Nutrition and essential and non-essential compounds in epigenetic degradation associated with preventing and fighting cancer




Scope review; Neoplasms; Nutrients; Genetic and phytochemical Changes.


The components present in some foods have the ability to directly influence the health-disease process through epigenetic molecular mechanisms, reducing the risk of developing some diseases, especially Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), such as cancer. In this sense, the present study seeks to elucidate the role of some nutrients and bioactive compounds in food in epigenetic modulation as a way of preventing and fighting cancer. Therefore, a scope review was carried out in the LILACS, PubMed and VHL databases. The following descriptors were used: Epigenomics, Phytochemical Compounds, Neoplasms and Nutrients, all selected according to the Health Sciences Descriptors and used in Portuguese and English. Initially, 647 publications were found and after the application of the pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria, 9 relevant publications remained for the construction of the work. From the selected literature, it was found that some nutrients and bioactive compounds, such as Curcumin from turmeric, Sulforaphane and Phenethyl Isothiocyanate (PEITC) from cruciferous vegetables, Resveratrol (RES) from red grapes and wine , β-carotene from orange vegetables, Vitamin C from citrus fruits and some phytochemicals, such as Quercetin and Caffeic acid, play an important role in the fight against cancer, because, among other benefits, they can epigenetically stimulate the gene expression of factors preventive measures, but can also inhibit the expression of factors linked to metastasis and progression of the pathology already installed. Finally, it is clear that the influence that some foods have on gene expression represents an important tool against cancer, especially in relation to prevention. However, it is necessary to carry out more detailed studies in relation to doses and possible harmful effects.


Amin, H. J.; Zamora, S. A. & McMilan, D. D. et al. (2002). Arginine supplementation prevents neocrotizing enterocolitis in the premature infant. J. Pediatr., 140, 425–431.

Brubaker, P. L., & Anini, Y. (2003) Direct and indirect mechanisms regulating secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucagon-like peptide-2. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 81(11):1005-12.

Buckley, S., Coleman, J., Davison, I., et al. (2009) The educational effects of portfolios on undergraduate student learning: a best evidence medical education (BEME) systematic review. BEME guide 11. Med Teach 31:282–98.

Andreescu, N., Puiu, M., & Niculescu, M. (2018). Effects of Dietary Nutrients on Epigenetic Changes in Cancer. Methods in Molecular Biology, 1856(1), 121-139.

American Cancer Society (2019), Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2019-2020. American Cancer Society Inc. 14-32.

Bishop, K. S., & Ferguson, L. R. (2015). The Interaction between Epigenetics, Nutrition and the Development of Cancer. Nutrients, 7(2), 922–947.

Bolaños-Jimenez, F. et al. (2018). Nutrição e Epigenética. In Sawaya, A.L, Leandro, C. G., & Waitzberg, D.L (Eds), Fisiologia da Nutrição na Saúde e na Doença: Da Biologia Molecular ao Tratamento (pp. 303-315). São Paulo: Atheneu.

Bonnefont-rousselot, D. (2016). Resveratrol and Cardiovascular Diseases. Nutrients, 8(5), 1- 24.

Castro, R. C. B. et al. (2017). Câncer. In Cominetti, C, Rogero, M. M & Horst, M. A (Eds), Genômica Nutricional: Dos Fundamentos a Nutrição Molecular (pp. 339-355). Manole.

Daudt, H. M. L., van Mossel, C., & Scott, S. J. (2013) Enhancing the scoping study methodology: a large, inter-professional team’s experience with Arksey and O’Malley’s framework. BMC Med Res Methodol 13:48.

Debusk, R. (2018). Genômica Nutricional. In Mahan, L. K & Raymond, J..L. (Eds), Krause: Alimentos, Nutrição e Dietoterapia (pp. 263-345). Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier.

Donovan, M. G., Selmin, O. I., & Romagnolo, D. F. (2018). Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Diet and Breast Cancer Risk. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 91(2), 105–127.

Francesco Rubino, Sarah L. R'bibo, Federica del Genio, Madhu Mazumdar & Timothy E. McGraw. (2010) Metabolic surgery: the role of the gastrointestinal tract in diabetes mellitus. Nature Reviews Endocrinology 6:2, 102-109.

Feehan, K. T.; & Gilroy & Derek W. (2019). Is Resolution the End of Inflammation? Trends in Molecular Medicine, 25(3), 198–214, DOI:10.1016/j.molmed.(2019).01.006.

Fischer da Silva. et al (2007). Ornithine decarboxylase expression in the small intestine of broilers submitted to feed restriction and glutamine supplementation. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic., 9(2), 111-115.

