3.8
Impact Factor

Review ARTICLE

Front. Pharmacol., 03 March 2011 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2011.00004

Recent perspectives on the relations between fecal mutagenicity, genotoxicity, and diet

Silvia W. Gratz1*, R. John Wallace1 and Hani S. El-Nezami2,3
  • 1 Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
  • 2 Food and Health Research Centre, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
  • 3 School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

DNA damage is an essential component of the genesis of colonic cancer. Gut microbial products and food components are thought to be principally responsible for the damage that initiates disease progression. Modified Ames tests and Comet assays have been developed for measuring mutagenicity and genotoxicity. Their relevance to oncogenesis remains to be confirmed, as does the relative importance of different mutagenic and genotoxic compounds present in fecal water and the bacteria involved in their metabolism. Dietary intervention studies provide clues to the likely risks of oncogenesis. High-protein diets lead to increases in N-nitroso compounds in fecal water and greater DNA damage as measured by the Comet assay, for example. Other dietary interventions, such as non-digestible carbohydrates and probiotics, may lead to lower fecal genotoxicity. In order to make recommendations to the general public, we must develop a better understanding of how genotoxic compounds are formed in the colon, how accurate the Ames and Comet assays are, and how diet affects genotoxicity.

Keywords: Ames test, comet assay, DNA, feces, colon, diet, N-nitroso compounds, human

Citation: Gratz SW, Wallace RJ and El-Nezami HS (2011) Recent perspectives on the relations between fecal mutagenicity, genotoxicity, and diet. Front. Pharmacol. 2:4. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2011.00004

Received: 31 August 2010; Accepted: 31 January 2011;
Published online: 03 March 2011.

Edited by:

Erwin L. Roggen, Novozymes, Denmark

Reviewed by:

Erwin L. Roggen, Novozymes, Denmark
Claus Thagaard Christophersen, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia

Copyright: © 2011 Gratz, Wallace and El-Nezami. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Silvia W. Gratz, Microbial Biochemistry Group, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9SB, UK. e-mail: s.gratz@abdn.ac.uk