Anticancer Effect of Kimchi

a. Antimutagenic/Anticarcinogenic Effect. Kimchi showed antimutagenic activities against aflatoxin B1 in Ames test, SOS chromotest in vitro (94-96). The kimchi extract also showed antimutagenic activity in the Drosophila wing hair spot test in vivo (97). Kimchi also exhibited anticlastogenic activity in mitomycin C-induced mice, using the in vivo supravital staining micronucleus assay (98).

C3H/10T1/2 cells are mouse embryo cells that form foci in culture media when exposed to carcinogens. The foci, developed as type II and type III, are well correlated with tumor formations in C3H mice, 50% and 85%, respectively (99). The transformation of C3H/10T1/2 cells markedly decreased when kimchi extract (methanol soluble fraction, MSF) was added to the test system (100). When MSF (200 ag/mL) from 3-week-fermented kimchi at 5°C was added along with 3-methylcholanthrene (MCA) to the cells, then the numbers of type II and III foci formed substantially decreased from 7.4 (MCA only) to 0.8.

b. Anticancer Effect. The kimchi extracts inhibited the survival or growth of human cancer cells (AGS gastric cancer cells, HT-29 colon cancer cells, MG63 osteocarcinoma cells, HL-60 leukemia and Hep 3B liver cancer cells) in the SRB (Sulforhodamine B) assay, the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) assay, and the growth inhibition test (59,94). The kimchi fraction inhibited the 3H thymidine incorporation in the cancer cells (101). In our studies, sarcoma 180 cells were transplanted to the Balb/c mouse followed by kimchi extract injection, and the MSF (methanol soluble fraction) of the kimchi treated group resulted in the smallest tumor weight of 1.98 ± 1.8 g compared to the control group of 4.32 ± 1.5 g (102). MSF from 3-week-fermented kimchi reduced malondialdehyde (as lipid peroxidation marker) formation, and the hepatic cytosolic

Table 13 Inhibitory Effect of Methanol Extracts from Common Kimchi and Functional Kimchi on Tumor Metastasis Induced by Colon 26-M3.1 Cells

No. of lung metastasis (inhibition, %)


Dose (mg/mouse)

Mean F SD



Common kimchi

162 F 7a

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