Study Title:

D-Limonene for Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Study Abstract

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.

Study Information

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

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