The Western diet (WD) is associated with a higher incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) than the Mediterranean diet. Polyphenols extracted from Annurca apple showed chemopreventive properties in CRC cells. A multifactorial, four-arm study by using wild-type (wt) and ApcMin/+ mice was carried out to evaluate the effect on polyp number and growth of APE treatment (60 mmol/L) ad libitum in drinking water combined with a WD or a balanced diet (BD) for 12 weeks. Compared with APE treatment, we found a significant drop in body weight (P < 0.0001), severe rectal bleeding (P = 0.0076), presence of extraintestinal tumors, and poorer activity status (P = 0.0034) in water-drinking ApcMin/+ mice, more remarkably in the WD arm. In the BD and WD groups, APE reduced polyp number (35% and 42%, respectively, P < 0.001) and growth (60% and 52%, respectively, P < 0.0001) in both colon and small intestine. Increased antioxidant activity was found in wt animals fed both diets and in ApcMin/+ mice fed WD and drinking APE. Reduced lipid peroxidation was found in ApcMin/+ mice drinking APE fed both diets and in wt mice fed WD. In normal mucosa, mice drinking water had lower global levels of DNA methylation than mice drinking APE. APE treatment is highly effective in reducing polyps in ApcMin/+ mice and supports the concept that a mixture of phytochemicals, as they are naturally present in foods, represent a plausible chemopreventive agent for CRC, particularly in populations at high risk for colorectal neoplasia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research