Washington: Scientists have found that an antioxidant found in red wine, grapes and nuts - a substance similar to resveratrol - could protect against radiation sickness.
The finding is a major achievement, given the ongoing concerns about radiation exposure from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.
Michael Epperly, Kazunori Koide and colleagues explained that radiation exposure, either from accidents or from radiation therapy for cancer, can make people sick. High doses can even cause death.
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 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 study appeared in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.