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Cancer Res. 1989 May 15;49(10):2689-92.

Inhibition of N-nitrosodiethylamine carcinogenesis in mice by naturally occurring organosulfur compounds and monoterpenes.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.


Naturally occurring compounds belonging to two chemical groups were studied for their capacities to inhibit N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA)-induced carcinogenesis in female A/J mice. One group consists of organosulfur compounds found in Allium species, including garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots, and the other, two monoterpenes, i.e., D-limonene and D-carvone. In an initial experiment, in which organosulfur compounds were investigated, diallyl disulfide, allyl mercaptan, and allyl methyl disulfide were found to produce a marked inhibition of NDEA-induced neoplasia of the forestomach when the test compounds were administered p.o. 96 and 48 h prior to NDEA. The most potent was diallyl disulfide which reduced forestomach tumor formation by more than 90%. Pulmonary adenoma formation also was inhibited but to a considerably lesser extent, i.e., about 30%. In three additional experiments, test compounds were given p.o. either 15 min or 1 h prior to NDEA. Under these conditions diallyl disulfide and allyl mercaptan again inhibited forestomach tumor formation substantially, i.e., greater than 75%, and pulmonary adenoma formation marginally, i.e., less than 20%. In these experiments D-limonene and D-carvone were tested and reduced forestomach tumor formation by slightly over 60% and pulmonary adenoma formation by about 35%. The results of these studies provide evidence of an increasing diversity of naturally occurring compounds having the capacity to inhibit nitrosamine carcinogenesis.

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