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Dietary lipids as risk factors in development: Mechanistic issues

Contract number : QLK1-2001-00183
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 3.109.378
EC contribution : € 2.529.092
Starting date : not yet determined
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Barend Verachtert
Project website : not yet available
Dr Aldona Dembinska-Kiec
Jagiellonian University
Medical College
Department of Clinical Biochemistry
Kopernika 15A
31-501 Krakow
Tel.: +48124214006
Fax: +40124214073
E-mail: mbkiec @

Beta-carotene, the source of the lipid soluble vitamin A and retinoic acid in humans was recommended for the prevention of atherosclerosis and cancer development. Unexpectedly, the recent three multicentre, randomised human trials revealed the weak protective effect against the increased incidence of myocardial infarction and morbidity/mortality due to the lung cancer. Since beta-carotene is commonly used as the food colorant, the influence of its metabolites together with fatty acids (FA) derivatives (known regulators of nuclear receptors) will be investigated in the healthy and cancer human and animal cells. The possible involvement of the new classes of proteins and genes (gene clusters) will be followed by the most modern methods to determine the early markers of pathology which would serve as the new diagnostic measure for the cancer hazard determination and understanding of the food and consumer safety.

  • To establish the hazard of consumer health, well-being and to enhance industrial competitiveness by eliminating the undesirable, health threatening effect of such component as the beta-carotene derivatives affecting together with fatty acids (food lipids) the growth and differentiation of mammalian cells.
  • To develop the future prevention strategies against the hazard of food-induced cancer outgrowth at the high-risk states such as obesity (accumulation of fatty acids and lipid-soluble carotenoids in tissue) in humans.
  • To allow the partners to use and exchange highly specialised technology for the benefit of research, the development of knowledge within the European community, reduction or elimination of the differences between pre-accession states such as Polandand EU members.
  • The results will support the development of the dietary or pharmacological, gene expression modifying therapeutic strategies aiming to prevent illnesses connected with non-controlled cellular proliferation.
(expected) Results and achievements
  • Development of advanced molecular biology and proteomic methods for studying beta-carotene and FA responsive genes.
  • Identification of FA and beta-carotene induced genes, gene products or processes that may play a role in beta-carotene and FA stimulated cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis (in vitro and in vivo).
  • Determination of possible hazard or benefit (diagnostic and therapeutic implications) and preparation of statement concerning the safety of beta-carotene and FA food supplementation.


RIKILT State Institute of Quality Control Agricultural Products
Department of Safety and Health of Food
Bornsesteeg 45, PO Box 230
6700 AE Wageningen
The Netherlands
Jagiellonian University
Medical College
Institute of Medical Biochemistry
Kopernika 7
31-501 Krakow
Jagiellonian University
Medical College
Chair of Hematology
Kopernika 7
31-501 Krakow
Klinikum der Universität Regensburg
Institut für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsmedizin
Franz-Josef-Strauss-Allee 11
93053 Regensburg
University of Southern Denmark
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Campusvej 55
5230 Odense
The Wenner-Gren Institute
Stockholm University
The Arrhenius Laboratories F3
106 91 Stockholm
Universitat de les Illes Balears
Dept. de Biologia Fonamental i Ciències de la Salut
Cra. de Valldemossa Km 7.5
07071 Palma de Mallorca
University of Ancona
Institute of Normal Human Morphology and Anatomy
Faculty of Medecine
Via Tronto 10/A
60020 Ancona

Fifth Framework Programme

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