Journal Article

The influence of flaxseed and lignans on colon carcinogenesis and β-glucuronidase activity

Mazda Jenab and Lilian U. Thompson

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 17, issue 6, pages 1343-1348
Published in print June 1996 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online June 1996 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/17.6.1343
The influence of flaxseed and lignans on colon carcinogenesis and
                    β-glucuronidase activity

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Flaxseed, the richest source of mammalian lignan precursors, such as secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SD), has been shown over the short term to decrease some early markers of colon cancer risk. This study determined whether over the long term flaxseed still experts a colon cancer protective effect, whether its effect may, in part, be due to its high content of SD and whether any change in β-glucuronidase activity plays a role in the protective effect. Six groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed for 100 days either a basal high fat (20%) diet (BD), BD supplemented with 2.5 or 5% flaxseed or 2.5 or 5% defatted faxseed (equivalent to the respective flaxseed diets) or BD with a daily gavageof 1.5 mg SD. All rats were injected with a single dose of azoxymethane (15 mg/kg body wt) 1 week prior to commencing the dietary treatments. Urinary lignan excretion, which is an indicator of mammalian lignan production, was significantly increased in the flaxseed and defatted flaxseed groups. The total activity of cecal β-glucuronidase was significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner by the flaxseed and defatted flaxseed diet groups. Compared with the control the number of aberrant crypts per focus was significantly reduced in the distal colon of the treated rats. Four microadenomas and two polyps were observed in the control group, but not in the treated groups. The total activity of β-glucuronidase was positively correlated with total urinary lignan excretion and negatively with the total number of aberrant crypts and the total number of aberrant crypt foci in the distal colon. There were no significant differences between the flaxseed and the corresponding defatted flaxseed groups. It is concluded that flaxseed has a colon cancer protective effect, that it is due, in part, to SD and that the protective effect of flaxseed is associated with increased β-glucuronidase activity.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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