Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U of I scientists develop tool to trace metabolism of cancer-fighting tomato compounds

30.11.2010
The University of Illinois scientists who linked eating tomatoes with a reduced risk of prostate cancer have developed a tool that will help them trace the metabolism of tomato carotenoids in the human body. And they've secured funding from the National Institutes of Health to do it.

"Scientists believe that carotenoids—the pigments that give the red, yellow, and orange colors to some fruits and vegetables—provide the cancer-preventive benefits in tomatoes, but we don't know exactly how it happens," said John W. Erdman, a U of I professor of human nutrition.

The researchers will use isotopic labeling of three tomato carotenoids with heavier carbon atoms than are commonly seen in nature, which will allow tracking of the tomato components' absorption and metabolism in the body, he said.

"We have two questions we'd like to answer. First, are the carotenoids themselves bioactive, or are their metabolic or oxidative products responsible for their benefits? Second, is lycopene alone responsible for the tomato's benefits, or are other carotenoids also important?" he said.

Previous Erdman animal studies have shown that whole tomato powder, which contains all of the fruit's nutritional components, is more effective against prostate cancer than lycopene alone.

"Lycopene, which gives the fruit its red color, has received a lot of attention—it's even advertised as an ingredient in multivitamin supplements, but two little-known colorless carotenoids, phytoene and phytofluene, probably also have benefits," said Nancy Engelmann, a doctoral student in Erdman's laboratory who helped to develop the new method.

Engelmann learned to optimize the amount of carotenoids in tomato cell cultures by treating already high-achieving tomato varieties with two plant enzyme blockers. The best performers were then chosen for culturing and carbon-13 labeling, she said.

The scientists grew tomato cells with non-radioactive carbon-13 sugars, yielding carbon molecules that are heavier than the 12-carbon molecules that exist elsewhere, Erdman said.

"These heavy carbon molecules are then incorporated into the carotenoids in the tomato cell cultures. The result is that researchers will be able to track the activity of lycopene, phytoene, and phytofluene and their metabolites," he said.

Thanks to NIH funding, U of I researchers and colleagues at The Ohio State University are preparing to use this new tool to study carotenoid metabolism in humans.

"It's exciting that we now have the means to pull off this human study. It's work that should move us forward in the fight against prostate cancer," he said.

The research was published in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Co-authors include the U of I's Engelmann, Randy B. Rogers, S. Indumathie Rupassara, Peter J. Garlick; Mary Ann Lila of the U and I and the North Carolina State Plants for Human Health Institute, and Jessica K. Campbell, now with The Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition at General Mills.

Phyllis Picklesimer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Efficient time synchronization of sensor networks by means of time series analysis

24.01.2017 | Information Technology

Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Open, flexible assembly platform for optical systems

24.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>