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The Man Who Drank Radioactive Juice Until His Bones Crumbled And His Jaw Came Off

In another edition of “maybe the good-old-days weren’t so good after all,” some doctors used to prescribe radioactive juice to treat aches, pains, and illnesses. It wasn’t until one man’s bones literally crumbled to pieces that finally, the drink was brought to justice. (1)

Radioactive Juice: A Cure-All Drink For Every Need

Scientists discovered the radioactive properties of certain elements like uranium, polonium, thorium, and radium in the late 19th century. Shortly after, radioactive products became all the rage, from toothpaste to skin creams and more. (2)


However, one product that really stole the show was Radithor – a radioactive drink that was said to make pain go away, heal over 150 ailments, and act as an aphrodisiac. The drink was, essentially, watered-down radium and mesothorium. (3)


Though many doctors began to recognize early on the damaging effects of radioactive products, others continued to prescribe Radithor. This is because William J. A. Bailey, founder of Bailey Radium Laboratories, gave them a cut for every bottle they sold. (1)


Radioactive Juice Was For The Wealthy

Radithor and the problems that came about from drinking it was really only limited to the wealthy. This was because the radioactive juice cost $1 per bottle. In contrast, a newspaper only cost two cents. (3)


The most famous case – and the one that ended up being the demise of Radithor, was millionaire Eben M. Beyers. He was a former successful golfer-turned-businessman. While riding on an overnight train, he fell off a bed and injured his arm. (1)


His doctor prescribed him Radithor to get rid of the pain in his arm. By coincidence or not, his pain went away. On top of that, he said the drink filled him with renewed vitality. He ordered cases of it and drank several bottles of the stuff every single day for two years – he even dolled it out to all of his high-society friends. (3)


In 1930, after taking the drink daily for two years, the effect wore off. Instead, he began losing weight and experienced terrible head and toothaches. Over the next year, he got worse and worse. Eventually, he had to have his lower jaw and much of his upper jaw removed. He was doomed by this point – his bones were crumbling; there were even holes in his skull. (3)


The Court Case

In 1931, regulators began realizing how incredibly damaging radioactive products were to the human body. A court case ensued, which resulted in the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration issued a cease-and-desist order on advertising Radithor. (3)


They issued the order in 1932, just a few months after Beyer’s death from the substance. With that, the radioactive medicine industry collapsed. (3)


He was not the only person who died after the radioactive juice filled their body with cancer. Not only did one of Beyers’ close friends die of the same thing not a year before he did, but Mr. Bailey, the creator of Radithor, also ended up dying of bladder cancer. (1) He was famously quoted saying:

“I have drunk more radium water than any man alive, and I have never suffered ill-effects.” (3)

When medical researchers exhumed his body 20 years later, his bones were still hot to the touch. (3)

So while yes, there may have been some positive parts about the past, I think it might be best if we look forward rather than back.

Keep Reading: Bill Gates Speaks Out About ‘Evil Conspiracies’ On Him And Coronavirus Vaccine


  1. Medicine: Radium Drinks. Content.  April 11, 1932.
  2. Henri Becquerel Discovers Radioactivity.” APS.
  3. Radiation Therapy Pursuit Leads to Unearthing of “Hot Bones”.” Academic. Cori Vanchieri. November 7, 1990.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.