Looking backwards to the historic rivalry between Louis Pasteur and Antoine Bechamp the words “The environment is everything” ring out loud and clear to haunt us and this discussion of how to protect frequent fliers in this artificial environment created by flying. As stated in the first part of this article controlling the environment is the single factor we have complete control over in our quest to get ahead of the onslaught flying and jet lag bring. Accomplishing this task starts and ends with what you put in your mouth on and off the aircraft.
Protection is about the integrity of the biochemical environment we carry around inside us. While flying may dehydrate and expose us to conditions unfavorable to health, our jobs as healthy fliers is to get back to balance as soon as possible and stray less from balance as we become more adept at frequent flying.
Such factors as cosmic radiation to de novo toxins generation become debris in the gears of our biochemistry or knock us off kilter and block the path to Homeostasis – the balance where things work out equitably. Getting past this blockade is about getting past what this debris does once it is produced or generated within us.
A good example is the increased cosmic radiation fliers are exposed to. Cosmic radiation is potentially dangerous to fliers because it has the ability to strip electrons from atoms causing cell damage and damage to DNA, thus increasing the chances of cancer. The stripped electrons are valuable as electrons hold great antioxidant power. Having these stripped away leaves the health of fliers vulnerable on many levels. There are specific ways fliers can protect themselves from this danger.
1) A High Antioxidant Diet
Antioxidants are nutritive substances that can donate a spare negatively charged electron. There are many types, some more powerful than others because they can be recycled and reused in the body. Flavonoids are the group of antioxidants found in plants which are largely recognised as giving plant flowers their colours. Anthocyanidins, Flavanols Flavanones and Flavones are a few. Non flavonoids include Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Conventional wisdom says getting these nutrients through diet is best practice, however supplementing them as well as eating them would be a good idea for frequent fliers. Eating and supplementing antioxidants as a lifestyle habit will ensure you have a constant army of antioxidants on hand to quench the trail of free radicals created by exposure to regular doses of ionising radiation.
2) The Principle of Selective Uptake
The damage ionising radiation does to the body creates elements quite similar to other useful elements used by the body. For instance Iodine 131 is radioactive Iodine. It can take the place of usable Iodine in the body if the latter is not available. If on the other hand your body is saturated with the Iodine it needs it will have no requirement for Iodine to fill and lessen the likelihood it will absorb Iodine 131. Making sure you stay topped up with your requirement of minerals, vitamins and nutrients is the principle of Selective Uptake in action. Hopefully you can see the importance of taking quality Supplementing seriously as a frequent flier.
3) Radiation Protective Foods and Supplements
There are specific foods and supplements which have particular benefit to frequent fliers. The effects of radiation have been with us from time. From time indigenous people have used foods and other substances to ease and cure themselves of the side effects of ionising radiation. While those tools may not have been well understood at the time some of them are now better understood and can be explained scientifically. Seaweeds for example are known to be good at chelating certain types of radioactive isotopes and drawing them out of the body. Pectin (apples) and Phytates (grains) also display this chelating ability. Of the non food supplements negatively charged clay can be taken with water and used to pull positively charged radioactive particles out of the body.
These are some of the ways you can protect yourself just from additional cosmic radiation exposure. The cabin really is an alien environment. The awareness of it as an alien environment and taking positive action in spite of it is the safest way I know for frequent fliers to stay healthy while on the road.