Comparison between the effects of dietary fat level and of calorie intake on methylnitrosourea-induced mammary carcinogenesis in female SD rats

Int J Cancer. 1987 Jun 15;39(6):737-44. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910390614.


The aim of this study was to separate the effects of calorie intake on tumorigenesis from those of fat content and fat composition in an animal model. Our principal observations were the following. Decreasing the calorie level by 30% significantly inhibited tumor development in any observed parameter of tumorigenesis, independently of the level of fat. The fat content of semi-synthetic diets, although varying by 44.4%, did not significantly influence mammary tumorigenesis; in fact, carcinogenic expression was discontinuously related to the fat level. A plateau of tumor incidence was observed at the level of 35 energy percentage of fat. Fat composition did not influence tumorigenesis or body weight gain. The role of caloric restriction is thus stressed in relation to possible dietary prevention of cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / etiology*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control
  • Methylnitrosourea
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Dietary Fats
  • Methylnitrosourea