Anthocyanins are the chemical components that give the intense color to many fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, red cabbages and purple sweet potatoes. Epidemiological investigations have indicated that the moderate consumption of anthocyanin products such as red wine or bilberry extract is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and improvement of visual functions. Recently, there is increasing interesting in the pharmaceutical function of anthocyanins. This review summarizes current knowledge on the various molecular evidences of cancer chemoprevention by anthocyanins. These mechanisms can be subdivided into the following aspects: 1) the antioxidation, 2) the molecular mechanisms involved in anticarcinogenesis, 3) the molecular mechanisms involved in the apoptosis induction of tumor cells. Finally, the bioavailability and structure-activity relationship of anthocyanins are also summarized.
Keywords: Cancer Chemoprevention, apoptosis, tumor cells, anticarcinogenesis, antioxidation
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