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THE PHARMA REVIEW (MAY 2009)

Polyphenols as Potential Anticancer Agents

Vishwamohan Modia, Rakesh Somani, Prabhakar Shirodkar, Vilasrao Kadam

Abstract: About 40% of cancers are caused by dietary factors, thus the scientific basis and appropriate choice of nutritional products is an important aspect in cancer patients recovery. Oxidative stress or free radical is responsible for the etiology of certain disease, such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurological disorders. The consumption of a diet containing high amount of polyphenols is associated with reduced risk of this disorder. Polyphenols act as potential anticancer agent by different mechanisms, such as cell cycle arrest or apoptosis involved caspase activation. Nitric oxide production was also reduced by polyphenols by suppressing inducible nitric oxide synthase. Recently much attention has been focused on antioxidant or anticarcinogenic property of polyphenols. This review, in general, describes various aspects of polyphenols including their classification, chemistry and mechanisms of action.
 
Introduction
In our diet structure, choosing the necessary nutritional products for cancer recovery from vegetables, fruit, coarse food grains and mushrooms, can not only make our diet healthier but also assist management of various diseases including cancer however nutritional products can not replace drugs or medicines. But good balanced nutrition is very much recommended for cancer healing. Active oxygen in the forms of superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl, is a byproduct of normal metabolism and they attack biological molecules leading to cell or tissue injury. Active oxygen and free radicals are produced by certain chemical carcinogen and play a role in the carcinogenic processes. Recently, much attention has been focused on the antioxidant properties of flavonoids, a large class of polyphenolic compounds derived from plants. These compounds may protect tissues against damage caused by oxygen free radicals and lipid peroxidase. Polyphenols are a group of chemical substances found in plants, characterized by the presence of more than one phenol group per molecule. Polyphenols are generally further subdivided into tannins and phenylpropanoids such as lignin’s and flavonoids. A polyphenol antioxidant is a type of antioxidant characterized by the presence of several phenol functions. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables contain a large quantity of polyphenols which are protective against a variety of diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and cancer. 

 

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