Researchers at Clemson University, in a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, say they have discovered that radiation exposure causes mice to incur significant bone loss. This has obvious implications for cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Researchers say this side effect also applies to astronauts since they are exposed to large amounts of radiation in space.
"We were really surprised at the extent of bone loss,' said lead researcher Ted Bateman. 'We're seeing bone loss at much lower doses of radiation than we expected."
Although results of a mouse study cannot be directly applied to humans, Bateman said both mice and humans lose bone after radiation exposure, so the results raise a red flag.