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Rice Bran and Beans – they’re what’s for dinner

It’s a running joke in the laboratory of CSU researcher Elizabeth Ryan: After every presentation, at least one audience member will proclaim plans to eat beans for dinner.

That’s because the Ryan Lab in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences studies the potential power of navy beans and rice bran to promote digestive health and to prevent metabolic alterations in obesity, heart disease and certain cancers. In collaboration with the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Ryan’s latest clinical trials confirm that people can eat enough bean- and rice bran-enhanced foods to promote gut health at levels shown to prevent colorectal cancer in animals.
Ryan and her long-time collaborator, Dr. Regina Brown, an oncologist with UCHealth, will present their latest findings on the nutritional and cancer-fighting benefits of rice bran and navy beans at the annual American Association of Cancer Research meeting in Washington, D.C., this week.
Guidelines from the American Institute for Cancer Research recommend reducing the risk of cancer by eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, such as beans. Ryan has established from these studies that eating a half-cup of beans and 30 grams of rice bran per day is enough to see changes in small molecules that can confer protection against colorectal cancer – now it’s just a matter of getting people to eat them.