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Combination Effects of Polyphenols Present in Sugarcane on Proliferation in MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells

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Sugarcane is one of the most important crops in the world and rich in polyphenols. In this study, quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, tricin and p-coumaric acid, the major polyphenols in sugarcane, were used to evaluate the antiproliferative activities toward MCF-7 human breast cancer cells independently and in combination. These five polyphenols all showed inhibitory effects against MCF-7 cells within different dose ranges. The combinations of luteolin and three polyphenols (quercetin, apigenin, p-coumaric acid) were studied. p-Coumaric acid together with luteolin exhibited synergistic effects at all concentrations tested: the CI (Combination Index) values at 50%, 75% and 90% inhibition of MCF-7 cell growth were 0.68 ± 0.06, 0.70 ± 0.08 and 0.83 ± 0.09, respectively. Although the two-way combination of luteolin and apigenin showed moderate antagonistic effect (CI, 1.26 ± 0.24) at EC50, the CI value dropped as the inhibition rate increased, showing a synergistic effect at the inhibition rate above 70%. The combination of luteolin and quercetin indicated antagonistic effect at the inhibition rate above 50% (Fa0.5, CI = 1.10 ± 0.05). p-Coumaric acid with quercetin exhibited antagonistic actions (Fa0.5, CI = 1.62 ± 0.22) at all concentrations tested. In addition, the EC50 values of luteolin and quercetin against MCF-7 cells decreased by 1.91 and 2.62-fold after combining with 20 µM tricin. The results provide evidence of synergistic relation among polyphenols present in sugarcane in inhibition of cancer cell growth and of their potential clinical application.

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Total antioxidant content of alternatives to refined sugar


Background: Oxidative damage is implicated in the etiology of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other degenerative disorders. Recent nutritional research has focused on the antioxidant potential of foods, while current dietary recommendations are to increase the intake of antioxidant-rich foods rather than supplement specific nutrients. Many alternatives to refined sugar are available, including raw cane sugar, plant saps/syrups (eg, maple syrup, agave nectar), molasses, honey, and fruit sugars (eg, date sugar). Unrefined sweeteners were hypothesized to contain higher levels of antioxidants, similar to the contrast between whole and refined grain products.

Objective: To compare the total antioxidant content of natural sweeteners as alternatives to refined sugar.

Design: The ferric-reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) assay was used to estimate total antioxidant capacity. Major brands of 12 types of sweeteners as well as refined white sugar and corn syrup were sampled from retail outlets in the United States.

Results: Substantial differences in total antioxidant content of different sweeteners were found. Refined sugar, corn syrup, and agave nectar contained minimal antioxidant activity (<0.01 mmol FRAP/100 g); raw cane sugar had a higher FRAP (0.1 mmol/100 g). Dark and blackstrap molasses had the highest FRAP (4.6 to 4.9 mmol/100 g), while maple syrup, brown sugar, and honey showed intermediate antioxidant capacity (0.2 to 0.7 mmol FRAP/100 g). Based on an average intake of 130 g/day refined sugars and the antioxidant activity measured in typical diets, substituting alternative sweeteners could increase antioxidant intake an average of 2.6 mmol/day, similar to the amount found in a serving of berries or nuts.

Conclusion: Many readily available alternatives to refined sugar offer the potential benefit of antioxidant activity.

Total Antioxidant Content of Alternatives to Refined Sugar - ScienceDirect

I'm curious about the effect of date sugar (or dry dates powder) on breast cancer!



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