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Cancer Lett. 1992 Jun 15;64(2):117-21.

Effect of dietary curcumin and ascorbyl palmitate on azoxymethanol-induced colonic epithelial cell proliferation and focal areas of dysplasia.

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Department of Chemical Biology and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08855-0789.


Curcumin, a major yellow pigment of turmeric obtained from powdered rhizomes of the plant Curcuma longa Linn., is commonly used as a coloring agent in foods, drugs and cosmetics. Ascorbyl palmitate is a lipid soluble derivative of ascorbic acid. Both curcumin and ascorbyl palmitate have antioxidant activity and are potent inhibitors of 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate-induced tumor promotion in mouse skin. The effects of dietary curcumin and ascorbyl palmitate on azoxymethanol (AOM)-induced hyperproliferation of colonic epithelial cells and the incidence of focal areas of dysplasia (FADs) were evaluated in female CF-1 mice fed an AIN 76A diet. Subcutaneous injections of AOM (10 mg/kg body wt. once weekly for 6 weeks) caused hyperplasia and the formation of FADs in the colon. Administration of 2% curcumin in the diet inhibited AOM-induced formation of FADs while administration of 2% ascorbyl palmitate in the diet did not demonstrate inhibition. This result suggests that dietary curcumin may inhibit AOM-induced colonic neoplasia in mice.

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