Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Radiation May Have Positive Effects On Health: Study

Date:
January 29, 2005
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
A new study from the University of Toronto at Scarborough has found that low doses of radiation could have beneficial effects on health.

Northern red-backed vole.
Credit: Image : R. Boonstra

A new study from the University of Toronto at Scarborough has found that low doses of radiation could have beneficial effects on health.

The findings, published in the latest issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, found that low, chronic doses of gamma radiation at 50 to 200 times background levels had beneficial effects on the stress axis and the immune axis of natural populations of meadow voles. The paper provides evidence of hormesis from the only large-scale, long-term experimental field test ever conducted on the chronic effects of gamma radiation on mammals.

Hormesis is defined as a phenomenon in which low doses of an otherwise harmful agent can result in stimulatory or beneficial effects. This phenomenon has been observed in a broad range of chemicals including alcohol and its metabolites, antibiotics, hydrocarbons, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, as well as physical processes such as radiation exposure. The effects of hormesis have been observed in a wide range of organisms, from microbes and fungi to plants and animals. Hormetic responses are varied in form and include increased longevity; growth, reproductive and physiological responses; and metabolic effects.

"Exactly how low-level radiation causes a hormetic response remains uncertain because few laboratories have studied the pathology or physiology of mammals exposed throughout life to dose rates below those causing detrimental effects," said Professor Rudy Boonstra of the Centre for the Neurobiology of Stress and Department of Zoology. “This study provides a potential mechanism to explain the benefical effects.”

In the study, Boonstra, along with researchers Richard Manzon, Steve Mihok and Julie Helson, studied the meadow vole populations at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment at Pinawa, Manitoba, Canada. The experiment, entitled ZEUS (Zoological Environment Under Stress), was set up by Atomic Energy of Canada to test the effects of chronic gamma radiation on natural populations. In isolated populations, voles received one of three radiation treatments over a four-year period.

"Our findings suggest that a moderate increase in glucocorticoid levels, associated with low-level radiation, could be an important factor underlying the increase in longevity that has been observed in other shorter studies on small mammals exposed to low-level radiation," said Boonstra.

The ZEUS experiment was funded by Atomic Energy of Canada and the hormonal analysis was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Radiation May Have Positive Effects On Health: Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050128222047.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2005, January 29). Radiation May Have Positive Effects On Health: Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050128222047.htm
University Of Toronto. "Radiation May Have Positive Effects On Health: Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050128222047.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins