Lack of chemopreventive effects of ginger on colon carcinogenesis induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine in rats

Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Jun;44(6):877-84. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2005.11.015. Epub 2006 Jan 27.


Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) has been proposed as a promising candidate for cancer prevention. Its modifying potential on the process of colon carcinogenesis induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) was investigated in male Wistar rats using the aberrant crypt foci (ACF) assay. Five groups were studied: Groups 1-3 were given four s.c. injections of DMH (40 mg/kg b.w.) twice a week, during two weeks, whereas Groups 4 and 5 received similar injections of EDTA solution (DMH vehicle). After DMH-initiation, the animals were fed a ginger extract mixed in the basal diet at 0.5% (Group 2) and 1.0% (Groups 3 and 4) for 10 weeks. All rats were killed after 12 weeks and the colons were analyzed for ACF formation and crypt multiplicity. The rates of cell proliferation and apoptosis were also evaluated in epithelial colonic crypt cells. Dietary consumption of ginger at both dose levels did not induce any toxicity in the rats, but ginger meal at 1% decreased significantly serum cholesterol levels (p<0.038). Treatment with ginger did not suppress ACF formation or the number of crypts per ACF in the DMH-treated group. Dietary ginger did not significantly change the proliferative or apoptosis indexes of the colonic crypt cells induced by DMH. Thus, the present results did not confirm a chemopreventive activity of ginger on colon carcinogenesis as analyzed by the ACF bioassay and by the growth kinetics of the colonic mucosa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carcinogens
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Diet
  • Ginger / chemistry*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Carcinogens
  • Plant Extracts
  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine