Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Chandradhar Dwivedi


Fatty acid composition of dietary fat, primarily the levels of ω-3 and ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, has shown profound effect on colon tumor development in animal studies. Fats containing ω-6 fatty acids (e.g., corn oil) enhanced and ω-3 fatty acids (e.g., fish oil, mustard oil) reduced chemically-induced colon tumor in rats. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of dietary flaxseed oil (containing α-linolenic acid, an ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid) on azoxymethane-induced colon tumor in rats and to compare with corn oil treated group.

Male Fischer rats, two groups of 30 each were assigned to the AIN-03m diet supplemented with 15% corn oil and 15% flaxseed oil respectively. Carcinogenesis was initiated with subcutaneous injections of azoxymethane (15mg/kg) once a week for three consecutive weeks. At the end of 35 weeks after initiation, the rats were sacrificed under ether anesthesia. Blood was collected by cardiac puncture. The gastrointestinal tract was isolated and flushed with ice cold normal saline. The site, size and number of tumors were recorded. The incidence and multiplicity of the tumors in the colon were determined. The fatty acid composition in the serum, colon and tumors was estimated using Gas Chromatography-Flame ionization detector (GC/FID).

Colon tumor incidence was found to be 100% and 54%; multiplicity was found to be 3.1± 0.8 and 0.7± 0.7 tumors/rat in corn and flaxseed oil treated groups respectively. Colon and serum samples of the corn oil group showed an increase in the ω-6 fatty acid levels whereas the flaxseed oil group exhibited an increase in the ω-3 fatty acid levels. The results indicate that dietary flaxseed oil containing high levels of ω-3 fatty acids is effective in preventing colon tumor development when compared to dietary corn oil containing ω-6 fatty acids in rats.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Linseed oil.
Colon (Anatomy) -- Tumors -- Chemoprevention.
Colon (Anatomy) -- Tumors -- Animal models.
Fatty acids in human nutrition.


South Dakota State University



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