Dietary polyacetylenes, falcarinol and falcarindiol, isolated from carrots prevents the formation of neoplastic lesions in the colon of azoxymethane-induced rats

Food Funct. 2017 Mar 22;8(3):964-974. doi: 10.1039/c7fo00110j.


Falcarinol (FaOH) and falcarindiol (FaDOH) are found in many food plants of the Apiaceae family. Carrots are a major dietary source of these polyacetylenes. Feeding azoxymethane (AOM)-induced rats with carrots and purified FaOH have previously been shown to inhibit neoplastic transformations in the colon. FaOH and FaDOH have also shown to have a synergistic effect in vitro, resulting in a significant increased cytotoxic activity. Based on these findings the antineoplastic effect of FaOH and FaDOH (purity > 99%) was investigated in the AOM-induced rat model. Twenty rats received rat diet containing 7 μg FaOH per g feed and 7 μg FaDOH per g feed and 20 rats were controls receiving only rat diet. Then carcinogenesis was induced in all 40 rats with the carcinogen AOM. All animals received the designated diet for 2 weeks before AOM induction and continued on the designated diet throughout the experiment. Rats were euthanized 18 weeks after the first AOM injection and macroscopic polyp/cancers were measured, harvested and stained for histology. The difference in sizes of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) were analysed in a Wilcoxon rank sum test, in which the median number of small ACF was 218 in controls and 145 in polyacetylene treated rats (P < 0.001). Fifteen control rats and 8 treated rats had macroscopic tumors (P = 0.027). The number of tumors larger than 3 mm were 6 and 1 in control and treated rats, respectively (P = 0.032). In conclusion dietary supplements with FaOH and FaDOH reduced the number of neoplastic lesions as well as the growth rate of the polyps suggesting a preventive effect of FaOH and FaDOH on the development of colorectal cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / metabolism
  • Azoxymethane / toxicity*
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Daucus carota / chemistry*
  • Daucus carota / metabolism
  • Diynes / administration & dosage*
  • Diynes / metabolism
  • Fatty Alcohols / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Alcohols / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Polyynes / administration & dosage*
  • Polyynes / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Diynes
  • Fatty Alcohols
  • Plant Extracts
  • falcarinol
  • Polyynes
  • falcarindiol
  • Azoxymethane