Kennedy, A. R., Davis, J. G., Carlton, W. and Ware, J. H. Effects of Dietary Antioxidant Supplementation on the Development of Malignant Lymphoma and Other Neoplastic Lesions in Mice Exposed to Proton or Iron-Ion Radiation. Radiat. Res. 169, 615–625 (2008).
Malignancy is considered to be a particular risk associated with exposure to the types of ionizing radiation encountered during extended space flight. In the present study, two dietary preparations were evaluated for their ability to prevent carcinogenesis in CBA mice exposed to different forms of space radiation: protons and highly energetic heavy particles (HZE particles). One preparation contained a mixture of antioxidant agents. The other contained the soybean-derived Bowman-Birk protease inhibitor (BBI), used in the form of BBI Concentrate (BBIC). The major finding was that there was a reduced risk of developing malignant lymphoma in animals exposed to space radiation and maintained on diets containing the antioxidant formulation or BBIC compared to the irradiated animals maintained on the control diet. In addition, the two different dietary countermeasures also reduced the yields of a variety of different rare tumor types observed in the animals exposed to space radiation. These results suggest that dietary supplements could be useful in the prevention of malignancies and other neoplastic lesions developing from exposure to space radiation.