It Takes Two to a Healthy Colon

  • Author: Melania Tesio
  • Published: 13 October 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research/Wiley-VCH
thumbnail image: It Takes Two to a Healthy Colon

Lycopene and fish oil are two substances known for their beneficial properties. The first one, a carotene contained in red fruits such as tomatoes, has been shown to lower the risk of developing digestive track cancers. The second one possesses anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its high content in polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicopentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids.

Feng-Yao Tang, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, and colleagues demonstrated that lycopene and fish oil synergize to prevent the growth of colon tumors when concomitantly consumed.

The researchers showed that mice injected with human colon cancer cells and fed with a diet containing both lycopene and fish oil developed significantly smaller tumors when compared with animals receiving a standard diet or only one of the two supplements. The reduction in tumor growth was due to the inhibition of cell proliferation and inflammation, two crucial events promoting colon cancer progression.

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