Potential synergism between wheat bran and psyllium: enhanced inhibition of colon cancer

Cancer Lett. 1993 Nov 30;75(1):53-8. doi: 10.1016/0304-3835(93)90207-p.


In this study we compared the influence of high fat (20% w/w) diets that combine low levels of calcium (0.18% w/w) and low (1% w/w), medium (4% w/w) and high (8% w/w) levels of dietary fiber from wheat bran (WB), with high (8% w/w) levels of dietary fiber from psyllium (PS) alone or in various combinations with WB, on the induction of colon tumors in Fischer-344 rats following exposure to azoxymethane (AOM). The rats were fed the experimental diets for 2 weeks, and then were given two s.c. injections of AOM (15 mg/kg body wt./week). Twenty-three weeks following the first injection of AOM, the incidence of colon tumors in the different dietary groups (12 rats/group) was compared. The results clearly showed that by increasing the dietary fiber concentration of WB from 1 to 8% significantly reduced the number of colon tumors/group. When the influence of 8% dietary fiber from WB on the development of colon tumors was compared with that of PS (WB:PS = 0:100), no significant difference was observed. However, combinations of WB and PS showed a greater protective effect than either WB or PS alone, at comparable levels of dietary fiber. The 50:50 combination of WB and PS showed maximum protection, while 25:75 and 75:25 combinations both produced intermediate effects. None of the diets showed any significant effect on the normal growth of rats. The results indicate that WB and PS fiber alone, and to a greater degree in combination, can offer protection against colon cancer promoted by high fat, low calcium diets. Diets that include wheat bran in combination with psyllium could be an effective means of reducing colon cancer risk in human populations addicted to high risk western diets.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azo Compounds
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Carcinogens
  • Colonic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber*
  • Male
  • Psyllium / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344


  • Azo Compounds
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Carcinogens
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • azomethane
  • Psyllium