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Rodent studies suggest 3,3ʹ-diindolylmethane (DIM) could help prevent radiation poisoning. In irradiated rats, daily injections of DIM for 14 days resulted in up to 60% survival at 30 days, whereas all saline-treated controls died by day 10. In mice, daily injections of DIM for five days prevented radiation-induced decreases in red blood cell, white blood cell and platelet counts, whereas saline injection did not. Researchers did not disclose next steps, which could include generating optimized DIM derivatives and evaluating them in animal models of radiation poisoning.
DIM is a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol, which is a phytochemical from cruciferous vegetables that is available as a nutritional supplement.

SciBX 6(44); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1274
Published online Nov. 14, 2013

Patent application filed covering use of DIM and DIM-related compounds as radioprotective agents; licensing status undisclosed

Fan, S. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Oct. 14, 2013;
Contact: Eliot M. Rosen, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C.