Industry Representative: Martin Evans, Fresh Growers Ltd.
Project Cost: £74,415
Summary: The project will carry out a human intervention study to measure the effect of consumption of selected root vegetables on biomarkers for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Laboratory studies have shown that polyacetylenes, phytochemicals found mainly in carrots, parsnips and celeriac, have beneficial effects on cell culture models of inflammation and cancer, and observational studies have found a negative correlation between consumption of carrots and the risk of cancer. Inflammation is involved in the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and specific inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Biomarkers of human health can be used to measure changes in a person’s risk of a disease. For cancer a well-known biomarker is measurement of damage to DNA in lymphocytes from blood samples (the comet assay), while other health aspects such as inflammation can be assessed by measurement of other biomarkers in the blood.