Figueiredo, C. H. R. E Amara, R. 2005. Importância e benefícios da dieta pré-inicial diferenciada para pintinhos na primeira semana. In: VII Simpósio goiano de avicultura e II Simpósio goiano da suinocultura – Avesui Centro-Oeste, Goiânia, p. 54-61.

Fürst, P., Alteheld, B. & Stehle, P. Why should a single nutrient – glutamine- improve outcome? The remarkable story of glutamine dipeptides. Clinical Nutrition Supplements,. v.1, p.3-15, (2004).

Gillberg et al. (2018). Vitamin C – A new player in regulation of the cancer epigenome. Seminars in Cancer Biology, 51(1), 59-67.

Gomes, C. E. T. & Santos, E. C. (2014). Nutrição e Dietética. (2a ed.). Ericá.

Hamilton, K. K. Grant, B. L. (2018). Dietoterapia para Prevenção e Tratamento do Câncer e Sobreviventes de Câncer. In Mahan, L. K & Raymond, J. L. (Eds), Krause: Alimentos, Nutrição e Dietoterapia (pp. 1349-1394). Elsevier.

Kelly, A.D. & Issa, J.J. (2017). The promise of epigenetic therapy: reprogramming the cancer epigenome. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 42(1), 68-77.

Kim, D., Kim, Y., & Kim, Y. (2019). Effects of β-carotene on Expression of Selected MicroRNAs, Histone Acetylation, and DNA Methylation in Colon Cancer Stem Cells. Journal of cancer prevention, 24(4), 224–232.

Li, Y., Buckhaults, P., Cui, X., & Tollefsbol, T. O. (2016). Combinatorial epigenetic mechanisms and efficacy of early breast cancer inhibition by nutritive botanicals. Epigenomics, 8(8), 1019–1037.

Marchioni, D. M. L. Fisberg R. M. (2009). Dieta, Nutrição e Prevenção De Doenças Crônicas Não-Transmissíveis. In Cuppari, L (Ed), Nutrição: nas doenças crônicas não-transmissíveis (pp. 2-25). Manole Ltda.

Mingay, M. et al. (2018). Vitamin C-induced epigenomic remodelling in IDH1 mutant acute myeloid leukaemia. Leukemia, 32(1), 11–20.

Nasir, A. et al. (2019). Nutrigenomics: Epigenetics and cancer prevention: A comprehensive review. Critical Reviews In Food Science And Nutrition, 59(1), 1-13.

Niedzwiecki, A., Roomi, M. W., Kalinovsky, T., & Rath, M. (2016). Anticancer Efficacy of Polyphenols and Their Combinations. Nutrients, 8(9), 552.

Norat, T. el al. (2015). European Code against Cancer 4th Edition: Diet and cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, 39(1), 56-66.

Patrício, R. S. G. & Ong, T. P. (2018). Nutrigenômica. In Sawaya, A.L, Leandro, C. G., & Waitzberg, D.L (Eds), Fisiologia da Nutrição: na Saúde e na Doença (pp. 287-291). São Paulo: Atheneu.

Pavan, A. R. et al. (2016). Unraveling the Anticancer Effect of Curcumin and Resveratrol. Nutrients, 8(11), 628.

Qin, S. & Hou, D.‐X. (2016), Multiple regulations of Keap1/Nrf2 system by dietary phytochemicals. Mol. Nutr. Food Res., 60: 1731-1755.

Schmid, L, Soder, T.F & Benetti, F. (2019). Nutrigenômica como ferramenta preventiva de doenças crônicas não transmissíveis. Arquivos de Ciências da Saúde da UNIPAR, 23(2), 127-138.

Silva, H. R. et al. (2020). Análise dos efeitos da suplementação de determinados antioxidantes no tratamento adjuvante do câncer. Research, Society and Development, 9(2), 1-13.

Stacchiotti, A, Favero, G., & Rezzani, R. (2019). Resveratrol and SIRT1 Activators for the Treatment of Aging and Age-Related Diseases. Resveratrol - Adding Life To Years.

Turati et al. (2015). Fruit and vegetables and cancer risk: a review of southern European studies. Br J Nutr, 113(2), 102-110.

Zhang, C. et al. (2016). Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) suppresses prostate cancer cell invasion epigenetically through regulating microRNA-194. Molecular nutrition & food research, 60(6), 142.



How to Cite

LUZ, R. da .; LIMA JUNIOR, E. .; BOLDT , A. B. W. . Nutrition and essential and non-essential compounds in epigenetic degradation associated with preventing and fighting cancer. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 3, p. e7211326455, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i3.26455. Disponível em: Acesso em: 12 jul. 2024.



Health Sciences