Impending nuclear attack? Then scientists may soon recommend that it is best you start drinking heavily and not just because you may be facing oblivion.
According to the latest research, red wine – along with its many other claimed benefits – may also protect you from radiation exposure.
A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have discovered that resveratrol, the natural anti-oxidant found in red wine, can protect cells from the damage caused by radiation.
In experiments on mice the scientists found that when combined with the chemical acetyl and administered before radiation exposure it protected the cells and helped prevent death.
The results, to be presented to the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, could lead to drugs to counteract poisoning in the wake of a nuclear emergency or attack.
"New, small molecules with radioprotective capacity will be required for treatment in case of radiation spills or even as countermeasures against radiological terrorism," said Dr Joel Greenberger of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the university.