The Anti-Oxidant and Antitumor Properties of Plant Polysaccharides

The American Journal of Chinese Medicine
Rui JiaoKwok Fai So


Oxidative stress has been increasingly recognized as a major contributing factor in a variety of human diseases, from inflammation to cancer. Although certain parts of signaling pathways are still under investigation, detailed molecular mechanisms for the induction of diseases have been elucidated, especially the link between excessive oxygen reactive species (ROS) damage and tumorigenesis. Emerging evidence suggests anti-oxidant therapy can play a key role in treating those diseases. Among potential drug resources, plant polysaccharides are natural anti-oxidant constituents important for human health because of their long history in ethnopharmacology, wide availability and few side effects upon consumption. Plant polysaccharides have been shown to possess anti-oxidant, anti-inflammation, cell viability promotion, immune-regulation and antitumor functions in a number of disease models, both in laboratory studies and in the clinic. In this paper, we reviewed the research progress of signaling pathways involved in the initiation and progression of oxidative stress- and cancer-related diseases in humans. The natural sources, structural properties and biological actions of several common plant polysaccharides, including Lycium barb...Continue Reading


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