The chemopreventive effects of curcumin and green tea catechins individually and in combination on 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH)-induced colon carcinogenesis were studied in male Wister rats following 32 weeks of dietary treatment. The incidence, number and size of colorectal cancer were measured. Colorectal aberrant crypt foci (ACF) were analyzed by methylene blue staining. Proliferation indices and apoptotic indices were determined by PCNAimmunostaining and TUNEL assay, respectively. The results showed that dietary curcumin, catechins and combination administration significantly inhibited the total number of ACF per rat. The combination treatment displayed the most potent inhibitory effect, while there was no difference of inhibition between curcumin and catechins-treated groups. The incidence of colorectal cancer in the treated groups was significantly lower than that of positive control group. Compared with the positive control group, the proliferation index was significantly decreased and the apoptotic index was significantly increased in all treatment groups, while the effect of the combination was the greatest among the treated groups. Our findings suggest that the combination of curcumin and catechins may produce a synergistic colon cancer-preventative effect that would be more potent than each of the compounds alone.
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