Carcinogenicity of deoxycholate, a secondary bile acid

Carol Bernstein, Hana Holubec, Achyut K. Bhattacharyya, Huy Nguyen, Claire M. Payne, Beryl Zaitlin, Harris Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations


High dietary fat causes increased bile acid secretion into the gastrointestinal tract and is associated with colon cancer. Since the bile acid deoxycholic acid (DOC) is suggested to be important in colon cancer etiology, this study investigated whether DOC, at a high physiologic level, could be a colon carcinogen. Addition of 0.2% DOC for 8-10 months to the diet of 18 wild-type mice induced colonic tumors in 17 mice, including 10 with cancers. Addition of the antioxidant chlorogenic acid at 0.007% to the DOC-supplemented diet significantly reduced tumor formation. These results indicate that a high fat diet in humans, associated with increased risk of colon cancer, may have its carcinogenic potential mediated through the action of bile acids, and that some dietary anti-oxidants may ameliorate this carcinogenicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-871
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Colon cancer
  • Deoxycholate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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