By Sari Huhtala
One simple food item saved many Japanese from radiation poisoning after the atomic bomb was dropped.
Considering the cancer industry’s cookie-cutter-approach to treatment, where doctors prescribe up to 24 rounds of radiation as a preventative measure, it’s good to know there are natural options to minimize the negative effects of radiation. Since the 1940s, this one staple food of the east has been scientifically proven to protect against radiation injury, suppress cancer cell growth and help prevent cancer.
This food is miso, a staple in Japan, and the one food item that was found to prevent acute radiation damage when Nagasaki was hit with the second atomic bomb on Aug. 9, 1945.
Despite being less than two kilometres from ground zero at the time of the bombing, Dr. Tatuichiro Akizuki and his 20 staff, along with 70 tuberculosis patients at Uragami Daiichi Hospital did not experience any acute radiation disease. Why? Because they were consuming a couple of cups of miso soup daily, garnished with wakame seaweed. Dr. Akizuki was the first to shed light on miso’s ability to protect against radiation. His findings were corroborated by scientific studies years later.
Miso paste, found in health food stores, is fermented soy bean paste made with rice, barley, wheat or oats, and offers up a powerhouse of nutrients for the body, not to mention probiotics for gut health.
In the 2013 review – Beneficial Biological Effects of Miso with Reference to Radiation Injury, Cancer and Hypertension – published in the Journal of Toxicologic Pathology, researchers looked at the radioprotective effects of miso on mice and concluded in order for it to protect against radiation injury the miso must be in the blood stream prior to the radiation exposure. https://archive.org/details/pubmed-PMC3695331
Researchers also evaluated whether the protective mechanisms were in the soybeans or the fermentation process, and found the process of fermentation is what brings out the protective substances. The greatest effects were seen consuming miso that had been fermented at least 18 months. Good quality organic miso paste, found in health food stores, is often fermented up to three years.
The review also highlights past studies that show miso is effective in suppressing lung and breast tumors in rats, and liver tumors in mice.
“It was obvious that 180-day fermented miso reduced the numbers of lung tumors,” according to a 2003 study in the Hiroshima Journal of Medical Science.
Miso makes good preventative medicine, researchers conclude. Its many benefits help to prevent lifestyle diseases like cancer, decrease cholesterol and blood pressure, aid in digestion and gut function.
Rich in calcium and magnesium, studies show miso may help prevent colorectal cancer – which researchers point out as a lifestyle disease, considering the rise in these types of cancers following adoption of Western world eating habits among the Japanese.
“During fermentation of miso, a substance that suppresses cell proliferation is generated and may work as a factor in preventing colonic cancer,” researchers conclude.
Benefits abound, miso paste can be added to soups, rice, or to flavour dishes for a health boost, but keep in mind in order to maintain its health promoting properties avoid cooking miso.
One of the simplest ways to enjoy miso paste is by adding one tablespoon of miso paste to a cup of boiled water in a mug. Stir well and drink plain, or add grated garlic and ginger, and a dash of cayenne to create a flu-fighting drink. For an easy lunch idea, stir miso into cup and add ¼ cup of cooked rice and chopped green onions or chives.
While radiation exposure may not be top of mind for most people, the Environmental Protection Agency notes the average person is exposed to 620 millirem (6.2 millisieverts) of radiation every year. However, the amount of radiation one is exposed to annually will depend on exposure to medical treatments and medical diagnostics, and how often one is exposed to body scanners in airports, and the use of microwave-emitting devices like cellphones.
To put it into perspective, according to the EPA, a CT scan of the abdomen is 1000 millirems, a coronary angiogram is 2000 millirems, the average exposure of evacuees from Belarus after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was 3,100 millirems and the annual radiation dose limit for nuclear power plant workers is 5,000 millirems.
About 48 per cent of the average person’s radiation exposure comes from medical treatments, while approximately 37 per cent comes from minerals in the ground, like decaying elements of uranium, thorium and radium in rocks and soil, which create the radioactive gas radon.
(This information is not intended to replace medical advice and treatment from a health care practitioner).
Photo credit: ©zkruger via Canva.com
Sari Huhtala is the creator, publisher and editor of Alive and Fit Magazine. She has over 25 years experience in journalism and over 15 years experience as a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. She is an organic farmer, wild-crafter and grandmother, who has spent over 20 years of navigating a holistic, healthy path for her family.