Assessment of the Chemopreventive Effect of Dietary Inclusion with Cucurbita Maxima Leaf on N-Methyl-N- Nitrosourea-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis in Wistar Rats

Filed in Articles by on July 30, 2022

Assessment of the Chemopreventive Effect of Dietary Inclusion with Cucurbita Maxima Leaf on N-Methyl-N- Nitrosourea-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis in Wistar Rats.


There is growing attention on medicinal plants use as food for cancer inhibiting potential, so that chemo preventive dietary inclusion can be identified for human use. One of such plant is Curcurbita maxima commonly known as Giant pumpkin.

The preventive effect of dietary inclusion at 2.5%, 5% and 10% with the leaf of Cucurbita maxima on colon carcinogenesis induced by N-methyl N- nitrosourea(MNU) for 12 weeks was assessed in male albino Wistar rats.

The colon and liver of rats administered the Cucurbita maxima leaf included diet, showed significant(P˂ 0.05) increase in the activity of the endogenous antioxidant enzymes (CAT and SOD) in the treated groups  when  compared with the MNU control group.

A dose-dependent decrease in oxidative stress was observed in the colon of treatment group with the highest percentage inclusion(10%) showing the lowest MDA value.

A significant (P˂ 0.05) increase in some hematological parameters like PCV, Red blood cell (RBC), heamglobin count (HB) were observed in the treated group when compared with the MNU control group.

While an increase in white blood cell count (WBC) and neutrophils was observed in  the MNU control group when compared with the normal control group.

A significant (P˂ 0.05) decrease in the level of Carcinoembrayonic antigen (CEA) was observed in the Cucurbita maxima  leaf diet fed group when compared with the MNU control group.


1.1 Background Information

Medicinal plants have been used throughout human history for treatment and management of different ailments (Aliyu et al., 2008). The reason is because these plants have the ability to synthesize a wide variety of chemical compounds that have been found useful to man.

These compounds perform important biological functions for the plant like defense against attack from predators such as insects, and fungi e.t.c with at least 12,000 of such compounds isolated so far; a number estimated to be less than 10% of the total available compounds (Tapsell et al., 2006; Lai and Roy, 2004).

This then justifies the chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of these plants on cancer and other diseases related to oxidative damage (Atawodi et al.,2010).

These plants which  are also referred to asherbs have been used to prevent and treat disease/disorderscommonly throughout non-industrialized societies because they are more affordable than purchasing expensive modern pharmaceutical drugs (Edgar et al., 2002).

A report made by World Health Organization (2000) puts it that, about 80% of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary healthcare.


Avivi, C., Polak, S and Madar,  Z(2000).Apoptosis cascade protein are regulated in vivo by high intra -colonic butyrate concentration: correlation between colon cancer inhibition. Oncology research 12:83-95.
Ayo, R..J(2014). Phytochemical and Anti-microbial Screening of the Leaves and Twigs of Sclerocarpus africanus (Jacq). European Journal of Medicinal Plants, 473-482.
Barnes, P.M., Powell, G. E., Metann, R. and Nahim, R.L (2004). Complementary and alternative medicine used among adults in United States, Advance data from vital and health statistics: National Centre for Health Statistic 2
Goldstain, NS., Heklich, SM., Tayloe ,CR., Yaziji, H., Hick, DC(2007). Recommendation for the improved standardization of immunohistochemistry 15:123-133
Hakim, C. (1988).The Traditional Healer’s Handbook. Vermont: Healing Arts Press. p.11
Hartwell  J.L.(1967).Plants  used  against  cancer  .A  survey.Lloyd,71,30-34 International Journal ofPharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 1, 57-62

Comments are closed.

Hey Hi

Don't miss this opportunity

Enter Your Details