Effects of dietary saturated and unsaturated fatty acids on fecal bile acids and colon carcinogenesis induced by azoxymethane in rats

Cancer Res. 1986 Jan;46(1):61-5.


To determine whether the kind of dietary fat affects colon carcinogenesis, male Donryu rats were fed a 5% fat diet containing linoleate, an unsaturated fat, or stearate, a saturated fat, in semipurified fat-free chow. The rats were given azoxymethane (7.4 mg/kg body weight) s.c. once a week for 11 weeks and killed 15 weeks after the last injection of the carcinogen. The rats on the unsaturated fat diet had a significantly higher incidence of colon tumors. Fatty acid analysis of cholesterol esters in the liver and examination of the amount of fecal bile acids showed that the unsaturated fat diet increased the level of cholesterol linoleate and arachidonate in the liver and also increased the fecal excretion of bile acids, especially that of lithocholic acid. The colon tumors in rats on the unsaturated fat diet, compared with those in rats on the saturated fat diet, contained a higher level of lysophosphatidylcholine. These results suggest that increased fecal excretion of bile acids due to increased polyunsaturated cholesterol esters in the liver stimulates phospholipase A2 activity of colon initiated cells and enhances colon carcinogenesis in rats on the unsaturated fat diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azo Compounds*
  • Azoxymethane*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Cholesterol Esters / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism*
  • Feces / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines / metabolism
  • Male
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Rats


  • Azo Compounds
  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Cholesterol Esters
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines
  • Phospholipids
  • Cholesterol
  • Azoxymethane