Diet, individual responsiveness and cancer prevention

Michael J. Wargovich, Joan E. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Dietary recommendations for the prevention of cancer have been based predominantly on large epidemiological studies of diet and lifestyle, conducted 20, and in some cases, almost 30 years ago. Government programs have been successful in educating the public about the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, yet despite these efforts, Americans have become heavier, diabetes is more prevalent and general health indicators have not greatly improved. Individual response to dietary recommendations may be complicated by a variety of factors. Polymorphisms in genes related to drug activation and detoxification, folate metabolism, DNA repair, vitamin receptors and other cellular receptors could account for a lack of benefit at the level of the individual for consuming cancer preventive foods. Beyond consideration of genetic polymorphisms, the last half century has brought stark changes in lifestyle that depart from normal diurnal cycle and periodic fluctuations in food availability. Thus, modern times may be characterized as being constantly in a "feast" environment. The cellular consequences may be an increase in risk for several diseases including cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2400S-2403S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number7 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Diet
  • Feast and famine
  • Polymorphisms
  • Thrifty gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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