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Community Nutrition

Graduate Thesis Abstracts

Menus Designed to Reduce the Risk of Breast and Prostate Cancer in African Americans

By Leslie Monique Clark, 2003, Major Professor: R Pace
Breast and prostate cancers are second to lung cancer as a killer of African American females and males, respectively. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancer. The Traditional African American (TAA) menus were Southern foods high in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol and low in fruits and vegetables. They were modified to increase the fruit and vegetable content to five (5) or more servings, with a subsequent increase in the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), to form the Traditionally Modified African American (TMAA) menus for reducing cancer risk. The ORAC procedure provides a measure of ‘total antioxidant capacity’ and measures the common nutrient antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E. and β-carotene, plus a number of other naturally occurring phytochemicals, such as the flavonoids and phenolic acid (both in associations with vitamin C). Increasing the antioxidant, vitamin, and phytochemical content of the Traditional African American menus produced the Traditionally Modified African American menus. Results and evaluation of the ORAC, nutrient, quantitative, and qualitative analysis validated that the TMAA menus had the best nutrient and phytochemical content necessary to prevent disease. Women and men will have to understand how to make dietary changes and sustain them over time to maintain a low-fat intake that will translate into reduced risk of cancer.

Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, 204 Campbell Hall, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088 
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