Don’t stand in front of the microwave. Don’t spend too long talking on the cell phone. These are just a couple of the tidbits of wisdom we got growing up (hopefully) to protect us from radiation and their ill-effects.
But for those seeking to explore down the rabbit hole a bit further, EMF protection is a complex subject where scientists are only now scratching beneath the surface.
By the same token, there are always snake oil salesmen and charlatans who will spread fear mongering to sell more of their products, create an environment of distrust, and try to gain attention and money. Science is complex and some people would use this against us.
The truth is, we don’t know how dangerous electromagnetic frequency waves are just yet. Science seems to be tipping against the EMF, but as you will see, there are a few things you can do to simply and effectively protect yourself and family without becoming too neurotic.
EMF Protection: Fact and Fiction
EMFs are not dangerous by themselves. In fact, humans and animals have our own EMF and the planet Earth emits electromagnetic energy. There is no way to get around it.
The problem is with the frequency of EMF radiation and the quantity, which has increased drastically with our technology explosion.
The electromagnetic spectrum has a wide range of frequency waves many of which we cannot see. The visible light spectrum is a tiny portion while there are many things we do not see (such as the computer waves, power lines, radio waves, microwaves, mobile phones etc)
The conventional knowledge is that non-ionizing waves do not cause any damage to humans. But these extremely low frequency waves may do more damage than originally thought…
…especially depending on when we receive this radiation
In this article, we are going to break down what is harmful and what isn’t, specifically at what time EMF protection is most needed, and how to do so on any budget.
EMF Radiation: Damaging Our Cells
One of the pioneers in electromagnetic field exposure is Dr. Martin Pall who has researched and published a study showing how EMF radiation influences our cells.
His talk is over an hour long and highly scientific, but you can find a link here if you’re interested.
To simplify, EMF causes activation of the voltage gated calcium in the cell, which produces excess calcium. The excess intracellular calcium is not a problem, but it creates downstream effects that increase our free radicals.
As challenging as that may be to understand, it is the root cause of many of the side effects we will describe below. Understanding our cells and the foundations of damage can help us to better combat the problem (as our protocol shows below!)
Here are a few of the downstream effects of cellular damage, which we may experience:
- DNA and gene damage (increasing cancer risk)
- Impaired sleep quality
- Damage to blood-brain barrier
- Changes to brain glucose metabolism
- Reduced anti-oxidant support
DNA and Gene Mutation via EMF
Still zoomed in on a cellular level, a study published in 2003 in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health viewed the results of intermittent extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields on human cells in culture.
The study concluded that this ELF exposure induced DNA damage (breaking the strands) at a radiation level well below proposed International Commission of Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines.
Summary: ELF exposure considered “safe” is found to damage our DNA.
Another study in Pathophysiology concluded that “…there is ample evidence that RF-EMF can alter the genetic material of exposed cells…in more than one way”
This DNA damage and gene mutations may be a result of an activated stress response by our cells. Another study found that EMF (including ELF) activated a stress response and increased certain stress proteins to help repair and refold damaged proteins.
Most of these studies focus on the individual genes and DNA at the cellular level (most often in petri dishes in a lab). While it is hard to create a controlled experiment on humans, numerous studies are drawing correlations between EMF waves and common chronic diseases, such as cancer (reference) (ref).
Sleep and EMF Protection
The one place EMFs damage us the most is in our sleep. EMF radiation is a problem during sleep because of how it impacts our sleep quality, but also because of how easy it is to fix.
A 2012 study in the Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering analyzed 110 participants who were split into a control and “exposed” (to EMFs). The researchers used a sleep study and concluded that total sleep quality was poorer in EMF exposed individuals, the average time to fall asleep was longer, and lower sleep duration.
All aspects of sleep were impaired.
There are plenty of reasons why this may be the case, but if we are being inundated with EMF radiation during sleep cycles, it is clear this harms us in both the short and long-term.
Your Brain on EMF
Beyond the damage to our DNA, our genes, and sleep, there is evidence EMF is disrupting our brain.
In Washington D.C., Dr. Nora Volkow used advanced brain imaging technology to view changes in glucose metabolism within the brain during EMF exposure (cell phone use).
The study was eventually published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association with the conclusion that “even though the radio frequencies that are emitted from current cell phone technologies are very weak they are able to activate the human brain to have an effect”
There is also evidence (though I’m not sure why scientists decided to test this) that mobile phone usage (and EMF generally) can reduce the antioxidant capacity. The study had 105 volunteer participants and found less antioxidants in the saliva of those who were exposed to EMF.
EMF Protection: Nootropedia EMF Protocol
We may not need to freak out about EMF necessarily, but we do want to be mindful of our exposure. It is pretty clear EMF radiation is problematic not just for our brain, but for our body at the most fundamental level (our cells and DNA).
There are many tools and devices that one can use to protect from EMF, but the Nootropedia EMF Protocol will remain pretty simple. Towards the end we’ll have some advanced options, but reducing EMF exposure doesn’t have to costs thousands of dollars and create neuroticism.
#1. Water Fast (2 – 5 Days)
Fasting has numerous benefits, but one is particularly valuable after EMF exposure: autophagy. Going on multi-day fasts will help clear senescent (dead) cells that have been damaged by EMF radiation. Of course, this therapy is theoretical in nature as there are no studies that analyze this process. However, the literature on fasting is pretty clear and it solves the exact problems EMF creates.
To do this well, we recommend taking it slow and only fasting if you are able to physically to do. Add some sea salt to water while fasting, but otherwise skip the exogenous ketones.
#2. Magnesium Glycinate
We discussed earlier how EMF creates excess intracellular calcium and a perfect calcium channel blocker is magnesium. This mineral is deficient in 70-80% of westerners anyway, but it will help decrease the calcium and mitigate the secondary oxidatives stress and free radicals.
#3. Airplane Mode
An “easy win” over the cell phone EMF is to simply put your phone on airplane mode as you sleep. It may be best to have it on airplane mode as much as possible, but especially during the time when you are sleeping so it does not disrupt you.
#4. WiFi Router
When in doubt, take it out. There is no need to have WiFi maintained while you are sleeping. If you can remove it from the wall altogether great, but extra points if you can set up a system like Dave Asprey where you simply turn off the WiFi from your phone.
#5. Keep Phones at a Distance
Generally speaking, the further a phone is away from you, the better. Speaking on headphones, speaker phone, or any other method that doesn’t involve your brain next to the phone is useful. No need to go to the extremes of Dr. Mercola (who carries a selfie stick for phone calls), but be mindful of the phone.
This includes where you put it on your body. There is ample evidence EMF exposure reduces sperm quality and motility. If you want kids (at any point) get the phone out of your pocket or bra. If it is in your bra / pocket, make sure it is also on airplane mode.
Advanced: Cell Phone / Laptop Case
If you have a little bit of extra money you’re willing to invest, cell phone and laptop cases particularly designed to prevent EMF emissions are a good idea. One such brand, Defender Shield, has both cell and laptop radiation protection for $75 and $90 respectively.