Studies for protection of cancer

The strategy for this project was to have a tier approach starting with reviewing the literature for protective agents that can be a part of a human diet. After selection of 13 agents, in vitro methods were applied to screen for protection against cancer, diabetes and CVD using biomarkers that could be further used in animal models and in human intervention studies. The first in vitro experiments were performed with Chinese hamster cells and the best were selected for cytogenetic studies in vitro. The putative cancer protective compounds selected on the basis of screening were chlorophyllin (CHL), ellagic acid (EA), blueberry, Gentiana lutea extract (GL) and 6-gingerol (6-G).

Selected for test on cytogenetic parameters in Swiss albino mice were CHL, EA and BB and were found effective in reducing the frequency of micronuclei against methyl-nitroso-guanidine. The best protective agent against dimethylbenzanthracene was CHL whereas EA had no protective effects and BB had a weak protective effect. 

Two human cohorts with intervention protocols were performed. Food including grilled sausages with high levels of PAHs, with and without combination of a protective agent were scheduled, followed by analysis of the incidence of Lymphocyte Micronuclei, Comet Tail Intensity, 8-oxo-dG (nM), analysis of CoQ10 and a-tocopherol in blood and metabolites in urine. According to the findings it could be concluded that CHL, BB and tomato extract (TE) were protective supported by results of urinary metabolites. GL did not behave as an antioxidant, it affected mitotic spindle, induced malsegregation of chromosomes, apoptosis and necrosis. It should not be recommended for intake by healthy humans.

In the second human intervention study the protective effect of 5 selected agents in a cohort of totally 25 smokers were investigated. Samples of blood and urine were taken and distributed to the different laboratories for analysis. Each volunteer were investigated in terms of different life style factors such as general health status using standard clinical markers, questionnaire for eating habits, health profile, micronuclei in young erythrocytes (MN), 8-OxodG, haemoglobin adducts, urinary metabolites, endogenous levels of vitamin E & Q10. The best protective effect was found with BB, followed by astaxanthine (AX) and CHL. Limited support was obtained for protection by TE and GL. The biomarkers for diabetes in this cohort were to some extent successful, although the number of individuals were limited.