Dietary catechin delays tumor onset in a transgenic mouse model

Susan E. Ebeler, Charles A. Brenneman, Gap Soon Kim, William T. Jewell, Michael R. Webb, Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez, Emily A. MacDonald, Amanda C. Cramer, Andrew Levi, John D. Ebeler, Alma Islas-Trejo, Amber Kraus, Steven H. Hinrichs, Andrew J. Clifford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Evidence exists that red wine, which contains a large array of polyphenols, is protective against cardiovascular disease and possibly cancer. Objective: We tested the hypothesis that catechin, the major monomeric polyphenol in red wine, can delay tumor onset in transgenic mice that spontaneously develop tumors. Design: Mice were fed a nutritionally complete amino acid-based diet supplemented with (+)-catechin (0-8 mmol/kg diet) or alcohol-free solids from red wine. Mice were examined daily; the age at which a first tumor appeared was recorded as the age at tumor onset. Plasma catechin and metabolite concentrations were quantified at the end of the study. Results: Dietary catechin significantly delayed tumor onset; a positive, linear relation was observed between the age at tumor onset and either the amount of dietary catechin (r2 = 0.761, P < 0.001) or plasma catechin and metabolite concentrations (r2 = 0.408, P = 0.003). No significant effects on tumor onset were observed when mice consumed a diet supplemented with wine solids containing < 0.22 mmol catechin/kg diet, whereas a previous study showed that wine solids with a similar total polyphenol concentration but containing ≠4 times more catechin significantly delayed tumor onset by ≠30 d compared with a control diet. The catechin composition of the wines is directly related to processing conditions during vinification. Conclusions: Physiologic intakes of specific dietary polyphenols, such as catechin, may play an important role in cancer chemoprevention. Wines have different polyphenol concentrations and compositions; therefore, the overall health benefits of individual wines differ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-872
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002


  • Amino acid-based diet
  • Cancer
  • Catechin
  • Transgenic mice
  • Tumor onset
  • Wine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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