Digging Deeper: Breast Cancer research at ASU linked to meat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: Breast Cancer research at ASU linked to meat

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Before you grill out for the Fourth of July, we've got a story about your health you need to see.

A major research project at Albany State University is looking to see if there's a relationship between the amount of meat you eat and your risk of breast cancer.

This 1.2 million dollar research project is a partnership between ASU, The Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, and The Medical College of Georgia, and with the high number of cancer cases in Georgia, they hope many will pay attention to their findings.

What you eat this Fourth of July could have a big effect on your future health. At Albany State University researchers are looking to see if there's a relationship between south Georgia's love of meat and breast cancer. Especially meat cooked at high temperatures.

"That meat can cause, or produce, some Heterocyclic amines," said Dr. Ashok Jain, ASU Director for Undergraduate Research.

What's that?

"These compounds are metabolized in the body and cause the DNA damage," said Jain.

Once DNA is damaged that cell can develop cancer.

"Especially the breast cell, have all the enzymes or machinery which can metabolize these chemical and cause the DNA damage," said Jain.

So, Dr. Jain's research focuses on how to potentially repair the cells, with antioxidant, which are available in fruits and vegetables.

"Lycopene which is found in tomato, gingerol, which is in the ginger, curcumin which is in the curry powder, so the common spices, fruits, and vegetables," said Jain.

Using electrophoresis to pull apart the DNA cells, they can look at individual cells. Cells that have been treated with carcinogens from meat appear broken, but treated with antioxidant...

"You can see the DNA damage caused by the meat, has been repaired," said Jain.

Part of Dr. Jain's research will also look to determine which antioxidant produces the best repair results.

Eventually he hopes to come up with combinations of fruits and vegetables that offer the best protection against a breakdown from the meat we consume.

This is just the first year of the 3-year research project.