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Clin Nutr. 2010 Oct;29(5):663-73. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Extra-virgin olive oil-enriched diet modulates DSS-colitis-associated colon carcinogenesis in mice.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Seville, Profesor García González Street, 2. 41012-Seville, Spain.



Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at increased risk for developing ulcerative colitis (UC)-associated colorectal cancer (CRC). Several studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) might possess anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative and antiapoptotic effects. We have evaluated EVOO diet effects on the severity of repeated colitis-associated CRC.


Six-week-old C57BL/6 mice were randomized into two dietary groups: sunflower oil (SFO) and EVOO diets, both at 10%. Mice were exposed to 15 cycles of 0.7% dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) for 1 week followed by distilled water for 10 days. After, the rats were sacrificed and colonic damage was both histologically and biochemically assessed.


Disease activity index (DAI) was significantly higher on SFO vs. EVOO diet at the end of the experimental period. EVOO-fed mice showed less incidence and multiplicity of tumors than in those SFO-fed mice. β-catenin immunostaining was limited to cell membranes in control groups, whereas translocation from the cell membrane to the cytoplasm and/or nucleus was showed in DSS-treated groups and its expression was higher in SFO-fed animals. Cytokine production was significantly enhanced in SFO-fed mice, while this increase was not significant in EVOO-fed mice. Conversely, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxidase synthase (iNOS) expression were significantly lower in the animal group fed with EVOO than in the SFO group.


These results confirm that EVOO diet has protective/preventive effect in the UC-associated CRC. This beneficial effect was correlated with a better DAI, a minor number of dysplastic lesions, a lower β-catenin immunoreactivity, a proinflammatory cytokine levels reduction, a non modification of p53 expression and, COX-2 and iNOS reduction in the colonic tissue.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.

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