Study Shows Antioxidants May Protect Against Toxic Flame-Retardants
Antioxidants found in salmon may protect against the toxic effects of the flame-retardant BDE 47, according to a new study out of the University of Washington, published recently in Toxicology In Vitro. These antioxidants, EPA and DHA, may fend off the toxic effects of BDE 47, which are especially damaging to the nervous system, thyroid, and liver. Both EPA/DHA and BDE 47 act on free radicals, also called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). These ROS are normally present in cells, but in large amounts can cause cell damage or even death. When EPA/DHA and BDE 47 are present within a cell, it is as if they are playing tug-of-war with ROS: BDE 47 increases ROS while EPA/DHA decreases it. This study shows that EPA/DHA seems to win the tug-of-war contest. Researchers found that EPA/DHA significantly reduced the amount of cell damage and death caused by BDE 47. Although more work is needed, this study gives cause for hope in the battle against this highly toxic flame-retardant.