Can vitamin D shield us from radiation?

November 8th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 8 (IANS) A form of vitamin D could protect us from low levels of radiation, before or after a mild nuclear incident. Radiological expert Daniel Hayes of New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggested that calcitriol, an active form of vitamin D, could be used as a safe protective agent before or after a low-level nuclear incident.

Biologists and pharmacologists specialising in radiation are keen to find an effective agent that could be given orally, have few side effects and protect us from suspected or impending nuclear event.

Protection from cancer, a long-term effect of radiation, would be the main focus. The ideal agent would act by blocking DNA damage or by halting the progression of damaged cells that might eventually grow into cancers.

Hayes argued that vitamin D, and in particular its biologically active form, could be the key ingredient in radiological protection, said an Eurekalert release.

The study appeared in the International Journal of Low Radiation.

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