Dietary Cardamom Inhibits the Formation of Azoxymethaneinduced Aberrant Crypt Foci in Mice and Reduces COX-2 and iNOS Expression in the Colon


Recently, considerable attention has been focused on identifying naturally occurring chemopreventive compounds ‍capable of inhibiting, retarding, or reversing the multi-step carcinogenesis. The primary aim of the present study ‍was to identify the effects of a commonly consumed spice, viz., cardamom against azoxymethane (AOM) induced ‍colonic aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in Swiss Albino mice. The secondary aim, was to explore the ability of cardamom ‍to modulate the status of proliferation and apoptosis, and to understand its role in altering cyclooxygenase-2 (COX- ‍2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. Male Swiss albino mice were injected with AOM (dose: ‍5mg/Kg body weight) or saline (Group 1) weekly once for two weeks. The AOM-injected mice were randomly assigned ‍to two groups (Groups 2 and 3). While all the groups were on standard lab chow, Group 3 received oral doses of ‍0.5% cardamom, in aqueous suspension, daily for 8 weeks. Following treatment, significant reduction in the incidences ‍of aberrant crypt foci (p<0.05) was observed. This reduction in ACF was accompanied by suppression of cell ‍proliferation (mean Brdu LI in carcinogen control=13.91+3.31, and 0.5%cardamom=2.723+0.830) and induction of ‍apoptosis (mean AI in carcinogen control=1.547+0.42 and 0.5% cardamom= 6.61+0.55). Moreover, reduction of ‍both COX-2 and iNOS expression was also observed. These results suggest that aqueous suspensions of cardamom ‍have protective effects on experimentally induced colon carcinogenesis. Cardamom as a whole and its active ‍components require further attention if the use of this spice is to be recommended for cancer prevention.