May 8, 2006
Resveratrol reduces colon tumor formation in animal model
The May 5, 2006 issue of the journal Carcinogenesis published the findings of researchers at Annamalai University in India that rats fed trans-resveratrol experienced reduced colon tumor formation in response to the carcinogen 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) compared to rats who did not receive the protective compound.
Namasivayam Nalini and colleagues divided 96 rats into six groups, four of which received weekly injections of DMH for fifteen weeks. Three groups of rats who received the carcinogen and one of the control groups were administered 8 milligrams per kilogram body weight oral resveratrol daily at various stages throughout the thirty week study.
At the end of the study, animals who received resveratrol and DMH were better able to maintain their growth rate and weight than the group that received the carcinogen without resveratrol. When the animals' colons were examined, tumors among rats who received resveratrol were fewer and smaller, with a lower histological degree and depth of involvement. Large intestinal adenocarcinomas, which made up 63 percent of the tumors in rats who received DMH alone, were reduced to zero in the group of rats who received resveratrol throughout the entire study period. Aberrant crypt foci, which are precancerous lesions that have been found in humans with a high risk of developing colon cancer, were also significantly lower among rats who received resveratrol.
The protective effect of resveratrol on the development of colon cancer may be due its antioxidant activity. Resveratrol was associated with greater superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase activity in the liver and colon of DMH-treated rats compared to levels measured in rats who did not receive resveratrol. The authors conclude that resveratrol "might have practical applications as a chemopreventive agent, providing a scientific basis against human colon carcinogenesis."