Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Best Cure for Radiation

From the Telegraph, London

Red wine 'can protect against radiation'

Impending nuclear attack? Then scientists may soon recommend that it is best you start drinking heavily and not just because you may be facing oblivion.

By Richard Alleyne 3:01PM BST 23 Sep 2008

According to the latest research, red wine - along with its many other claimed benefits - may also protect you from radiation exposure.

A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have discovered that resveratrol, the natural anti-oxidant found in red wine, can protect cells from the damage caused by radiation.

In experiments on mice the scientists found that when combined with the chemical acetyl and administered before radiation exposure it protected the cells and helped prevent death.

The results, to be presented to the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, could lead to drugs to counteract poisoning in the wake of a nuclear emergency or attack.

"New, small molecules with radioprotective capacity will be required for treatment in case of radiation spills or even as countermeasures against radiological terrorism," said Dr Joel Greenberger of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the university.

"Small molecules which can be easily stored, transported and administered are optimal for this, and so far acetylated resveratrol fits these requirements well.

"Currently there are no drugs on the market that protect against or counteract radiation exposure."

The study was overseen by Pitt's Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation, which is dedicated to finding radiation protecters that can be administered in the event of a large-scale radiological or nuclear emergency.

The current research is not connected to advice given to workers cleaning up Chernobyl who were told to drink half a glass of vodka after every two hours of exposure to radiation.

h/t to


joetote said...

Years ago (many more than I care to own up to), I remember reading the book "On The Beach". In it there was (I believe it was Peter's Uncle?) a character who was a member of an exclusive club and basically was trying to work his way through the entire wine cellar supply before the end of the world. There was a point in the story in which the characters were discussing how one could survive once the main radiation belt hit, be it man or animal. Of course, animals would survive longer and if memory serves, roaches would be the last to go. It was also stated that Peter's uncle and his drinking buddies would probably last a week or so longer due to the fact that the excessive alcohol consumption they were indulging in would in fact protect them from the radiation for some period of time.

At the time, I found this fascinating and in a few further research efforts on my part, found it to apparently be true. As such, it's interesting you should bring this up Alan, especially as I would never have thought all those years ago that in fact alcohol consumption would be beneficial in a case like we have now!

Alan Caruba said...

@Joetote: My late Mother, Rebecca, was an international authority on wine and she lived to 98!

She was convinced wine was good for just about any ailment because, as she taught, "it was pure as the fermentation process throughs off any impurities."

Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

When I had my brachytherapy (planting radioactive seeds in, about and near my prostate), red wine helped a lot. I think, but I don't remember.
My mind is not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my mind is not as sharp as it used to be.

Ronbo said...

I like the idea of drinking wine instead of iodine to ward off the dread radiation sickness.

Pity it isn't beer and whiskey, however...

On the positive side when I'm asked if I drink, I can say truthfully say, "WINO!" :-)

Alan Caruba said...

@Dave: That's silly! Your mind is as sharp as ever. That's silly! Your mind is as sharp as ever. And, furthermore, your mind is as...ah...hold on, I will get back to you.

Donna Harris said...

Thank heaven. I'm going to need the wine to get through the idiocy of the rest of this administration. And now I can claim it's really for the radiation!

LarryOldtimer said...

Have a drink of wine for thy stomach's sake. Excellent reds are produced here in the US in many places. CA reds are the least expensive, and good for whatever ails you.