Posts Tagged ‘mouse model’

Miriam Kalamian demystifies Keto Diet for Cancer.

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

Miriam Kalamian is a nutrition consultant, educator, author, and speaker with a passion for ketogenic therapies. She earned her Master’s in Education from Smith College and her Master’s in Human Nutrition from Eastern Michigan University. She’s board certified in nutrition by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (CNS). Miriam was inspired by the groundbreaking work of Thomas Seyfried, who introduced her to the ketogenic diet for cancer a few years into her young son’s treatment for a devastating brain tumor. Now, in her book Keto for Cancer, Miriam demystifies the diet for those who want to apply this nutritional strategy as part of a metabolic approach to cancer. More information at:

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Western Diet and Alzheimers.

Friday, March 11th, 2016

logo1267406_mdIn a study published online in Nature Scientific Reports researchers studied the connection between the western diet and Alzheimer’s based upon previous research that found that a combination of eating a western diet and inactivity contribute to as many as 25 percent of Alzheimer’s cases. In the study mice that were healthy and mice that modeled some aspect of Alzheimer’s were fed a Western diet consisting of high amounts of animal protein, fat and sugars with low plant=based content and nutrient density for 8 months.  this represented the equivalent of late adolescence to early middle age in humans.

Researchers found that the prolonged consumption of the western diet led to a dramatic increase in immune response activities in the brains of all mice, including those that did not model Alzheimer’s disease. There was increased activity of microglia, which functions as the brains immune cells, and monocytes, circling white blood cells that may cross into the brain in response to immune signaling. Findings also strengthing previous associations of the western diet and the development of peripheral inflammation and also that the immune activity in the brain increases Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility. All mice also had a significant increase of microglia/monocytes that express TREM2, a key immune regulatory protein. TREM2 has been strongly linked with suceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.  However, this was the first study to show an increase on TREM2 cells in response to prolonged consumption of a western diet.

Can Melatonin Influence Tumor Growth in Some Breast Cancers?

Friday, February 7th, 2014

logo1267406_mdA new study published online in the journal PLoS One concluded that preliminary results show that melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep and awake cycles, may have the potential to inhibit the growth and cell production nd block the formation of new blood vessels in
ER-negative breast cancer models. Researchers said “These early stage research results with the melatonin drug in a triple-negative breast cancer animal model achieved in our lab has not been seen anywhere else.”

To determine the effectiveness of of melatonin on tumor growth, researchers evaluated the action of melatonin on angiogenesis (f0rmation of new blood vessels)  in ER-negative breast cancer in vitro and in vitro using cells and mouse models respectively, Mice were randomly assigned to the study or control group and the  study group received treatment of melatonin one hour before lights were turned out  for 21 days. The time coincided with the time that cells are most sensitive to the hormone. . At the end of the 21 nights researchers used single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to determine whetehr the melatonin therapy effectively decreased the size of the implanted human triple negative breast cancer in the mouse model and if there was any change in the formation of new blood vessels. In addition, tumor volume was measured weekly and and tumor tissue was analyzed at the end of treatment.

None of the treated mice showed any loss of weight and lethargy during the treatment and most showed excessive movement with no aggressive or irritable behavior. After 21 days the treated mice showed significantly smaller tumors but the mean tumor volume increased significantly in the control group.These results were replicated in the cell model. The results indicate that melatonin may have the potential as a therapeutic agent for breast cancer. However, the researchers caution that the research is in a very early stage and results are not yet ready to be translated for patient use.




Is there an Association between a High-Fat, High Caloric Diet and Pancreatic Cancer?

Friday, October 11th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research concluded that mice made obese by being given , high-fat, high-calorie diets (HFCD) developed abnormally high numbers of lesions known as pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasies (PaniNs) that are known to be precursors to pancreatic cancer. Thus, being the first study to show a link bewtween obesity and the tisk of pancreatic cancer (one of the most deadly forms of cancer) in an animal model.

Researchers studied diet-induced obesity and the development of pancrea cancer in a set of mice and then compared them to another set of mice that were genetically identical but not given the high-fat, high calorie diet. They also assessed the impact of the effects of the high-fat, high calorie diet on mouse pancrea tissue, such as an increased inflammation and other signs of pancreatic problems. These  indicators were measured to creaste an overall score (pancreatitis-score) to indicate negative effects on the pancreas. They also studied pancreatic tissue to determine how many PaniN precursor leisions had developed.

