Recent increase of hormonal disorders in human may be correlated to the increased exposure to electromagnetic fields produced by various instruments, including cell phones. Because of its position in the body, thyroid gland is one of the organs most likely to be exposed to cell phone radiation. The aim of this study was to assess the adverse effects of cell phone radiation along with the protective effects of garlic on pituitary thyroid hormones and histology of thyroid gland in rats. Five groups of rats were used: control, sham (exposed to 900 MHz wavelength), experimental 1 (receiving garlic extract), and experimental 2 and 3 (receiving both extract and microwaves). After a month, rats were weighed and serum levels of TSH, T4 and T3 were measured using ELISA kits. Thyroid glands were also removed and their probable histological changes were studied. The mean body weight in the sham group showed a statistically significant decrease compared to the control group, whereas, an increase was seen in the experimental group 3 compared with sham (P<0.05). In addition, the concentrations of T4 and T3 hormones were lowered while TSH increased significantly in all groups compared to the control. Furthermore, histological examination of thyroid revealed a reduction in the number of cubic cells and disorder among them, as well as a reduction in the amount of follicular fluid and follicular diameter in groups exposed to radiation and received garlic extract. Although, microwaves can cause weight lost, presence of allicin and vitamins A and B in garlic can compensate some of this weight lost. In addition, both microwaves and garlic extract have a considerable effect on thyroid gland, reflected both in its secretion and in its morphology. These changes might be attributed to induction of heat and non-specific stresses, alterations of cortisol level, production of ROS and activities of various enzymes. However, some of these overlapping effects are synergistic and others are antagonistic, and thus, garlic consumption is not always beneficial in reducing deleterious effects of cell phones.
Key words: Electromagnetic radiation, cell phone, garlic, thyroid hormone.
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