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Health News Archive 61 - Colon Cancer
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Quercetin & Modified Citrus Pectin Reduce Colon Tumor Size

Effects of daily oral administration of quercetin chalcone and modified citrus pectin.

Authors: Hayashi A; Gillen AC; Lott JR

Source: Altern Med Rev 2000 Dec;5(6):546-52.

Abstract: The health benefits of fruits and vegetables have been the subject of numerous investigations over many years. Two natural substances, quercetin (a flavonoid) and citrus pectin (a polysaccharide found in the cell wall of plants) are of particular interest to cancer researchers. Two modified versions of these substances - quercetin chalcone (QC) and a pH-modified citrus pectin (MCP) - are the focus of this study.

Previous research has confirmed that quercetin exhibits antitumor properties, likely due to immune stimulation, free radical scavenging, alteration of the mitotic cycle in tumor cells, gene expression modification, anti-angiogenesis activity, or apoptosis induction, or a combination of these effects. Modified Citrus Pectin has inhibited metastases in animal studies of prostate cancer and melanoma. To date, no study has demonstrated a reduction in solid tumor growth with MCP, and there is no research into the antitumor effect of QC.

This study examines the effects of Modified Citrus Pectin and Quercetin on the size and weight of colon-25 tumors implanted in balb-c mice. Fifty mice were orally administered either 1 ml distilled water (controls), low-dose QC (0.8 mg/ml), high-dose QC (1.6 mg/ml), low-dose MCP (0. 8 mg/ml) or high-dose MCP (1.6 mg/ml) on a daily basis, beginning the first day of tumor palpation (usually eight days post-implantation).

A significant reduction in tumor size was noted at day 20 in all groups compared to controls. The groups given low-dose Quercetin and Modified Citrus Pectin had a 29-percent (NS) and 38-percent (p<0.02) decrease in size, respectively. The high-dose groups had an even more impressive reduction in size; 65 percent in the QC group and 70 percent in the mice given MCP (both p<0.001).

This is the first evidence that Modified Citrus Pectin can reduce the growth of solid primary tumors, and the first research showing Quercetin has antitumor activity. Additional research on these substances and their effect on human cancers is warranted.

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