Penn Study Shows an Ancient Crop Effective in Protecting Against 21st Century Hazard


August 10, 2011

Penn Medicine News Release

A Diet of Flaxseed Shows Protective Effects Against Radiation in Animal Models

Flax has been part of human history for well over 30,000 years, used for weaving cloth, feeding people and animals, and even making paint. Now, researchers have discovered that it might have a new use for the 21st century: protecting healthy tissues and organs from the harmful effects of radiation. In a study just published in BMC Cancer, researchers found that a diet of flaxseed given to mice not only protects lung tissues before exposure to radiation, but can also significantly reduce damage after exposure occurs. “There are only a handful of potential mitigators of radiation effect, and none of them is nearly ready for the clinic,” says the principal investigator Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou, PhD, research associate professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division. “Our current study demonstrates that dietary flaxseed, already known for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, works as both a mitigator and protector against radiation pneumonopathy.” Read More

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