One hundred twenty male Wistar rats were divided into three groups of 40 each. One was fed on low potassium-high sodium, another on low sodium-high potassium, and the third a control diet. Half of each group was irradiated with 400 R acute wholebody gamma radiation. A second set of 60 rats was set up as above but given 100 R acute whole-body irradiation. There were significant decreases in body weight in the irradiated rats. The serum sodium did not change, whereas serum potassium decreased after irradiation. Sixty days following irradiation 95% of the high potassium and control diet rats had survived the 400 R. Only 55% of the low potassium diet rats survived. At the 1000 R dose level 64% of the high potassium group survived for 60 days while no rats survived in the other two diet groups. All data were tested by analysis of variance.

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