Hiroshima and Chernobyl survivors speak out...eat to
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
(NaturalNews) One of the most amazing
chapters in the true history of healing foods comes from the final chapter of
World War II, in the aftermath of the United States' dropping of two atomic
bombs on civilian populations in Japan. Millions of innocent civilians were
exposed to extreme levels of ionizing radiation, and rates of cancer immediately
Yet some people seemed to be immune to the effects of harmful radiation... even
people who were less than a mile from the epicenter of the atomic bombs. What
was different about these people? As you'll learn here, they were all consuming
miso, a staple of the Japanese diet made from fermented soybeans, rice and salt.
Miso, as you'll see here, winds its way through the history of nuclear accidents
and atomic bombs, always serving as a healing food with extraordinary properties
that come from the fermentation process, not the soy itself. (Fermenting soy
radically alters its chemical properties, changing it from an estrogen-mimicking
food to an anti-estrogenic food.)
Miso and Nagasaki
A study published in the journal Toxicologic Pathology entitled "Beneficial
Biological Effects of Miso with Reference to Radiation Injury, Cancer and
Hypertension" details some of this enlightening history:
the 2nd atomic bomb was dropped in Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945, physician
Tatuichiro Akizuki, along with 20 employees, was taking care of 70 tuberculosis
patients at "Uragami Daiichi Hospital" (St. Francis Hospital) about 1.4 km away
from the hypocenter. However, these people including Dr. Akizuki did not have
any acute radiation disease. Dr. Akizuki considered that this was the result of
consuming cups of wakame miso soup (miso soup with garnish of wakame seaweed)
every day. Later, this was translated into English and became known in the West.
In the Chernobyl of nuclear power plant accident on April 26, 1986, in the
Ukraine, many Europeans consumed miso soup as a preventive measure for radiation
diseases. Therefore, Dr. Akizuki can be considered to be the first person in
Japan to point out radioprotective effects of miso for maintaining health.
What Dr. Akizuki concluded is that drinking miso soup before radiation exposure
offered a significant radioprotective effect, effectively blocking the negative
effects of radiation poisoning.
Radioprotective effects created by the fermentation
The study mentioned here, published in 2013, was conducted by Japanese
researcher Hiromitsu Watanabe. In it, he tested various types of miso on mice
exposed to ionizing radiation. He was looking to answer the question of whether
soybeans themselves have a radioprotective effect, or if the protection comes
from something created by bacteria during the fermentation process (miso is made
from fermented soy).
The answer was clear: "The mechanism of the radioprotective effect of miso is
considered to be closely related to substances produced during fermentation
stage," Watanabe explains.
It's the bacteria, in other words, that generate substances which have a
radioprotective effect as documented in the study. As he explains in the study,
"The cytokine-like substance in miso may conceivably play an important role in
the protection and/or the recovery and repopulation of critical tissue elements
when they are given prior to and during radiation exposure."
"The Cancer Prevention Diet"
This idea is further supported in the book entitled "The Cancer Prevention Diet:
The Macrobiotic Approach to Preventing and Relieving Cancer" by Michio Kushi. In
it, he relates this story from a courageous woman who used miso and the
macrobiotic diet to survive extreme radiation poisoning due to atomic bombs:
Radiation Sickness in Hiroshima
In 1945 Sawako Hirago was a ten-year-old schoolgirl in Hiroshima. In the atomic
bombing on August 6, she was exposed to severe radiation that burned her face,
head, and legs. The burned parts swelled up to nearly three times their normal
size. In the hospital, doctors feared for her recovery because one-third of her
body was burned. Her mother gave her palm healing therapy over the abdomen every
night, and Sawako ate the only food available, two rice balls and two daikon
radish pickles each day. Inside the rice balls was umeboshi (pickled salted
Although the medical doctors gave up on her, Sawako survived: "My mother didn't
show me a mirror until I was cured. However, I was able to see my hands and leg,
which were very dirty and had a bad, rotten smell. On the rotten spots there
were always flies. When the skin healed, I broke it because it was itchy;
finally it became a keloidal condition. I didn't see my face until it was
finally cured. However, sores remained on my nose and pus remained on my chest.
My hands and chest had masses of skin which remained until I was twenty."
