World News

Compound from Vegetables Shields Cells from Lethal Radiation Doses

A helping of vegetables might help protect cells from radiation.

Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center used a compound derived from cruciferous vegetables - including cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli - to protect rodents from lethal doses of radiation.

The compound, known as DIM, has been shown to be helpful in lowering the risk of cancer. The Georgetown study - published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - suggests it may also be beneficial in preventing sickness caused by the radiation therapy often used to treat cancer.

After giving rats lethal doses of radiation, the researchers gave one group a daily injection of DIM for two weeks. All of the untreated rats died, but more than half of the animals treated with the compound remained alive one month later. Also, they showed less reduction in red and white blood cells and platelets, a frequent side-effect of radiation therapy.

Oncology professor Eliot Rosen, one of the study's authors, says the results show two potential uses for DIM: protecting normal tissues in cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, and protecting individuals from the lethal consequences of a nuclear disaster.

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Generosity Overwhelms Quake-Stricken Nepal

Multimedia Quake Overwhelms Nepal

VOA's Steve Herman describes the scene in Kathmandu, where quake survivors persevere despite death toll, which now exceeds 4,300 More

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Steve Herman
UN Development
Steve Herman
Steve Herman
Steve Herman
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Steve Herman
United Nations