Impact of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) phenolic compounds on cancer development pathways

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Sorghum is a drought-resistant and polyphenol-rich staple food crop in many countries. Sorghum kernels contain bioactive compounds that have been found to synergistically slow or stop cancer development pathways in vitro and in vivo. Unhealthy dietary habits often lead to higher incidences of gastrointestinal cancers e.g. colorectal cancer. However, consuming pigmented wholegrain varieties of sorghum correlates with chemopreventative health benefits. Phenolic compounds, including 3-deoxyanthocyanidin, vanillic acid, ferulic acid and protocatechuic acid, have been shown to have specific cancer cell cytotoxicity. These compounds can bind or facilitate the binding of other compounds to the active sites of cellular proteins responsible for tumour inhibition. Incorporating optimally cooked sorghum into the human diet is a promising approach to preventing the onset and development of gastrointestinal cancers. Despite of the reported health benefits, sorghum is mainly used as animal feed in many developed nations. This review focuses on the chemopreventative properties of sorghum polyphenols and describes how incorporating sorghum into the human diet may improve health outcomes. Furthermore, the impact of processing by cooking, fermentation, and gastrointestinal digestion of sorghum, as well as the role sorghum polyphenols play in the mechanistic pathways involved in preventing cancer are elucidated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104177
Number of pages14
JournalFood Bioscience
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2024


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