Detoxifying Cancer Causing Agents to Prevent Cancer

Margaret Hanausek, Zbigniew Walaszek, Thomas J. Slaga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Different vitamins and other micronutrients in vegetables, fruits, and other natural plant products may prevent cancer development (carcinogenesis) by interfering with detrimental actions of mutagens, carcinogens, and tumor promoters. The goal of current studies in cancer prevention is to determine the mechanisms of synergistic action of the natural source compounds known to inhibit one or more stages of carcinogenesis, that is, initiation and promotion/progression. Many natural cancer preventive agents are effective inhibitors of tumor initiation, promotion, and/or progression. The mechanism of action is related to their abilities to prevent critical carcinogen metabolism and to increase detoxification of carcinogens and tumor promoters. The authors review here the potential role of the detoxification system and, in particular, the roles of D-glucaric acid and the enzyme β-glucuronidase in early detection and prevention of cancer. There is now growing evidence for the possible control of different stages of the cancer induction by inhibiting β-glucuronidase with D-glucaric acid derivatives, especially with its salts (D-glucarates). D-Glucaric acid has been found in many vegetables and fruits. Therefore, the consumption of fruits and vegetables naturally rich in D-glucaric acid or self-medication with D-glucaric acid derivatives such as calcium D-glucarate offers a promising cancer prevention approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalIntegrative Cancer Therapies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer prevention
  • Carcinogens
  • Detoxification
  • Natural products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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