The Hemp Connection + zeaxanthin

Travel much? It's a good reason to eat your veggies!

If you're a frequent traveler, chances are you have already had an opportunity to experience the new security measures at the airport, which include the new full body scanner.

One of the biggest concerns about this scanner has been the radiation exposure these scanners emit. Because radiation can affect fertility, a concern of many readers of this blog, I did some fact checking.

What is interesting to note is that before these scanners were even in existence, anyone stepping on an airplane was already increasing their exposure to radiation! In a 1998 study published in Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, scientists concluded that an airline captain is exposed to 37% more radiation per year (219 millirem) than a nuclear power plant worker in the same period of time (160 millirem). For the pilot, that is the equivalent to 22 chest x-rays, for the power plant worker, 16 chest x-rays.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, in an independent study, reported that the average scan with the TSA backscatter x-ray scanner provides 0.0024 millirem of radiation exposure. Meaning, you would have to have 4,000 TSA scans to equal one x-ray. The people at greatest risk for increased radiation exposure from these machines is most likely the TSA workers themselves, who conduct their work in the presence of the scanners for hours at a time.

Bottom line:

1. Your biggest dose of radiation exposure is actually coming from the time you spend on the airplane at altitude, not the short amount of time in the scanner.
2. If you are a pilot, flight attendant, or frequent flyer with concerns about fertility, it certainly is a good strategy to start being more diligent about your intake of antioxidants. I've listed the important ones below that are consistently recommended as cancer fighters.
3. If you are a reporter researching the scanner issue, instead of scaring travelers, perhaps the more relevant issue is why TSA is not requiring its employees to wear dosimeters to be sure their own exposure over time is not an occupational risk. It might also be a very quick way to identify a machine that is malfunctioning and exposing flyers to unnecessary additional radiation.
4. Flight crews and TSA employees might want to consider packing their bags with more fruits and vegetables. Especially since these are not items commonly available in airport food courts.
5. In addition to the standard security questions TSA members should ask for your 24 hour diet recall to be sure you're sufficiently protected for your flight. (Couldn't resist that one…just KIDDING!)
6. For our specific population most likely reading this post, I strongly recommend you discuss your travel strategy with the appropriate caregiver if you have a history of cancer, are in the middle of infertility treatment, or have a history of sexual abuse. It's best to know what choices are most appropriate for your personal situation before standing in the TSA line.

So if you're heading home at altitude for Thanksgiving, consider that the broccoli, cranberries, and sweet potatoes (even a small extra sliver of pumpkin pie) aren't all that bad if you're going to have seconds. Enjoy them, as well as your family.


Vitamin C parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin E mustard greens, chard, sunflower seeds, turnip greens

Vitamin A carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, beef, collards, kale, turnip greens, beet greens, winter squash

Lutein and Zeaxanthin kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, garden peas, Brussels sprouts

Proanthocyanadins apples, cinnamon, cocoa, grape seed, grape skin, red wine, cranberry, black currant, green tea, black tea, and chokecherry.

Selenium button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, cod, shrimp, snapper, tuna, halibut, calf's liver, and salmon.

Lycopene tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, and guava

diet, fertility, food, fruits, fun, green tea, healthy lifestyle, juice, lutein, lycopene, power, proanthocyanadins, radiation, selenium, vegetables, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, women's health, and more:

Travel much? It's a good reason to eat your veggies! + zeaxanthin