Indian food ingredients and cancer prevention - an experimental evaluation of anticarcinogenic effects of garlic in rat colon

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. Apr-Jun 2004;5(2):126-32.


The major food items of Indian cuisine include rice, wheat, diary products, and abundant fruits and vegetables. Beside these, there are several kinds of herbs and spices as important ingredients, containing many phytochemicals with medicinal properties, adding taste to Indian cuisine. An impressive body of data exists in support of the concept that Indian food ingredients can be used in preventive strategies aimed at reducing the incidence and mortality of different types of cancers because of their antioxidative, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties. Vital ingredients used in Indian cooking include turmeric, cloves, ginger, aniseed, mustard, saffron, cardamom and garlic Garlic is an indispensable ingredient of Indian food and this report concerns the chemopreventive efficacy of garlic in an azoxymethane induced rodent colon carcinogenesis model. The effect of garlic was evaluated in terms of aberrant crypt foci, putative preneoplastic lesions in the colon. In addition, cell proliferation and levels of apoptosis were determined and the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 protein was analyzed. Following treatment, significant inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis, as well as suppression of cyclooxygenase-2 activity were observed, associated with significant reduction in the incidence of aberrant crypt foci. The study points to combined protective effects of garlic components on colon carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Colonic Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Culture Techniques
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Diet*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Garlic*
  • India
  • Isoenzymes / analysis
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / analysis
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antioxidants
  • Isoenzymes
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases