NDSU researcher to study flaxseed as lung cancer prevention
FARGO, N.D. --Could flaxseed, a top North Dakota crop, help prevent lung cancer? A North Dakota State University researcher aims to find out. Katie Reindl, one of three NDSU assistant professors recently selected for a total of $250,000 in fundin...
FARGO, N.D. --Could flaxseed, a top North Dakota crop, help prevent lung cancer? A North Dakota State University researcher aims to find out.
Katie Reindl, one of three NDSU assistant professors recently selected for a total of $250,000 in funding from Sanford Health, is planning a study on the effects of dietary flaxseed in Native American men.
Specifically, 10 nonsmokers and 10 frequent smokers (10 cigarettes a day) will consume a normal diet, followed by four weeks of also eating a daily three tablespoons of ground flaxseed. Reindl's lab will then measure how that affects their antioxidant levels and inflammation, the latter of which is associated with lung tumor development.
"This one little study is not going to conclude that people should start taking flaxseed to protect against smoking," said Reindl, an assistant professor of biological sciences. "What we're hoping to do is to take this to a population that could expand the study."
Reindl, 36, is interested in comparing men and women, as well as former and current smokers.
In the Dakotas, almost 50 percent of Native Americans smoke cigarettes, putting them at a higher risk of lung cancer, she said. Their chances of surviving the cancer are also lower, with a death rate about 1.8 times the non-Native American population in similar regions of the state.
In May, Reindl completed a study using mice that were exposed to a chemical that causes lung tumors. She's still analyzing that data, but has found there were 300 times more tumors in the mice fed a controlled diet versus those fed a flaxseed diet.
"Certainly quitting smoking is the best, but if we could do other things that would prevent tumor development, that would be the ultimate goal of the research," she said.
The other recipients of the Sanford grant are Kyle Hackney, an assistant professor of human nutrition and exercise science, and Leah Irish, an assistant professor of psychology. Hackney will will study how protein affects muscular health with age, and Irish will study the role of sleep in weight management. All three studies must be completed by the end of next June.
$1.35 million grant for colon cancer research
Separately, NDSU researcher Bin Guo has received a $1.35 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, a news release from the university said.
Guo, an associate professor of pharmaceutical studies, is studying a treatment for colon cancer.
People who are vitamin D-deficient are more at risk for colon cancer, and Guo's team has found a specific microRNA that is the only one activated by vitamin D, Guo said in the release.
With the grant funds, Guo's team will develop a nanoparticle platform that delivers this microRNA to cancerous cells, "suppressing their growth and allowing conventional chemotherapy drugs to eliminate them," the release said.