CeBiTec Distinguished Lecture
Monday, February 3rd 2014, 17 c.t.
Plenary Hall, ZiF building
Prof. Dr. Cathie R. Martin
John Innes Centre, Department of Metabolic Biology, Norwich (United Kingdom)
How can plant scientists contribute to human health?
Understanding the complex relationship between diet and health has become key to developing preventive strategies to reduce the rising incidence of chronic disease. As an example of how this new experimental field can work I will describe our work on enrichment of tomatoes with different polyphenolic bioactives, for comparative nutritional studies. We have produced tomatoes enriched in anthocyanins, flavonols, resveratrol and isoflavones. Experiments using animal disease models have shown the anthocyanin-enriched tomatoes to have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Cell-based assays have provided insight into the mechanisms of action of anthocyanin bioactives. Ongoing studies address how well other polyphenols compare to anthocyanins in supressing cancer cell viability, and how they can enhance the effects of traditional chemotherapeutic agents. Human intervention studies are also about to begin. We are developing an anthocyanin-rich, purple tomato juice to give consumers access to a new product that we hope will contribute to preventing or ameliorating chronic diseases.
Host: Prof. Dr. Bernd Weisshaar