then repair and regenerate.
- Repair and regenerate.
- Protect and support the immune system, especially anyone with a compromised immune system.
- Eat foods that support how your body is currently functioning, rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
- Include 80 grams protein daily. Amino acids in protein foods are necessary for repair.
- Eat natural foods, preferably local, seasonal, and grown organically.
- Drink pure (non-fluoridated) water.
- Eliminate all polyunsaturated fatty acids and all foods that are high in them.
- Use real sea salt.
- Eliminate soy and soy derivatives.
- Eat animal foods from animals that have consumed their natural diet.
- Move your body doing whatever activities you enjoy doing. Stop when you feel tired.
- Practice mindfulness, or meditation. This practice can help to support the ‘rest and digest’ side of the autonomic nervous system. This side of the nervous system is often weakened over time when the prevailing functional state has been the ‘flight or fight’, (stress) side of the autonomic nervous system, due to prolonged, unresolved stress.
- Be exposed to some natural sunlight each day, preferably between the hours of 11am and 2pm.
- Ensure you get sufficient sleep.
Evaluation – we use a 5-minute HRV (heart rate variability) test to evaluate the body’s systemic ability to manage and respond to all internal and external stress.
For a HRV test close to LHR or London please link contact these certified MT practitioners:
Steve Bishop LHR t. 0800 1974 294e. email@example.com
Nik Pinnock London t. 07962 365581e. firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Haling LGW t. 07742 299381e. email@example.com
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Langmuir 2011 27 (6), 2980-2988
Synthesis, Physicochemical Characterization, and Biological Activities of New Carnosine Derivatives Stable in Human Serum As Potential Neuroprotective Agents
Massimo Bertinaria, Barbara Rolando, Marta Giorgis, Gabriele Montanaro, Stefano Guglielmo, M. Federica Buonsanti, Valentina Carabelli, Daniela Gavello, Pier Giuseppe Daniele, Roberta Fruttero, and Alberto Gasco
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
2011 54 (2), 611-621
Copyright (c) Sheri Dixon 2017