Incidence rates vary 10-fold globally for colorectal cancer (CRC). Asia has lower rates than Western countries, but as the Western life-style becomes more prevalent in economically developing Asian countries, rates are increasing. Clinical therapy has improved over the last few decades, and national screening programmes are a proven and effective means of reducing mortality; chemoprevention through diet and life-style choices may provide additional value. Diet has strong associations with the aetiology of CRC, considerable epidemiological evidence exist that fruits and vegetables are associated with reduced risk of CRC. There is also extensive experimental evidence that phytochemicals from fruit and vegetables can modulate pathways of carcinogenesis. In this chapter, we consider Malaysia specifically, with its rich ethnopharmacological heritage and megabiodiversity; Malaysian natural compounds may be a source of potentially chemo-protective with relevance to CRC.
Part of the book: Colorectal Cancer
Herbal medicine is gaining acceptance worldwide for their effective pharmacological effects and relative safety. Plants have metabolic pathways that lead to the production and accumulation of secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, glycosides, and terpenoids that exhibit various biological activities. Plant secondary metabolites have been the major foci of investigation for several years and have been successfully used against a number of communicable and noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and viral infections. This chapter will explore Malaysian plants, their secondary metabolites, and their biological/medicinal properties with a particular focus on some selected species under a national project. Other aspects such as plant tissue culture to produce secondary metabolites and a case study on the use of secondary metabolites in the prevention and treatment of dengue fever are also described. While a lot of effort has been put in, further research and development into plant secondary metabolites are needed including using the plant tissue culture approach toward reaching high-value herbal industry.
Part of the book: Secondary Metabolites