BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality. According to National Cancer Registry, the incidence of colorectal cancer in Peninsular Malaysia increases with age. The incidence is highest among Chinese population but lower among Indians and Malays. Many reviews have suggested that obesity may be associated with a higher risk (>50%) of colorectal cancer.
METHODS: This study collects a comprehensive data from the literature review available from respective journals on dietary intervention and the chemo-protective mechanisms of a few natural resources in obesity -associated colon cancer based on previous and current studies.
RESULTS: In obesity-associated colon cancer, the genes of interest and pathways that are mainly involved include NFκB, P13K/Akt, and MAPK pathways, and FTO, leptin, Cyclin D, MMPs, and STAT3 genes. Dietary modification is one of the alternative steps in early prevention of colon cancer. It has been proposed that the components present in certain foods may have the ability to protect against many diseases including the prevention of cancer.
CONCLUSION: There are many factors that lead to obesity-associated colon cancer and the mechanisms behind it is still undergoing intensive research. This review aims to scrutinize research as well as reviews that have been previously reported on obesity associated colorectal cancer and the beneficial effects of including antioxidants-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits in the diet to reduce the risk of obesity associated colorectal cancer.
KEYWORDS: Obesity; colon cancer; pathways; natural phytochemicals
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.