Wheat Bran's Possible Role in Fighting Colon
August 12, 1997
Medical researchers already know raw wheat bran helps laboratory animals
battle colon cancer. Could processed wheat bran--the kind humans eat--have the
same helpful effect?
Agricultural Research Service
scientists in Albany, Calif., and colleagues from
Kellogg Co., Battle
Creek, Mich., have teamed up to find out.
Bran is the thin outer layer of the wheat kernel. Processed bran is used in
breakfast cereals, whole-wheat breads and other products.
Kellogg Co., the world's largest maker of breakfast cereals and other
grain-based convenience foods, has a cooperative research and development
agreement, or CRADA, with ARS for the investigation. The study is underway at
ARS Western Regional Research
Center in Albany. ARS chemist Wallace H. Yokoyama, with the center's
Utilization Research Unit, leads the experiment.
Scientists have known for more than a decade that laboratory animals fed raw
wheat bran have fewer cells known as aberrant colonic crypt cells. Aberrant
colonic crypt cells are thought to be precancerous. No one knows exactly how
the raw bran reduces formation of these cells.
ARS investigators are experimenting with samples of bran processed at their
laboratory and at Kellogg Co. They will determine whether lab animals fed the
processed wheat bran in place of raw bran have a significantly lower number of
aberrant colonic crypt cells. They will also find out if differences in the way
wheat bran is processed affect cell turnover--the rate at which the body
replaces old colon cells with new. The findings may help them uncover new clues
about how wheat bran reduces formation of the aberrant colonic crypt cells.
Scientific contact: Wallace H. Yokoyama, ARS Western Regional
Research Center, 800 Buchanan St., Albany, CA 94710, phone (510) 559-5695, fax
(510) 559-5777, firstname.lastname@example.org