Ohio State scientists bake heart healthy soy bread

s Vodovotz.

That everyone includes Dr. Steven Schwartz, a member of Cancer Prevention and Control Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC), who was recently awarded a $1.27 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to design foods that contain both soy and tomatoes. He will be joined in the effort by Vodovotz, Dr. Josh Bomser, assistant professor of food science and technology, Dr. Steven Clinton in the OSUCCC, Dr. Mark Failla, professor of human nutrition, and others from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Soy is a potential cancer fighter because it contains certain ingredients called isoflavones and a variety of other phytochemicals. Isoflavones are a class of plant-based chemicals that are used by the plant as hormones to ward off pests such as insects. There is some evidence that isoflavones may mimic human estrogen. Tomatoes, on the other hand, contain substantial amounts of lycopene, which has been shown to help prevent prostate cancer. The question is, does combining them make sense?

"People haven't really looked at combinations of functional foods," says Bomser. "We know that the Asian diet is full of soy, but it really hasn't caught on here. We're interested in putting soy in tomato sauce or combining them in other soups, juices, or sauces that are already part of the Western diet," he adds. So how about a tomato-soy bread? Maybe, says Schwartz.

His colleagues in the OSUCCC are already experimenting with a diet rich in soy and tomatoes as a possible way to slow the growth of existing prostate cancers.

It's multidisciplinary magic. And there is sure to be more to come. The research team has such varied and rich experience, there's no telling to what they'll cook up next.

Vodovotz, for example, was lured to Ohio State from the NASA Johnson Space Center, where she worked on creating foods for astronauts. With a background like that, shelf life

Contact: Michelle Gailiun
Ohio State University Medical Center

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