In Your Food

MicroRNAs from food may affect the organism eating it.

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The more that I think about

The more that I think about this report describing how a rice µRNA can affect mRNA levels for a LDL receptor adapter protein 1 (LDLRAP1), the more skeptical I am about the conclusions of the study. The use of even anti-sense RNA to control mRNA translation in human and animals has been challenging and only in recent years have successful early stage clinical trials been achieved (for example, for treatment of prostate cancer). The ability of an plant oligonucleotide to survive acids, bases and nucleases in the stomach and gut, be absorbed into the circulation, travel to the liver and penetrate into hepaocytes is remarkable alone. However, when one contemplates the likely species differences in the primary nucleotide sequences of the rice and human µRNA's that target the mRNA for the LDL receptor adapter protein, this is even more incredible. If in fact the data from this Chinese study is correct, it is likely to be a rather isolated case of accidental post-transcription regulation. Moreover, it would certainly not be anything like a vitamin or mineral, which is required from the environment to maintain the health of human cells.