Specifics relating to the development of cancer and disease mechanisms
Animal studies and human observational data link energy restriction (ER) to reduced rates of carcinogenesis. Most of these studies have involved continuous energy restriction (CER), but there is increasing public and scientific interest in the potential health and anticancer effects of intermittent energy restriction (IER) or intermittent fasting (IF), which comprise periods of marked ER or total fasting interspersed with periods of normal eating. This review summarizes animal studies that assessed tumor rates with IER and IF compared with CER or ad libitum feed consumption.
Nutrition is generally investigated, and findings interpreted, in reference to the activities of individual nutrients. Nutrient composition of foods, food labeling, food fortification, and nutrient recommendations are mostly founded on this assumption, a practice commonly known as reductionism. While such information on specifics is important and occasionally useful in practice, it ignores the coordinated, integrated and virtually symphonic nutrient activity (wholism) that occurs in vivo.
Mice and humans with growth hormone receptor/IGF-1 deficiencies display major reductions in age-related diseases. Because protein restriction reduces GHR-IGF-1 activity, we examined links between protein intake and mortality. Respondents aged 50–65 reporting high protein intake had a 75% increase in overall mortality and a 4-fold increase in cancer death risk during the following 18 years. These associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived.
Occasionally, but not often, positive things happen in the field of cancer prevention science to popular, good-tasting foods. Cruciferous vegetables have been the subject of intense study, but these foods might be—to modify the expression—an easy pill but a hard food for the public to swallow. By contrast, tomatoes (scientifically classified as a fruit) have overcome their earlier reputation as an inedible and possibly toxic food to become one of the most heavily consumed fruits or vegetables in the Western diet—mostly in the form of pizza, salsa, chili, pasta sauce, and ketchup.
The effects of beta-carotene, canthaxanthin, and extracts of tomato paste (containing lycopene) and orange juice (containing cryptoxanthin) onaflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-induced mutagenesis in S. typhimurium TA 100 and TA 98 were investigated. Inhibition of mutagenesis was studied during and following completion of AFB1 metabolism (i.e., after the addition of menadione), thereby permitting separate examination of the metabolic activation and phenotypic expression phases. Each experimental carotenoid, except lycopene, inhibited AFB1-induced mutagenesis in both tester strains.
Vitamin C is used as a dietary supplement because of its antioxidant activity, although a high dose (500 mg) may act as a pro-oxidant in the body1, 2. Here we show that 100 g of fresh apples has an antioxidant activity equivalent to 1,500 mg of vitamin C, and that whole-apple extracts inhibit the growth of colon- and liver- cancer cells in vitro in a dose-dependent manner.
A low-protein (LP) diet has been associated with amelioration of renal function in glomerulosclerosis (GS). However, the mechanisms involved are still unclear. We have used a mouse transgenic for bovine growth hormone (GH), which develops progressive GS and exhibits consistently elevated levels of circulating GH and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, to study the effect of dietary protein restriction. LP (6% protein) and normal-protein (NP, 20% protein) diets were maintained for 30 weeks in mice with established GS of mild/moderate degree.
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Pursuing professional training or graduate work is a challenging path - and it can be even more challenging if you're interested in pursuing something as unusual as plant-based nutrition!
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