The Promise of Dried Fruits in Cancer Chemoprevention


Chemoprevention is an attempt to use nontoxic natural and synthetic substances or their mixtures to intervenethe relatively early stages of carcinogenesis, before invasive characteristics are manifested. The consumption offruits is well known to reduce the risk of human cancers. Although most fruits are available only on a seasonalbasis, recent advances in food processing technologies have made it possible to extend the shelf life of fruits andfruit-products. Fruits can be preserved by applying different drying processes to reduce the moisture content.Different varieties of dried fruits are now sold in supermarkets, thereby making them readily accessible toconsumers. Since oxidative stress and chronic inflammation play important roles in cancer development, driedfruits with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties hold promise for cancer chemoprevention. Theantioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive activities of dried fruits are largely attributed to theirpolyphenols and vitamins. Dried fruits contain adequate amounts of bioactive principles, such as anthocyanins,acetogenins, catechins, coumarins, phenolic acids, terpenes, xanthones, and others. Since numerous healthbeneficial phytochemicals in fruits are conserved even after processing, regular intake of dried fruits can helpprevent cancer. This review addresses the chemopreventive potential of representative dried fruits and theiractive constituents.