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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2016 Jun;293(6):1255-62. doi: 10.1007/s00404-015-3924-6. Epub 2015 Nov 3.

Evaluation of preventive effect of shilajit on radiation-induced apoptosis on ovaries.

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Department of Histology and Embriology, Bulent Ecevit University School of Medicine, Zonguldak, Turkey.
Department of Physiology, Bulent Ecevit University School of Medicine, Zonguldak, Turkey.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Histology and Embriology, Bulent Ecevit University School of Medicine, Zonguldak, Turkey.



Canc er is the second leading cause of death in children in developed countries and most of childhood malignancies can be treated with chemo-radiotherapy. Although radiation therapy is a successful treatment modality in cancer patients, it has various adverse effects. Especially the gonads are very sensitive and prone to radiation-related damage. Radiation impairs the ovaries by triggering apoptosis of follicular cells and chromosomal damage and oxidative stress. Shilajit, a traditional medicinal agent in India, Russia, and other parts of the world, contains various antioxidant agents and has ovogenic effects. To evaluate the ability of shilajit to prevent radiation-induced ovarian damage.


Forty Wistar albino female rats were divided into four groups as: Control group, shilajit group, radiation only group, and radiation + shilajit group. Four days after radiation exposure, the rats were sacrificed and the ovaries were removed and evaluated immuno-histopathologically.


There was a statistically significant difference in follicle counts (primordial, primary, preantral, antral, and atretic follicles) between the groups (p < 0.001). Almost all follicles at all stages were atretic in the radiation only group whereas normal-looking primordial follicles were detected in the radiation + shilajit group. In radiation + shilajit group, p53, Bax and caspase 3 expression was less intense than that in the radiation only group follicles.


This is the first reported study evaluating the effects of shilajit on radiation-related ovarian damage prevention. Shilajit decreased the expression of p53, Bax, and caspase 3, thereby blocking the apoptotic pathways. Shilajit was found to be especially protective of primordial follicles.


Apoptosis; Folliculogenesis; Ionizing radiation; Oxidative stress; Rat ovary; Shilajit

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