Radioprotective effect of Zamzam (alkaline) water: A cytogenetic study

J Environ Radioact. 2017 Feb;167:166-169. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.10.019. Epub 2016 Nov 10.


Background: Radioprotectors are useful compounds to reduce radiation toxicity of normal cells. Many natural radioprotectors have antioxidant power and display fewer toxicity and side effects than the chemical ones. Alkaline waters such as Zamzam have antioxidant power potentially. This study aimed to investigate the radioprotective effect of Zamzam water in mice bone marrow exposed to gamma radiation by micronuclei test.

Method: Five study groups including control group which was fed by ordinary water, the second group was fed by Zamzam water, and radiation groups were received 2Gy gamma with ordinary and Zamzam water for 10 days and another for 20 days. The frequency of micronuclei and polychromatic erythrocytes to normochromatic erythrocytes ratio were calculated by micronuclei test.

Result: In the absence of radiation, no significant difference was found between Zamzam group and control in the number of micronuclei in normochromatic erythrocytes, micronuclei in polychromatic erythrocytes, and the polychromatic erythrocyte to polychromatic erythrocyte plus normochromatic erythrocyte ratio. But all of these indices were significantly different between irradiated and non-irradiated groups. The frequency of micronuclei in polychromatic erythrocytes was not significantly different between 10 and 20 days Zamzam irradiated groups, but the reduction in micronuclei in normochromatic erythrocytes and an increase in the polychromatic erythrocyte to polychromatic erythrocyte plus normochromatic erythrocyte ratio compared to ordinary water were seen in 20 days Zamzam group. Dose reduction factor was 1.36 and 2 for Zamzam water groups of 10 days and 20 days, respectively.

Conclusion: The results demonstrated that Zamzam alkaline water could reduce clastogenic and cytotoxic effects of gamma irradiation.

Keywords: Bone marrow cell; Erythrocyte; Micronuclei assay; Radioprotective agents; Zamzam water.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus
  • DNA Damage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Erythrocytes
  • Gamma Rays
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Mineral Waters*
  • Mutagens
  • Radiation Protection*


  • Mineral Waters
  • Mutagens