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Radiation therapy, used to treat some cancers, causes less damage if use Vitamin D (or Melatonin) – Aug 2022

Ionizing Radiation as a Source of Oxidative Stress—The Protective Role of Melatonin and Vitamin D

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(16), 5804; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21165804
Jarosław Nuszkiewicz *ORCID,Alina Woźniak andKarolina Szewczyk-Golec *ORCID
Department of Medical Biology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, 24 Karłowicza St, 85-092 Bydgoszcz, Poland

Ionizing radiation (IR) has found widespread application in modern medicine, including medical imaging and radiotherapy. As a result, both patients and healthcare professionals are exposed to various IR doses. To minimize the negative side effects of radiation associated with oxidative imbalance, antioxidant therapy has been considered. In this review, studies on the effects of melatonin and vitamin D on radiation-induced oxidative stress are discussed.
According to the research data, both substances meet the conditions for use as agents that protect humans against IR-induced tissue damage. Numerous studies have confirmed that melatonin, a hydro- and lipophilic hormone with strong antioxidant properties, can potentially be used as a radioprotectant in humans.
Less is known about the radioprotective effects of vitamin D, but the results to date have been promising. Deficiencies in melatonin and vitamin D are common in modern societies and may contribute to the severity of adverse side effects of medical IR exposure. Hence, supporting supplementation with both substances seems to be of first importance. Interestingly, both melatonin and vitamin D have been found to selectively radiosensitise cancer cells, which makes them promising adjuvants in radiotherapy. More research is needed in this area, especially in humans.
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