Limonoids as cancer chemopreventive agents
Sommaire de l'article
Nutritional research on the health benefits of substances in plant foods has recently advanced to a new stage. The research frontier has moved from study of classical vitamin deficiency diseases to study of the thousands of phytochemicals that may have important physiological effects. Recent research suggests that citrus fruit consumers may be getting another health benefit from orange juice and other citrus products called limonoids, which appear to possess substantial anticancer activity. Limonoids are highly oxidized triterpenes present in Rutaceae and Maliaceae families. Several citrus limonoids have recently been subjected to anticancer screening utilizing laboratory animals and human breast cancer cells. The experimental results described that citrus limonoids may provide substantial anticancer actions. The compounds have been shown to be free of toxic effects in animal models, so potential exists for the use of limonoids against human cancer in either natural fruits, in citrus fortified with limonoids, or in purified forms of specific limonoids. Although the initial studies are very promising they have been conducted primarily with in vitro cell culture and animal models. Thus, research is needed to determine whether the limonoids may be useful in preventing or treating cancer in humans.