More on plant sterol and stanol enriched functional foods.

The rate of APC mutations in the intestine increases in middle-age. At the same period of life, plant sterol and stanol enriched functional foods are introduced to diet to lower blood cholesterol. This study examined the effect of plant stanol enriched diet on intestinal adenoma formation in the Apc(Min) mouse. Apc(Min) mice were fed 0.8% plant stanol diet or control diet for nine weeks. Cholesterol, plant sterols and plant stanols were analyzed from the caecum content and the intestinal mucosa. Levels of β-catenin, cyclin D1, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) were measured from the intestinal mucosa by Western blotting. Gene expression was determined from the intestinal mucosa using Affymetrix and the data were analyzed for enriched categories and pathways. Plant stanols induced adenoma formation in the small intestine, however, the adenoma size was not affected. We saw increased levels of nuclear β-catenin, phosphorylated β-catenin (Ser675 and Ser552), nuclear cyclin D1, total and phosphorylated EGFR and phosphorylated ERK1/2 in the intestinal mucosa after plant stanol feeding. The Affymetrix data demonstrate that several enzymes of cholesterol synthesis pathway were up-regulated, although the cholesterol level in the intestinal mucosa was not altered. We show that plant stanols induce adenoma formation by activating Wnt and EGFR signaling. EGFR signaling seems to have promoted β-catenin phosphorylation and its translocation into the nucleus, where the expression of cyclin D1 was increased. Up-regulated cholesterol synthesis may partly explain the increased EGFR signaling in the plant stanol-fed mice.

Link to the above article here.

An adenoma is a benign tumor (-oma) of glandular origin. Adenomas can grow from many organs including the colon, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, thyroid, prostate, etc. Although these growths are benign, over time they may progress to become malignant, at which point they are called adenocarcinomas. Even while benign, they have the potential to cause serious health complications by compressing other structures (mass effect) and by producing large amounts of hormones in an unregulated, non-feedback-dependent manner (paraneoplastic syndrome).

Wiki link here.

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