Dietary Biofactors in the Management of Cancer: Myth or Reality?

  • Vidushi S. Neergheen-Bhujun
  • K. S. Kang
  • O. I. Aruoma
  • T. Bahorun


In 400 B.C. Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” Despite technological and cultural advances, the essence of these words has seen contemporary resurgence through renewed interest in food and their ability to reduce the incidence of chronic diseases. Thus, the search for novel and effective cancer chemopreventive agents has led to the identification of various naturally occurring compounds from the diet. Over the last decade, there has been extensive preclinical and clinical research to validate the role of dietary factors in the management of cancer. Ideally, the biofactor is expected to restore normal growth control to preneoplastic or cancerous cells by targeting multiple biochemical and physiological pathways involved in tumor development, while minimizing toxicity in normal tissues. A number of the dietary biofactors has the capacity to interact with multiple molecular targets and appears to be relatively nontoxic, at least at the doses tested. Since cancer has a long latency period, the role of diet and diet-derived components has gained considerable attention. Nevertheless, a number of factors in particular low systemic availability of the parent compound due to insolubility and rapid metabolism limit the therapeutic value of these components. However, much work is in the pipeline to improve the bioavailability of these dietary biofactors via nanoparticle delivery system thereby increasing therapeutic application and pharmacologic properties in the different target tissues, and to better understand the mechanisms of action in order to predict their respective efficacy. This chapter aims at examining the current state of knowledge of the effects of dietary biofactors in the management of cancer.


Cruciferous Vegetable Grape Extract Diallyl Sulfide Cruciferous Vegetable Intake Prostate Serum Antigen 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vidushi S. Neergheen-Bhujun
    • 1
  • K. S. Kang
    • 2
  • O. I. Aruoma
    • 3
  • T. Bahorun
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science and ANDI Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research, CBBR Building. MSIRIUniversity of MauritiusRéduitRepublic of Mauritius
  2. 2.Adult Stem Cell Research Center, Laboratory of Stem Cell and Tumor Biology, Department of Veterinary Public Health College of Veterinary MedicineSeoul National UniversitySillim-Dong, SeoulKorea
  3. 3.School of Biomedical Sciences and School of PharmacyAmerican University of Health SciencesSignal HillUSA
  4. 4.ANDI Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research, CBBR Building, MSIRIUniversity of MauritiusRéduitRepublic of Mauritius

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