By Sayer Ji
Melanin’s Mysterious Properties
Can Melanin Lend Those Who Consume It “Super Powers”?
“The observed mitigative effects of melanin in the present study gain a lot of significance especially in nuclear emergencies but need to be validated in humans by more detailed experiments. Prior to these confirmations and based on current investigations, it can be concluded that during such emergencies, diets rich in melanin may be beneficial to overcome radiation toxicity in humans.” [emphasis added]
The authors fed mice a mushroom used in East Asian cuisine, called Judas’ ear, tree, or jelly ear (Auricularia auricula-judae) an hour before giving them a powerful 9 Gy dose with the beta emitter Cesium137. For perspective, anything over ~0.1 Gy is considered a dangerously high dose for humans. All the control mice died in 13 days while ~90% of the mushroom-fed ones survived. Mice fed a white mushroom (porcini) died almost as fast as the controls, but those fed white mushrooms supplemented with melanin also survived.”
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