Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds chlorophyll can help prevent cancer - but questions traditional research methods

13.01.2012
A recent study at Oregon State University found that the chlorophyll in green vegetables offers protection against cancer when tested against the modest carcinogen exposure levels most likely to be found in the environment.

However, chlorophyll actually increases the number of tumors at very high carcinogen exposure levels.

Beyond confirming the value of chlorophyll, the research raises serious questions about whether traditional lab studies done with mice and high levels of toxic exposure are providing accurate answers to what is a real health risk, what isn’t, and what dietary or pharmaceutical approaches are useful.

The findings, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, were done using 12,360 rainbow trout as laboratory models, instead of more common laboratory mice. Rodent studies are much more expensive, forcing the use of fewer specimens and higher carcinogen exposures.

“There’s considerable evidence in epidemiologic and other clinical studies with humans that chlorophyll and its derivative, chlorophyllin, can protect against cancer,” said Tammie McQuistan, a research assistant working with George Bailey, a professor emeritus in the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU.

“This study, like others before it, found that chlorophyll can reduce tumors, up to a point,” McQuistan said. “But at very high doses of the same carcinogen, chlorophyll actually made the problem worse. This questions the value of an approach often used in studying cancer-causing compounds.”

OSU experts in recent years have become pioneers in the use of rainbow trout as a model for biomedical research, in part because the fish react in similar ways to those of rodents, but also because scientists can use thousands of them – instead of dozens or hundreds of mice – and do experiments that would not otherwise be possible.

In that context, this study raises questions about a fundamental premise of much medical research – expose a laboratory animal to a compound at high levels, observe the result, and predict that a proportional amount of that same result would be present at low levels of exposure.

In one part of the study, trout were exposed to fairly moderate levels of a known carcinogen, but also given chlorophyll. This reduced their number of liver tumors by 29-64 percent, and stomach tumors by 24-45 percent. But in another part of the study, using much higher and unrealistic doses of the same carcinogen, the use of chlorophyll caused a significant increase in the number of tumors.

In other words, traditional research with small numbers of animals fed very high doses of a carcinogen might conclude that chlorophyll has the potential to increase human cancer risk. This study, and other evidence and trials, concludes just the opposite.

It also found that the protective mechanism of chlorophyll is fairly simple – it just binds with and sequesters carcinogens within the gastrointestinal tract until they are eliminated from the body. At the lower carcinogen doses and cancer rates relevant to humans, chlorophyll was strongly protective.

“The central assumption of such experiments is that intervention effects at high carcinogen dose will apply equally at lower carcinogen doses,” the researchers wrote in their report. “Contrary to the usual assumption, the outcomes in the major target organ were strikingly dependent on carcinogen dose.”

OSU experts have argued that in some studies rainbow trout can produce better, more accurate, real-world results compared to traditional rodent animal models and relevant to humans, because many more specimens can be used and lower doses of toxins studied. Experiments done with fish may be about 20 times cheaper and, in the end, more scientifically valid, they say.

“Results derived at high carcinogen doses and high tumor responses may be irrelevant for human intervention,” the scientists said in their conclusion.

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

About the Linus Pauling Institute: The Linus Pauling Institute at OSU is a world leader in the study of micronutrients and their role in promoting optimum health or preventing and treating disease. Major areas of research include heart disease, cancer, aging and neurodegenerative disease.

George Bailey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://oregonstate.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>