Lignan precursors from flaxseed or rye bran do not protect against the development of intestinal neoplasia in Apc(Min) mice

H.J. van Kranen, Alicja Mortensen, Ilona Kryspin Sørensen, J. van den Berg-Wijnands, R. Beems, T. Nurmi, H. Adlercreutz, C.F. van Kreijl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Phytoestrogens, like isoflavonoids and lignans, have been postulated as possible colorectal cancer protective constituents. To investigate this hypothesis, two high-fiber sources rich in lignan precursors, i.e., rye bran and flaxseed, were tested for their ability to modulate intestinal tumor development in Apc(Min) mice. Test diets consisted of a control diet (a Westem-style diet, adjusted for fiber and/or phytate content) supplemented with 5% flaxseed or 30% rye bran. Chemical analysis of diets and blood samples confirmed the enhanced systemic exposure of mice fed the test diets to the major lignan precursors, i.e., secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol. No statistically significant difference was observed in the incidence and multiplicity of small intestinal and colon tumors at terminal sacrifice between mice fed the control diet or the diet supplemented with 5% flaxseed. With the rye bran diet a statistically significant enhancement of the number of small intestinal tumors in female mice was observed. The number of colon tumors, however, was comparable between the control and rye bran-fed mice of either sex. Furthermore, no activating point mutations in the K-ras oncogene nor positive immunohistochemical staining for the p53 gene were observed in a set of 48 colon tumors. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that increased intake of lignan precursors from flaxseed or rye bran, administered in a Western-style diet, does not protect against intestinal tumor development in an appropriate animal model for intestinal neoplasia such as the Apc(Min) mice.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)203-210
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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