Inflammaging and Cancer: A Challenge for the Mediterranean Diet.
Sommaire de l'article
Aging is considered the major risk factor for cancer, one of the most important mortality causes in the western world. Inflammaging, a state of chronic, low-level systemic inflammation, is a pervasive feature of human aging. Chronic inflammation increases cancer risk and affects all cancer stages, triggering the initial genetic mutation or epigenetic mechanism, promoting cancer initiation, progression and metastatic diffusion. Thus, inflammaging is a strong candidate to connect age and cancer. A corollary of this hypothesis is that interventions aiming to decrease inflammaging should protect against cancer, as well as most/all age-related diseases. Epidemiological data are concordant in suggesting that the Mediterranean Diet (MD) decreases the risk of a variety of cancers but the underpinning mechanism(s) is (are) still unclear. Here we review data indicating that the MD (as a whole diet or single bioactive nutrients typical of the MD) modulates multiple interconnected processes involved in carcinogenesis and inflammatory response such as free radical production, NF-kB activation and expression of inflammatory mediators, and the eicosanoids pathway. Particular attention is devoted to the capability of MD to affect the balance between pro- and anti-inflammaging as well as to emerging topics such as maintenance of gut microbiota (GM) homeostasis and epigenetic modulation of oncogenesis through specific microRNAs.