Cancer Chemoprevention by Dietary Proanthocyanidins

  • Jo, Jeong-Youn (Department of Food Science and Technology, Cornell University) ;
  • Lee, Chang-Yong (Department of Food Science and Technology, Cornell University)
  • Published : 2007.08.31


Proanthocyanidins (PACs), also named condensed tannins, are polymers of flavan-3-ols such as (+ )-(gallo)catechin and (-)-epi(gallo)catechin. A proper analysis of the PACs, with difficult challenges due to their complex structures, is crucial in studies of cancer chemoprevention. Cancer is a leading cause of mortality around the world. Many experimental studies have shown that dietary PACs are potential chemopreventive agents that block or suppress against multistage carcinogenesis in both in vitro and in vivo models. Cancer chemoprevention by dietary PACs has been shown effective through different mechanisms of action such as antioxidant, apoptosis-inducing, and enzyme inhibitory activities. Good sources of dietary PACs are nuts, fruits, beans, chocolate, fruit juice, red wine, and green tea. The chemopreventive potential of dietary PACs should be considered together with their bioavailability in humans. The safety issues regarding carcinogenesis and gastrointestinal disorder are also reviewed.



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