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Carcinogenesis. 1993 Apr;14(4):777-9.

Sucrose enhancement of the early steps of colon carcinogenesis in mice.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The association of refined sugars and colorectal cancers and polyps in three recent case-control studies led us to investigate the effects of sucrose, fructose and glucose on colonic epithelial proliferation and sensitivity to carcinogenesis. CF1 and C57BL/6J mice were used; proliferation was assessed as vincristine-accumulated mitotic figures per crypt section; sensitivity to carcinogenesis was assessed as the number of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) per colon observed following the colon carcinogen, azoxymethane (AOM, 3 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg). Oral gavages of sucrose and fructose in CF1 mice (10 g/kg) increased colonic proliferation 16 h later (2.8 +/- 0.6 and 4.1 +/- 0.7 (mean +/- SEM) accumulated mitotic figures/crypt section), compared with glucose and water (1.0 +/- 0.2 and 0.4 +/- 0.1). Sucrose and fructose given 14 h prior to the AOM (5 mg/kg) increased the sensitivity of the colon to carcinogenesis (18.4 +/- 1.5 and 13.1 +/- 1.8 ACF/colon), compared with glucose and water (11.4 +/- 2.0 and 8.6 +/- 1.1). Similar results were observed with C57BL/6J mice. We conclude that dietary sucrose and fructose may represent risk factors for colorectal cancer through a direct effect of the sugars on colonic epithelial proliferation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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