|Life Extension Update Exclusive |
Melatonin helps protects kidneys from high frequency mobile phone radiation damage
A study published in the July-August 2005 issue of the Archives of Medical Research (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01884409) found that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by mobile phones can cause oxidative stress in the kidneys and that melatonin protects against it. The current study tested 900 megahertz EMR, which is emitted by phones used in Europe and Turkey. The proximity of mobile phone antennas to the abdominal organs of individuals who carry the phones on their belts has raised concerns that the radiation is absorbed by the kidneys, causing damaging effects.
Researchers at Suleyman Demirel University in Isparta, Turkey administered 30 minutes of 900 MHz electromagnetic radiation for ten days to 16 rats. Half of the rats received subcutaneous melatonin each day before the electromagnetic radiation exposure. A control group of eight rats received melatonin followed by sham EMR exposure.
At the study’s conclusion, the group exposed to EMR without pretreatment with melatonin experienced decreases in kidney tissue levels of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, while malondialdehyde, a measure of lipid peroxidation, and urine NAG, a renal tubular damage marker, were elevated compared to controls. For rats pretreated with melatonin, antioxidant enzyme activity was nearly that of the control group (and higher for glutathione peroxidase), and malondialdehyde and NAG were reduced compared to rats who received radiation without melatonin.
The authors suggest a probable role for reactive oxygen species in the effects of EMR from mobile phones. They conclude, that “the potent free radical scavenger and antioxidant agent, melatonin, seems to be a highly promising agent for protecting renal tissue from oxidative damage and preventing organ dysfunction as a result of 900 megahertz exposure.” They point out the need for additional studies involving different electromagnetic frequencies and exposure periods.