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Effect of a vegan diet on biomarkers of chemoprevention in females

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Author: Verhagen, H. · Rauma, A.L. · Törrönen, R. · Vogel, N. de · Bruijntjes-Rozier, G.C.D.M. · Dreve, M.A. · Bogaards, J.J.P. · Mykkänen, H.
Institution: Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Source:Human & Experimental Toxicology, 10, 15, 821-825
Identifier: 38405
Keywords: Nutrition · Adult · Aged · Aging · Antibiotics, Antineoplastic · Cells, Cultured · Chemoprevention · Cross-Sectional Studies · Diet, Vegetarian · DNA Damage · DNA, Single-Stranded · Electrophoresis · Erythrocytes · Female · Glutathione Transferase · Humans · Leukocytes · Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective · Middle Aged · Mitomycin · Superoxide Dismutase


1. In order to study the potential beneficial effects of a vegan diet, a cross-sectional study was performed and several biomarkers of chemoprevention were measured in a population of female 'living food' eaters ('vegans'; n = 20) vs matched omnivorous controls (n = 20). 2. White blood cells obtained from fresh blood samples were subjected to the single-cell gel-electrophoresis assay. There was no statistically significant difference between the vegans and controls in the parameters 'tail length' and 'tail moment'. However, the 'tail moment' was significantly lower in a subset of the vegans (i.e. in those who did not use any vitamin and/or mineral supplements). 3. Fresh blood samples were exposed in vitro to the mutagen mitomycin C just prior to culturing. After culturing the number of binucleated lymphocytes with micronuclei was scored. There was no difference between the controls and vegans in the incidence of baseline micronuclei, nor in the number of mitomycin C-induced micronuclei. However, a significant correlation (r = -0.64, P < 0.01) between the number of mitomycin C-induced micronuclei and the activity of erythrocyte superoxide dismutase was found in the vegans. The number of baseline micronuclei increased with age in both groups. These findings may be of biological relevance. 4. The content of glutathione-S-transferase-α in plasma was not different between the vegans (n = 12) and controls (n = 12). 5. The present data indicate a few differences in biomarkers of chemopreventive potential in strict vegans vs matched omnivorous controls. The significance of these changes as biologically relevant indicators of beneficial effects of vegan diets in humans needs to be determined in studies with a larger number of subjects. Chemicals/CAS: Antibiotics, Antineoplastic; DNA, Single-Stranded; Glutathione Transferase, EC; Mitomycin, 50-07-7; Superoxide Dismutase, EC