According to groundbreaking new research from the United States, a compound found in certain vegetables could help protect human cells against the effects of dangerous radiation, and protect tissues during cancer therapy.
Trials on mice in the US demonstrated that diindolylmethane (DIM) protects normal cells exposed to lethal doses of radiation. 
The compound results from the consumption of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which is found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli.
“Vegetables have long been known for their benefits to human health, and this research shows that consumption of cruciferous vegetables may assist those battling cancer,” said AUSVEG spokesperson, Hugh Gurney.
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
Professor Ian Olver, Cancer Council Australia CEO, said that treatment with DIM allows a full dose of radiation to be delivered to cancerous tissue, while reducing the amount of damage to normal tissue cells. As a result, the side effects of radiation therapy are diminished.
“DIM activates a molecule that stimulates the body’s response to DNA damage and promotes DNA repair enzymes.”
“This could have significant implications for the treatment of cancer and could lead to new solutions for people at risk of radiation exposure,” said Mr Gurney.
Due to the protective nature of DIM, the research may even have implications for the future of space exploration, with high energy cosmic rays a primary concern for human health in space and at high altitudes.
“Vegetables grown on planet Earth may very well one day enable humans to better cope with the harsh environment of outer space.”
“Although further research is needed to replicate the findings in humans, these are exciting developments that should remind us all that a diet rich in vegetables can help contribute to human health in a very positive way,” said Mr Gurney.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Hugh Gurney, Spokesperson, AUSVEG.
Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0410 047 432 Email: