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Free Content Role of Phytosterols in Cancer Prevention and Treatment

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Plant sterols or phytosterols have been shown to be effective in improving blood lipid profile and thereby protective against cardiovascular disease. In addition to their cardioprotective effects, phytosterols have gained more insight for their protective effect against various forms of cancer. Phytosterols have been reported to alleviate cancers of breast, prostate, lung, liver, stomach and ovary. Reductions in growth of various cancer cells including liver, prostate and breast by phytosterols treatment have been demonstrated. Although exact mechanisms of phytosterols for their anticancer effects are not very well delineated, there have been several mechanisms proposed such as inhibition of carcinogen production, cancer cell growth and multiplication, invasion and metastasis and induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Other mechanisms including reduction of angiogenesis, invasion and adhesion of cancer cells and production of reactive oxygen species have also been suggested. However, cancer therapy using phytosterol formulations have yet to be designed, largely due to the gap in the literature with regards to mode of action. Furthermore, most of the studies on anticancer effects of phytosterols were conducted in vitro and animal studies and need to be confirmed in humans.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Manitoba, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3T 6C5

Publication date: May 1, 2015

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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