Summary Points

• Chemoprevention is a new and promising strategy to prevent cancer by using natural and/ or synthetic substances that block, reverse, or retard the process of carcinogenesis.

• An ideal chemopreventive agent should: (1) have little or no toxicity (2) have high efficacy in multiple sites (3) have the capacity for oral consumption, (4) have known mechanisms of action, (5) be of low cost, and (6) be acceptable to humans.

• Seeds are classified as beans, cereals, nuts, and other seeds. They contain a large number of bioactive phytochemicals with potent cancer-preventive activity.

• Different mechanisms of action have been reported to be responsible for the anticancer properties of these bioactive compounds. They are important due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Moreover, many of them exert their chemopreventive properties by interfering with multiple cell-signaling pathways, cell proliferation, and apoptosis.

Future

2009

2000

1975

1925

Clinical trials, prevent and cure human cancers

Bioavailability/biospecificity

Elucidating of mechanisms of action

Evidence of in vitro and in vivo studies on preventing cancer by bioactive phytochemicals

Purification of principal active constituents

Bioactive phytochemicals act as free radical scavengers and prevent of chronic disease

Bioactive phytochemicals are characterized and concept of health benefits

Bioactive compounds are identified in plants

5000BC

Ancient age of traditional medicine

FIGURE 11.3

The journey of knowledge on bioactive phytochemicals, from ancient ages to current research. Studies of the effect of phytochemicals on chronic diseases began thousands of years ago. The most important advances are shown and expected during the 20th and 21st centuries.

• Understanding of the role of bioactive phytochemicals in cancer prevention is currently emerging (Figure 11.3).

• To successfully convert a potent food bioactive to a clinically viable drug will require studies that should investigate: (1) the in vivo pharmacokinetics of food bioactives in human body, (2) the anticarcinogenic activity in each target organ and tissue, (3) the biological mechanisms of action involved in the anticancer properties, and (4) the application of these bioactives in medicine and industry.

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Health And Fitness 101

Health And Fitness 101

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