Does alcohol protect against radiation?
The last decades, the radioactive smog enveloping our planet has become more and more intense. Before mankind, the question arose about the creation of protectors - substances that protect the body from exposure to radionuclides and are able to accelerate their removal from the body.
There is a myth about the radioprotective properties of alcohol. Maybe this is not a myth at all? Let's discuss information about the effects of various types of alcoholic beverages on the radiation damage of the human body.
The birth of a myth about the benefits of alcohol against radiation
The creation of nuclear weapons and the results of their tests initiated the orders of the military ministries in the fifties of the 20th century to find means of radiation protection (radio protectors). They were supposed to create a state of increased resistance to ionizing radiation in the irradiated organisms. They were supposed to be taken before the explosion of a nuclear charge or before entering a zone of radioactive contamination.
The studies were very intensive, but their results were mixed. Among the chemicals studied was alcohol, which, as you know, dulls perception, suppresses the instinct of self-preservation. And how blasphemous it does not sound, it allows you to perform a combat mission, before a radiation sickness knocks over a soldier. The soldier was really pumped up with vodka or simply diluted with alcohol, sent to a hot spot, and then immediately to the hospital.
Does vodka remove radiation from the body?
We are interested in two aspects of this problem.
- Does alcohol protect against radiation?
- Do alcoholic beverages contribute to the accelerated removal of radionuclides from the body?
Let's turn to its first part. Strong alcoholic beverages are derivatives of ethyl alcohol of different concentrations, with various additives and different manufacturing techniques. Alcohol is a solvent. Once in the body of an irradiated person, alcohol dissolves and evenly distributes radionuclides throughout the bloodstream. Initially they accumulate:
- in the lymph nodes;
- thyroid gland;
- in the spinal cord and bone marrow.
This redistribution leads to the fact that the previously infected bodies are affected.
The "carriers" of radiation sickness are oxygen molecules, which plays the role of transport for various substances. Yes, alcohol slows down this process, delaying the movement of oxygen molecules between the internal organs of a person. But this effect is achieved only with critical doses of radiation and astronomical doses of alcohol taken. This statement is indisputable - the mechanism of impact of shock doses of alcohol to eliminate the effects of strong ionizing radiation is not fully understood.
In all other cases, alcohol and radiation are incompatible. Alcohol only aggravates the effect of radiation, since hypoxia caused by it (lack of oxygen in the body) leads to a decrease in immune forces.
As for the question of whether vodka or other strong alcoholic drinks removes radiation from the body, the answer of scientists is categorical - alcohol is not included in the list of products that contribute to this process.
The opinion among the people about whether vodka helps with radiation has no basis. This "half-knowledge" of the problem led to the birth of delusions in some people, and for some it served as an excuse for their attachments to the "green snake".
Red wine and radiation
The art of wine treatment (enotherapy) has been known since ancient times. In general, in Soviet times, the official attitude to this product was extremely negative. But in the 70–80s of the last century, natural red wines introduced into the ration of nuclear submarine crews and personnel serving radioactive installations. The Chernobyl tragedy forced hypocrisy and propaganda to retreat in the struggle for a "sober lifestyle." Just the day after the accident, huge stocks of dry red wine were delivered to Kiev.
How do we owe this drink, and does red wine help with radiation? The study of its chemical composition and effects on the human body show that natural red wine:
strengthens the immune system;
- increases the body's resistance to viral, electromagnetic and radiation effects;
- due to the content of pectins and vitamins, accelerates the excretion of radionuclides (although to a very small extent);
- contains a natural antioxidant that protects against radiation, and due to the presence of resveratrol, it is able to prevent some damage caused by it;
- due to the presence of rubidium in it, it accelerates the removal of radioactive cesium from the body.
It is necessary to clarify the above positive "relationship" of red wine and radiation. The main positive effect is achieved precisely due to the powerful oxidative properties of this product. By inhibiting the action of free radicals, this product inhibits oxidative processes triggered by radiation.
The recommended dose of 100-150 ml per day, that is, one glass. Large doses do not enhance the positive effect, but act as a banal binge.
Beer and radiation
Behind our wanderings through the labyrinths of the Internet, there was one more alcoholic drink left - beer.
The authors of publications on the protective properties of a foamy drink from radiation refer to the fact that beer contributes to the release of fluid from the body, along with which slags, including radionuclides, are released. This is nothing more than idle reasoning, not confirmed by any research.
And, in general, none of the types of alcoholic beverages almost has radioprotective properties. The most effective radioprotectors created in laboratories are characterized by a special coefficient, the value of which approaches 2. Radioprotective properties of alcoholic beverages are 2 times weaker and have a very limited time, and only during acute exposure, obtained in seconds and minutes.
Only preparations of stable isotopes, displacing radioactive "fellows", as well as products containing pectin can remove radiation:
- black currant;
In all situations involving a longer exposure, alcohol against radiation poisoning of the body is powerless and other methods of protection against radiation should be resorted to.