Human Nutrition:
A Comprehensive Treatise (1991) 7:221-60

Chemoprevention by Non-nutrients Components of Vegetables and Fruits
Birt DF  Bresnick E
Dept. of Biochemistry Univ. of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha NE 68105

Considerable circumstantial evidence exists that implies a relationship between dietary intake and the incidence of cancer. This  evidence derives from (1) epidemiologic data accumulated from humans and (2) experimental results obtained in animal model systems. Data associating vegetables and fruit consumption with the inhibition of cancer are reviewed, including diet and cancer incidence,  experimental carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, carcinogens/drug  metabolism, and studies on particular compounds found in fruits and  vegetables (indoles, thiocyanates and isothiocyanates, flavonoids,  ellagic acid and other phenols, terpenes, sulfides, and protease  inhibitors). Epidemiologic studies have provided circumstantial  evidence for cancer prevention by dietary vegetables and fruits... Numerous factors could influence these results.  Several studies have demonstrated potential antimutagenic properties of vegetables and fruit extracts. Several of the indoles were shown to influence metabolism of drugs and carcinogens.... Ellagic acid, D-limonene and allyl sulfides have been shown to inhibit initiation. Protease  inhibitors appear to interfere with the promotion of skin cancer and  the expression and promotion stages of radiation-induced  transformations. Inhibition of free-radical generation may account for some of these effects. The potential for finding new chemopreventive agents in plants is high. (201 Refs)

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