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Effect of selected Flavonoids and Polyphenols on Key Elements involved in the Regulation of the Glucose/Glycogen Homeostasis and the Wnt Signalling Pathway

  • Colorectal cancer is the second most prevalent cancer form in both men and women in the Europe. In 2002, alimentary cancer (oesophagus, stomach, intestines) made up 26% of the annual incident cases of cancer amongst males in Europe, whereby about half of those were cancers of the colon and rectum (Eurostat 2002). Epidemiological evidence accumulating over the last decades indicates that besides a genetic disposition, diet plays a strong epigenetic role in the genesis of cancer. It is generally assumed that diet is causal for up to 80% of colorectal cancer (Bingham 2000). With the prospect of an approximated 50% rise in global cancer incidence over the first two decades of the 21st century, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has emphasized the need for an improvement in nutrition. Indeed there is increasing public health awareness with respect to nutrition. Today, living healthily is associated with less consumption of animal fats and red (processed) meat, moderate or no consumption of alcohol coupled with increased physical activity, and frequent intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains (Bingham 1999; Johnson 2004). This idealogy partly stems from scientific epidemiological evidence supportive of an inverse correlation between the consumption of fruits and vegetables and the development cancer. Besides fibre and essential micro-nutrients like ascobate, folate, and tocopherols, the anti-carcinogenic properties of fruits and vegetables are generally thought to be rooted in the bioactivity of secondary plant components like flavonoids (Johnson 2004; Rice-Evans and Miller 1996; Rice-Evans 1995). Along with the increased public health awareness, has also come a burgeoning and lucrative dietary supplement industry, which markets products based on polyphenols and other potentially healthy compounds, sometimes with questionable promises of better health and increased longevity. These claims are based on accumulating in vitro and in vivo evidence indicating that flavonoids and polyphenols in fruits and vegetables can hinder proliferation, induce apoptosis of cancerous cells (Kern et al. 2005; Kumar et al. 2007; Thangapazham et al. 2007), act as antioxidants (Justino et al. 2006; Rice-Evans 1995) and influence cell signalling pathways (Marko et al. 2004; Joseph et al. 2007; Granado-Serrano et al. 2007), all of which are potential mechanisms proposed for their anti-carcinogenic activity. However, not only is the vast variety of supplements worrisome, but also problematic, is their easy accessibilty (just a click away on the internet) and the amount that can potentially be consumed. Such supplements are usually offered in pharmaceutical form (tablets, capsules, powder, concentrates) containing concentrations well beyond what is normally comsumable from the diet. For example, quercetin’s recommended intake is about 1g daily. However, estimates portend a possible daily increase of upto 1000 fold of the daily intake of quercetin (Hertog et al. 1995). Mindful of the concept of dose coined from the words of swiss scientist Paracelsus “What is it that is not poison? All things are poison and nothing is without poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy.” (“Alle Dinge sind Gift und nichts ist ohn’ Gift; allein die Dosis macht, dass ein Ding kein Gift ist”), it is thus conceivable that such high concentrations may not only reverse the acclaimed positive effects of flavonoids and polyphenols but also have negative effects thereby representing a health risk. The fact that direct evidence of the beneficial effects of flavonoids and polyphenols remains wanting, if not entirely lacking, coupled with the afore-mentioned marketing trend demands for a thorough examination of the possible adverse effects that may arise from increased consumption of flavonoids and polyphenols. The genesis and progression of cancer is usually accompanied by dysfunctional signalling of certain cell signalling pathways. Typical for colon carcinogenesis is the malfunctioning of the Wnt-signalling pathway, a pathway, which is crucial for the growth and development of normal colonocytes. The dysfunction of the Wnt-signalling pathway occurs in a manner that culminates in a proliferation stimulus of colonocytes, while differentiation is increasingly minimized. Hence, tumourigenesis is promoted. Interupting the proliferation stumuli by intervening in the actions of components of the Wnt-signalling pathway is one potential mechanism for the anti-carcinogenic action of flavonoids and polyphenols (Pahlke et al. 2006; Dashwood et al. 2002; Park et al. 2005). However, as previously hinted, the indulgence in the consumption of flavonoids and polyphenols based supplements could instead lead to a proliferation stimulus and provoke or promote carcinogenesis in normal cells or pre-cancerous cells respectively. The aim of this work was to
  • Effekte ausgewählter Flavonoide und Polyphenole auf Schlüsselenzyme der Glukose/Glykogen Homeostase und des Wnt-Signalweges

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Author:Yufanyi Ngiewih
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-22843
Advisor:Yufanyi Ngiewih
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Year of Completion:2008
Year of Publication:2008
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2008/02/28
Date of the Publication (Server):2008/12/08
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Chemie
DDC-Cassification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 540 Chemie
Licence (German):Standard gemäß KLUEDO-Leitlinien vor dem 27.05.2011