Fruit Flavonoid Voids Colon Cancer Activity

Colon cancer cell signaling disrupted by luteolin

(RxWiki News) "Eat more fruits and vegetables" has been a loud and long-running health mantra. This advice is nothing to shrug off. Turns out a chemical in fruit may have anti-cancer benefits.

A compound in fruit called luteolin has been found to interfere with cell activity that leads to cancer. It does this by jamming signaling pathways that promote malignancies in colon cancer cells.

"Eat more fresh fruit."

Professor Jung Han Yoon Park, of Korea's Hallym University led a team that studied the trouble luteolin - a plant flavonoid - causes cancer cells.

Colon cancer cells have more IGF-II than normal cells. And this is thought to be the reason for colon cancer's chaotic cell division.

Park's research team found that luteolin was able to clog up the works and stop the secretion of IGF-II colon cancer cells.

"Blocking these pathways stops cancer cells from dividing and leads to cell death," Park explained.

Previous lab research has suggested that this compound seems to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties. These findings have never been confirmed, though, in animal or human studies.

While preliminary, this current study extends the understanding of how naturally occurring compounds interact with cancer.

This work was published in January, 2012 in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Gastroenterology.

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Review Date: 
January 24, 2012