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Fiber may bind colon carcinogens.



Fiber may bind colon carcinogens Carcinogens
Substances in the environment that cause cancer, presumably by inducing mutations, with prolonged exposure.

Mentioned in: Colon Cancer, Rectal Cancer
 

High-fiber diets have been associated with a reduced risk of human colon cancer colon cancer, cancer of any part of the colon (often called the large intestine). Colon cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. . Possible explanations include: that fiber's bulk makes it less likely that carcinogens passing through the digestive tract will touch the colon's surface; that, by accelerating food's passage through the digestive tract, fiber reduces a carcinogen's time in contact with the colon's walls; and that fiber may bind to the carcinogens, pulling them out of the body before they can do harm. New research by food chemists at the University of Lund in Sweden offers further support for this last hypothesis.

The researchers used three chemicals known to produce tumors in the intestinal tract of laboratory animals. These heterocyclic heterocyclic /het·ero·cyc·lic/ (het?er-o-sik´lik) having a closed chain or ring formation including atoms of different elements.

het·er·o·cy·clic
adj.
 amines--members of the quinoline quin·o·line
n.
An aromatic organic base synthesized or obtained from coal tar and used as a food preservative and in making antiseptics.



quinoline

a drug used originally as an antimalarial.
 family--form during the cooking of meats at high temperatures. In test tube environments meant to roughly simulate conditions that might occur during digestion, each was mixed with one of 13 different food fibers, including whole rye flour, whole barley flour, oat oat

member of the plant genus Avena in the family Poaceae.


oats
see avenasativa.

oat grain
seed of Avena sativa, and as 'oats' the favored grain for the feeding of horses.
 bran and wheat bran, among others.

According to a report of the work in the November-December JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE, all fibers bound at least 8 percent of the quinolines, and some bound as much as 22 percent, depending on the fiber and the particular quinoline. In a category by itself was whole sorghum sorghum, tall, coarse annual (Sorghum vulgare) of the family Gramineae (grass family), somewhat similar in appearance to corn (but having the grain in a panicle rather than an ear) and used for much the same purposes.  flour, which bound roughly 50 percent of the available quinoline, regardless of the quinoline concentration present.

This suggests that there may be different structural forms of these quinolines, with different binding affinities, says Padmanabhan Nair, a chemist with the Agriculture Department's Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Md. The researchers also found that an acidic pH caused maximum binding. But since the pH of the post-stomach phase of digestion is highly alkaline, Nair says, one should test whether fibers release quinoline in an alkaline environment.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 18, 1986
Words:300
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