Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
School of Medicine
I Want to...
Home > News and Publications > JHM Publications > Promise and Progress > Reprogramming Cancer Cells - The Story of Epigenetics
Promise and Progress - DNA Damaging Toxins In Food
Reprogramming Cancer Cells - The Story of Epigenetics
Issue No. 1
Issue No. 1
DNA Damaging Toxins In Food
Date: July 16, 2014
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2013
Research pairing food chemistry and cancer biology revealed potentially harmful effects of foods and food flavorings on cell DNA. The well-studied tumor suppressor gene p53 is activated when DNA is damaged. The higher the level of damage, the greater the activation of p53, so Scott Kern, M.D, the Everett and Marjorie Kovler Professor of Pancreas Cancer Research, conducted studies to see how the gene reacted to specific foods and flavorings. Among the items studied, liquid smoke flavoring, black and green teas, and coffee caused the greatest activation (a nearly 30-fold increase) of p53 in his studies. Conversely, fish and oyster sauces, Tabasco and soy sauces, black bean sauces, soybean paste, kimchi, wasabi powder, hickory smoke powders, and smoked paprika had minimal effects on p53.
There has been little basic science research of the foods we eat and their effects on cells. While the scientists caution that their studies do not suggest people should stop consuming these foods, they do suggest a need for more research into DNA-damage that occurs through diet and our body’s natural defenses against this source of genetic injury.
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute grant CA 62924 and the Everett and Marjorie Kovler Professorship in Pancreas Cancer Research.
Articles in this Issue
- Headline Makers - Overview
- A Safer Way to Treat Pediatric Brain Cancers
- For Cervical Lesions, Tissue Exam Beats Conventional Blood Tests
- Blood Cells Transformed to Repair Damaged Retina
- Personalized Chemotherapy
- 3D Scans Show whether Treatment is Working
- Alcohol Metabolite Could Increase Cancer Risk in Some People
- Acupuncture, Real or Simulated, Eases Hot Flashes
- New Leukemia Findings
- HPV Oral Cancers and Risk of Infection for Couples
- Molecular Marker of Cancer Drug Response
- Chronic Inflammation Connected to Prostate Cancer
- Fat Versus Brain Cancer
- DNA Damaging Toxins In Food
- Cancer Patients Who Quit Smoking Live Longer
- New Immune Therapy Shows Promise Against Melanoma
- Breathe Easier and Fight Cancer
- Cost-Cutting and Excellent Care Not Mutuallly Exclusive
- The Key to Safe Bone Marrow Transplants Revealed