Pump Priming Award 2023
As part of its management of the Drummond Memorial Fund, the British Nutrition Foundation is providing one grant in 2023, of £5000, to help a researcher working in human nutrition to undertake the pilot work needed to generate data that can be used as the basis of a more substantial grant application. We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2023 British Nutrition Foundation Drummond Pump Priming Award is Dr Noshin Daud from the Rowett Institute, the University of Aberdeen. A summary of Dr Daud’s project can be found below.
“Exploiting β-glucan derived from Barley, oats and Shiitake to improve tumour and normal tissue responses to radiotherapy”
Pelvic cancer is a major public health problem among older adults worldwide and conventional treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, these treatments are associated with serious adverse effects including toxicity to normal tissues, so there is a need to find radiosensitizing agents which pose minimal toxicity to normal tissues for such patients.
The potential for improving health by modulation of the human gut microbiota through dietary manipulation has gained a lot of public attention over the last 10–15 years and dietary fibre is a major energy source for the human gut microbiota. The utilisation of some types of dietary fibre by human gut microbiota results in the production of health promoting metabolites, including short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which may make tumour cells more sensitive to radiotherapy and reduce normal tissue toxicity following radiation treatment.
Dietary fibre and mixed link β-glucans found within oats and barley may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. Previous studies have reported the tumour suppressive effects of β-glucan derived from Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms. In China and Japan, these mushrooms are clinically used as an adjuvant to cancer chemotherapy, but their availability is limited to certain areas of the world. In contrast, cereals are staple foods throughout the world, and some are a rich source of β-glucan, however, barley and oats β-glucans may have different anti-cancer and immune effects, as its chemical composition is not the same. We therefore plan to test β-glucans derived from oats and barley to determine their cytotoxic and radiosensitizing effects in vitro.
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