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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid