The effect of 30% caloric restriction on azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis was investigated in male F344 rats. Starting at 5 weeks of age, groups of animals were fed ad libitum a high-fat (23.5%) semipurified diet. At 7 weeks of age, all animals except the vehicle-treated groups were s.c. injected with AOM (15 mg/kg body wt, once weekly for 2 weeks). Four days after the second AOM injection, groups of animals were continued on high-fat diet and fed ad libitum (ad libitum group) whereas other groups were restricted to 70% of total calories (calorie-restricted group) consumed by the ad libitum group, but received same amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Thirty-two weeks after AOM injections, all animals were necropsied. The animals in the calorie-restricted group developed significantly fewer colon tumors and had a lower colon tumor incidence than did the rats in the ad libitum group. The size of colon tumors was also reduced in the calorie-restricted group.

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This investigation was supported in part by USPHS Grants CA-17613 and CA-37663 from the National Cancer Institute. Animals were maintained under the guidelines set forth in the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animal Resources” by the National Research Council.

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