This study indicated that there was no significant difference in the incidence of intestinal tumors between germ-free and conventional rats fed a diet containing bracken, suggesting that gut microflora did not play a definite role in bracken tumorigenesis. However, bracken induced exclusively sarcoma but no adenocarcinoma in germ-free rats, whereas it induced predominantly adenocarcinoma in conventional rats.

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This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Cancer Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture of Japan.

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