Chemopreventive effect of turmeric against stomach and skin tumors induced by chemical carcinogens in Swiss mice

Nutr Cancer. 1992;17(1):77-83. doi: 10.1080/01635589209514174.


The anticarcinogenic effect of dietary turmeric on benzo[a]pyrene-(BP) induced forestomach neoplasia and 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced skin tumorigenesis in female Swiss mice was evaluated. To further elucidate the mechanism of antineoplastic action of turmeric, its effect on the hepatic cytochrome b5, cytochrome P-450, glutathione, and glutathione S-transferase activities was studied in female Swiss mice. Turmeric (2% or 5%) in the diet significantly inhibited the BP-induced forestomach tumors, and this response was dose and time dependent. The 2% turmeric diet significantly suppressed DMBA-induced skin tumors in mice. The 5% turmeric diet for seven consecutive days resulted in a 38% decrease in the hepatic cytochrome b5 and cytochrome P-450 levels. Glutathione content was increased by 12%, and the glutathione S-transferase activity was enhanced by 32% in the liver. Our results document a protective effect of turmeric on BP-induced forestomach and DMBA-induced skin tumors in mice.

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Animals
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Glutathione Transferase / analysis
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control*


  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Curcumin