Because of her disfiguration, Sawako was ridiculed, nicknamed "Hormone Short,"
and told she could never marry or have children. After completing school, she
became a high school physics teacher and met a young chemistry teacher who ate
very simply. The couple married and attended lectures by George Ohsawa, the
founder of modem macrobiotics in Japan, and he said that only people practicing
macrobiotics would survive future nuclear war.
After talking with Mr. Ohsawa, Sawako gave up the modern, refined food that she
had been eating since her survival and started eating brown rice and other
foods. To her surprise, her problems including anemia, leukemia, low blood
pressure, falling hair, and bleeding from the nose, started to clear up. Within
two months, she was elated: "My face became beautiful."
Sawako went on to have seven healthy children and raised all of them on brown
rice, miso soup, vegetables, seaweed, and other healthy food. Source: Sawako
Hiraga, "How I Survived the Atomic Bomb," Macrobiotic. November/ December 1979.
A similar story of miso and the macrobiotic diet is also related from Russia, in
the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear accident:
Diet and Radiation-related Cancers in Russia
In 1985 Lidia Yamchuk and Hanif Shaimardanov, medical doctors in Chelyabinsk,
organized Longevity, the first macrobiotic association in the Soviet Union. At
their hospital, they have used dietary methods and acupuncture to treat many
patients, especially those suffering from leukemia, lymphoma, and other
disorders associated with exposure to nuclear radiation. Since the early 1950s,
wastes from Soviet weapons production had been dumped into Karachay Lake in
Chelyabinsk, an industrial city about nine hundred miles east of Moscow. In
particular they began incorporating miso soup into the diets of patients
suffering from radiation symptoms and cancer. "Miso is helping some of our
patients with terminal cancer to survive," Yamchuk and Shaimardanov reported.
"Their blood (and blood analysis) became better after they began to use miso in
their daily food."
Meanwhile, in Leningrad, Yuri Stavitsky, a young pathologist and medical
instructor, volunteered as a radiologist in Chernobyl after the nuclear accident
on April 26, 1986. Since then, like many disaster workers, he suffered symptoms
associated with radiation disease, including tumors of the thyroid. "Since
beginning macrobiotics," he reported, "my condition has greatly improved."
Radioprotective foods and conventional cancer treatment
The idea that miso may offer radioprotective effects against extreme radiation
exposure has also given support to its potential use as an adjunctive therapy
for cancer patients undergoing radiation treatments.
While oncologists are likely to dismiss the idea outright -- they don't believe
in any healing foods, nutrition or protecting healthy cells at all -- the
concept has real scientific merit. This study entitled "Radioprotection of Lung
Tissue by Soy Isoflavones" concluded that "soy isoflavones showed the potential
to enhance radiation damage in tumor nodules and simultaneously protect normal
lung from radiation injury."
The study was based on non-fermented soy, which is different from miso. But
because miso is made by fermenting soy, many soy isoflavones persist during the
fermentation and are present in the resulting miso.
The conclusion of the authors was that non-fermented soy isoflavones protect
healthy cells from radiation damage:
Soy isoflavones given pre- and post-radiation protected the lungs against
adverse effects of radiation including skin injury, hair loss, increased
breathing rates, inflammation, pneumonitis and fibrosis, providing evidence for
a radioprotective effect of soy.
They also conclude that soy might be useful to use alongside radiotherapy to
both increase the toxicity of radiation to CANCER cells and decrease the
toxicity of radiation to HEALTHY cells. The cancer industry, of course, has zero
interest in any of this, since toxicity and cell damage is central to the
industry's repeat business model of recurring cancer. But for those individuals
who wish to practice dietary habits that may help prevent or reduce the damaging
effects of ionizing radiation, fermented soy in the form of miso may be an
intelligent and practical choice.
It's clear that additional scientific research is desperately needed in this
area. What if cancer radiotherapy could be made less toxic and more effective at
the same time? Shouldn't modern medical science investigate this further?
The longer the fermentation, the better it worked
Another important realization from the science is that longer fermentation times
for the miso resulted in greater therapeutic value in test subjects.
This is documented in detail in this study on the radioprotective effects of
miso. As the study details, three different miso products were tested:
1) Miso fermented for just 3-4 days
2) Miso fermented for 120 days
3) Miso fermented for 180 days
After testing these three grades of miso, two key realizations were learned:
1) ALL miso provided a radioprotective effect in the study.
2) The 180-day miso provided the most potent radioprotective effect.
