Review article


, 6:2

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Dietary components as epigenetic-regulating agents against cancer

  • Ling-Chu ChangAffiliated withChinese Medicinal Research and Development Center, China Medical University Hospital
  • , Yung-Luen YuAffiliated withGraduate Institute of Cancer Biology, China Medical UniversityCenter for Molecular Medicine, China Medical University HospitalDepartment of Biotechnology, Asia University Email author 


Carcinogenesis is a complicated process that involves the deregulation of epigenetics resulting in cellular transformational events, such proliferation, differentiation, and metastasis. Epigenetic machinery changes the accessibility of chromatin to transcriptional regulation through DNA modification. The collaboration of epigenetics and gene transcriptional regulation creates a suitable microenvironment for cancer development, which is proved by the alternation in cell proliferation, differentiation, division, metabolism, DNA repair and movement. Therefore, the reverse of epigenetic dysfunction may provide a possible strategy and new therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. Many dietary components such as sulforaphane and epigallocatechin- 3-gallate have been demonstrated to exert chemopreventive influences, such as reducing tumor growth and enhancing cancer cell death. Anticancer mechanistic studies also indicated that dietary components could display the ability to reverse epigenetic deregulation in assorted tumors via reverting the adverse epigenetic regulation, including alternation of DNA methylation and histone modification, and modulation of microRNA expression. Therefore, dietary components as therapeutic agents on epigenetics becomes an attractive approach for cancer prevention and intervention at the moment. In this review, we summarize the recent discoveries and underlying mechanisms of the most common dietary components for cancer prevention via epigenetic regulation.


Dietary component Epigenetic modification Cancer