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KNOXVILLE – Researchers and physicians are not saying eating broccoli can prevent or treat cancer, but they have found a link between bioactive nutrients from plants and advanced prostate cancer.

Jay Whelan, professor and head of the nutrition department, will speak as part of the University of Tennessee Science Forum on “Will Eating an Extra Serving of Broccoli Help Prostate Cancer?” at noon on Feb. 25 in Thompson-Boling Arena Dining Room C-D. The program is free and open to the public; attendees are welcome to bring their lunches or purchase lunch at the Café at the Arena.

Whelan will be discussing the effects of bioactive nutrients from plants and the extracts from common and uncommon herbs on a model of treating advanced prostate cancer. For example, broccoli contains sulforaphane, a reported anticancer compound.

“Broccoli and other plants contain phytochemicals that have been shown to have ‘anti-cancer properties’ in cultured cells, for example,” Whelan says. “It is not so simple to translate these experiments to humans and say eating more of them will treat or prevent the advancement of cancer, but that is what we tend to do.”

Whelan will elaborate on the complexities behind the link between bioactive nutrients from plants and advanced prostate cancer.

“We tend to over simplify biology; as a result, people get mixed messages,” Whelan says.

The UT Science Forum is a weekly event where academic, medical, and research professionals share their knowledge and unique insights in their fields. Different science topics will be discussed with a question-and-answer session at the end of each 40-minute presentation.

The UT Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research. Upcoming presentations include:

March 4: Kim DeLozier, supervisory wildlife biologist (retired) of the National Park Service, presents “Bears, Boars, and Bulls — 32 Years of Wildlife Management in the Smokies.”

March 25: Alan Heilman, professor emeritus of botany, presents “Looking and Seeing — 60 Years of Photographing Plants.”

April 1: Tami H. Wyatt, associate professor of nursing, presents “Enginurse: A New Breed of Nurse and Engineer Scholar.”

April 8: Gary Pulsinelli, associate professor of law, presents “Muggles vs. Goblins: Who Should Own Creative Property?”

April 15: Dr. Mitchell H. Goldman, assistant dean for research; professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery in the UT Graduate School of Medicine, presents “Research at UT’s Graduate School of Medicine.”

April 29: Kristina Gordon, associate professor of psychology, presents “Shattered Relationships: Understanding Betrayal and Forgiveness in Intimate Relationships.”

For questions about the UT Science Forum, contact Mark Littmann, or 974-8156, or Mike Clark, or 974-6006.

C O N T A C T:

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460,