Dietary components and cancer

Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health
E Hietanen


Although many factors influence cancer formation, modification of one factor, diet, may be enough to stop or retard the chain of events leading to the progress of cancer. The role of dietary protein is twofold: proteins supply the body with essential amino acids, but a high-protein diet may enhance the toxicity and even cancer risk of certain environmental xenobiotics to which humans are exposed. Dietary lipids have been correlated epidemiologically with the incidence of breast and colon cancers, although the experimental evidence is scanty. Naturally, the diet should contain as low concentrations of environmental xenobiotics as possible. Food additives such as antioxidants may even be advantageous in the diet, protecting against carcinogenesis by foreign compounds. Further studies are needed before final conclusions can be reached on "noncarcinogenic" diets.


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