Gut Liver.  2017 Mar;11(2):243-252. 10.5009/gnl16068.

Açaí Berries Inhibit Colon Tumorigenesis in Azoxymethane/Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Treated Mice

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pathology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 4Tumor Microenvironment Global Core Research Center, Seoul National University College of Pharmacy, Seoul, Korea.


The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effect of açaí against azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colorectal cancer development.
The effect of açaí on tumorigenesis was assessed by evaluating tumor incidence, multiplicity and invasiveness in the mouse colon. The levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α [TNF-α], interleukin [IL]-1β, and IL-6) were measured via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Protein levels of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2-associated death promoter (Bad) and cleaved-caspase-3 were assessed by immunoblotting.
Administration of pellets containing 5% açaí powder reduced the incidences of both colonic adenoma and cancer (adenoma, 23.1% vs 76.9%, respectively, p=0.006; cancer, 15.4% vs 76.9%, respectively, p=0.002). In the açaí-treated mice, the MPO, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 levels in the colon were significantly down-regulated. Açaí inhibited PCNA and Bcl-2 expression and increased Bad and cleaved-caspase-3 expression. In vitro studies demonstrated that açaí treatment reduced lipopolysaccharide-induced expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and COX-2 in murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells.
Açaí demonstrated protective effects against AOM/DSS-induced colon carcinogenesis, which suggests that the intake of açaí may be beneficial for the prevention of human colon cancer.


Açaí berry; Colorectal neoplasms; Anti-inflammatory; Proapoptotic
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