Sodium butyrate inhibits carcinoma development in a 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced rat colon cancer

JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. Jan-Feb 1998;22(1):14-7. doi: 10.1177/014860719802200114.


Background: Butyric acid is one of the most important by-products of dietary fiber degradation. It is an important trophic agent for the intestinal mucosa under different experimental conditions. Data obtained from several in vitro studies strongly suggest that butyrate can be a potential therapeutic agent in controlling the growth of some cancer cells. However to date in vivo animal studies have failed to show conclusive results.

Methods: We evaluated the effects of intracecal administration of butyrate in an experimental model of colonic carcinogenesis induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH), administered at the site where it is naturally produced, the cecum. We studied the incidence of colon tumors and their main histologic features.

Results: Direct application of sodium butyrate significantly decreased the total number of tumors and the incidence of malignancies and carcinoma in the colon.

Conclusions: Butyrate may inhibit the growth of tumors induced by DMH.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine / toxicity
  • Adenoma / chemically induced
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Adenoma / prevention & control*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Butyrates / administration & dosage
  • Butyrates / therapeutic use*
  • Butyric Acid
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Carcinoma / chemically induced
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma / prevention & control*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colonic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Histamine Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Histamine Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Butyrates
  • Carcinogens
  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Butyric Acid
  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine