Role of Nutritional Genomics in Brassica Vegetables in Cancer Chemoprevention

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Patsakorn Wasaruchareekul
Kawintra Tamprasit
Natthida Weerapreeyakul


At present, the incidence of cancer is vastly increased compared to the past. Cancer chemoprevention information has, therefore, gained more interest all around the world. It was reported that people who change their dietary behavior to eat more vegetables had a reduction in cancer risk. This review article focuses on the biological evaluation of Brassica vegetables, as well as their bioactive compounds with cancer chemopreventive activity related to expression of genes that play a role in carcinogenesis, including oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, DNA repair genes, and oxidative stress-related genes. Differences in ethnicity are associated with polymorphisms in some genes that normally do not cause cancer. The interaction between consumption of Brassica vegetables and gene variations is, therefore, reviewed. A decrease in carcinogenesis can be via two main cancer chemopreventive mechanisms, which are (1) inhibition of the formation and stimulation of carcinogens (named blocking pathway), and (2) inhibition of the development of cancer cells (i.e., progression, differentiation, and invasion) through induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (named suppressing pathway). The above mechanisms occur through different signaling pathways such as Nrf2/ARE, MAPK, AP-1, NF-kB, IGF-I, and EGFR. Information regarding the relationship between the cooking process was also reviewed as temperatures and cooking times could significantly reduce isothiocyanate content. Blanching is the best process that can retain sufficient isothiocyanate content for cancer chemoprevention.


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