Lentils (Lens culinaris, L.) Attenuate Colonic Lesions and Neoplasms in Fischer 344 Rats

Maha S. Shomaf, Hamed R. Takruri, Mo’ez Al-Islam” E. Faris



Objective: Lentils (Lens culinaris, L.) contain several bioactive compounds that have been linked to the prevention of cancer. However, the in vivo chemopreventive ability of lentils against chemically-induced colonic lesions has not been previously examined. Our present study examined the hypothesis that lentils could suppress neoplasmic growth in vivo by virtue of their bioactive micro- and macro-constituents, and that culinary thermal treatment could affect the chemopreventive potential.

Methods: To accomplish this goal, raw whole lentils (RWL), raw split lentils (RSL), cooked whole lentils (CWL) and cooked split lentils (CSL) were used. Pluronic F-68 (PF68), which is a well-studied chemopreventive agent, was used also for the purpose of comparison. Sixty weanling Fisher 344 male rats, 4-5 weeks of age, were randomly assigned to six groups (10 rats/group): the control group (C) received AIN-93G diet; treatment lentil groups of RWL, CWL, RSL and CSL received the treatment diets containing AIN-93G+5% of lentils, while PF68 group received C+1% PF68 diet. After acclimatization for 1 week, all animals were put on the control and treatment diets separately for 5 weeks. At the end of the fifth week of feeding, all rats received two s.c. injections of azoxymethane (AOM) carcinogen at 15 mg/kg rat body weight/dose once a week for two consecutive weeks. After 17 weeks of the last AOM injection, all rats were euthanized.

Results: Total colonic lesions and neoplasms (mean ±SEM) ranged from 6 to 8 for lentil groups, with a reduction value of 43 to 57% from the control (C) group (14 lesions). Incidence of severe dysplasia was reduced significantly (P=0.0022) in the colons of rats fed on lentils (0%-10%), except RWL (20%) when compared with the control (40%) whilst incidence of adenocarcinomas was reduced significantly (P=0.0430) in lentil groups (0-10%), except RSL (20%), when compared with the control (40%).

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that the consumption of lentils may attenuate colon carcinogenesis in animal models, and that hydrothermal treatment resulted in an improvement in the chemopreventive potential.

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