Dose-dependent effect of oregano (Origanum vulgareL.) on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status in 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced rat colon carcinogenesis

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Colon cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developed and developing countries. Diet and dietary constituents play a major role in the aetiology of colon cancer. We have investigated the effect of an aqueous extract of oregano (Origanum vulgare. L.) on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status in 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH)-induced rat colon carcinogenesis. We aimed to identify the important antioxidants present in Indian oregano using RP-HPLC. DMH (20 mgkg-1) was administered subcutaneously once a week for the first four weeks and then discontinued. Oregano was supplemented every day orally at a dose of 20, 40 or 60 mgkg-1 to different groups of rats for 15 weeks. After this time the rats were killed and the colons were examined visually and evaluated biochemically. The levels of lipid peroxidation products, such as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and conjugated dienes were significantly higher in the liver whereas in caecum and colon the levels were lower in DMH-treated animals as compared with control rats. The levels of the antioxidants superoxide dismutase, catalase, reduced glutathione, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase were decreased in DMH-treated rats, but were significantly reversed on oregano supplementation. Oregano supplementation (40 mgkg-1) had a modulatory role on tissue lipid peroxidation and antioxidant profile in colon cancer-bearing rats, which suggested a possible anti-cancer property of oregano.

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