Bananas and Radiation

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Bananas and Radiation

by Carli Watson
(Holland Patent, NY)

Carli's Question: Can you address the declaration by Dr. Oz recently that bananas contain radiation and that there is enough in 40 bananas to equal the radiation from one chest x-ray?

I did some research which informed that bananas have naturally ocurring radiation.

A deeper explanatin of how this impacts health would be greatly appreciated, though I am figuring if the apes survive bananas, perhaps we can too :)


Andrew's Answer: Bananas are certainly radioactive, but Dr. Oz could have quieted a lot of fears if he also mentioned that virtually all foods are radioactive. I've received three emails from worried raw foodists from that one comment alone.

But Dr. Oz has some precedent for the comparison. Bananas are commonly used to equate dangerous radiation exposure to something a person can wrap their mind around.

However, the issue of comparing radiation levels is actually more complex than the people who use the Banana Equivalent Dose, as it's called, let on.

The source of a banana's radiation is potassium, which contains the radioactive isotope K40. Anything with potassium is radioactive because of this isotope, but few foods have the banana's potassium punch, so you hear about it more.

The body always strives to maintain homeostasis when it comes to potassium, so it does not accumulate in the tissue, but excretes any excess.

Because of the level of worry surrounding banana radiation, I decided to write a more lengthy article about the topic, which you can read here.

Learn more about a healthy raw food diet.

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