A new study published in the International Journal of Low Radiation, researchers concluded that three ubiquitous and well-studied natural products derived from plants can protect the skin against gamma radiation during radiotherapy. Otherwise, the normal skin around cancer cells can be harmed and at risk of hair loss, dermatological problems and even skin cancer.
In their research they found the benefits of the organic, antioxidant compounds caffeic acid (CA), rosmarinic acid (RA) and trans-cinnamic acid (*TCA) used at non-toxic concentrations. The radioprotective effect of these compounds against gamma radiation were tested in terms of reducing levels of reactive oxygen species generated in skin cells by clinical relevance doses of gamma ray in the lab and in terms of the damage to the genetic material (DNA), specifically double strand breaks in lab samples of human skin cells (keratinocytes). The found that treating the human skin cells with the three compounds (CA,RA,TCA) can protect the cells by 40, 20, and 15 percent respectively from gamma toxicity. They believe the protection is related to the compounds mop up of reactive oxygen species and chemically deactivate thekm as well as enhancing the body’s natural DNA repair mechanism. Further research is ongoing.