WASHINGTONRats with chemically induced colon cancer that were fed orange juice for 4 weeks had a significantly lower incidence of colon cancer tumors than those receiving water, in a study at Michigan State University, East Lansing. Maurice R. Bennink, PhD, professor of food science and human nutrition, presented the results at the American Institute for Cancer Research 9th Annual Research Conference.
Previous studies have shown that certain flavanones, limonoids, and cumarins present in citrus fruits can inhibit chemically induced cancer in animals. But, Dr. Bennink said, it would be inappropriate to extrapolate from these results with purified citrus phytochemicals that consuming a citrus product such as orange juice will inhibit cancer. The current study was designed to determine if single-strength, pasteurized orange juice would inhibit azoxymethane-induced colon cancer in male Fisher 344 rats.
The researchers replaced drinking water with orange juice in the diets of the experimental group of 30 rats for 28 weeks. Growth and weight gain were similar in both groups during the study, but feeding orange juice to the rats reduced tumor incidence by 22%.
Tropicana Products, Inc. provided Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice and financial support for the study.