Pycnogenol® Protects against Ionizing Radiation as shown in the Intestinal Mucosa of Rats exposed to X-rays

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X-rays and gamma radiation delivered to the abdominal region for cancer treatment encompasses severe damage to the intestinal mucosa, which significantly impairs a patient's quality of life. To a great extent the deleterious effects of x-radiation originate from radiolysis-induced reactive oxygen species. The well-researched powerful antioxidant Pycnogenol® was administered orally to rats prior to x-irradiation with 15 Gy. Histological sections of the intestines showed a dramatically better condition of the mucosal layers compared with the irradiated control animals administered water without Pycnogenol®. Pycnogenol® treatment significantly preserved the height and number of villi as well as the glandular layer and a diminished number of congested vases were present. No intestinal alterations were seen in control animals receiving Pycnogenol® in the absence of radiation. It is concluded that Pycnogenol® provides significant protection from ionizing radiation damage.

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