Food and Nutrition Master Program, Nutritional Biochemistry Core, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Cancer is a complex disease caused by a progressive accumulation of multiple genetic mutations. Consumption of fruits is associated with lower risk of several cancers, which is mainly associated to their phytochemical content. The use of functional foods and chemopreventive compounds seems to contribute in this process, acting by mechanisms of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic and hormonal. The Psidium Guajava has high potential functional related to pigments who are involved in the process of cancer prevention by having antioxidant activity. The aim of the present review is to expose some chemical compounds from P. Guajava fractions and their association with anti-carcinogenic function. The evidences supports the theory of anticancer properties of P. Guajava, although the mechanisms are still not fully elucidated, but may include scavenging free radicals, regulation of gene expression, modulation of cellular signalling pathways including those involved in DNA damage repair, cell proliferation and apoptosis.