News / Science & Technology

Compound in Vegetables Protects Against Radiation

DIM compound is derived from cruciferous vegetables such as radishes, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli pictured here (National Cancer Institute)
DIM compound is derived from cruciferous vegetables such as radishes, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli pictured here (National Cancer Institute)
VOA News
Researchers at the Georgetown University Medical Center say their findings show that a compound derived from cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, protected rats and mice from lethal doses of radiation. 

The researchers, in a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), say that their findings suggests that DIM or Diindolylmethane may protect normal tissues during radiation therapy for cancer treatment and prevent or ease sickness caused by radiation exposure.

The compound is touted by some experts as a “super antioxidant” to help reduce inflammation in the body. Some also claim that DIM helps prevent several forms of cancer although research findings on this have been mixed. 

"DIM has been studied as a cancer prevention agent for years, but this is the first indication that DIM can also act as a radiation protector," said the study's corresponding author, Eliot Rosen, MD, PhD, of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

To reach their findings the researchers conducted experiments on rats and mice that were irradiated with lethal doses of gamma ray radiation.  

Lab rats such as those pictured here were used to conduct research for the Georgetown University Medical Center study. (Sarah Fleming/Wikimedia Commons)Lab rats such as those pictured here were used to conduct research for the Georgetown University Medical Center study. (Sarah Fleming/Wikimedia Commons)
x
Lab rats such as those pictured here were used to conduct research for the Georgetown University Medical Center study. (Sarah Fleming/Wikimedia Commons)
Lab rats such as those pictured here were used to conduct research for the Georgetown University Medical Center study. (Sarah Fleming/Wikimedia Commons)
Some of the rats were injected with a dose of DIM 10 minutes after first being exposed to the radiation and were given an additional dose each day for two weeks. 
The remaining rodents used in the experiment were not given the DIM and were left untreated.

Rosen said that the results of their experiments were “stunning”.  "All of the untreated rats died, but well over half of the DIM-treated animals remained alive 30 days after the radiation exposure," he said.

The researchers found that there was no real difference in the amount of protection offered by the DIM whether the first injection was given a day before or after their rodent test subjects were exposed to the gamma radiation.

The Georgetown team also found that there wasn’t as much of a reduction in red and white blood cells and platelets – common side effects in those who are undergoing radiation treatment for cancer - in the irradiated mice that were treated with DIM.

The researchers say that their work revealed two potential uses of the compound. "DIM could protect normal tissues in patients receiving radiation therapy for cancer, but could also protect individuals from the lethal consequences of a nuclear disaster," said Rosen.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid