Dietary inhibitors of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis

Hikoya Hayatsu, Sakae Arimoto, Tomoe Negishi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

312 Citations (Scopus)


Dietary inhibitors of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis are of particular interest because they may be useful for human cancer prevention. Several mutagenesis inhibitors have been demonstrated to be carcinogenesis inhibitors also, e.g., ellagic acid, palmitoleic acid, and N-acetylcysteine. This means that the search for mutagenesis inhibitors may be useful for discovering anticarcinogenic agents. Many mutagenesis inhibitors have been discovered by the use of short-term assays, particularly the Ames Salmonella test. This simple in vitro system has provided opportunities to elucidate the mechanisms of inhibition. The elucidation of the mechanism may allow us to infer the possible anticarcinogenic activity of the reagent. In this chapter, inhibitors of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis that can arise as components of diet have been reviewed. Most of the inhibitors have been demonstrated to be effective against a specific class of mutagens or carcinogens. Therefore, it may be argued that these inhibitors are antagonistic only to those particular agents. Here again, understanding of the mechanisms of these inhibitions is necessary for the assessment. Dietary inhibitors reviewed in this article include: (1) as inhibitors of mutagenesis: porphyllins, fatty acids, vitamins, polyphenols, and sulfhydryl compounds, (2) as inhibitors of carcinogenesis: vitamins A, E and C, ellagic acid, sulfhydryl compounds, fats, selenium, calcium, and fiber. Further studies in this area of science appear to help establish the recipe of a healthy diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-446
Number of pages18
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1988


  • Dietary inhibitors
  • Fiber
  • Polyphenols
  • Porphyllins
  • Sulfhydryl compounds
  • Vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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