The effect of a high fruit and vegetable, low fat dietary intervention on immune function, DNA adduct formation, and body composition among breast cancer survivors
KeywordsBiology, Animal Physiology.
Health Sciences, Nutrition.
Health Sciences, Immunology.
Health Sciences, Oncology.
AdvisorAlberts, David S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractEach year in the United States five percent of the over 2.5 million women living with breast cancer will have a recurrence. The possibility that dietary change may increase breast cancer-free survival is currently under investigation. Three mechanisms by which diet may have an effect include: (1) improved immunity, (2) reduced oxidative DNA damage and (3) reduced body weight and fat. The hypothesis of this dietary intervention study was that women previously treated for breast cancer who adhere to a diet high in fruit, vegetables and fiber and low in fat would demonstrate improved immune function, reduced oxidative DNA damage and reduced body weight and fat as compared to women assigned to the control diet. Seventy-seven women treated for Stage I, II or IIIA breast cancer were enrolled in this clinical trial. Sixty-six completed the six month intervention. The average participant was caucasian, educated, postmenopausal and 52 years of age. At the end of six months the intervention the diet group showed significantly higher natural killer cell (NKC) lysis at an effector to target cell (E:T) ratio of 100:1. Lytic units were not significantly different. Diet was not associated with immune function except for beta-carotene intake which was associated with greater changes in the percentage of NKCs in the intervention group. Oxidative DNA damage was significantly lower among participants in the intervention diet group at the end of the study. Oxidative DNA damage was inversely associated with intake of vegetables, fruit and micronutrients thereof and positively associated with dietary fat, saturated fat and meat intake. No significant differences in body weight or fat were identified; however, both groups showed a significant decrease in body fat of 1.0%. In conclusion, the dietary intervention was able to produce significant changes in nutrient intake, a significant increase in NKC activity at an E:T ratio of 100:1 but not other immune markers, and significant reductions in oxidative DNA damage among breast cancer survivors. The role of NKC immunity and reduced DNA damage in relationship to breast cancer recurrence remains to be determined. A longer term, larger study should provide the answer.
Degree ProgramGraduate College