National Cancer Institute funds study using Beneo

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cancer

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is funding a Mayo
Clinic study following the work of the EU-funded Syncan
project, this time using prebiotics without probiotics, in relation
to colon cancer.

The study is being undertaken in part to further evaluate the anti-colon cancer potential of Orafti's Beneo Synergy1 oligofructose-enriched inulin.

It will be a larger scale and longer study than the Syncan project and will assess whether some of the results of the European study carry over to North America.

The project reflects the NCI's growing interest in the effect of diet on cancer risk, and also has implications for supplement makers and the public alike.

In 2007, an estimated 112,340 new cases of colon cancer emerged while there were 52,180 deaths from colon and rectal cancer combined, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

"Colon cancer is of high interest because of its high mortality and because its occurrence is strongly related to the composition of the diet," Douwina Bosscher, manager of nutrition research with Belgian Orafti, told NutraIngredients-USA.

"This makes it a particularly interesting disease for food ingredient producers."

The current study is being carried out through the Cancer Prevention Network, a research consortium funded by the NCI and based out of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

According to Bosscher, the study arose out of NCI's desire to further explore the links between nutrition and the effect on cancer prevention.

"We hope it can indeed confirm our earlier findings about the effect of Synergy1 in preventing colonic cancer," said Bosscher.

The study is set to last six months and involves about 100 volunteers, all adenoma patients.

Adenoma refers to benign tumors of glandular origin.

Researchers will monitor volunteers for the development of further precursors to malignant colon cancer cells.

The Syncan project results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition earlier this year and associated the combination of Beneo Synergy1 and probiotics to the reduction of various risk factors of colon cancer.

Eighty people (43 with colonic polyps, 37 with colon cancer) were recruited for the double-blind placebo-controlled design for 12 weeks, and randomly assigned to receive either placebo or Orafti's Synergy1 synbiotic supplement (12 grams per day) and a probiotic ( Lactobacillus GG and Bifidobacteria 12).

The researchers reported that the beneficial bacterial strains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium increased in both polypectomised and cancer patients.

In polypectomised patients the increase was 18 and 17 percent respectively for the two bacterial strains, while in cancer patients it was 8 and 12 percent respectively.

Populations of Clostridium perfringens , a strain reported to convert dietary substances to carcinogenic compounds, decreased by 32 percent in the polyp patients and 22 percent in the colon cancer patients.

In addition, DNA damage markers were reduced in the synbiotic-supplemented group, compared to placebo, particularly for the polyp patients.

The current Mayo Clinic study is part of three clinical trials looking at the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the prevention of oesophageal, lung and colon cancer.

Beneo inulin and oligofructose are already being used in a number of food and beverage products.

"We will keep playing an active role in investigating how oligofructose-enriched inulin can play a role in preventing cancers," said Bosscher. Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Volume 85, Pages 488-496 "Dietary synbiotics reduce cancer risk factors in polypectomized and colon cancer patients" Authors: J. Rafter, M. Bennett, G. Caderni, Y. Clune, R. Hughes, P.C. Karlsson, A. Klinder, M. O'Riordan, G.C. O'Sullivan, B. Pool-Zobel, G. Rechkemmer, M. Roller, I. Rowland, M. Salvadori, H. Thijs, J. Van Loo, B. Watzl, J.K. Collins

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