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Vitamin E Variant Lessens Harm from X-RAYS, Animal Study Finds

Asia Pulse Pte Ltd


TOKYO, Oct 3 Asia Pulse - A member of the vitamin E family can reduce the harm from exposure to X-rays, according to an animal study by a joint research team from Fukuoka University and the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

Mice given a substance related to gamma-tocopherol, which is extracted from sources like soybeans and corn, were far more likely to survive heavy exposure to X-radiation -- a result suggesting that the substance may also protect humans exposed to X-rays from inspection and medical diagnostic equipment. The research team thus aims to partner with a drug company and move forward on commercial development.

The substance becomes active vitamin E once ingested or otherwise administered.

The mice were exposed to a cumulative dose of 7.5 sieverts of X-rays. The 42 animals in the experimental group were then given about 2.5mg of the substance. One month later, 98 per cent of these mice were still alive, compared with just 7 per cent of the control group's more than 100 mice, which received the same X-ray exposure but not the substance.

The mechanism of action is unknown. But the researchers speculate that the substance may work by activating hematopoietic stem cells and in this way lessen the damage to white blood cells caused by X-rays.


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