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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Dr. John Mata collaborates on innovative “Phase 0” study to assess health benefits of plant constituents

January 12th, 2010

leafA group of scientists under the direction of Professor Emeritus George Bailey recently published a first-of-its-kind “Phase 0” toxicokinetic study in human volunteers. Drs. Carole Jubert and John Mata are first and second authors of the paper. The study found that chlorophyll and its derivative chlorophyllin are effective in limiting the absorption of aflatoxin in humans. Aflatoxin is produced by a fungus that is a contaminant of grains including corn, peanuts and soybeans; it is known to cause liver cancer.

This study involved an innovative approach that safely tests low levels of carcinogens in human volunteers to measure the total aflatoxin exposure and to determine the effect of dietary chlorophylls on reducing this exposure. Using ultrasensitive technology to measure levels of carcinogens in the blood and very small doses of those carcinogens, these preliminary Phase 0 studies can be employed to assess the potential for preventive agents, such as chlorophyl and chlorophyllin, to protect people against exposure to aflatoxin and other carcinogens.  Results of the study were published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research (Abstract). Journal editors wrote a separate Perspectives article to highlight the innovation involved in using a Phase 0 study for carcinogen toxicokinetics (Abstract).

Link to full press release article.

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