Nutrition Frontiers - Summer 2016

Date Posted: 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Volume 7, Issue 3

The summer issue of Nutrition Frontiers showcases the combined effects of ursolic acid and resveratrol for skin cancer, the potential chemopreventive effects of the dietary supplement 4-MU, and a method to monitor a heterocyclic aromatic amine in dyed hair. Learn about our spotlight investigators, Drs. Michael Caligiuri and Jianhua Yu, and their research on dietary components for cancer prevention, upcoming announcements and more.


Combined Treatment with Ursolic Acid and Resveratrol on Skin Tumor Promotion

Image of strawberries and blueberries.Ursolic acid found in rosemary, apples, and other plants, and resveratrol, present in grapes, berries, peanuts, and red wine, has antitumorigenic effects in various cancer models. In order to determine if a combination of ursolic acid and resveratrol may achieve a greater chemopreventive effect than either alone, Cho and colleagues topically applied ursolic acid, resveratrol, and the combination of ursolic acid + resveratrol on mouse skin prior to 12-O-tetracanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) treatment. Topical treatment with ursolic acid + resveratrol produced a greater inhibitory effect on skin tumor promotion by TPA than with either agent alone, including tumor multiplicity, latency, and incidence. This combination produced a greater inhibition of multiple growth factor and inflammatory signaling pathways and a greater upregulation of tumor suppressor genes, such as p21 and PDCD4. The combined treatment with ursolic acid + resveratrol appears to be a more effective inhibitor of skin tumor promotion than either agents given alone.

4-Methylumbelliferone May be an Effective Chemopreventive Dietary Supplement

Image of four men jogging together.Hyaluronic acid (HA), a nonsulfated glycosaminoglycan and chief component of the extracellular matrix, may promote tumor growth and progression. 4-Methylumbelliferone (4-MU), a dietary supplement used for liver health, has been shown to inhibit synthesis of HA. In a recent study, Yates and colleagues evaluated 4-MU in three prostate cancer mouse models: transgenic adenocarcinoma of the prostate (TRAMP); PC3-ML/Luc+ skeletal metastasis; and DU145 subcutaneous implantation. When given at the stage-specific treatment of 8-28 weeks and 12-28 weeks, which represent low-volume, low-risk prostate cancer, 4-MU inhibited prostate cancer development for up to one year. Starting 4-MU even at the late-state prostate cancer (22-28 weeks) inhibited tumor growth and metastasis. 4-MU inhibited bone metastasis in the PC3-ML model DU145-tumor growth (85%-90%). 4-MU did not alter the transgene or neuroendocrine marker expression but downregulated HA levels. 4-MU's anti-metastatic effects may be targeting HA signaling regardless of the stage of tumor growth and may be an effective non-toxic option for prostate cancer treatment, although clinical studies are needed.

Upcoming Events

July 19, 2016
JAM-ASN Pre-conference Symposium: Gut Microbiota, Diet, and Health
Salt Lake City, UT

July 25-29, 2016
Short Course: Strengthening Causal Inference in Behavioral Obesity Research
University of Alabama at Birmingham

July 30-Aug 2, 2016
Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Conference
San Diego, CA

Sept 5-8, 2016
Phenotypes and Prevention – The Interplay of Genes, Life-Style Factors and Gut Environment
Copenhagen, Denmark

Sept 13-14, 2016
Food Forum
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Washington, DC

Sept 24-26, 2016
Personalized Approaches to Integrative Cancer Care, Cancer Care Conference
Washington DC

Oct 15-18, 2016
Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo
Boston, MA

Nov 14-16, 2016
American Institute for Cancer Research Conference
Bethesda, MD


Method to Monitor a Heterocyclic Aromatic Amine in Dyed Hair

Image of two women sitting on a bench.Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) is a carcinogenic heterocyclic aromatic amine (HAA) formed in well-done cooked meat and has been linked to colon and prostate cancers. PhIP in hair is an ideal biomarker because it captures PhIP in individuals who chronically and intermittently consume cooked meats. However, many older adults dye their hair and the measurement of PhIP in dyed hair is challenging because the dye process interferes with the measurement of PhIP. In a recent study, Guo and colleagues used high-resolution scanning features of the Orbitrap Fusion mass spectrometer to detect PhIP in dyed hair. The levels of PhIP accrued in dyed hair from volunteers consuming a high well-done meat diet with known levels of PhIP were comparable to the levels of PhIP accrued in hair of subjects with natural hair color. Using the Orbitrap Fusion, measurement of PhIP in dyed hair is comparable to that of assaying naturally colored hair. Since many individuals use hair dye, this technology may improve the detection of carcinogen intake from cooked meat.


Portriats of Michael Caligiuri, MD and Jianhua Yu, PhDDrs. Michael Caligiuri and Jianhua Yu were awarded an R01 for their project Enhancing NK Cell Activity by Dietary Diphyllin Lignans for Cancer Prevention. Both from the Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University (OSU) where Dr. Caligiuri is a Professor and Dr. Yu is an Associate Professor, their research explores natural products and dietary components that enhance innate immune responses for preventing and treating cancer. They have identified single compounds from plants and foods that can directly or indirectly activate Natural Killer cell anti-tumor activity. Dr. Yu received his PhD in Molecular Biology from Purdue University and completed postdoctoral training at OSU. Dr. Caligiuri received his medical degree from Stanford University and completed medical, oncologic, and postdoctoral training at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. In addition, he serves as the Chief Executive Officer of The James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute and the Director of The OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Caligiuri was recently named the 2016-2017 President-Elect for the American Association for Cancer Research.

Read More about Michael Caligiuri

Did You Know?

Seaweed a Mineral Rich Vegetable

A bowl of chopped seaweed.Seaweed, a brown, red or green algae, with over 10,000 different species and at least 20 different edible varieties, has long been popular in coastal communities in Scotland, Ireland and Scandinavia. For thousands of years, Asian cultures have used seaweed in herbal medicine preparations and cooking. Seaweed's unique polysaccharides, agar, carrageenan, and alignates have been utilized in the Western food industry as thickeners and gelling agents. Yet, these same soluble dietary fibers if eaten in a seaweed salad can offer satiety and a prebiotic effect.

This sea vegetable soaks in a treasure of minerals and trace elements from the sea such as iron, magnesium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride, manganese, boron, nickel and cobalt. Not to ignore, it also is a rich plant source of calcium, is high in vitamins A, B2, C, and E, is an excellent natural source of iodine and one of the few vegetarian sources of vitamin B12!

Consider slipping in some leafy fresh seaweed into your green salad, kale or collards or simply add it into a wrap or sandwich or maybe just order a wakame salad next time you are out.