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Journal of Cancer Prevention

Original Article

J Cancer Prev 2020; 25(4): 223-233

Published online December 30, 2020

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Colon Cancer Risk of a Westernized Diet Is Reduced in Mice by Feeding Cruciferous or Apiaceous Vegetables at a Lower Dose of Carcinogen but Not a Higher Dose

Sangyub Kim1,2 , Breann E. Abernathy1 , Sabrina P. Trudo1,3 , Daniel D. Gallaher1

1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, 2Department of Pharmacology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, 3School of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA

Correspondence to :
Daniel D. Gallaher, E-mail:,

Received: November 9, 2020; Revised: December 16, 2020; Accepted: December 18, 2020


Western-style diets (WD) are associated with greater risk of colon cancer. Exposure to 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo(4,5-b)pyridine (PhIP), a food-borne carcinogen, is linked to increased colon cancer risk. In contrast, intake of apiaceous and cruciferous vegetables (APIs and CRUs) is associated with reduced risk. Here we evaluated effects of a WD alone or a WD containing API or CRU, relative to a purified diet (basal), on colon cancer risk in mice. All diets were fed at one of two concentrations of PhIP (100 or 400 ppm). The activity of the hepatic PhIP-activating enzyme, cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A2, was examined at week 4 and colonic precancerous lesions (aberrant crypt foci, ACF) were enumerated at week 12. In low PhIP-fed groups, CYP1A2 activity was greater for CRU than all other groups, which did not differ from one another. WD had a significantly greater effect on the formation of ACF than the basal diet. In groups fed API or CRU, the ACF number was reduced to the level observed in the basal diet-fed group. In high PhIP-fed groups, all WD-based diets had greater CYP1A2 activity than the basal diet-fed group. Surprisingly, the basal diet group had more ACF than the WD group, and API and CRU groups did not differ from the WD alone group. Thus, at the lower dose of PhIP, the WD increased colon cancer risk in mice, compared to a purified diet, and APIs and CRUs reduced the risk of the WD. However, at the higher dose of PhIP, the enhancement of colon cancer risk by the WD was not evident, nor was the chemopreventive effect of these vegetables.

Keywords: Colonic neoplasms, Western diet, Heterocyclic aromatic amines, Vegetables, Mice


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