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Cancer Lett. 2002 Jan 25;175(2):147-55.

Flavanols and procyanidins of cocoa and chocolate inhibit growth and polyamine biosynthesis of human colonic cancer cells.

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Laboratory of Nutritional Chemoprevention in Digestive Oncology, IRCAD, 1 place de l'hôpital, 67091, Strasbourg, France.


The effects of cocoa powder and extracts with different amounts of flavanols and related procyanidin oligomers were investigated on the growth of Caco-2 cells. Treatment of the cells with 50 microg/ml of procyanidin-enriched (PE) extracts caused a 70% growth inhibition with a blockade of the cell cycle at the G2/M phase. PE extracts caused a significant decrease of ornithine decarboxylase and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase activities, two key enzymes of polyamine biosynthesis. This led to a decrease in the intracellular pool of the polyamines. These observations indicate that polyamine metabolism might be an important target in the anti-proliferative effects of cocoa polyphenols.

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