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Anticancer Res. 1999 Sep-Oct;19(5A):3671-4.

Mammary tumor inhibition by IP6: a review.

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Department of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.


While most studies of diet and breast cancer are focused on the role of fat, very few have addressed the effect of fiber. Emerging epidemiological data, and careful review of previous studies point to a negative correlation of breast cancer with high fiber cereal diets. Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) is abundant in cereals and legumes, particularly in the bran part of mature seeds. Experimental studies using 7,12-dimethylbenz [alpha]anthracene (DMBA) and N-methylnitrosourea (NMU) in rats and mice in vivo, as well as human cell lines in vitro demonstrate a reproducible and striking anti-cancer action of IP6. It therefore appears that IP6 is one of the components, if not the most active ingredient, of high fiber cereal diet responsible for cancer inhibition. Could eating high fiber diet afford the same protection as IP6? Thus, we investigated whether dietary fiber containing high IP6 shows a dose-response inhibition of DMBA-induced rat mammary carcinogenesis, and if pure IP6 is more active as a cancer preventive agent, compared to that in diet. Our data show that supplemental dietary fiber in the form of bran exhibited a modest, statistically nonsignificant inhibitory effect. In contrast, animals given IP6 in drink showed significant reduction in tumor number, incidence and multiplicity. Therefore, pure IP6 is definitively more effective than a high fiber diet in preventing experimental mammary tumors. Thus, for cancer prevention, prophylactic intake of IP6 may be not only more effective, but also more practical than gorging on large quantities of fiber.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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