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Foods 2013, 2(3), 374-392; doi:10.3390/foods2030374

Common Beans and Their Non-Digestible Fraction: Cancer Inhibitory Activity—An Overview

1,* , 2,†
1 Food Graduate Program of Republic Center (PROPAC), Research and Graduate Studies in Food Science, School of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Queretaro 76020, México 2 National Bioproducts and Bioprocesses Program, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, BC, Canada V0H IZ0 3 Nucitec, S. A. de C. V., Research Department, Comerciantes 15-3, Peñuelas, Queretaro 76148, México These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2013 / Revised: 18 June 2013 / Accepted: 17 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
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The US Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid guidelines introduced a near doubling of the dietary recommendations for vegetables including dry beans—an important food staple in many traditional diets that can improve public health and nutrition. Populations with high legume (peas, beans, lentils) consumption have a low risk of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases. Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are known as a rich, reliable source of non-digested compounds like fiber, phenolics, peptides and phytochemicals that are associated with health benefits. Emerging evidence indicates that common bean consumption is associated with reduced cancer risk in human populations, inhibiting carcinogenesis in animal models and inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in cell cultures. Fiber may reduce the risk of premature death from all causes, whereas the whole non-digestible fraction from common beans exhibits anti-proliferative activity and induces apoptosis in vitro and in vivo colon cancer. The mechanisms responsible for this apparently protective role may include gene-nutrient interactions and modulation of proteins’ expression. This review investigates the potential health benefits and bioactivity of beans on tumor inhibition, highlighting studies involving functional compounds, mainly non-digestible fractions that modulate genes and proteins, thereby, unraveling their preventive role against the development of cancer.
Keywords: common beans; prevention; antitumor activities; non digestible fraction; bioactive compounds common beans; prevention; antitumor activities; non digestible fraction; bioactive compounds
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Campos-Vega, R.; Oomah, B.D.; Loarca-Piña, G.; Vergara-Castañeda, H.A. Common Beans and Their Non-Digestible Fraction: Cancer Inhibitory Activity—An Overview. Foods 2013, 2, 374-392.

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