Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive carbonyl species (RCS) are the major causes of biological tissue damage during exposure to ionizing radiation (IR). The existing strategies to protect normal tissues from the detrimental effects of IR suffer from several shortcomings including highly toxic side effects, unfavorable administration routes, and low efficacy. These shortcomings emphasize a need for radioprotective treatments that combine effectiveness with safety and ease of use. In this paper, we demonstrate that pyridoxamine, a ROS and RCS scavenger with a very favorable safety profile, can inhibit IR-induced gastrointestinal epithelial apoptosis in cell culture and in an animal model. Pyridoxamine was more effective at protecting from radiation-induced apoptosis than amifostine, a synthetic thiol compound and the only FDA-approved radioprotector. We suggest that pyridoxamine has potential as an effective and safe radioprotective agent.