onions and garlic

Onions and garlic are highly recommended for breast cancer

Onions, garlic and other members of the allium genus such as leeks, chives, scallions and shallots have been shown to have antimicrobial, radioprotective, antithrombotic, hypolipidaemic, anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic and hypoglycemic effects, as well as improving immune function. Allium vegetables contain various substances reported to have anti-cancer effects, including quercetin, apigenin, fisetin, myricetin, kaempferol, ajoene, diallyl disulfide and related chemicals, S-allylcysteine, dipropyl, and various thiosulfinates. Garlic is a good dietary source of the lignan enterolactone. Garlic has been shown to decrease DNA strand breaks induced by carcinogens, inhibit DNA and RNA synthesis in human cancer cells, retard the growth of cancer cells by causing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, and suppress angiogenesis. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated an association between increased consumption of allium vegetables and a reduction in many different types of cancer, including cancer of the prostate, lung, endometrium, stomach, colon, bladder, esophagus, larynx, mouth, ovary, and liver, as well as melanoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and childhood acute leukemia.

Breast cancer-related effects of eating onions and garlic

Numerous studies have shown that onions, garlic and their components inhibit proliferation, reduces migration and invasiveness, and induces apoptosis of cultured human breast cancer cells. One large European study found that eating onions and garlic was associated with lower risk of breast cancer. Another large Italian population-based study found a relationship between the consumption of increasing intake of flavones and flavonols found in allium vegetables and a reduction in the risk of breast cancer. A study of women in Mexico City found that consuming more than one slice of onion per day was associated with reduced risk of breast cancer. A Korean study found an association between onion and garlic consumption and lower incidence of breast cancer. However, there were no clear associations found between breast cancer risk and the consumption of onions or of individual flavonols in a study of premenopausal women in the Nurses Health Study II.

Additional comments

The anti-carcinogenic effect of allium vegetables is attributed in part to organosulfur compounds, which are generated upon cutting or chewing of these vegetables. Although some of the anticancer benefits of garlic are retained after cooking or processing it, raw garlic appears to have the most benefits.

Leeks and yellow onions are a very good source of quercetin, which has been shown increase the anti-cancer effects of the chemotherapy drug Taxol (paclitaxel). Garlic is a good source of apigenin, which also has been shown to increase the effectiveness of Taxol. Garlic has also been shown to have protective effects against Adriamycin (doxorubicin)-induced heart damage. However, garlic supplementation has been shown to reduce the clearance of the chemotherapy drug Taxotere (docetaxel) in some (typically, African-American) women, a result that might also hold for Taxol.

Below are links to recent studies concerning allium vegetables. For a more complete list, including less recent studies, please click on onions or garlic.

Tags: Adriamycin, angiogenesis, anthracycline, apigenin, docetaxel, doxorubicin, endometrialCancer, enterolactone, fisetin, flavone, garlic, inflammation, kaempferol, lignan, onion, paclitaxel, proliferation, quercetin, radioprotective, taxane, Taxol, Taxotere, vitaminB6

Selected breast cancer studies

Exposure of breast cancer cells to a subcytotoxic dose of apigenin causes growth inhibition, oxidative stress, and hypophosphorylation of Akt Plasma Carotenoids and Retinol and Overall and Breast Cancer Risk: A Nested Case-Control Study Quercetin-3-O-glucuronide inhibits noradrenaline-promoted invasion of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells by blocking β2-adrenergic signaling Induction of Caspase-dependent Apoptosis by Apigenin by Inhibiting STAT3 Signaling in HER2-overexpressing MDA-MB-453 Breast Cancer Cells Treatment with kaempferol resulted in the regulation of cell cycle-related and apoptosis-related genes in cancer cell growth caused by triclosan in MCF-7 breast cancer cells Evaluation of protective effect of myricetin, a bioflavonoid in dimethyl benzanthracene-induced breast cancer in female Wistar rats Determination of Phenolic Compounds in Artichoke, Garlic and Spinach by Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled to Tandem Mass Spectrometry Adolescent Carotenoid Intake and Benign Breast Disease Specific carotenoid intake is inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer among Chinese women Diallyl trisulfide inhibits estrogen receptor-α activity in human breast cancer cells Chemopreventive functions and molecular mechanisms of garlic organosulfur compounds Structural Characterisation of Malonyl Flavonols in Leek (Allium porrum L.) Using High-performance Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry Kaempferol Reduces Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 Expression by Down-Regulating ERK1/2 and the Activator Protein-1 Signaling Pathways in Oral Cancer Cells S-allylcysteine, a garlic derivative, suppresses proliferation and induces apoptosis in human ovarian cancer cells in vitro Potential therapeutic effects of functionally active compounds isolated from garlic Fisetin attenuates hydrogen peroxide-induced cell damage by scavenging reactive oxygen species and activating protective functions of cellular glutathione system Quercetin suppresses invasion and migration of H-Ras-transformed MCF10A human epithelial cells by inhibiting phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase Modulation of cyclophosphamide-induced early lung injury by allicin Quercetin and epigallocatechin gallate inhibit glucose uptake and metabolism by breast cancer cells by an estrogen receptor-independent mechanism Molecular mechanisms for the anti-cancer effects of diallyl disulfide Fisetin regulates obesity by targeting mTORC1 signaling

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