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Open AccessArticle

Functional Anthocyanin-Rich Sausages Diminish Colorectal Cancer in an Animal Model and Reduce Pro-Inflammatory Bacteria in the Intestinal Microbiota

Research Unit “Biotechnology in Nutraceuticals and Bioactive Compounds-BIONUC”, Departamento de Biología Funcional, Área de Microbiología, Universidad de Oviedo. C/Julián Clavería, 7, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
IUOPA (Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias), C/Fernando Bongera, Edificio Santiago Gascón, 1, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
ISPA (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Principado de Asturias), C/Aldea Cerdeño, 33011 Oviedo, Spain
El Hórreo Healthy Foods SL, Polígono de Granda 17, 33199 Siero, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2018, 9(3), 133;
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intestinal Microbes and Cancer)
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common neoplasia in Europe, where it accounts for 28.2 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In an effort to decrease the incidence of this disease, various prevention measures are being studied, one of which are anthocyanin-rich foods. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidant flavonoids mainly found in flowers and colorful fruits and vegetables. These nutraceuticals have diverse biological functions once ingested, including immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antitumor functions. In order to test the preventive effect of these flavonoids against colorectal cancer, an animal model (Rattus norvegicus F344) was developed. In this model two doses of azoxymethane (10 mg/kg) and two treatments with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) were administered to the animals. For 20 weeks they were fed either control rat feed, control sausages, or functional sausages containing 0.1% (w/w) of anthocyanins from a mixture of dehydrated blackberries and strawberries. At the end of that period, the animals were sacrificed and their antioxidant plasma levels and digestive tract tissues were analyzed. The results revealed a statistically significant reduction in the number of colon tumors in the functional sausages cohort with respect to the control animals and an increase in the FRAP (ferric reducing ability of plasma) total antioxidant activity in that same cohort. Colon microbiota differences were also examined via metagenomics 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing, revealing a significant reduction in populations of the pro-inflammatory Bilophila wadsworthia. Therefore, the design of functional processed meat products, such as ones enriched with anthocyanins, may be an effective strategy for preventing inflammatory digestive diseases and colorectal cancer in human populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: flavonoid; anthocyanins; colorectal cancer prevention; Bilophila wadsworthia flavonoid; anthocyanins; colorectal cancer prevention; Bilophila wadsworthia
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Fernández, J.; García, L.; Monte, J.; Villar, C.J.; Lombó, F. Functional Anthocyanin-Rich Sausages Diminish Colorectal Cancer in an Animal Model and Reduce Pro-Inflammatory Bacteria in the Intestinal Microbiota. Genes 2018, 9, 133.

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