Inhibitory effects of freeze-dried milk fermented by selected Lactobacillus bulgaricus strains on carcinogenesis induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine in rats and by diethylnitrosamine in hamsters

Cancer Lett. 1999 Dec 1;147(1-2):125-37. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(99)00287-6.


Fermented milk products might be used for cancer chemoprevention due to their putative anticarcinogenic and antitumor activities. The diet was supplemented with freeze-dried milk fermented by Lactobacillus bulgaricus strain LBB.B 144 (product FFM.B 144) added throughout the experiment at doses of 1.3 g and 2.5 g per rat, 5 times a week starting 3 weeks before the first carcinogen injection. This treatment significantly inhibited, by 26.2-28.6% and by 34.2%, the total intestinal carcinogenesis induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH, 21 mg/kg, s.c., once per week for 20 weeks) in male and female BD6 rats, respectively. FFM.B144 decreased the tumor incidence and multiplicity in large bowel, caecum, and duodenum. Protective effects were better expressed in female animals, with exception of that observed in duodenum. Supplementation of diet with freeze-dried milk fermented by Lactobacillus bulgaricus strain LBB.B5 (product FFM.B5) inhibited DMH-induced carcinogenesis only in the large bowel, but had no significant protective effect when all intestinal tumors were taken into account. However, both freeze-dried products favorably shifted the differentiation of large bowel tumors by increasing the proportion of benign and highly differentiated malignant tumors and decreasing in parallel the number of poorly differentiated carcinomas without influencing the tumor size. A lower number of cases with visible mesenterial metastasis was also observed in FFM-treated rats. In addition, both FFM.B 144 and FFM.B5 significantly inhibited, by 26-33%, the induction in the same rats of ear-duct tumors. FFM.B144 but not FFM.B5 was also effective in inhibiting the tracheal carcinogenesis induced in Syrian golden hamsters by diethylnitrosamine (DEN, 100 mg/kg, two s.c. injections), the protective effect being better expressed in female animals. The anticarcinogenic potential of some fermented milk products might be exploited in chemoprevention of cancer in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biological Therapy
  • Body Weight
  • Carcinogenicity Tests
  • Chemoprevention
  • Cricetinae
  • Diet Therapy
  • Diethylnitrosamine
  • Ear Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Ear Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Freeze Drying
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Lactobacillus*
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Milk / microbiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Rate


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Diethylnitrosamine
  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine