Dried Plums Could Protect Against Radiation-Induced Bone Loss

dried plumsAccording to a recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports, eating dried plums could protect against bone loss caused by ionising radiation.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Nancy Turner, of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University, and her colleagues believe that their findings may have important implications for individuals heavily exposed to ionising radiation, including cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, radiation workers, astronauts, and victims of nuclear accidents.

Dr. Turner explained that, “Bone loss caused by ionizing radiation is a potential health concern for those in occupations or in situations that expose them to radiation. The changes in remodelling activity caused by exposure to radiation can lead to impaired skeletal integrity and fragility both in animals and human radiotherapy patients.”

Bone loss in humans can lead to osteoporosis – abnormal loss of bony tissue resulting in fragile porous bones which are more vulnerable to breakage. It is estimated that osteoporosis is responsible for more than 8.9 million fractures worldwide each year.

Researchers investigated a number of strategies that they believed could deal with underlying mechanisms that contribute to ionising radiation-related bone damage, such as radiation-induced oxidative stress.

A number of different antioxidant and anti-inflammatory interventions were tested, including a cocktail consisting of five different antioxidants (ascorbic acid, N-acetyl cysteine, L-selenomethionine, dihydrolipoic acid and vitamin E), dihydrolipoic acid, ibuprofen and dried plum.

Results showed that dried plum was most effective for reducing gene expression linked to the breakdown of bone. Dried plum was also most effective for preventing later bone loss induced by ionising radiation.

While the researchers are basically at a loss to explain the results, they did note that plums contain a number of polyphenols – including gallic acid, caffeoyl-quinic acids, coumaric acid and rutin – that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Dr. Turner says, “Dried plums contain biologically active components that may provide effective interventions for loss of structural integrity caused by radiotherapy or unavoidable exposure to space radiation incurred over long-duration spaceflight. From this study, we can conclude that inclusion of dried plums in the diet may prevent the skeletal effects of radiation exposures either in space or here on Earth.”



About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 6 April, 2016, in Blog, Research and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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