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Drug Metabol Drug Interact. 2000;17(1-4):51-79.

Organosulfur compounds from Allium and the chemoprevention of cancer.

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Unité Mixte de Recherche de Toxicologie Alimentaire, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Dijon, France.


Allium vegetables and their associated organosulfur constituents are extensively studied for their chemopreventive potential against cancer. This article overviews their anticarcinogenic and antigenotoxic properties. Epidemiological studies (mostly case-control studies) provide strong evidence that Allium vegetable consumption reduces the incidence of gastric and colon cancer while the association between Allium vegetable consumption and other cancers is less convincing. Furthermore, many experimental studies have demonstrated that organosulfur compounds and Allium extracts have inhibitory effects on carcinogenesis in animals. These inhibitory effects are supported by many diverse mechanisms, including inhibition of carcinogen formation, modulation of carcinogen metabolism, inhibition of mutagenesis and genotoxicity, inhibition of cell proliferation and increase of apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis, and immune system enhancement. Before such constituents or extracts can be used in chemopreventive trials, it is important to verify their lack of toxicity and to investigate further their precise mechanisms of action throughout the whole process of carcinogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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