News | Radiation Dose Management | March 03, 2016

Dried Plums Provide Protection from Bone Loss Due to Radiation

High-antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties limit structural integrity issues associated with radiotherapy and other repeated exposure scenarios

radiation protection, bone loss, dried plums, Texas A&M study

March 3, 2016 —Nancy Turner, M.D., a Texas A&M University AgriLife Research scientist, was one of a team of researchers who recently studied different interventions to protect from radiation-induced bone loss.

Their paper, "Dried Plum Protects from Bone Loss Caused by Iodizing Radiation," was recently published in Scientific Reports.

Other institutions involved in the study were the Bone and Signaling Laboratory of NASA's Ames Research Center, the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California-Irvine and the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California-San Francisco.

The study showed consuming dried plums can protect from ionizing radiation that increases oxidative damage in skeletal tissues and results in an imbalance in bone remodeling.

Reduced bone density and osteoporosis are major health conditions affecting millions of people across the world, and osteoporotic patients are increasing with an aging population, said Turner, a research professor in the department of nutrition and food science.

"Bone loss caused by ionizing radiation is a potential health concern for those in occupations or in situations that expose them to radiation," she said. "This is relevant to not only astronauts in space, but also cancer patients, those undergoing radiotherapy, radiation workers and victims of nuclear accidents.

"The changes in remodeling activity caused by exposure to radiation can lead to impaired skeletal integrity and fragility both in animals and human radiotherapy patients," Turner said.

The team investigated interventions they hypothesized might prevent bone damage and oxidative stress-related factors leading to cancellous bone loss, also known as "spongy bone," from exposure to both low linear energy transfer and high linear energy transfer radiation.

"We evaluated different interventions with antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties, including an antioxidant cocktail, dihydrolipoic acid, ibuprofen and dried plum, to determine their ability to prevent bone loss and to blunt the expression of genes in marrow cells that lead to the breakdown of bone after irradiation with either gamma rays or simulated space radiation."

The researchers tested mice using the different interventions and exposing them to ionizing radiation.

"Bone loss caused by ionizing radiation occurs quite rapidly in rodents," Turner said. "The interventions were evaluated first by using early gene expression markers and then were tested for their ability to prevent radiation-induced bone loss."

She said of the interventions tested, dried plum was most effective in reducing the expression of genes related to the breakdown of bone and preventing the spongy bone effect caused by irradiation with either photons or heavy ions.

"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," she said. "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."

Turner noted purified dried plums contain various bioactive compounds, including polyphenols that are known for their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

For more information: www.nature.com/srep

Related Content

News | Neuro Imaging | November 14, 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology improves the ability of brain imaging to predict Alzheimer’s disease, according...
Proton Therapy for Pediatric Brain Tumors Has Favorable Cognitive Outcomes
News | Proton Therapy | November 06, 2018
Proton therapy treatment for pediatric brain tumor patients is associated with better neurocognitive outcomes compared...
150-Year-Old Drug Might Improve Radiation Therapy for Cancer
News | Radiation Therapy | November 02, 2018
November 2, 2018 — A drug first identified 150 years ago and used as a smooth-muscle relaxant might make tumors more
SBRT Considered Safe Treatment Option for Patients With Multiple Metastases
News | Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) | November 01, 2018
The NRG Oncology clinical trial BR001 tested the hypothesis that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) could be used...
Hypofractionated Radiation Provides Same Prostate Cancer Outcomes as Conventional Radiation
News | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | October 31, 2018
An analysis led by researchers at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center found treating localized prostate cancer with...
Prostate Brachytherapy Shows Low Incidence of Short-Term Complications
News | Brachytherapy Systems | October 31, 2018
A new analysis of nearly 600 men receiving brachytherapy for prostate cancer shows overall procedure-related...
Biomarker blood test accurately confirms remission in non-smoker with HPV-associated oral cancer. ASTRO 2018 #ASTRO2018 #ASTRO #ASTRO18

Biomarker blood test accurately confirms remission in non-smoker with HPV-associated oral cancer.

News | Radiation Oncology | October 30, 2018
October 30, 2018 — A highly sensitive blood test that detects minute traces of cancer-specific DNA has been shown to
Radiation/Cisplatin Established as Standard of Care for HPV-related Head and Neck Cancer. #ASTRO #ASTRO18 #ASTRO2018
News | Radiation Oncology | October 30, 2018
October 30, 2018 — Combinations of radiation and chemotherapy drugs have been shown to cure human papilloma virus (HP