Chemoprevention of Colorectal Cancer by Dietary Compounds

Costea T, Hudiță A, Ciolac OA, Gălățeanu B, Ginghină O, Costache M, Ganea C, Mocanu MM
International Journal of Molecular Sciences,


Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of death, and the third most diagnosed type of cancer, worldwide. It is most common amongst men and women over 50 years old. Risk factors include smoking, alcohol, diet, physical inactivity, genetics, alterations in gut microbiota, and associated pathologies (diabetes, obesity, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases). This review will discuss, in detail, the chemopreventive properties of some dietary compounds (phenolic compounds, carotenoids, iridoids, nitrogen compounds, organosulfur compounds, phytosterols, essential oil compounds, polyunsaturated fatty acids and dietary fiber) against colorectal cancer. We present recent data, focusing on in vitro, laboratory animals and clinical trials with the previously mentioned compounds. The chemopreventive properties of the dietary compounds involve multiple molecular and biochemical mechanisms of action, such as inhibition of cell growth, inhibition of tumor initiation, inhibition of adhesion, migration and angiogenesis, apoptosis, interaction with gut microbiota, regulation of cellular signal transduction pathways and xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes, etc. Moreover, this review will also focus on the natural dietary compounds’ bioavailability, their synergistic protective effect, as well as the association with conventional therapy. Dietary natural compounds play a major role in colorectal chemoprevention and continuous research in this field is needed.


Costea T, Hudiță A, Ciolac OA, et al. Chemoprevention of Colorectal Cancer by Dietary Compounds. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(12)

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