Research will focus calorie restriction  and consumption of

EPA found in fish

AUSTIN, MN (September 5 , 2008) – Cancer researcher Michael Grossmann, Ph.D., with The  Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, has received a $448,000 grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.

 Grossmann will use the grant to continue his research on two areas of diet that may help prevent breast cancer. The first area is consumption of the fat EPA found in fish oil and the other area involves intermittent calorie restriction.

 “There is a great deal of interest in dietary supplements for the prevention of cancer,” said Grossmann, an Assistant Professor in the Nutrition and Metabolism lab of The Hormel Institute.  “We want to identify the specific parts of fish oil that may be involved in prevention of breast cancer so that consumers know which supplements to purchase for more consistent health benefits.

 “We also think that when specific eating habits, such as intermittently restricting calorie intake are combined with appropriate supplements then greater benefits in prevention of breast cancer can be achieved compared to only taking supplements,” he said.

 Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. More than 211,000 women in the United States are diagnosed each year with this disease; 3,200 of these women are Minnesotans.

 Research has linked a decrease in breast cancer to increased levels of adiponectin, a protein secreted from fat tissue in the body. Laboratory research and human testing has found that consumption of fish oils results in increased levels of adiponectin. In addition, previous laboratory research by Hormel scientists has shown that restricting calories can dramatically reduce the incidence of breast cancer.

 “Our research project will combine these two preventive strategies to determine their outcome on breast cancer incidence, latency, and burden in a mouse model,” said Grossmann. “We think that this novel combination of nutritional approaches may provide opportunities for real world breast cancer prevention.”

 The Hormel Institute is a research unit of the University of Minnesota and a collaborative partner of Mayo Clinic. Grossmann received his doctorate degree from Mayo Graduate School in Rochester and also trained at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., and at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., before joining the research faculty at The Hormel Institute and University of Minnesota.