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Scientists learn how soy foods protect against colon cancer
Date:8/5/2013

In the genistein-fed animals, signaling levels were similar to rats that had not received the carcinogen.

"Genistein decreased the expression of three genes and repressed this signaling process that is associated with abnormal cell growth and cancer development," Chen said.

She said this shows that colon cancer is an epigenetic disease, meaning that dietary and environmental factors can influence genes to be switched on or off so you have a different pattern of gene expression, leading to a change in disease susceptibility.

It has long been known that immigrants from Asiawhere soy is traditionally a food stapleexperience rising levels of colon cancer as they adopt the eating habits of the Western nations they now call home, she said.

"The genetic information you inherit from your parents is not the whole story. Our dietary choices, our exposure to environmental toxins, even our stress levels, affect the expression of those genes," she said.


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Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
p-pickle@illinois.edu
217-244-2827
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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