Thanksgiving is right around the corner—and with it comes a new season of frenzied holiday travel.
But no matter whether you only fly to spend the most wonderful time of year with your family, or you’re a jet setter whose second home is the airport, there’s something you should know BEFORE you board that next plane…
The sky isn’t so “friendly” to flyers after all…
The Harvard Flight Attendant Health Study started all the way back in 2007. But the latest results just made an appearance in the journal Environmental Health this past summer.
And, well, let’s just say they’re not exactly reassuring for anyone who ever flies.
This research gathered health data from more than 5,000 flight attendants and compared it to matching data from folks who don’t work in the airline industry. And the results were shocking.
The researchers found that flight attendants suffer higher rates of at least SEVEN different kinds of cancers including…
- non-melanoma (such as basal cell and squamous cell)
And we’re not just talking about small increases in risk, either.
Frequent radiation exposure sent cancer risks skyrocketing
In the case of breast cancer, for example, prevalence among flight attendants was more than 50 percent higher. Rates doubled in the case of melanoma. And they QUADRUPLED for cases of non-melanoma skin cancer.
In other words, it turns out that flying IS a perilous profession—just not for the reasons that most people think. Because it’s not emergency landings, you need to worry about. It’s the cancer-causing cosmic radiation at high altitudes that will catch up with you.
Of course, it’s not entirely clear yet how the results of this study affect the occasional traveler. But keep in mind that air travel isn’t the only source of everyday radiation which could be driving up your own risks.
Radiation-proof your system in 3 simple steps
In other words, it’s impossible to avoid radiation exposure.
But the good news is there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your risks from that exposure…, whether you’re a frequent flyer or not.
Following are three things you can do to help to combat the cumulative effects of radiation exposure:
1. Go green:
It’s time to go green. And I don’t just mean you should eat more veggies. You need chlorophyll-packed foods like kelp and seaweed to handle this job.
They contain minerals that can help keep your thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine. Plus these compounds also bind and flush toxins from your body, helping to eliminate toxic radiation.
In fact, after the Chernobyl crisis, spirulina—a type of blue-green algae, which you can find at most health food stores—was given to children to help minimize damage from the massive doses of radiation exposure they experienced. So you can imagine the kind of protection it offers against more routine exposure.
2. Get an antioxidant boost:
But don’t stop at the green, you’re going to want to get a regular antioxidant boost too. So load up on blueberries, cherries, and cruciferous veggies.
These tasty fruits and veggies are some of the best sources of the specific antioxidants experts say can help counter the effects of everyday radiation exposure. Eating more of them could help protect your cells from damage. And researchers say they could even help rejuvenate damaged cells after radiation exposure.
3. Supplement smart:
An extra bowl of blueberries alone isn’t always going to do the trick when it comes to radiation exposure. And frequent flyers, in particular, shouldn’t be afraid to break out the big guns.
Nutrients like n-acetylcysteine (NAC) can pump up your body’s stores of the protective antioxidant glutathione. While lab studies show that alpha lipoic acid effectively shields tissues and organs from radiation damage.
Even basic supplements, like vitamins C and E, offer serious bang for your buck against this common threat—with animal research showing that they can be lifesaving in the wake of massive radiation exposure.
The bottom line: Nobody needs a hefty dose of radiation over the holidays. This year’s flight may still cost you your sanity—but with these strategies handy, at least it won’t cost you your health.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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