D-Limonene for Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Although limited, observations from cell culture, animal, and epidemiological studies support the presence of anti-cancer properties in citrus peel and the primary bioactive food constituent, d-limonene. Early evidence from animal models suggests that when ingested, d-limonene exhibits a wide spectrum of biologic activity including chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive effects. In some of these early models, an analog of d-limonene, perillyl alcohol, demonstrated a more potent effect than d-limonene itself. Yet, when perillyl alcohol advanced to clinical trials, several trials were ended early due to dose-limiting toxicities. Alternatively, oral d-limonene administration in humans is well tolerated even at high doses supporting its investigation as a potential bioactive for cancer prevention. Though the exact mechanisms of action of d-limonene are unclear, immune modulation and anti-proliferative effects are commonly reported. Here, we review the pre-clinical evidence for d-limonene’s anti-cancer mechanisms, bioavailability, and safety, as well as the evidence for anti-cancer effects in humans, focusing on studies relevant to its use in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
Jessica A. Miller, Patricia A. Thompson, Iman A. Hakim, H.-H. Sherry Chow and Cynthia A. Thomson. d-Limonene: a bioactive food component from citrus and evidence for a potential role in breast cancer prevention and treatment Oncology Reviews 2010 September University of Arizona