Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.42

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

83. Risk factors other than radiation can also cause DNA damage

Inside the cells constructing our body, there is a blueprint that contains the information necessary for the cells to survive. We previously explained that the original copy of the blueprint is called DNA (https://www.mricg.info/single-post/2019/06/06/Dr-Tsubokuras-Radiation-Lecture-Vol41).

We have to prevent DNA from getting destroyed, and we cannot be missing any part of it. However, each DNA strand in our cells is damaged by a variety of causes approximately ten thousand to one million times per day. Every time DNA is damaged, specific materials in the cells work to repair the damage.

Radiation exposure could cause DNA damage. The same is true of other factors, such as carcinogens in contaminated foods, tobacco, chemical substances, reactive oxygen produced due to stress, etc.

Since various factors in our daily lives can result in DNA damage, the frequency and amount of damage to DNA caused by a low level of radiation exposure is less than that caused by other factors.

84. If there are substituting cells, the DNA damage will not be a problem

Inside the cells constructing our body, there is a blueprint that contains the information necessary for the cells to survive. We previously explained that the original copy of the blueprint is called DNA (https://www.mricg.info/single-post/2019/06/06/Dr-Tsubokuras-Radiation-Lecture-Vol41).

Radiation exposure and other factors can cause DNA damage, but we have functions to repair these damages. Furthermore, the repairs take place immediately, within as little as 1 second after the damage occurs.

However, restoration of damaged DNA is sometimes not possible. Cells with excessive DNA damage will die. Nonetheless, even if some of the cells in our body die, there will be no problem as long as the surrounding cells can subsidize the lost function.

We must separately discuss cases in which we are exposed to more than 100 years’ worth of daily exposure in our everyday lives, but deterministic effects (symptoms) such as hair loss, bleeding, diarrhea, and burns (erythema) will not appear in our daily lives due to normal radiation exposure levels.

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The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, on August 7th and 14th 2016 was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.

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