Review Articles

2020  |  Vol: 6(2)  |  Issue:  |  https://doi.org/10.31024/ajpp.2020.6.2.8
Cancer chemoprevention through functional food of plant origin

Nayanathara Thathsarani, Gayathree Nayanajeehwi, Uthpala Jayawardena, Nayanakanthi Nilakarawasam, Chanika D. Jayasinghe

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka

*Address for Corresponding Author

Dr. Chanika D. Jayasinghe

Department of Zoology,

Faculty of Natural Sciences,

The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka

 

Abstract

“Eat to beat the odds”, a hot topic of researchers and among the people attributing towards the name of functional food. Functional foods represent one of the most intensively investigated areas in food and nutrition sciences today for their disease preventive activity and health promotion in addition to their nutritional value.  They are not extra ordinary food but those among the fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, herbal beverages and some products of animals or microorganisms that we consume day today lives. Recent experimental evidences suggest functional food play a major role in cancer prevention. An adequate consumption of functional food is known to delay the onset and progression of cancer and convinces as a promising new approach to reduce incidences and mortality associated with common cancers such as colorectal, breast, lung, liver, pancreatic and blood. The bioactive compounds in functional food, either individually or synergistically, are known to disrupt many molecular and cellular pathways leading to carcinogenesis. Further, cancer chemoprevention using functional food is a more feasible approach due to its cost effectiveness and low toxicity in chronic administration. The present review briefs the chemopreventive potential of functional foods; the common fruits and vegetables that are frequently consumed.  This review attempts to highlight the bioactive components or phytochemicals responsible for cancer chemopreventive activity. Further, this review discusses the underlying molecular or cellular mechanisms of cancer chemopreventive activity of the functional foods listed herein and emphasizes their application as chemopreventive functional food.

Keywords: Functional food, fruits, vegetables, cancer, chemoprevention, phytochemicals

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