Scientists from the Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences (HFIPS) found that dietary arachidonic acid contributes to radiation-induced intestinal damage, a common condition in patients undergoing cancer radiation therapy. The research was published in the journal Redox Biology.
Radiation-induced damage to the pelvic organs, abdomen, and retroperitoneum may lead to discontinuation of radiation therapy. There is currently no effective treatment for this side effect.
In a new study, scientists found that arachidonic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) was a key factor in gastrointestinal radiation injury in mice.
They also found that the protein ferrostatin-1 (Fer-1) increased the survival rate of animals after irradiation and also partially protected the intestines of mice from fibrosis.
The research will lead to the development of drugs that will protect the intestines from radiation damage from radiation therapy. Additionally, changing the diet during treatment may allow patients to alleviate side effects.
Arachidonic acid is found mainly in products of animal origin: beef fat, meat, duck, cod fat.
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