"A delay in mortality was obvious in all three miso groups," says the study. But
it also warns that once the radiation exposure is too great, even miso cannot
stop the mortality rate. Extremely high radiation doses, in other words, were
able to override miso's protective effects and cause mortality in a few days,
regardless of how much miso was consumed. What dose caused this? 15 Gy (gray).
The "gray" unit describes the amount of ionizing radiation absorbed by tissue.
15 Gy is equal to about 15,000,000 microsieverts or 1.5 million millirems. If
you absorb 1.5 million millirems all in a short time span, you're dead no matter
Why I don't eat soy, but I do eat organic miso
Personally, I don't eat soy. No soy burgers, no soy protein, no soybean oil and
not even steamed edemame. But I do eat small quantities of miso from time to
time because fermented soy is unique. It's not the same food as unfermented soy.
If you eat miso, make sure it's made from organic, non-GMO soybeans. Soy is one
of the most commonly genetically modified crops, so you have to choose organic
to avoid the GMOs. You also have to be careful not to over-consume miso. The
fermentation process can create glutamic acid as one of its products, and for
those who are highly sensitive, even a little glutamic acid can cause a
headache. Tomatoes and seaweed also contain glutamic acid, so if you're able to
eat those without any problem, then you're probably not sensitive to it.
Miso comes in different grades based on fermentation duration. The longer the
fermentation time, the higher the grade and the more expensive the product.
There's obviously a point of diminishing returns on this, too: beyond 180 days
of fermentation, there's unlikely to be any additional measurable benefit to the
miso. Even fermentation of just 3-4 days produces significant beneficial
Where to get freeze-dried organic miso powder
Understanding the need for radioprotective foods, we've sourced a very limited
supply of what may be the most pristine source of freeze-dried organic miso in
the United States. We offer this as a nourishing food, without any claims of
curative effects or radioprotection (see below).
Our Health Ranger Select Freeze-Dried Organic Yellow Miso Powder is available in
100 gram pouches and also in 1.3kg #10 cans for longer shelf storage.
This is medium-grade miso (it's yellow in color) that balances fermentation time
with affordability. It's entirely made in the USA, using these U.S.-derived,
certified organic ingredients: organic soybeans, organic rice, salt, organic
Aspergillus oryzae (fermenting agent).
We've laboratory-verified this miso powder to meet our A+++ high standard
published at LowHeavyMetalsVerified.org. The product is certified kosher and
it's vegan, too. Because it's freeze-dried, this powder retains nearly all the
color, taste, texture and nutrients found in the original fermented miso. As a
powder, it has an extended shelf life and very high portability.
We cannot claim that this miso will have the same radioprotective effects of the
miso products described in the studies listed above. They are not from the same
manufacturers of miso, and they may differ somewhat in their molecular
composition. So we are offering our miso purely as a health-promoting FOOD, and
not as some sort of magic bullet defense against nuclear accidents or nuclear
war. Radioprotective effects may exist in this miso, but before I would be
comfortable making such claims, I would need to have it tested and documented in
the lab first. Because I'm not willing to subject mice to radiation just to see
how quickly they die, this study is probably never going to happen. (I don't
condone medical experiments on animals.)
Nevertheless, if you wish to enjoy a delicious source of organic miso, which is
part of the health-promoting macrobiotic diet, we offer this honest,
lab-verified yellow miso in a convenient freeze-dried format. At the very least,
you'll enjoy a nutritious source of health-supporting nutrients found in organic
Quantities are extremely limited, and we were only able to source a few hundred
kilos of this material, so it won't last long in our store. As usual, it's
extremely difficult to find clean, quality sources of anything these days.
That's why we always run out of the "good stuff" so quickly. We simply refuse to
lower our standards and sell the garbage bulk products you'll find on Amazon.com
To my knowledge, the Natural News Store is the only operation in the world that
tests every single batch of everything we sell for heavy metals. We are GMP-compliant,
USDA certified organic, exhaustively documented and routinely audited by the FDA
and the state of Texas. I believe you will not find a more pristine supplier of
premium-quality healing foods anywhere on the planet.
more about Freeze-Dried Organic Yellow Miso Powder.
A simple, 10-minute miso soup recipe
2 cups of water
4 tsp of Yellow Miso Powder
2 tablespoons sliced scallions (optional)
1 egg (optional)
Directions: Bring the water to a boil, then turn heat to low, add miso powder
and stir well. Avoid boiling miso soup for very long after adding the miso, or
it will lose its flavor.