Inhibition of colonic aberrant crypt foci by curcumin in rats is affected by age

Youngjoo Kwon, Minnie Malik, Bernadene A. Magnuson

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31 Scopus citations


Curcumin has antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and chemopreventive activities. To determine whether aging affects the inhibition of colon carcinogenesis by curcumin, young (6 wk), mature (12 mo), and old (22 mo) F344 male rats were fed either AIN-93 containing 0.6% curcumin or AIN-93 control diet. Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) were induced with two weekly s.c. injections of azoxymethane. After an additional 3 mo on the diets, the number, multiplicity, and distribution of ACF were evaluated. Addition of curcumin to the diet reduced the number of ACF by 49% in young rats and by 55% in old rats (P < 0.05). However, interestingly, no reduction of ACF was found in mature rats fed curcumin. Inhibition of large ACF was also affected by age, with the greatest reduction of large ACF occurring in old rats. However, animal age did not significantly alter the effect of dietary curcumin on reduction of cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA expression in the liver or reduction of serum total cholesterol levels. These results indicate that age may play a significant role in the efficacy of chemoprevention of colon cancer by curcumin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the American Institute of Cancer Research. We also thank James Montgomery for his technical support. Address correspondence to B. A. Magnuson, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Rm 0112 Skinner Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. E-mail:


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