Phytoestrogens as a Natural Source for the Possible Colon Cancer Treatment

  • Suresh Challa
  • Rajanna Ajumeera
  • Naresh Venna


Phytoestrogens (PEs) are naturally available bioactive compounds widely available in a spectrum of sources such as plant foods and are said to exhibit estrogen-like, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. There are wide range of PE-containing sources which are usually consumed by humans such as isoflavones (IF), coumestans, and lignans. Many of the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are known to contain PE. For example, soybeans mainly contain IF, and flaxseeds mostly contain lignans, while clover, alfalfa, and soybean sprouts are rich in coumestans. There are many factors which affect the way these compounds act in a cell type such as estrogen receptor (ER)-α and ER-β levels and the amount of co-activators and corepressors present. The proposed mechanism by which these PEs work is by exerting their antioxidant effects through the inhibition of tyrosine kinase as well as DNA topoisomerase activities and also by suppressing the process of angiogenesis. Findings from molecular, cellular, and animal studies suggest that PE may potentially confer health benefits related to colon cancer (CC) pathology. High incidence of CC might be resulted with the intake of high-calorie diet including consumption of saturated fat and practicing sedentary lifestyle, whereas PEs from fiber-rich food could serve as prophylactics. The aim of this chapter is to elucidate the mechanistic approaches of different plant-based estrogens in combating colon cancer and their possible beneficial and clinical effects and therapeutic implications.


Benefits Colon cancer Consumption Isoflavones Phytoestrogens 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryNational Institute of NutritionHyderabadIndia

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