Quantitative review of studies of dietary fat and rat colon carcinoma

L. P. Zhao, L. H. Kushi, R. D. Klein, R. L. Prentice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


A quantitative overview of 14 studies of rat colon carcinogenesis was undertaken to examine the relationship between fat intake, and fat intake by degree of saturation, on the incidence of colon carcinoma while controlling for calorie consumption. Calorie consumption was not recorded in 11 of the 14 studies. Hence, two types of analyses were conducted. The first examines carcinoma incidence as a function of percent fat (by weight), with calories controlled for by including weight gain per week in the analysis. The second estimates calories per day, for studies not providing such information, using weight gain per week and age at death, followed by a joint analysis of estimated fat calories and estimated total calories. With either approach, a rather strong positive relationship between colon carcinoma incidence and fat intake is indicated for Fischer 344 rats, but no association is apparent for Sprague-Dawley rats. This situation is somewhat clarified when the degree of saturation is taken into account: both strains gave results that suggest a negative relationship between colon cancer incidence and omega-3 fatty acids intake and a positive relationship with non-omega-3 polyunsaturated fat intake among Fischer 344 rats. These analyses suggest an important and specific role for dietary fat in the promotion of rat colon carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Food Science


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