Will Your Grandmother's Diet Increase Your Risk of Colon Cancer?

Utah state university researcher to begin studying long-term effects of western diet on cancer chances, green tea’s cancer-fighting properties

Released: 27-Feb-2014 12:00 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Utah State University
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Newswise — Will a multi-generational exposure to a western type diet increase offspring’s chance of developing colon cancer? Will cancer-fighting agents, like green tea, help combat that increased risk?

Those are the two questions Abby Benninghoff, an assistant professor in Utah State University’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, will attempt to answer thanks to a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Simply put, if your grandmother ate a poor diet, will green tea be beneficial for you or not,” Benninghoff said.

Benninghoff and her two collaborators, Korry Hintze and Robert Ward, both associate professors of nutrition, dietetics and food sciences, have developed a diet that mimics typical U.S. nutrition for studies of human cancer using animal models. In this case, rodents with cancer will be studied, which will allow Benninghoff to look at the effects of the diet on multiple generations in a short period of time.

Benninghoff, predicts that green tea will have a greater benefit to those mice that are exposed to the western diet than those on a healthy diet. She also believes that the more generations exposed to the western diet, the greater the risk of colon cancer in the offspring.

“In the end, what we’re hoping is to be able to determine if there are certain populations that would benefit from a diet modification, an increase consumption of green tea,” Benninghoff said. She also hopes the consequences of this diet will be better understood for the benefit of future generations.

About Utah State University’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
Over the past 100 years, agriculture has changed from horse-powered plows to science-driven innovations, and the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences has evolved along with it. CAAS has expanded itself from offering a single degree to a current offering of 67 undergraduate and graduate programs ranging from aviation to business and from soil science to dietetics and everything in between, all founded on the college’s mission of providing students with quality experiential learning.


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