Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wheat May Be Vital In Battle Against Cancer And Other Diseases

Date:
February 22, 2002
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
A new weapon has been discovered in the battle against disease: whole grain wheat. According to Kansas State University biochemist Dolores Takemoto, new research is showing that wheat contains powerful antioxidants which are key to its ability to prevent colon cancer, and possibly diabetes and heart disease.

MANHATTAN — A new weapon has been discovered in the battle against disease: whole grain wheat.

According to Kansas State University biochemist Dolores Takemoto, new research is showing that wheat contains powerful antioxidants which are key to its ability to prevent colon cancer, and possibly diabetes and heart disease.

"In the past, we thought the fiber in wheat prevented cancer," Takemoto said. "This discovery shows that there are antioxidants, in addition to fiber, which are responsible for preventing cancer."

With this information, K-State scientists maybe be able to create modified wheat strains with high levels of cancer-fighting chemicals.

"We hope we will be able to create a genetically modified plant," Takemoto said. "We won't be modifying it to adapt to its environment, like most genetically modified plants, but we will be modifying it to produce more of its own cancer-fighting chemicals. We want to produce for the Kansas community strains of wheat that are nutraceuticals, which are higher quality grains that have enhanced amounts of these antioxidants in them."

Wheat's antioxidants are important because they combat the body's free-radicals. Free-radicals are charged particles which the body produces and which, if they react harmfully, could cause damage.

"Throughout life you make a lot of free-radicals," Takemoto said. "You want to keep them from forming because they contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, cataracts, even wrinkling. High antioxidant levels mop up the free-radicals."

Wheat's antioxidants are found in the plant's orthophenols. Takemoto and other K-State biochemists are in the early stages of developing wheat with high levels of orthophenols. A successful modification could lead to wheat's ability to combat cancer by simply including it in a daily diet.

K-State scientists are optimistic of wheat's cancer-fighting ability because their preliminary testing shows some available wheat strains already contain a great number of orthophenols.

"Several high antioxidant wheat strains are already available for growing," Takemoto said. "People worry about the antioxidants not surviving baking, but some of the strains we tested had high antioxidant levels across the board. These could be grown now and they do survive baking well."

Antioxidants can be found in several vitamins, including vitamin E and vitamin D, but research shows that eating whole grain products and wheat germ is critical for the antioxidants to be absorbed.

"I like to argue against taking a pill," Takemoto said. "Only very stable vitamins provide the high levels of antioxidants needed, and even then they don't have very long shelf lives. Folic acid, for example, doesn't have a long shelf life for keeping high antioxidant levels. Many people use vitamin pills to compensate for a poor diet, but including whole grain wheat into your regular diet will have greater effects."

This project is funded by the Kansas Wheat Commission. Takemoto received her doctoral degree from the University of Southern California. She has been teaching and conducting research at K-State for 23 years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Wheat May Be Vital In Battle Against Cancer And Other Diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020221072854.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2002, February 22). Wheat May Be Vital In Battle Against Cancer And Other Diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020221072854.htm
Kansas State University. "Wheat May Be Vital In Battle Against Cancer And Other Diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020221072854.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins