Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists develop tool to trace metabolism of cancer-fighting tomato compounds

Date:
November 29, 2010
Source:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Summary:
The 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. 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.

Credit: iStockphoto/Agisilaou & Spyrou

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.

Related Articles


"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 researchers have secured funding from the National Institutes of Health for this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nancy J. Engelmann, Jessica K. Campbell, Randy B. Rogers, S. Indumathie Rupassara, Peter J. Garlick, Mary Ann Lila, John W. Erdman. Screening and Selection of High Carotenoid Producing in Vitro Tomato Cell Culture Lines for [13C]-Carotenoid Production. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010; 58 (18): 9979 DOI: 10.1021/jf101942x

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Scientists develop tool to trace metabolism of cancer-fighting tomato compounds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129160955.htm>.
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. (2010, November 29). Scientists develop tool to trace metabolism of cancer-fighting tomato compounds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129160955.htm
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Scientists develop tool to trace metabolism of cancer-fighting tomato compounds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129160955.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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