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Carcinogenesis. 1984 Mar;5(3):309-13.

Caffeic and ferulic acid as blockers of nitrosamine formation.


Caffeic acid and ferulic acid, which are naturally occurring phenols present in a wide variety of plants, were examined for their ability to react with nitrite in vitro and to inhibit nitrosamine formation in vivo. Their activities were compared with other phenols (butylated hydroxyanisole and Trolox) and with a non-phenolic polyhydroxylated compound, glycerol guaiacolate. In simulated gastric fluid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid reacted rapidly and completely with an equimolar quantity of sodium nitrite. In rats receiving aminopyrine and nitrite, caffeic acid and ferulic acid blocked the elevation of serum N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) levels and the serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase levels associated with hepatotoxicity. Neither phenol had any effect on serum levels of NDMA in rats treated with NDMA. In both the in vitro (reaction with nitrite) and in vivo (inhibition of hepatotoxicity) systems, caffeic acid was more effective than ferulic acid. Butylated hydroxyanisole and Trolox were partially effective, and glycerol guaiacolate was inactive. The results of this study suggest that dietary caffeic acid and ferulic acid may play a role in the body's defense against carcinogenesis by inhibiting the formation of N-nitroso compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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