Cancer preventive foods and ingredients.

January 1, 1992 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Cancer preventive foods and ingredients.

Year: 1992
Authors: A B Carafay.
Publication Name: Food Tech.
Publication Details: 66;68.


The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) five year “Designer Foods” initiative aimed at studying, assessing and developing medicinal foods is described in this paper. The focus of the initiative is the supplementation of foods with anticarcinogenic constituents. The effort involves determining which foods and ingredients, alone and in combination, offer significant cancer preventive properties and then to design foods with enhanced levels of those substances. The NCI has identified forty foods that have been shown by animal and human studies as having anticarcinogenic characteristics. Fourteen classes of phytochemicals are known or believed to possess cancer preventive properties. Flax is one of the foods that has been included in the NCI list because of constituents within the seed which can interfere with, and potentially block, the biochemical pathways that lead to malignancy in animals. Flax contains four of the phytochemicals known or believed to possess cancer preventive properties, including flavonoids, coumarins, lignans and phenolic acids. These compounds interfere with the initiation and promotion of cancer tumors. The author indicates that the initiative of the NCI will probably be responsible in part for a new industry aimed at the development of foods for disease prevention.

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