Djulis is a functional grain containing prebiotic dietary fiber, which has an anti-cancer potential. This study examined the preventive effect of djulis alone or in combination with Lactobacillus acidophilus on colon carcinogenesis induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). Rats were divided into five groups and fed B (AIN-93G, blank), C (AIN-93G, control), D (10% djulis), DLA (10% djulis plus 5 × 106 cfu L. acidophilus/g), and DHA (10% djulis plus 5 × 107 cfu L. acidophilus/g) diets, respectively. All rats except for those in group B received three doses of DMH (40 mg/kg) by intraperitoneal injection and 3% DSS in drinking water. After 10 weeks of feeding, the colon was analyzed for precancerous lesions and biomarkers. DMH and DSS treatment induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF), especially in the distal colon. D, DLA, and DHA significantly reduced the numbers of total ACF, sialomucin-producing ACF (SIM-ACF), and mucin-depleted foci (MDF) in the distal colon compared to C. Additionally, DLA and DHA further downregulated the expressions of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and regulated apoptosis-related proteins. These results suggest that synbiotic combination of djulis and L. acidophilus shows the best inhibitory effect on colon carcinogenesis via regulation of proliferative, inflammatory, and apoptotic pathways.
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