Open Access Open Badges Research article

Radioprotective effect of the Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra L.) against radiopharmaceutical Iodine-131 in Wistar rats in vivo

Elisângela Düsman1*, Alessandra Paim Berti1, Rosinete Gonçalves Mariucci1, Nilson Benedito Lopes2, Lilian Tatiani Düsman Tonin3 and Veronica Elisa Pimenta Vicentini1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biotechnology, Genetics and Cell Biology, State University of Maringá, Avenida Colombo 5790, Bloco H67 (11), Jardim Universitário, CEP: 87020-900 Maringá, Paraná, Brazil

2 Department of Physics, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil

3 Federal Technological University of Paraná, Apucarana, Paraná, Brazil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:41  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-41

Published: 31 January 2014



The increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables has contributed to the improvement of populational health, due in part, to the abundance of antioxidants in these foods. Antioxidants reduce the level of oxidative damage to DNA caused by free radicals and ionizing radiation, including the radioisotope iodine-131 (131I). This isotope is used for the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid injuries, such as hyperthyroidism and cancer.


This study aimed to evaluate the radioprotective and cytotoxic activity of acute and subchronic treatments with Barbados Cherry (BC) (Malpighia glabra L.) fruit juice (5 mg), which is rich in potent antioxidants such as vitamin C, phenols, carotenoids, anthocyanins and yellow flavonoids and its activity against the mutagenic activity of the therapeutic dose of 25 μCi of radioiodine for hyperthyroidism. The test system used was the bone marrow cells of Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus) that were treated in vivo by gavage.


BC showed radioprotective activity in acute treatments, which is most likely due to the joint action of its antioxidant components. In subchronic treatments, the continuous treatment presented an effective radioprotective activity, which was significantly different from treatment with the radiopharmaceutical only. Treatment with BC prior to (PRE) and simultaneous with (SIM) ionizing radiation decreased the number of induced chromosomal alterations, while post-treatment produced no protective effect. In addition, BC exhibited no cytotoxic activity.


These data serve as evidence that BC can be used as a preventive health measure to improve public health quality by countering the action of inevitable exposure to mutagens, such as 131I.

Antioxidants; Chromosomal aberration; Nutraceuticals; Radioisotope; Thyroid