Polyphenols and pancreatic cancer.




International Journal of Cancer

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Consumer Data: Quercetin Soy Isoflavones
Professional Data: Quercetin Soy Isoflavones


A recent study stated that plant derived polyphenols may have beneficial effects for cancers. This animal study looked at the potential aid that the polyphenols could have on pancreatic cancer. Quercetin and genistein were among these compounds studied.

Quercetin is one of a number of water-soluble plant pigments called bioflavonoids. Quercetin and the other bioflavonoids cannot be produced in the human body. They have been researched for a number of beneficial effects. Quercetin is found in many foods including apples, onions, tea, berries, grapes, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, as well as many seeds and nuts.

One of the primary isoflavones in soybeans is genistein. Because they are structurally similar to estrogens, isoflavones exert weak estrogenic activity. Because of their estrogen-like effects, isoflavones have been studied for a wide spectrum of health benefits.

The study examined the effects of quercetin on a nude mouse model. The results showed that the quercetin reduced tumor growth, increased the breakdown of hazardous cells (apoptosis), and prevented the transfer of the cancer cells to a new area of the body (metastasis). In addition to quercetin, in vitro effects of rutin, trans-resveratol, and genstein were analyzed. The combination of quercetin and trans-resveratol in vitro, but not rutin, greatly increased apoptosis activity. Nuclear factor-kB activity was inhibited by quercetin and trans-resveratrol but not genistein. The authors concluded that plant-derived polyphenols reduce pancreatic cancer growth and can prevent metastasis. This reduction is due to the stimulation of mitochondrial dysfunction.1


1. Mouria M. Food-derived polyphenols inhibit pancreatic cancer growth through mitochondrial cytochrome C release and apoptosis. International Journal of Cancer. Apr 2002:98;761-769.