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Antitumour activity of yogurt: study of possible immune mechanisms

  • GABRIELA PERDIGÓN (a1) (a2), JUAN CARLOS VALDEZ (a1) and MIRTA RACHID (a1)

Abstract

The effect of yogurt on the inhibition of colon tumours induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine in BALB/c mice has been studied, and the hypothesis examined that yogurt induces a great reduction in the inflammatory immune response and inhibits tumour growth. Mice were assigned to five experimental groups: a control group fed with a conventional balanced diet, and four other test groups that received yogurt supplements for 2, 5, 7 or 10 consecutive days. At the end of each feeding period, mice were given subcutaneous injections of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (20 mg/kg) once a week for 8 weeks. After tumour induction, yogurt was given again for 2, 5, 7 or 10 consecutive days each 10 d for 20 weeks. By week 20, 70% of the animals in the control group had developed colorectal tumours. From week 8, there was a considerable infiltration of mononuclear cells into the lamina propria of the large intestine. There was an increase in the number of IgG-producing cells and a slight increase in the IgA-secreting cells, and of CD8+ but not CD4+ T lymphocytes, a high level of β-glucuronidase activity in the intestinal fluid and leucocytosis with neutrophilia in the blood. However, in the test groups given yogurt tumour growth was inhibited, the effect being more evident with 7 or 10 d treatment. The inflammatory immune response as measured by the characteristics we assessed was also reduced, with an increase in the IgA-secreting cells and in CD4+ T lymphocytes. The blood count was similar to that of normal animals and no colorectal tumours were observed in week 20. We suggest that one of the mechanisms by which yogurt exerts antitumour activity is through its immunomodulator activity, by reducing the inflammatory immune response, which was markedly increased when the carcinogen was administered.

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Antitumour activity of yogurt: study of possible immune mechanisms

  • GABRIELA PERDIGÓN (a1) (a2), JUAN CARLOS VALDEZ (a1) and MIRTA RACHID (a1)

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