The predicted global increases in cancer incidence and death reinforce the need to establish disease preventive approaches. Because diet represents a major environmental/lifestyle factor affecting cancer risk, there is great opportunity to prevent the disease through nutritional approaches. However, this is a complex task since dietary components exert their cancer promoting or preventive effects through diverse cellular and molecular mechanisms. In recent years, research in this field has shown that different key topics have emerged, such as nutritional modulation of molecular targets, epigenetic processes, stem cell function, gastrointestinal microbiota composition and developmental programming. A deeper understanding of these aspects will contribute to better define nutritional recommendations for cancer prevention. Thus, our motivation for organizing this book was to present the reader with the latest research on these key topics in nutrition and cancer prevention.
This book is divided into three main sections. In the first section – “Dietary Components and Patterns” – chapters on nutritional factors that are associated with cancer prevention are presented. These include bioactive compounds from fruits and vegetables, vitamin D, selenium and zinc. Chapters on dietary factors that increase cancer risk are then presented, covering the impact of red and processed meat, ethanol, fatty acids and obesity. A chapter on dietary patterns is also included. The second section – “Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms” – focuses on emerging topics and includes chapters on nutritional genomics, epigenetics, developmental programming, aging, gastrointestinal microbiota and stem cells. The third and final section – “Cancer Types” – includes chapters on the main cancers, namely colorectal, liver, breast and prostate cancers. Chapters were contributed by leading researchers from different countries.
We consider that this book has unique features as it covers in a comprehensive way the major and emerging topics in nutrition and cancer and it combines in an integrative way the nutritional, epidemiological, chemical, metabolic, cellular and molecular aspects of dietary compound effects in cancer prevention. We hope this will help to provide the reader with a global view on nutrition and cancer prevention.
We would like to record our sincere gratitude to all authors that contributed the valuable chapters for this book. We are grateful to the Royal Society of Chemistry for publishing “Nutrition and Cancer Prevention: From Molecular Mechanisms to Dietary Recommendations”. We thank Nicki Dennis and Robin Driscoll for their assistance during the initial stages of the editorial process. We further owe a special thanks to Katie Morrey for helping us throughout the editing and production of this book. Finally, we thank our families for their love and support.
Thomas Prates Ong
Fernando Salvador Moreno
São Paulo, Brazil