Sina Health Centre

Detox Options after Bone Scan

Detox Options after Bone Scan

What is a Bone Scan? The ABCs of Bone Scans

A bone scan is a nuclear medicine imaging test which uses bone-seeking radioactive materials or tracers (radiopharmaceuticals) and a computer to create an image of the skeleton (bones).

A bone scan looks at the bones to see if there are any abnormalities, such as a fracture, tumour or infection.1 A radiopharmaceutical (dye) is injected into a vein of the hand or arm and for a bone scan, Technetium 99m (Tc-99m) is usually used. The radiopharmaceutical travels through the blood and collects in the bone where there is increased activity such as bone growth, bone break, or repair.

What is TC-99m?

TC-99m is an isomer commonly used for bone scans with a half-life of about 6 hours, which is long enough to examine metabolic process, yet short enough to minimize radiation exposure to the patient. Half-life is the time required for half the original amount of TC-99m to be eliminated out of the body. This is in the middle range of half-lives for radiopharmaceuticals commonly used for medical imaging

It emits low energy gamma radiation that minimizes damage to tissues but can still be detected by imaging camera. TC-99m decays by an isomeric process by which gamma rays and low energy electrons are emitted. Since no high-energy beta emissions are released, the radiation dose to the patient is relatively low.2

Risk of Cancer from Radiation

Table 1 - Comparison of Radiation Doses from Medical Imaging Test and Background Radiation

A useful way to understand radiation doses from diagnostic examinations is to compare them to average natural background radiation (3 mSv per year). Below 10 mSv, which is a dose range relevant to radiography and some nuclear medicine and CT studies, no direct epidemiological data support increased cancer risk. However, this does not mean that this risk is not present, as even large epidemiological studies would not have the statistical power to detect increased risk, if present, at a low radiation dose.4

Another way to express radiation risk is to compare it to common activities of daily life. For example, radiation doses from 0.1 to 1.0 mSv carry an additional risk of death from cancer comparable to the risk of death associated with a flight of 4500 miles, whereas doses in the range of 1 to 10 mSv have a higher risk, comparable to driving 2000 miles.5

How to Help Detox Body from Radiopharmaceuticals

TC-99m is highly controlled and tested for safety and has a half-life of about 6 hours.6 As a result, the body expels it quickly. The majority of the dye completely decomposes in the body, and the rest is removed through urine and feces. Unlike some forms of radioactive medicine, there is no need to be sequestered from your family to protect them from radiation.

Drink lots of fluids – staying hydrated allows the body to rid of remaining radiopharmaceuticals which are eliminated through the urine.

Other natural methods to help detoxify 7, 8, 9, 10:

-Supplement with NAC (N-acetylcysteine) – it works as an antioxidant that enhances the body’s immune system and to detoxify heavy metals.

-Supplement with spirulina and chlorella as it may work as a radiation chelator

-Vitamin C, CoQ10 to help with antoxidant stress

-Increase super-foods into your diet, such as camu, maqui berry, moringa, which are all nutritionally dense and antioxidant rich.

-Support circulation, elimination and organ health. Things such as detox baths with Epsom salts, Himalayan salt, or clay, lymphatic massages or skin brushing will help the body to metabolize substances faster.

-Binders such as Chlorella, Clay, and Activated Charcoal can help to bind the metals so that they are removed through elimination.


  3. Siegel JA, Welsh JS. Does imaging technology cause cancer? Debunking the linear no-threshold model of radiation carcinogenesis. Technology in cancer research & treatment. 2016 Apr;15(2):249-56.
  4. Verdun FR, Bochud F, Gundinchet F, Aroua A, Schnyder P, Meuli R. Quality initiatives radiation risk: what you should know to tell your patient. Radiographics. 2008 Nov;28(7):1807-16.
  6. International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) : Technical report series 466: technetium-99m radiopharmaceuticals: manufacture of kits. IAEA, 2008.
  7. Chen B, Zhou XC. Protective effect of natural dietary antioxidants on space radiation-induced damages. Space Med Med Eng (Beijing). 2003;16 Suppl:514-8
  8. Yong LC, Petersen MR, Sigurdson AJ, Sampson LA, Ward EM. High dietary antioxidant intakes are associated with decreased chromosome translocation frequency in airline pilots. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;90(5):1402-10.
  9. Jagetia G, Baliga M, Venkatesh P. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.), a dietary supplement, protects mice against radiation-induced lethality: mechanism of action. Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2004 Aug;19(4):422-35.
  10. Lee HJ, Kim JS, Moon C, et al. Modification of gamma-radiation response in mice by green tea polyphenols. Phytother Res. 2008 Oct;22(10):1380-3.