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The Role of Food-Drug-Cytochrome P450 Interactions in Breast Cancer

Claudia Relats, Leila Sadeghi, Eveline Zbären, Helena Jenzer

Department of Health Professions, Applied R&D in Nutrition and Dietetics, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Bern, Switzerland

Med Sci Rev 2018; 5:25-34

DOI: 10.12659/MSRev.911528

Available online:

Published: 2018-11-08


ABSTRACT: Cytochrome P450 enzymes use a variety of molecules as substrates in enzymatic reactions, mostly catalysing oxidation of these substrates. Some of the enzymes activate carcinogenesis, including breast cancer development. The purpose of the present paper is to review and discuss the interactions between food products and substrates metabolized by enzymes of the cytochrome P450 in relation to the development of breast cancer.
A review of recently published papers was undertaken.
Electronic searches on nutrients, cytochrome P450, and breast cancer were performed on PUBMED, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and EBSCO in March 2018.
Molecular and clinical studies indicate that diet-cytochrome P450 interactions affect the risk for developing breast cancer. However, these are early results which are limited and frequently not reproducible due to possible information bias in food frequency questionnaires. Based on a review of available literature, food products interacting with substrates metabolized by the enzymes of the cytochrome P450 and thus having a direct or indirect effect on breast cancer development were identified.
Nutrition plays an important role in breast carcinogenesis. Eating foods which modify the activity of certain cytochrome P450 enzymes such as CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP1B1, CYP2B6, CYP3A4, CYP19A1, and CYP24A1 can contribute to prevention of breast cancer. Diet can act as an adjuvant in the treatment of this disease. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of nutrients regularly consumed in the development of breast cancer, specifically their effect on substrates metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme family and the corresponding mechanisms.

Keywords: Breast Neoplasms, Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System, Food-Drug Interactions, Nutritional Sciences