Colon cancer kills approximately 75000 Europeans per year and even a modest reduction would significantly benefit the EU both socially and financially. Many studies show an effect of naturally-occurring dietary plant polyphenols (non- nutrient antioxidants) on carcinogenesis. There are large differences in consumption of amount and type of polyphenols between North and South with lower risks associated with the Mediterranean diet. We will obtain urgently-needed data to permit a risk-benefit analysis of the significance of dietary polyphenols in the modulation of colon cancer, and whether there might be justification for dietary modification, the production of supplements and novel foods.
We will study the effect of polyphenols on health indicators: uptake and metabolism, influence on carcinogen metabolism, effect on cell proliferation and colon carcinogenesis. Structure-function and dose-response studies will be conducted by combining molecular, cellular and in vivo experimental systems with suitable biomarkers of exposure and effect. By these means we will obtain urgently needed data to permit a risk-benefit analysis of the significance of dietary polyphenols in the modulation of colon cancer, and whether there might be a justification for dietary modification, the production of supplements, or novel foods, etc.
The objectives are to answer the following most important questions identified in these programmes:
- How are dietary polyphenols metabolised?
- How do polyphenols alter the rates of carcinogen metabolism?
- What are the mechanisms whereby polyphenols affect cell signalling involved in apoptosis and proliferation?
- How do polyphenols modulate early events of colon carcinogenesis?