Blueberry Extract type antioxidants may be powerful enough to protect us from strong radiation exposure

July 29, 2005

The amount of radiation exposure that astronauts experience during deep space missions carries the major risks of cancer due to exposure of cancer prone tissues to strong radiation and the risk of radiation induced decreases in physical and mental performance due to neurological damage. Scientists are searching for effective yet safe ways to protect from radiation.

In this study, rats were placed on a control diet alone, or the same diet plus 2% blueberry extract, or 2% strawberry extract for 8 weeks. Then they were bombarded with high levels of radiation at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. The rats then had various forms of performance evaluated: spatial learning, memory, and their taste aversion learning response. They were also observed for cancer formation. The rats pretreated with the antioxidant diet in general, performed significantly better than rats on diet alone on performance tests. One year after radiation exposure the rats on the fruit extracts had a reduced incidence of cancerous tumors. The study was performed by the University of Maryland and is published in the June 2005 issue of the Gravitational and Space Biology Bulletin.

Green Tea's most important polyphenol, EGCG, inhibits antibodies that attack our tissues in autoimmune disease

Autoimmune diseases are characterized by inflammation and cell death in the targeted tissue(s). This occurs due to the creation of autoantibodies - or antibodies that attack our own organs. Recent animal studies show that green tea may reduce the severity of some autoimmune diseases. In this study it was found that EGCG from green tea inhibited the autoantibodies active in Sjogrens disease and Systemic Lupus and various other important autoantibodies. The study was performed at the Medical College of Georgia and is published in the July 2005 issue of The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.