Effects of Watermelon Powder and l-arginine Supplementation on Azoxymethane-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis in Rats

Keith Glenn, Dawn Kylee S. Klarich, Milica Kalaba, Arturo Figueroa, Shirin Hooshmand, Mark Kern, Mee Young Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Diets high in fruits and vegetables may help prevent colorectal cancer (CRC). Watermelon consumption may reduce CRC risk due to its concentration of l-citrulline and its role in endothelial nitric oxide (NO) production. Research suggests that increased NO levels have tumoricidal effects. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of watermelon powder supplementation on aberrant crypt foci (ACF) formation, precancerous lesions, and expression of genes associated with colon carcinogenesis. Thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned into three groups: control, 0.36% l-arginine, or 0.5% watermelon powder and injected with azoxymethane (15 mg/kg body weight). Both l-arginine and watermelon powder groups exhibited lower total numbers of ACF and high multiplicity ACF (P < 0.01). The watermelon powder group exhibited higher NO levels and lower 8-hydroxyguanosine DNA damage (P < 0.05). Watermelon powder and l-arginine downregulated 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase gene expression and upregulated O 6 -methylguanine DNA methyltransferase gene expression (P < 0.05). Cyclooxgenase-2 gene expression was lower for rats fed with watermelon powder (P < 0.05). These results suggest that watermelon powder or l-arginine supplementation may reduce the risk of colon cancer by suppressing ACF formation through lowering oxidative DNA damage and inflammation, modulating DNA repair enzyme expression, and/or enhancing NO production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-945
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Volume70
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 18 2018

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