Protection from Radiation Damage by the use of DMSO
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Protection from Radiation Damage by the use of DMSO

by Archie Scott

The radio protective properties of DMSO have been known for over 40 years, DMSO has been used to prevent radiation damage from x-ray treatment and also to protect from high atmospheric levels of radiation such as that caused by accidents at nuclear power plants.

There is direct and immediate noticeable damage such as radiation burns. Radiation also produces free radicals that damage cells throughout the whole body. These free radicals cause the cells to age more rapidly and also cause the cells to mutate causing cancers, birth defects, and other diseases. DMSO is the most potent free radical scavenger known. Even low concentrations of DMSO can greatly reduce the radiation and free radical damage,

A study involving cervical cancer patients in Russia who received radiation treatment was reported in the Russian Radiological Journal Meditsinskaia Radiological (1). In this study DMSO was applied topically to 22 cervical cancer patients prior to radiation treatment. The control group consisted of 59 patients who received radiation therapy without DMSO . The DMSO protected patients did not get radiation burns and other symptoms of radiation toxicity while the control group had the normally expected toxic reactions.

A study at Kyoto University in Japan involving the use of DMSO to protect DNA from radiation damage was reported in the Journal of Radiation Research in 2010.(2) In this study Chinese hamster ovary cells were exposed to radiation while being protected by a dilute solution (0.5%) of DMSO.

DNA is composed of two strands in the form of a double helix. It contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of living organisms. The main role of DNA is the long term storage of information. DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints or plans since it contains the instructions needed to construct other components of cells. DNA can be from any organism such as a person, a dog, a cat, or a hamster. The DNA in hamster cells determines that the baby will be a hamster while the DNA in human cells determine that the baby will be a human. The DNA also influences the size, color, intelligence, etc of the organism.

The DNA can be damaged in a variety of ways, one of which is exposure to radiation. Radiation can cause a break in some of the DNA strands. Previous studies by the Kyoto University researchers confirmed that a two hour treatment of irradiated cells with 10% DMSO could suppress deadly effects in the irradiated cells, but the concentration of DMSO was toxic. The research showed that higher concentrations were effective in preventing double strand breaks. Generally the higher the concentration of DMSO, the fewer double strand breaks in the DNA, but since high concentrations proved toxic, the 0.5% DMSO was tried.

This study showed that 0.5% DMSO provided protection from radiation by helping repair double strand breaks rather than through indirect action of free radical suppression. Anyone who desires more detailed information on the Japanese study can access it on the internet. It is an excellent study even though it can be difficult to understand.

In their conclusion the authors of the study say that further studies are needed to truly understand the effects of DMSO in protecting the cells from radiation damage. Previously it was thought that the benefit was an indirect action caused by free radical suppression. However, as this study shows there is also direct action with the DMSO itself helping to repair the radiation damage to the DNA. There is still much to be learned about treating radiation damage.

How can the knowledge that we have now be used to help those who may have been exposed to an excessive amount of radiation such as that from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant? There are no previously written protocols for the DMSO treatment of radiation from damaged atomic power plants as far as I know. With over 45 years of experience in the medical use of DMSO , I am one of the most qualified to write an original protocol treatment which should be considered subject to change as more information is obtained. Also the treatment can be varied to treat each individual case.

All of those exposed to excess radiation should be treated with DMSO immediately. The DMSO can be given by mouth, by injection, or by topical application to the skin. In some cases all three methods can be used. Those who have major exposure such as the workers at the power plant should be given heavy doses of DMSO. A maximum of 5 grams per kilogram of body weight on the first day of treatment is safe over a 24 hour period. Topical DMSO can be at a concentration of 90% for much of the body. Generally for the face the concentration should be 70% or less. It should be applied lightly at first to see how the patient responds. If the patient has radiation burns Scott Supreme Skin Lotion which contains 50% DMSO and also aloe vera has proven effective. Those that continue to receive radiation can apply DMSO or Scott Supreme Skin Lotion lightly on the whole body two or three times a day. The skin should be clean with no rubbing alcohol on the area where DMSO is applied as the DMSO can take other products with it through the skin.

When DMSO is taken by mouth, the concentration should be kept to 20% or less DMSO. The patient should drink the solution slowly after eating. Usually it is best to put the DMSO in juice to cover up the taste. However, it can also be diluted with water.

DMSO can also be given by injection. Injections are usually diluted to 20% or less.

DMSO has been used to successfully treat a wide variety of problems for nearly 50 years. It is considered to be one of the safest medicines ever used, and even though it has been used by millions of people there have been no documented cases of anyone ever having a fatal reaction to DMSO. The only side effect usually is a garlic like breath .With topical use there may be some minor skin irritation which usually only last a few minutes. Anyone who receives a heavy dose of radiation from any nuclear power accident should receive long term DMSO treatment to reduce the long term radiation damage. (1) G.M. Zharinov, S.F. Vershinina, and O.I. Drankova “Prevention of Radiation Damage to the bladder and rectum using local application of dimethyl sulfoxide” Meditsinskaia Radiologiia 30 (3) : 16-18 March 1985

(2) Genro Kashino , Yong Liu, Minoru Suzuki, Shin-ichiro Masunaga, Yuko Kinashi, Koja Ono, Keiz Tano, and Masami Watanabe “An alternative mechanism for Radioprotection by Dimethyl Sulfoxide, Possible Facilitation of DNA Double Strand Break Repair” Journal of Radiation Research, Vol.51, 733-740 2010