Antineoplastic And Chemopreventative Effects

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Many studies have reported antineoplastic effects of both oil and water soluble allyl sulfur compounds from garlic, but the effect is generally greater for the Iipid-soluble compounds (Knowles & Milner 2001). Diallyl disulfide, one of the most studied oil-soluble organosulfur compounds in garlic, has demonstrated antineoplastic activity against both hormone-dependent and hormone-independent breast cancer cell lines (Nakagawa et al 2001). It also inhibits the proliferation of human tumour cell lines for colon, lung and skin cancer (Sundaram & Milner 1996). Garlic derivatives inhibit proliferation of human prostate cancer cell lines and human breast cancer cell lines (Pinto & Rivlin 2001). In vitro results also show ajoene induces apoptosis in human leukaemic cells (Dirsch et al 2002), whereas allien, but not its precursor alliin, inhibits proliferation of human mammary, endometrial, and colon cancer cells (Hirsch et al 2000).

Several mechanisms appear to be involved. Notable among these is a depression in nitrosamine formation and a reduction in carcinogen bioactivation (Milner 2001). This is thought to involve an inhibitory effect on CYP2E1, one of the isoenzymes responsible for the activation of a number of carcinogens (Yang et al 2001). Some of the organosulfur compounds may also aid detoxification by enhancing glutathione S© 2007 Elsevier Australia

transferases, thereby reducing carcinogen loads (Bianchini &Vainio 2001). Suppression of proliferation associated with a depression in cell cycle progression and the induction of apoptosis has also been observed (Knowles & Milner 2001).

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