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A Natural and BioActive Compound Protects The Colonic Crypt Cells Against Colon Cancer

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By Kyle J. Norton

The bioactive compound Sinigrin may be used for the prevention and treatment of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in the lining of the colon and rectum, the early sign of colon cancer, according to studies.

Aberrant crypt foci is a condition of clusters of abnormal tube-like glands in the lining of the colon and rectum. The condition can be subclassified into dysplastic, nondysplastic or mixed type.


Crypt cells of the colon renew the lining of the intestine and produce mucus. 


Epidemiological studies suggested that aberrant crypt foci have been found to form before colorectal polyps, the main cause of colon cancer.


According to the high magnification chromoendoscopy, aberrant cryptic foci are stained darker than normal crypts. 


And, dysplastic ACF is found in 25- 30% of all patients with colon cancer due to genetic preposition of mutation of KRAS.

Where KRAS protein is associated with the regulation of cell proliferation under normal condition.


Dr. Takayama T and colleagues in the investigation of aberrant crypt foci in gene abnormalities and risk of colon cancer, wrote, “ACF, particularly dysplastic ACF, are precursor lesions of the adenoma-carcinoma sequence in humans. In most sporadic ACF, K-ras mutations were positive, but APC mutations were negative irrespective of nondysplastic or dysplastic features”.


And, “In most sporadic ACF, K-ras mutations were positive, but APC mutations were negative irrespective of nondysplastic or dysplastic features. Conversely, in most ACF from familial adenomatous polyposis patients, APC mutations were positive but K-ras mutations were negative”.


The results strongly support the genetic mutation of gene KRAS involved in the initiation of dysplastic crypt foci.


Sinigrin is a phytochemical glucosinolate, belongs to the family of glucosides found abundantly in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, the seeds of black mustard, etc.

Scientists on finding a bioactive compound for the protection of colonic mucosal crypts against the aberrant crypt foci investigated the effect of oral administration of the isolated glucosinolate sinigrin in the suppression of aberrant crypt foci in the colonic mucosa of rats treated with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH).


During the experiment, glucosinolate sinigrin found in Brussels sprout modulated crypt cell apoptosis and mitosis, and the frequency of aberrant crypt foci in the colon.


Oral administration of uncooked Brussels sprouts, whether as a juice or as a freeze-dried powder, was associated with significantly enhanced levels of apoptosis and reduced mitosis in the colonic crypts.


The findings strongly suggested that the inhibition of colonic mucosal crypts was attributed to other chemical compounds found in freeze-dried raw, microwave-cooked Brussels sprouts and sprout juice.


In-depth analysis of the activity, researchers found that the efficacy was attributed to the glucosinolate breakdown products derived from Brassica vegetables on the balance of colorectal cell proliferation and death in an animal model of precancerous colon polyp.


Additionally, in order to reveal more information about the sinigrin effects on the colonic mucosal crypts, researchers examined the sinigrin on the intestinal mucosa of rats treated with dimethylhydrazine (DMH).


Sinigrin showed to inhibit the aberrant crypt foci at 18, 24, 38, 48 and 72 h after injection, compared to control groups were given DMH only, or a sham injection.


Before injection of sinigrin, tested rats showed higher numbers of aberrant crypt foci in colonic tissue from both groups of DMH-treated rats and the controls.


Moreover, the experiment of rats given sinigrin (400 microg/g diet) 22 h after the second of two injections of DMH,  showed that sinigrin reduced numbers of ACF by increasing the levels of apoptosis compared to those of higher in DMH-and controls.


The findings clearly support the use of sinigrin for the protection of colonic mucosal crypts.



Taken altogether, sinigrin in forms of glucosinolates, the sulfur compounds may be considered a supplement for the prevention and treatment of aberrant crypt foci, pending to the confirmation of larger sample size and multicenter human study.



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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Effects of Brassica vegetable juice on the induction of apoptosis and aberrant crypt foci in rat colonic mucosal crypts in vivo by Smith TK1, Mithen R, Johnson IT. (PubMed)
(2) Inhibition of dimethylhydrazine-induced aberrant crypt foci and induction of apoptosis in rat colon following oral administration of the glucosinolate sinigrin by Smith TK1, Lund EK, Johnson IT. (PubMed)
(3) Aberrant crypt foci: detection, gene abnormalities, and clinical usefulness by Takayama T1, Miyanishi K, Hayashi T, Kukitsu T, Takanashi K, Ishiwatari H, Kogawa T, Abe T, Niitsu Y. (PubMed)

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