Seed Components in Cancer Prevention

Blanca Hernández-Ledesma, Chia Chien Hsieh, Ben O. de Lumen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter summarizes the main components contained in seeds for which cancer-preventive properties have been reported. It has been estimated that 30-40% of all cancers can be prevented by appropriate diet, physical activity, and maintenance of appropriate weight. Epidemiological evidence, cell culture, and animal tumor model studies have demonstrated that a large number of natural compounds present in the diet could lower cancer risk and even sensitize tumor cells in anticancer therapies. Many different seed components play important roles in preventing cancer, especially phenolic compounds or polyphenols. They are formed to protect the plant from photosynthetic stress, reactive oxygen species, wounds, and herbivores. In legumes and cereals, the main polyphenols are flavonoids, phenolic acids, and tannins. The other bioactive phytochemicals with potent cancer-preventive activity are terpenoids. Chemoprevention is a new and promising strategy to prevent cancer by using natural and/or synthetic substances that block, reverse, or retard the process of carcinogenesis. Different mechanisms of action have been reported to be responsible for the anticancer properties of these bioactive compounds. They are important due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Moreover, many of them exert their chemopreventive properties by interfering with multiple cell-signaling pathways, cell proliferation, and apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780123756886
ISBN (Print)9780123756893
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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