Mice eating the normal diet gained approximately 7.2 grams over 14 momths whereas those who ate the high fat/high calorie diet gained an average of 15.9 grams and mice fed the normal diet had mainly normal pancreas with very few scattered PaniN lesions but the mice fed the high fat.high calorie diet had significantly more PaniN leisions and fewer overall healthy pancreas. The study showed mice on the high fat/high calorie diet gained significantly more weight, had abnrmalities of their metabolism and increased insulin levels, and had marked pasncreatic tissue inflammation and development of PaniN leisions. This  strongly suggest that a diet high in fat and calores leads to weight gain, metabolic disturbances, can cause pancreatic inflammation, and promotes pancreatic leisions that are precursors to cancer according to the researchers.


Are Soy and Tomato Effective in Preventing Prostate Cancer?

Friday, May 17th, 2013

logo1267406_mdNew research published  in several news sources concluded that tomatoes and soy foods may be more effective in preventing prostate cancer when they are eaten together  than when either is eaten alone.  Genetically engineered mice were used that would develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer and all mice in the control group without tomatoes and soy in the diet developed prostate cancer. However, half of the mice that consumed tomatoes and soy developed no prostate cancer. In the research, the mice were fed one of four diets from age 4 to 18 weeks old. These diets were  1) 10 percent whole tomato powder, 2) 2 percent soy germ, 3) tomato powder plus soy germ, and  a control group that ate neither tomato or soy,.  The  time period used modeled an early and lifelong exposure to the bioactive components in these foods. The research group concluded “Eating tomato, soy, and the combination all significantly reduced prostate cancer incidence.  But the combination  gave us the best results. Only 45 percent of mice fed both foods developed the disease compared to 61 percent in the tomato group, and 66 percent in the soy group. ”  The researchers said “The results of the mouse study suggest that three to four servings of tomato products per week and one to two servings of soy foods daily could protect against prostate cancer.” “It is better to eat a whole tomato than take a lycopene supplement. It is better to drink soy milk than to take soy flavones. When you eat whole food, you expose yourself to the entire array of cancer-fighting, bio active components in most foods.”

Can Fish Oil Boost the Immune System?

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013



Many of us know the value of the immune system in disease prevention and cure but can fish oil boost the immune system?  Research published in as recent issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology concluded that “Fish oil may have immune enhancing properties that could benefit immunocompromised individuals.”  Fish oils rich in DHA and EPA have been thought to help prevent disease by reducing the inflammation, but until now scientists were not sure of its immune enhancing effects. This study helped to clarify this by showing that DHA-rich fish oil enhances B cell activity. a white cell, challenging the notion that fish oil is only immunosuppressive.

In the study there were two groups of mice. One group were fed a control diet and the other was fed a diet supplemented  with DHA-rich fish oil for five weeks. B cells were harvested from several tissues and then stimulated in cultures. Researchers then looked for B cell activation on the cell surface, B cell membrane changes, and B cell cytokine  Findings showed that DHA enriched fish oil enhanced B cell activation and select antibody production that may aid immune responses associated with pathogen clearance, while possibly dampening the totality of the inflammatory response., Researchers concluded “This work confirms similar findings on fish oil and the B cell from our lab, and moves us one step closer to understanding the immune enhancing properties of EPA and DHA.”

A Breast Cancer Risk Factor May be a Diet High in Fat and Cholesterol.

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011


In a recent study publishes in the American Journal of Pathology researchers concluded that high levels of fat and cholesterol in the typical American diet is a risk factor in the growth and development of breast cancer. Using a mouse model with subjects and a controls predisposed to develop mammary tumors those fed a Western diet high in fat developed larger tumors that were faster growing and metastasized more easily than the mice eating a control diet. Although dietary fat and cholesterol have been shown to be a risk factor in tumor development and progression the results of diet-based studies in humans have been contradictory. Consequently; the researchers used animal models of human cancer to evaluate a link between cholesterol, diet and cancer.

All mice predisposed to breast tumors were placed on a diet containing 21.2 percent fat and 0.2 percent cholesterol that is reflective of a typical Western diet (subjects) or a diet of 4.5 percent fat and minimal cholesterol (control group). Tumors began to grow quickly in the research subjects and were double in number and 50 percent larger than those in the control group. There was also a trend toward an increased number of lung metastasis in the subjects. Biomarkers of tumor progression also confirmed more advanced cancer stage in the subjects compared to the controls.

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