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Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Jan;45(1):153-9. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Flax seed oil and flax seed meal reduce the formation of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in azoxymethane-induced colon cancer in Fisher 344 male rats.

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Nutrition and Carcinogenesis Laboratory, Department of Food and Animal Sciences, Alabama A&M University, P.O. Box 1628, Normal, AL 35762, USA.


Flax seed oil and flax seed meal are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The objective of this study was to explicate the effects of feeding flax seed oil and flax seed meal on AOM-induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in Fisher 344 male rats. Following an acclimatization period, rats were divided into six groups and fed AIN 93G diet Control (C), C+7 and 14% soybean oil (SBO), C+7 and 14% flax seed oil (FSO) and C+10 and 20% flax seed meal (FSM). All rats received 16 mg/kg body weight of AOM at 7 and 8 weeks of age. The rats were euthanized with CO2 at 17 weeks of age. FSM and FSO reduced the incidence of ACF which are putative precursor lesions in the development of colon cancer in the distal colon by 88% and 77%, in the proximal colon by 86% and 87% with a total reduction of 87.5% and 84%, respectively. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activities were significantly (P<0.05) higher in rats fed C+7 and 14% FSO and C+10 and 20% FSM, as compared to rats fed C+SBO diets. Results of this study showed that FSO and FSM reduced the incidence of AOM-induced ACF formation and may therefore be effective chemopreventive agents.

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