Natural protection against radiation

May 04, 2011

In the midst of ongoing concerns about radiation exposure from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, scientists are reporting that a substance similar to resveratrol — an antioxidant found in red wine, grapes and nuts — could protect against radiation sickness. The report appears in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.

Michael Epperly, Kazunori Koide and colleagues explain that , either from accidents (like recent events in ) or from radiation therapy for cancer, can make people sick. High doses can even cause death. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently evaluating a drug for its ability to protect against radiation sickness, but it is difficult to make in large amounts, and the drug has side-effects that prevent its use for cancer patients. To overcome these disadvantages, the researchers studied whether resveratrol — a natural and healthful antioxidant found in many foods — could protect against radiation injuries.

They found that resveratrol protected cells in flasks but did not protect mice (stand-ins for humans in the laboratory) from radiation damage. However, the similar natural product called acetyl resveratrol did protect the irradiated mice. It also can be produced easily in large quantities and given orally. The authors caution that it has not yet been determined whether acetyl resveratrol is effective when orally administered.

Explore further: Biochemists identify molecular structures which allow the immune system to tell friend from foe

More information: “The Use of 3,5,4’-Tri-O-acetylresveratrol as a Potential Prodrug for Resveratrol Protects Mice from gamma-Irradiation-Induced Death” ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Plant antioxidant may protect against radiation exposure

Sep 23, 2008

Resveratrol, the natural antioxidant commonly found in red wine and many plants, may offer protection against radiation exposure, according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. When altered with ...

Red wine component revs endurance in mice

Nov 17, 2006

A red wine component shown to extend the lives of mice and protect them from obesity also has been shown to boost endurance, French researchers said.

Grape skin compound fights the complications of diabetes

Mar 18, 2008

Research carried out by scientists at the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England has found that resveratrol, a compound present naturally in grape skin, can protect against the cellular damage to blood vessels ...

Red wine compound increases anti-tumor effect of rapamycin

Feb 14, 2011

Cleveland – Researchers from Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute have discovered that resveratrol – a compound found in red wine – when combined with rapamycin can have a tumor-suppressing effect on ...

Recommended for you

Molecules that came in handy for first life on Earth

Nov 24, 2014

For the first time, chemists have successfully produced amino acid-like molecules that all have the same 'handedness', from simple building blocks and in a single test tube. Could this be how life started. ...

Jumping hurdles in the RNA world

Nov 21, 2014

Astrobiologists have shown that the formation of RNA from prebiotic reactions may not be as problematic as scientists once thought.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.