chapter  1
22 Pages

Epigenetics: Molecular Targets for Diet and Cancer Prevention

Cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States and the number of cancers is projected to increase in the coming decades due to a growing and aging population. Although cancer is several different diseases, it can be generally stated that cancer is inuenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Importantly, dietary habits are recognized to be modiable factors inuencing cancer risk and prevention. The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute of Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR 2007) summary of the available epidemiological evidence on food, nutrition, physical activity, and the prevention of cancer clearly support the suggestion that cancer incidence and death are potentially avoidable by modication of the diet as well as by physical activity. In addition to such observational evidence, both cell culture and animal experimental studies have suggested that several bioactive food components, including phytochemicals found in plants (Manson et al. 2007), zoochemicals such as conjugated linoleic acid found in dairy foods (Kelley et al. 2007), omega-3 fatty acids (Wendel and Heller 2009) present in certain types of sh, fungochemicals found in mushrooms (Adams et al. 2008), and bacteriochemicals (Geier et al. 2006) formed from food fermentation (pre) and those resulting from intestinal ora (pro) are likely to alter susceptibility to cancer. In fact, both essential nutrients and nonessential bioactive food components, have been implicated in altering many of the cellular processes of cancer, including apoptosis, cell cycle control, differentiation, inammation, angiogenesis, DNA repair, and carcinogen metabolism (Davis

Introduction ........................................................................................................................................3 Epigenetics and Cancer ......................................................................................................................4