Colorful whole food diet may help to stop colon cancer

534ad01a-6c44-4bf8-8230-5f94a37dd5f6articleimage.jpg

25 Sep 2017 --- A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how these compounds work on a molecular level could be an initial step toward finding treatments for people with cancer.

“What we are learning is that food is a double-edged sword – it may promote disease, but it may also help prevent chronic diseases, like colon cancer,” says Jairam K.P. Vanamala, Associate Professor of Food Sciences at Penn State University in the US. “What we don't know is, ‘How does this food work on the molecular level?’ This study is a step in that direction.”

Color adds protection
In the study, pigs that were served a high calorie diet supplemented with purple-fleshed potatoes had less colonic mucosal interleukin-6 (IL-6) compared to a control group. IL-6 is a protein that is important in inflammation, and elevated IL-6 levels are correlated with proteins, such as Ki-67, that are linked to the spread and growth of cancer cells, says Vanamala, who also is a faculty member at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute.

The researchers fed the animals three different diets: a standard diet with 5 percent fat; a high-calorie diet, with 17 percent added dry fat and 3 to 4 percent added endogenous fat; and a high-fat diet supplemented with purple-fleshed potatoes.

The expression of IL-6 was six times lower in pigs that ate the purple potato-enhanced feed compared to the control group. Researchers used both uncooked and baked potatoes and found similar effects.

According to the researchers, who reported their findings in a recent issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, eating whole foods that contain macronutrients – substances that humans need in large amounts, such as proteins – as well as micro- and phytonutrients, such as vitamins, carotenoids and flavonoids, may be effective in altering the IL-6 pathway.

Vanamala says these findings reinforce recent research that suggests cultures with plant-based diets tend to have lower colon cancer rates than cultures with meat-based diets. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and a leading killer in many other Western countries, which tend to include more meat and less fruits and vegetables, he adds.

While the researchers used purple potatoes in this study, Vanamala says other colorful fruits and vegetables could prompt similar effects. Colorful plants including the purple potato contain bioactive compounds – such as anthocyanins and phenolic acids – that have been linked to cancer prevention.

“For example, white potatoes may have helpful compounds, but the purple potatoes have much greater concentrations of these anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant compounds,” says Vanamala. “We use the purple potato as a model and hope to investigate how other plants can be used in the future.”

Another advantage of using whole foods for cancer treatment is that it would benefit the agriculture industry and likely help small farmers around the world.

“If this model works, we can see what works in other countries,” Vanamala says. “Instead of promoting a pill, we can promote fruits and vegetables that are very rich in anti-inflammatory compounds to counter the growing problem of chronic disease.”

Currently, anti-IL-6 drugs are used against a certain type of rheumatoid arthritis and are being considered to treat other inflammation-promoted chronic diseases like colon cancer. However, these drugs are expensive and can cause side-effects, including drug tolerance.

Vanamala says that the pig model was used because the digestive system is very similar to the human digestive system, more so than in mice. The diet approach to cancer treatment has also shown similar promise in mice, however, he adds.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Health & Nutrition News

Campaigners condemn ASA reversal of junk food advert ban after Kellogg’s lobbies for U-turn

21 Nov 2018 --- Breakfast cereal giant Kellogg’s has welcomed the reversal of a UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) junk food advert ban and called from the company to re-examine the initial decision. Kellogg’s says the original judgment could have had “potential consequences” for the industry, disincentivizing food companies from developing better-for-you alternatives. The U-turn, which followed an independent review, has sparked criticism from obesity campaigners who originally brought the action against the granola advert. 

Health & Nutrition News

US start-up No Cow introduces low sugar energy bar with patented caffeine ingredient

21 Nov 2018 --- US active nutrition start-up No Cow is launching its No Cow Energy Bars, following a partnership with General Mills. The energy bars are low in sugar (one gram) and contain 45mg of Coffee Bean Flour, an innovative, patented caffeine source that provides sustainable energy that is the equivalent of half a cup of coffee. No Cow Energy Bars contain oats, nuts, and almond butter and 12g of protein per serving. Moreover, they bars are gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO.

Health & Nutrition News

The next infant formula staple? NZMP eyes milk fat globule membrane potential

21 Nov 2018 --- As scientific understanding of infant development evolves, the industry is seeing growing opportunities for infant nutrition formulas that come as close to human breast milk as possible, and which benefit aspects such as brain and immune health. In this space, NZMP, Fonterra’s B2B ingredients business, is making strides in uncovering the potential of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM).

Health & Nutrition News

“Breakthrough” treatment seeks to protect people with peanut allergies through exposure to peanut protein

20 Nov 2018 --- Medical researchers have developed a new treatment for protection against accidental exposure to peanut. Although the treatment is not a “quick fix,” the researchers note their study results show it is possible for some people with peanut allergy to protect themselves from accidental ingestion by building up their tolerance to peanut over time.

Regulatory News

Oleic acid CHD claims success: US FDA approves qualified claim petition on high level foods 

20 Nov 2018 --- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has responded positively to a petition for a new qualified health claim for edible oils containing oleic acid. As a result, products with an oleic acid content upward of 70 percent, such as certain olive, canola and sunflower oils, can be labeled as carrying cardiovascular benefits, but only when replacing heart-damaging saturated fat.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/colorful-whole-food-diet-may-help-to-stop-colon-cancer.html