Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a cancer associated with chronic inflammation. Whole grains and probiotics play a protective role against CRC. Fermented grains are receiving increased attention due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. Our previous study found that a combination of germinated brown rice (GBR) with probiotics suppressed colorectal carcinogenesis in rats. However, the cancer-preventive effect of probiotic-fermented GBR has not been reported. This study investigated the preventive effect and possible mechanism of GBR fermented by Lactobacillus acidophilus (FGBR) on colorectal carcinogenesis in rats induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). DMH/DSS treatment induced preneoplastic aberrant crypt foci (ACF), elevated serum levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β, as well as decreased pro-apoptotic Bax expression. GBR and FGBR reduced the primary ACF number and decreased TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β levels. GBR and FGBR at the 2.5% level increased pro-apoptotic cleaved caspase-3 and decreased anti-apoptotic B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) expressions. FGBR at the 2.5% level further reduced the number of sialomucin-producing ACF (SIM-ACF) and increased Bax expression. These results suggest that FGBR may inhibit preneoplastic lesions of the colon via activating the apoptotic pathway. This fermented rice product may have the potential to be developed as a novel dietary supplement for CRC chemoprevention.
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