Dietary chemoprevention in toxicological perspective

  • H. Verhagen
  • C. J. M. Rompelberg
  • M. Strube
  • G. van Poppel
  • P. J. van Bladeren


Nutrition is essential to support life, but at the same time it can paradoxically be considered the main cause of cancer. As concerns the latter, Doll and Peto (1981) estimated that in the USA the proportion of cancer deaths due to the diet was approximately 30%. Indeed, on the one hand, food contains a wide variety of mutagens and/or carcinogens, some of which occur naturally, and others that might be introduced during the preparation of food (Pariza et al., 1990; Wakabayashi et al., 1991), whereas, on the other hand, the human diet also contains a number of compounds that protect against cancer (Birt and Bresnick, 1991; Stich, 1991; Dragsted et al., 1993; Verhagen et al., 1993). This is in close agreement with epidemiological findings of negative associations between cancer and consumption of fibre-containing foods, fresh fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals (Archer, 1988; Birt and Bresnick, 1991; Steinmetz and Potter, 1991a,b). Many a compound of dietary origin has been claimed to have chemopreventive potential. Therefore chemoprevention of cancer is an area of great scientific, public and economic interest.


Phytic Acid Plant Sterol Chemopreventive Agent Cruciferous Vegetable Brussels Sprout 
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© Chapman & Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Verhagen
  • C. J. M. Rompelberg
  • M. Strube
  • G. van Poppel
  • P. J. van Bladeren

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