Nutrition and cancer

Growth inhibition of subcutaneously transplanted hepatomas without cachexia by alteration of the dietary arginine-methionine balance.

PMID 9682248


Previous studies have shown that alteration of the dietary arginine-methionine balance by use of synthetic L-amino acids inhibits tumor growth of a subcutaneously transplanted Morris hepatoma at the expense of maintaining body weight. However, L-methionine is susceptible to degradation and, therefore, may contribute to a deficiency state. The present studies were performed to determine whether growth of subcutaneous hepatoma transplants is inhibited, and body growth maintained, when rats are fed diets containing L-methionine in replacement of N-acetyl-L-methionine (NALM) for 28 days. Tumor-free and tumor-bearing rats fed a control diet, with amino acids replacing protein, had gains in body weight: 31.3 +/- 1.0 and 19.1 +/- 0.5 g (12% and 7%), respectively. Rats fed six experimental diets, with varying L-arginine-NALM balances, had body weight gains ranging from 18.4 +/- 0.3 to 26.7 +/- 0.9 g (7-10%). Tumor weight of control rats was 10.65 +/- 0.24% of body weight. Diets supplemented with L-arginine in combination with normal and deficient NALM decreased tumor weights by 35% and 38%, respectively, It is concluded that dietary replacement of L-methionine with NALM and supplementation with L-arginine inhibits growth of a subcutaneously transplanted Morris hepatoma in the absence of cachexia.

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