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Arch Surg. 1986 Dec;121(12):1421-4.

Chemoprevention of colorectal neoplasms. Ascorbic acid and beta-carotene.


The organospecific, 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced rat tumor model was used to test tumor formation in groups of animals receiving regular chow, powdered chow with 7%/wt ascorbic acid supplement, pelleted chow with 1%/wt beta-carotene supplement, and pelleted chow with placebo beadlets. Following a 16-week induction period, animals were killed and tumor formation was recorded. Tumor formation in the ascorbic acid supplement group was found to be significantly less than the control group. The beta-carotene group showed no difference in tumor formation compared with the placebo-beadlet control group. Tumor incidence was generally the same between the two control groups, and the ascorbic acid group had significantly fewer tumors than the beta-carotene group. In sum, ascorbic acid supplements in high doses significantly decreased tumor formation, whereas beta-carotene supplements in moderately high doses had no effect on tumor formation in this model.

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