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Br J Nutr. 2013 Jul 28;110(2):206-15. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512004862. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Cocoa polyphenols prevent inflammation in the colon of azoxymethane-treated rats and in TNF-α-stimulated Caco-2 cells.

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  • 1Departamento de Metabolismo y Nutrición, Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos y Nutrición (ICTAN-CSIC), José Antonio Novais 10, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

Numerous lines of evidence support a relationship between intestinal inflammation and cancer. Therefore, much attention has recently been focused on the identification of natural compounds with anti-inflammatory activities as a strategy to suppress the early stages of colorectal cancer. Because cocoa is a rich source of bioactive compounds, the present study investigated its anti-inflammatory properties in a rat model of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis and in TNF-α-stimulated Caco-2 cells. A total of forty male rats were fed with control or cocoa-enriched diets (12 %) during 8 weeks and injected with saline or AOM (20 mg/kg body weight) during the third and fourth week (n 10 rats/group). At the end of the experiment, colon samples were evaluated for markers of inflammation. The anti-inflammatory activity of a cocoa polyphenolic extract (10 μg/ml) was examined in TNF-α-stimulated Caco-2 cells, an in vitro model of experimentally induced intestinal inflammation. The signalling pathways involved, including NF-κB and the mitogen-activated protein kinase family such as c-Jun NH₂-terminal kinases (JNK), extracellular signal-regulated kinases and p38, were also evaluated. The results show that the cocoa-rich diet decreases the nuclear levels of NF-κB and the expression of pro-inflammatory enzymes such as cyclo-oxygenase-2 and inducible NO synthase induced by AOM in the colon. Additionally, the experiments in Caco-2 cells confirm that cocoa polyphenols effectively down-regulate the levels of inflammatory markers induced by TNF-α by inhibiting NF-κB translocation and JNK phosphorylation. We conclude that cocoa polyphenols suppress inflammation-related colon carcinogenesis and could be promising in the dietary prevention of intestinal inflammation and related cancer development.

PMID:
23186731
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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