Consumption of the Total Western Diet Promotes Colitis and Inflammation-Associated Colorectal Cancer in Mice

Abby D BenninghoffRobert E Ward


Consumption of a Western type diet is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer. Our group previously developed the total Western diet (TWD) for rodents with energy and nutrient profiles that emulate a typical Western diet. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that consumption of the TWD would enhance colitis, delay recovery from gut injury and promote colon tumorigenesis. In multiple experiments using the azoxymethane + dextran sodium sulfate or ApcMin/+ mouse models of colitis-associated colorectal carcinogenesis (CAC), we determined that mice fed TWD experienced more severe and more prolonged colitis compared to their counterparts fed the standard AIN93G diet, ultimately leading to markedly enhanced colon tumorigenesis. Additionally, this increased tumor response was attributed to the micronutrient fraction of the TWD, and restoration of calcium and vitamin D to standard amounts ameliorated the tumor-promoting effects of TWD. Finally, exposure to the TWD elicited large scale, dynamic changes in mRNA signatures of colon mucosa associated with interferon (IFN) response, inflammation, innate immunity, adaptive immunity, and antigen processing pathways, among others. Taken together, these observations indicate that consumptio...Continue Reading


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