Summary

A number of epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated the protective effects of fruits and vegetables with respect to several age related diseases.

The aim of this project is to investigate the protective action of agents with potential use as functional food constituents with respect to cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In collaboration between EU and Indian research centres the proposal features a multipronged approach, where the protective action of various nontoxic agents are studied in vitro as well as in rodent models with respect to induction of DNA lesions, tumours  and biomarkers for the development of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy and atherosclerosis. In addition, reduced availability of carcinogens and inhibition of their metabolic activation are investigated. Testing of the protective efficacy of functional food components in intervention cross-over studies in humans exposed to carcinogens, that are normally present at significant levels in the environment, represents an approach that has rarely been resorted to, and  will be implemented under this project in Europe as well as in India using sophisticated molecular, cytogenetic and other analytical  methods. Although there has been remarkable progress in our understanding of the processes that lead to neoplasia and diabetes, the mechanisms underlying chemoprevention are, in general, little understood. The results from this project are expected to provide an improved insight with respect to this topic.