Sunday, October 20, 2013

The missing weapon from Doomsday Preppers' arsenal; Cabbage.

Who will survive a nuclear war? Rodents, cockroaches, and doomsday preppers of course! Certainly those that devour turnips, cabbage and cauliflower.

Cabbage; Courtesy of Jeremy Noble Flickr Photostream
The National Geographic Channel's highest rated show, if one can believe that, takes reality TV to unrealistic and absurd heights with preppers getting ready for Armageddon brought on by the government, nuclear war, a meteor strike, famine, geomagnetic reversal, pandemics, and perhaps immigrants and gays. During each 60 minute segment loyal adherents get and share advice on food storage, weapons, self defense and survival tactics. Understandably, the show remains wildly popular with men (66% of audience) with an average age of 44 of unknown educational background, but given the theme, that would be an irrelevant statistic, if not a moot point.

But if they were to take post nuclear apocalyptic survival seriously the preppers should head over to GUMC, the Georgetown University Medical Center where they would see that lab mice injected daily for two weeks with DIM ( 3,3′-diindolylmethane) even ten minutes after exposure to lethal doses of gamma rays remained alive for an extra 30 days, compared to the control group that was not fortunate enough to be selected for DIM which perished in short order after irradiation.

The research group's corresponding author Eliot Rosen, MD, PhD, a professor of oncology, biochemistry and cell & molecular biology, and radiation medicine who works at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of GUMC, called the results stunning. Encouragingly, DIM provided protection even when mice were injected 24 hours before or after radiation exposure.

The true promise of this discovery lies in what it can do for humans, and preppers, who have been subjected to radiation. Apparently the molecule has already been demonstrated to be safe in patients.

Cancerous tumors are sometimes surgically removed and just so errant cells do not return, patients are treated with chemotherapy drugs and radiation. Both secondary treatments cause irreversible damage to tissues and organs. Sometimes radiation is chosen as the first line of treatment either for curative purposes or given for palliative reasons such as to ease pressure of metastasized cancer on a bone. It is administered either by externally beaming gamma or x-rays or by delivering radioactive chemicals to the site internally by injection or catheter placement. In either case while radiation kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA it does the same to normal healthy cells killing them as well and triggering severe side effects. This is where DIM can offers some level of protection acting as a radioprotector.

DIM is not exactly an unknown. It is the metabolic result of gastric acid acting on Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which itself is derived from glucosinolates present in Brassica plants. This genus includes Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, kale, broccoli, and cabbage. DIM is one of the largest self condensation products of Indole-3-carbinol. It has been detected in the liver and feces of rodents and has also been known to exist in plasma of women in a clinical trial who were administered I3C.

DIM has already been shown to be protective against several cancers in humans and is known to also decrease body weight and fat accumulation in diet-induced-obesity mice. Contrary to widely held beliefs cabbage and cassava consumption have been associated with a lowering risk for thyroid cancer. Now, with the tests conducted at GUMC, DIM appears to deliver protection against radiation damage as well.

Will we see a subsequent Doomsday prepper's show with participants trading in their high powered automatic weapons to stock up on cabbage and turnip seeds?

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accessed October 20, 2013.
Georgetown University. "News Releases Medical Center (GUMC)." Accessed October 20, 2013. | Search through over 11 million science, health, medical journal full text articles and books. "3,3′-Diindolylmethane, a cruciferous vegetable derived synthetic anti-proliferative compound in thyroid disease." Accessed October 20, 2013.
Journal of Nutrition. "3,3′-Diindolylmethane Suppresses the Inflammatory Response to Lipopolysaccharide in Murine Macrophages." Accessed October 20, 2013.
Comprehensive Cancer Information - National Cancer Institute. "Radiation Therapy for Cancer - National Cancer Institute." Accessed October 20, 2013.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Dietary patterns, goitrogenic food, and thyroid ... [Nutr Cancer. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI." Accessed October 20, 2013.
Elsevier. "Elsevier." Accessed October 20, 2013.

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