Anticancer properties of selected plant polyphenols from the group of flavonoids and stilbenes

Review Article, Zdr Publ 2012;122(4): 434-439

GRZEGORZ MAJEWSKI1, KATARZYNA LUBECKA-PIETRUSZEWSKA2, AGNIESZKA KAUFMAN-SZYMCZYK2, KRYSTYNA FABIANOWSKA-MAJEWSKA2

1 Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi,
2 Zakład Chemii Biomedycznej, Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi

Abstract

During recent 10 years, numerous biological, clinical and epidemiological studies have been aimed at explaining the health-related role of natural plant polyphenols (i.e. flavonoids and stilbens) in human health. The consequences of some polyphenols effects are effective protection and reduction of the risk of many disorders (e.g. cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and cancer diseases) which were initiated by reactive free radicals. The polyphenols action results from their antioxidant activity leading to decrease in the level of reactive oxygen species and reactive carcinogenic metabolites.
The studies of several scientific groups and of our team indicate that natural plant flavonoids and stilbens contained in vegetables, fruits and herbs modulate, by epigenetic mechanism, expression of tumour suppressor genes, encoding proteins that participate in regulation of intracellular signal pathways, inhibition of cell cycle and/or in stimulation of proapoptotic genes. Thus, natural bioactive compounds which inhibit cancer cell growth, invasive capacities, and metastases can be efficacious in both cancer therapy, cancer prevention and stimulation of the anticancer drugs effects.
The present article includes scientific knowledge about sources of the plant flavonoids and stilbens, their chemical structure, bioavaibility and anitioxidant properties. There are also explained the compounds epigenetical mechanism of the anticancer actions.

Keywords

plant bioactive polyphenols, flavonoids, stilbens, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, genistein, resveratrol, expression of suppressor genes

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