Colon cancer risk factors from nutrition

Berlau, Jens; Glei, Michael; Pool-Zobel, Beatrice L.
February 2004
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Feb2004, Vol. 378 Issue 3, p737
Academic Journal
Nutrition and health are closely connected and malnutrition can seriously endanger health. The consequences are higher risks of developing diseases. Of these, cancers are of special importance. The most frequent nutrition-associated type of cancer is colon cancer. This review summarises the predisposing factors for the development of colon cancer, and molecular mechanisms responsible for sporadic colon cancer. Moreover, it is pointed out that individual genetic predisposition such as polymorphisms of biotransformation systems might affect susceptibility to cancer risk factors. Selected findings of epidemiological research and nutritional habits, foods, and metabolites that could increase cancer risk are discussed. Furthermore, toxicological assessment of food-related risk factors, e.g. heterocyclic amines, and potential protective effects of food ingredients, e.g. the induction of phase II enzymes or removal of already degenerated cells from tissue by apoptosis, inhibition of proliferation, and cell differentiation are discussed. Risks are not necessarily reduced by avoiding certain substances but by healthy and well-balanced nutrition. Knowledge of individual susceptibility will also make it possible to recognise risks and design more specific nutritional recommendations.


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