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Yielding Better Results

Thursday, Apr. 25, 2013

USU College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences researcher Korry Hintze

Korry Hintze (seen here) and his colleagues Robert Ward and Abby Benninghoff, faculty members in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, conduct laboratory studies involving mice and controlled diets.

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences faculty members have begun to rethink long-standing methods of laboratory mice experiments and have discovered new correlations between the typical American diet and colon cancer.

Korry Hintze, Robert Ward and Abby Benninghoff, faculty members in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, conduct laboratory studies on a regular basis involving mice and controlled diets. 

By collaborating, they realized the control diets usually administered to mice were providing biased results. 

“Base diets that everyone uses are optimized for nutrition,” said Hintze. “I’ve always thought it’s not realistic… [to test] on a diet that’s already perfect.” 

The researchers designed a diet that took the core components of American diets as recorded by national registries and applied them to mouse diets.

“We basically made a mouse diet that models what Americans eat…we call it the ‘Total Western Diet,’” Hintze said.

This diet, through their studies, was shown to produce more accurate results of what the average American experiences when changing diets. Hintze in particular proved and disproved some myths around diet change such as adding broccoli or green tea.  

Hintze also used the Total Western Diet to discover correlations to colon cancer.  He found that “the average American diet is horrible in terms of colon cancer.” In fact, Hintze said that mice on the Total Western Diet generated three times as much cancer as the base diet.

“You can just see the results, [the colon is] just filled with tumors,” Hintze said.

Hintze, Ward and Benninghoff will publish their research findings sometime in spring 2013. 

According to Hintze, if their paper is accepted it would change the standard testing methods for all laboratory tests conducted in the United States and help scientists better identify and treat diseases related to the American diet. 

Related links:

USU Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences Department

USU College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Contact: Korry Hintze, (435) 797-2124,

Writer: Tiffany Adams, (435) 797-7406,

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