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Cancer prevention by food components


A recent publication from the World Cancer Research Fund shows that food consumption is related to cancer risk (1). The cellular mechanisms of how food components can reduce cancer risk are not known. In the present project we investigate the effects of bioactive milk peptides and cereal hyroxycinnamic acids on proliferation of cells grown in culture.

Experimental system

Cultures of CaCo-2 human colon cancer cells are used and also a number of breast-derived cell lines both normal and cancerous. The cells are treated with physiological doses of selected milk- and cereal-derived components. With physiological doses we mean doses that can be achieved by relevant food consumption.

Effect of food components on various aspects of cell proliferation

We have found that food components reduce the rate of cell proliferation and that the S phase of the cell cycle appears to be specifically affected by many food components. The food components cause a slight prolongation of the S phase. We are now investigating molecular mechanisms that can explain the S phase effects of food components and also the biological implications for the cell. Among other things, we have found that food components can reduce UV-induced DNA damage presumably by increasing DNA repair.

Page Manager:


  • Professor Marie Paulsson (Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Lund University, Lund, Sweden Marie [dot] Paulsson [at] food [dot] lth [dot] se)
  • Dr. Helena Lindmark Månsson (Swedish Dairy Association, Ideon Science Park, Lund Sweden, Helena [dot] Lindmark-Mansson [at] svenskmjolk [dot] se)


World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2007) Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective (retrieved 31 January 2011).